Google Keyword Planner is a free tool, which allows you to find popular key terms in your industry.
Keyword research is the core of every successful online business. Google organic traffic is as much as 50% of the overall traffic.
I created the most detailed Keyword Planner Tutorial to help you get started.
You need an AdWords account first. Go at Google.com/adwords/ and register. Enter your basic information, and you are ready. If you already have an account, you can go directly to Adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner.
Login in your Google Adwords account. Then click on “Tools and Analysis” and choose “Keyword Planner.”
You have several options:
Let’s start with Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category
When you choose the Search for new keywords using a phrase, website, or category, you will get this screen.
Here you can enter your product or services or a brainstorm list of keywords. Put a comma after every keyword or paste a list of keywords from a file.
If you don’t know where to start, you can use another handy tool – keywordtool.io which will generate a list of keywords for you. Let’s use “yoga poses” as an example. The easiest way to find more long-tail variations of this keyword will be to paste it in Keywordtool.io.
You can see how this tool found 441 new long-tail variations of yoga poses. Now you need to click on “Copy all” button on the right and paste the keywords list back in Google Keyword Planner and find out the monthly searches for every keyword.
This is a very powerful feature. You can use it to get keyword ideas from your website and blog. The tool will show you keywords related to your website based on your content.
You can enter the websites of your competitors! It could be their home page or a specific page with product, service, etc. Try both for best results, especially if they have many different pages, products or services.
Are there any forum communities related to your industry? You can use this tool for a specific forum home and category page or even a single thread.
You can find web forums related to your industry on Thebiggestboards.com or Boardreader.com.
The third option is to choose from categories library. Start with a major category and select the sub-category that is closer to your business.
This tool allows you to refine your Keyword Planner Results.
Let’s start with locations and learn how to use it effectively. By default, Keyword Planner targets all locations, which includes every country in the world. When your business is concentrated in a local area or a specific country, you should use location to get precise numbers.
You can also use the advanced search, which gives you the opportunity to use Google maps and choose different locations directly.
You can paste or type one location per line in Bulk location, up to 1000 at a time. Specify the country code for each location. See the list of supported country codes.
Enter the location for each country separately. For example, if you are targeting locations in Spain and Brazil, enter the locations in Spain first with the country code “ES.” After you’ve added those locations, enter your locations in Brazil using the country code “BR.”
You can choose to target different languages and check the search volume.
Google team up with many search partners, where they show AdWords ads. This feature is mainly for people who are going to spend money, so if you are using Keyword Planner only for keyword research, select only “Google”.
This feature only applies to Adwords, and you don’t need it if you are not going to launch a paid campaign. Learn more about negative words in AdWords Help Center.
This function allows you to see the average monthly searches for a date range you select or compare average monthly searches for two date ranges.
Average monthly searches – See keywords based on average monthly searches for the dates you selected. How it works: Select ≥ or ≤ from the drop-down and enter a number in the box to see keywords with average monthly searches greater than or less than that number for this date range
Suggested bid – This is an AdWords feature. This is a suggested bid is calculated by looking at the cost-per-click (CPCs) that advertisers are paying for a keyword, taking into account the location and Search Network settings you’ve selected.
Ad Impression Share – This feature is also is just for Adwords advertisers. Ad impression share is the number of impressions you’ve received divided by the total number of searches for the location and network you’re targeting that matched the keyword exactly in the last calendar month.
Competition – This feature can help you to determine how competitive a keyword is. It measures the competition among AdWord advertisers. Usually, when many advertisers bid for a particular keyword, it is competitive to rank organically on Google.
Another feature for AdWords advertisers you can ignore if you are not going to launch a paid campaign.
You can use this Keyword Planner option if you already have a list of keywords. You can either paste the list in the field or import it as CSV, TSV or plain text file. You can also use targeting and date range filters below the text field.
Here is an example of what you get when you hit Get search volume button. You can arrange the results when you click on the title of any particular column, for example, Avg. Monthly searches.
Now let’s see what each column means.
When you point the little icon on the left, you will see the average number of times people have searched for this exact keyword every month. This is a very good feature as you can see if the interest in any particular keyword is increasing or declining.
If there is not enough data, you will see a dash (-) This means that the keyword term is not popular, and nobody is searching for it.
The numbers on the right represent the average monthly searches based on the data for the last 12 months. The default settings are set to 12 months. You can choose a different date range from the menu on the left.
You can learn more about the average monthly searches on AdWords Help Center.
As stated before this is not the competition in organic Google results but the number of advertisers bidding on Google Adwords. But keep in mind Adwords advertisers competition usually correlates with higher competition in Google organic results.
Look at the example above. The competition for “yoga poses” is low because it isn’t a buying keyword. But look “yoga mat” it’s competition is high because many companies sell yoga mats.
The last 3 columns are only for Adwords Advertisers.