Google Keyword Planner

How To Use Google Keyword Planner Tool Tutorial

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What is the Google Ads Keyword Planner Tool

A Google Keyword Planner Tutorial


The Free Google Keyword Planner tool (previously called the google adwords keyword planner) is a new Search Engine keyword research tool you can use to find keyword search volume for on the Google Search Network and to a lesser degree, on the Display Network.  One way you can access it is from within your Google Adwords Account under the tools menu as shown below.  This is your easy google keyword planner login.  Once you click on the little wrench icon, a mega-menu displays and the Google Key Word Planner access menu appears on the far left side as shown.

Google Keyword Planner Menu Access


Once you click the Keyword Planner menu item, you will then be taken to this screen:


KP 2


Most of the time, if you are using the Google Keyword Planner tool for the first time, you will click where it says Discover new keywords. When you do that, you will be taken to this screen:




How to Use Google Keyword Planner for SEO


If you have absolutely no idea which keywords you want to study, then you may want to take a look at another similar website.  In which case, you should click where it says "Start with a Website":




Google Keyword Scan

When you select the 'Start with a Website', you click the button and it will conduct a keyword scan of the target site and come back with words it 'thinks' the site is about.  In other words, it's a Google adwords keyword finder tool.


Regardless of which of these two screens you use, you will end up on a Google Keyword Planner page that looks something like this one:


KP 3


This is a great place to see whether your page has any keywords of interest to Google, and thus whether your page will receive a low or high quality score.


Google Keyword Estimator and Search Volume


There's a lot going on here.  You see a search volume broken down both by month and by mobile device.  You are also offered up other keyword ideas above the chart.  Below the chart, you can get detailed search volume break-downs as shown:


Keyword CPC Prices


The first thing you will notice is that the system has grouped your keywords by relevance, and this is a key element to successful and profitable keyword planning.   I've expanded out the first group so that you can see data for each individual keyword within the group.  Though you can modify the displayed columns to include other data, we're going to stick to the ones shown for now:

  • Average Monthly Searches
  • Competition
  • Ad Impression Share
  • Top of Page Bid (Low Range)
  • Top of Page Bid (High Range)
  • Account Status

Thinking About Your Adwords Campaign Using This Data

Using the data shown, you can begin to make some decisions about both which keywords you want to target using the adword keyword planner and how much you can expect to spend to get the click on any one of them.  One of the toughest choices you will need to make is about competition


What Does the Keyword Planner Competition Number Mean?

"Competition" shows how competitive ad placement is for a keyword, specific to the location and Search Network targeting options that you've selected. The level of competition—low, medium, or high— is determined by the number of advertisers bidding on each keyword relative to all keywords across Google. If they don't have enough data, you'll see a dash (-).


Deciding on Competition Based Bid Strategy


Higher competition is more expensive to bid on, while lower competition is cheaper.  But it may well be that the higher competition keywords are the ones you need to target.


This is How You Use Adwords To Find Keywords for SEO  


These keyword results are also a good place to work on your website's information architecture.  That's a fancy way of saying figuring out what each page should be about on your website.  It takes considerable time (think weeks) to do this keyword research, develop website pages that take advantage of this information and to set up ad-groups and write effective ads that target each keyword.  But if you want to achieve profitable Google PPC Advertising results, it's work that has to be done by highly skilled people who can tie the information together from all the various information sources.

How To Leverage Your Competition

But what if I had wanted to use the search by website functionality?  In the next screen, I decided to take a look at, which is the government's website for the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.  You can learn a lot from this one just by glancing at it. 


First off, there is clear seasonality in the search volume data.   You can see large spikes during the government's Open Enrollment period, yet there is significant search volume during the rest of the year.  However, the overall search volume isn't really that high.  But notice I focused the results down to Texas.  You do this by using the locations button on the left.



What about if I want to target a particular geographic location?

KP 6 Location


Here I've taken the keyword location search a step further to focus on Dallas, Texas.  Notice it now shows you something called 'Reach'.  Reach is interesting.  It means how many people are in or interested in, Dallas, Texas.  The 'interested in' part is somewhat vague.  But when you are running ads, you sometimes see visitors who are not in your target area showing up.  It's possibly someone who briefly passed through Dallas or any number of other events would add them to this count.  If you truly want to target your ads to people who are actually in your target location, Google Adwords offer much more granular targeting and exclusion possibilities.  

Who Can Use Google Keyword Planner

Google's Keyword Planner tool can be used by anyone, but these days, in order to access Google Keyword Planner, it pretty much forces you to at least set up a Google Adwords Account, but you don't have to create an ad.  They want you most of the way down their sales funnel in exchange for using this information.


How Do I Estimate My Google Adwords Adspend Performance

If you're like most businesses, you need to know in advance what you're going to spend on Google Adwords and what you should expect from this adspend.  That's why we've developed this calculator to help you estimate your Google Adwords Performance which will allow you to quickly estimate what your CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) will be.  This is how much it will cost you to make a sale.  

How Do I Estimate my Google Adspend ROI

Glad you asked.  We've also built this Google Adspend ROI calculator which is based on Google's ROI formula and sample data. Of course, you can use your own numbers here and get your expected results in real time.

Can I Get Help With Google PPC Management 

Yes, of course.  And we would be glad to help.  We've handled everything from initial account setup to major, multi-million dollar ad campaigns on behalf of our clients.  We combine our knowledge of Inbound Marketing and Google PPC to drive profitable results.


Get Google PPC Adspend  Management Services


Topics from this blog:
Google Keyword Planner

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Lonnie Ayers

About the Author: Lonnie Ayers is a Hubspot Certified Inbound Marketing consultant, with additional certifications in Hubspot Content Optimization, Hubspot Contextual Marketing, and is a Hubspot Certified Partner. Specialized in demand generation and sales execution, especially in the SAP, Oracle and Microsoft Partner space, he has unique insight into the tough challenges Service Providers face with generating leads and closing sales using the latest digital tools. With 15 years of SAP Program Management experience, and dozens of complex sales engagements under his belt, he helps partners develop and communicate their unique sales proposition. Frequently sought as a public speaker in various events, he is available for both inhouse engagements and remote coaching.
Balanced Scorecard Consultant

He also recently released a book "How to Dominate Any Market - Turbocharging Your Digital Marketing and Sales Results", which is available on Amazon.

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