Google Keyword Planner: How To Use It The Right Way

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What if I told you that one of the world’s most powerful SEO tools was free?

You’d probably say I was lying. But I’m not. That tool does exist.

It’s called Google Keyword Planner.

This free keyword tool is made by the world’s biggest search engine…

And it will help anybody wanting to grow their business with search engine marketing.

Why? Because it shows you (almost) everything you need to know to find profitable keywords to build the foundation of your search campaigns.

I’m also going to show you how to find exact search volumes for your keywords!

What Is Google Keyword Planner (And Why Should You Care)?

Google Keyword Planner is a free tool created by Google. It helps advertisers find and bid on keywords for their adverts.

It is also one of the most underrated free keyword research tools on the market.


Because it contains data from Google themselves!

You’ll be able to see

  • The exact search volume of each keyword (but only if you use the trick below)
  • How much advertisers are willing to pay per click
  • Related keywords you can use in your content
  • How these keywords perform based on location

Google Keyword Planner

When used correctly for strategic keyword research you can uncover a world of keywords to supercharge your search marketing without spending a penny on expensive tools.

Let’s look at how you can get setup to start reaping the benefits…

How To Open A Keyword Planner Account

To open your Google Keyword Planner account (also called Google Ads account) head over to this link here.

That should take you to a screen that looks a little something like this:

Google Adwords Setup

The page will ask you to enter some information about yourself and your business. Try to be as accurate as possible.

If it asks you add billing information, don’t worry – it only bills you if you run ads and we wont be setting up any Google ads.

Once signed up and logged in head to the main menu bar at the top of the page.

Click on the “tools” tab then “Keyword Planner”

Open Google Keyword Planner

And that’s the setup complete.

Painless, right?

How To Use Google Keyword Planner

Using Google Keyword Planner to come up with keyword ideas and organise them is easy.

First click on the Find new keywords option-

Find new keywords tool

It’s a simple box which can seem confusing.

find new keywords

All you have to do is enter words, phrases or a URL related to the page or keyword.

If I was doing keyword research for the page you are reading now I would enter-

  • Google Keyword Planner
  • How to use Google Keyword Planner
  • Google Keyword Planner tutorial

Google Keyword Planner Example Search

PRO TIP: Search for your main keyword idea in Google and copy the #1 ranking URL into the Google Keyword Planner search box to find even more keywords!

With this Google keyword tool (and the tip below) you’ll be able to find:

  • New keywords
  • Country specific performance metrics
  • BONUS: I’ll also show you how to reveal exact keyword volumes

Targeting Options

You can narrow down the search volumes for different markets by country and language.

So if you are trying to rank in Google United Kingdom – make sure you select that-

Filter keyword location and language

This is usually set to the same default country and language of your Google account.

Just click on the little edit icon-

Location targetting options

And then select which locations or languages you want to include in your keyword ideas.

Customise & Filter Your Search

You can customise and filter your search in a few different ways.

The first way is by choosing to return broadly related ideas or more specific closely related ideas

Related ideas

You can also add other filters. Just click Add Filter-

Add filter

And choose from any of the filter options.

I like to use this to filter out the different types of keywords.

For example if we wanted to remove Tyre Kicker keywords we could do this-

Filter out tyre kicker keywords

And depending on your goal:

You might only want to see buyer keywords

Buyer keywords fitler

You can learn about the 7x types of keywords here.

The Keyword Results (And How To Use Them)

Once you have finished playing with all of the filters, it’s time to take a look at the results.

keyword results table

There are four main pieces of information here.

You need to interpret this information to decide if a keyword is a suitable match:

  • Keyword (by relevance): These are the keywords sorted in order of how they relate to your initial keywords you entered. Often a mix of head, body and long tail keywords.
  • Average monthly searches: How many people are looking for this keyword per month. (I’ll show you how to get exact search volumes in the next section)
  • Competition: This is how many people would you be competing with to buy adverts for that keyword.
  • Bid Numbers You can view the bid range that advertisers have paid per click historically.

One of the drawbacks of Google Keyword Planner is the search volume ranges are…

Well…a little broad.

“Google Keyword Planner” gets between 10,000 and 100,000 searches per month

But that is a huge difference!

search volume ranges

Does your keyword get searched for 1,100 times per month or 28,567 times per month?

That information has a huge impact on whether a keyword is right for your campaign.

I am going to show you how to get exact search volumes in a moment.

Organising Your Keyword Ideas

The Google Keyword Planner tool interface also makes it easy to organise your keyword ideas.

Just tick the tick box next to any keyword and you’ll be given the option to-

  • Add To Plan – This just adds the keyword to your master list of saved keywords. Be sure to select exact match from the drop down before saving!
  • Add To Ad Group – You can “group” your keywords in tightly related groups

Organise your keywords

Just work your way through and pick out relevant keywords that have value to you.

You can use this tutorial to determine the value of a keyword

How To Get Even More Keyword Ideas

Keywords from this tool are generated based on relevance to your original keyword ideas.


Google isn’t very creative at coming up with abstract keywords. It’s a little simple.

For example if you were looking for keywords related to the word “Flower”

It might show “Flower pot” and “Flower bed” but not “Watering can” or “Fertilizer”. Be sure to repeat the process with different and more specific keywords to get more ideas!

This will take a bit of time.


Once you have done it, finding exact search volumes is as easy as…

How To Get Exact Keyword Search Volumes

It used to be that Google shared exact search volumes by default. Then they took them away and everyone lost it.


There are 2x ways to get the exact keyword search volume back in Google Keyword Planner-

Option #1

If you have been following the tutorial and added your keywords to the plan…

 You are just 1x click away from finding exact search volumes. 
In the sidebar click on Keywords.

And you’ll see how many searches that keyword gets for the date range you select-

how to view exact search volumes in google keyword planner

Here you’ll be able to see the true estimate of searches this keyword will get-

exact keyword searches

Option #2

If you already have a list of keywords you generated with a different keyword planning tool.

Then you can still use Google’s Keyword Planner to find the exact search volume.

Go to Tools > Keyword Planner and click on the Get Search Volume & Forecasts option-

get search volume and forecasts

Then paste in your list of keywords and click Get Started

paste your list of keywords

And after a brief moment:

Google will return a list of the keywords.

Just add them all to a plan or Ad Group and you’ll see the exact number of searches it gets for the date range you select-

search results

This means:

You can make a really informed decision on whether you should target a keyword or not.

How To Download Your Keywords With Search Volumes

Once you are ready, you can download your keyword plan easily.

Just click the download icon in the top right corner-

download keywords

And you can download them all and open them in excel.

The Biggest Problem With Google Keyword Planner

The only problem with Google Keyword Planner is it doesn’t tell you how hard or easy it will be to rank for a keyword.

You could find an awesome keyword, but it be so difficult to rank for that it’s not a cost effective business venture.

But you can use my free keyword research template to do that for you-

keyword sheet

I developed this sheet to-

  • Automatically find the best keywords with high search volumes & low competition
  • Tell you if its possible to win a featured snippet
  • Calculate keyword intent to keep you focused on $$$ keywords

Click Here To Download It Now

Wrapping It Up

Google Keyword Planner is one of the best free SEO tools on the market!

You can use it to-

  • Search for New keywords using phrases or a competitors web page
  • Get accurate search volume data and trends
  • Multiply keyword lists to get new keyword ideas
  • Organise your keyword lists

Not bad for a free tool huh?

Speaking of free tools… make sure you download my free intelligent Google sheets and you’ll be able to create a keyword strategy in minutes rather than days.

Or you can learn how to use some of the other free keyword research tools such as Keywords Everywhere.

Want more Google tools? Check out my list of Google tools.

What Are Your Thoughts?

12 Responses

    1. Hey Ana! Yes, you can download the data from Google Keyword Planner to upload them on my intelligent spreadsheet.

  1. Thank you sir for sharing such a useful and helpful article. These article very much help to SEO newbies and also for SEO experts. Please keep continue such a useful great posts.

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