The Keyword Planner is a powerful tool to help you select relevant keywords for your content. It’s also easy to use, once you know how. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
Step 1. Access the Keyword Planner
The Keyword Planner is free to use. However, to access it, you require a Google Ads account which you can set up easily, by entering information about you and your business. You don’t need to run an active campaign to use the Keyword Planner.
You can now use the Keyword Planner.
Click on ‘Tools’ and select ‘Keyword Planner’. You will be presented with two options:
– Discover new keywords (for keyword ideas)
– Get search volume and forecasts (search volume and historical metrics for your keywords and forecasts for future performance)
Step 2. Choose your preferred tool
Let’s start with the first option:
a. Discover new keywords
This is ideal for finding new keywords. Follow the instructions given – ‘Enter products or services closely related to your business’. Be strategic in what you enter, neither being too general or too specific. For example, if your eCommerce website offers a selection of healthy desserts, the keywords you insert would be ‘low-fat cookies’, ‘vegan desserts’, ‘gluten-free cake’ and so on. Not ‘cake’ or ‘cookies’.
You can enter up to 10 keywords – words or phrases, separated by a comma, and an additional URL as seed. Click ‘Get results’.
The Keywords Results Page that opens up will show you:
i. Keywords (by relevance): This is a list of keywords that Google considers relevant to the keywords or URL you entered.
ii. Average monthly searches: A range denoting the average monthly searches for those keywords
iii. Competition: Indicates the number of advertisers bidding on that keyword. It reflects commercial intent.
iv. Top of page bid (low range): Indicates the lower range of what advertisers have paid for a keyword’s top of page bid.
v. Top of page bid (high range): Indicates the higher range of what advertisers have paid for a keyword’s top of page bid.
b. Get search volume and forecasts
Use this if you already have a list of keywords for which you want to see certain metrics.
Enter your keywords and click ‘Get started’ to see your forecast.
The results will show you the number of clicks and impressions you could gain from running ads for those particular keywords on Google Ads over the next 30 days. You will also see:
- Average cost
- CTR (Click-through rate)
- Average CPC (Cost Per Click)
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Step 3. Filter results
You have various filters on top of the page that you can use to streamline your results:
a. Locations: You can choose the country or countries that are included in your marketing area.
b. Language: Choose the language you wish to see your keywords in. This helps if you have multiple language versions on your page.
c. Search networks: You can select whether you want to advertise only on Google, or on Google and its search partners, for instance, YouTube.
d. Data range: This shows the time frame within which the entered keyword has been searched. You can customize the time frame. Usually, the default 12 months works well.
Another filter is the ‘Add filter’. This provides further filtering options in its dropdown menu:
This will allow you to search for keywords that contain or do not contain the word or phrase you supply.
You can choose the Keyword Planner to show you results with a ‘high’, ‘medium’ or ‘low’ competition.
c. Ad impression share
This applies to Google Ads, so does not play a role in SEO.
d. Top of page bid
This gives you the estimated amount you would have to pay for your ad to appear on top of the page for that particular keyword. You can set it for either ‘high range’ or ‘low range’. To filter out keywords without commercial intent you can set it to ‘low range’ with a low amount.
e. Exclude keywords in my account
This automatically takes away the keywords you’ve bid on in Google Ads.
f. Organic impression share
This will need you to connect with your Google Search Console account to find out how often your website appears in organic searches for your keywords.
g. Organic average position
This shows your organic average rank for each keyword. This also requires you to connect with Google Search Console.
h. Exclude adult ideas
This one’s self-explanatory.
‘Broaden your search’ is another feature in the tool which suggests related terms to your typed-in keywords.
Step 4. Choose a keyword
You can, after using all the features that the tool provides, pick the keyword you think will suit your need. Easier said than done, however, since there are a lot of factors to consider.
Let’s say you run a bakery offering healthy desserts and want to write a blog post on your website about healthy chocolate cake that may be consumed by vegetarians, non-vegetarians and vegans alike.
Choose a keyword that is broad enough to cover the topic but not very narrow. For example, ‘chocolate cake’ is too broad. ‘Vegan chocolate cake’ will suit your purpose.
Use the ‘Discover new keywords’ option and enter your proposed keyword and get results. A number of keywords will appear. Shortlist according to these criteria:
a. Search volume
The higher the average search volume, the more traffic you can expect.
b. Commercial intent
While high competition keywords will be more difficult to rank for since there are paid ads running for them, you could still try to organically outrank them. Else, you could choose low competition keywords. It eventually depends on what you deem as a priority and the keywords themselves.
c. Organic SEO competition
Run the keywords on Google and check what comes up in the SERPs. Find out the websites that rank for that keyword and check if you can outrank them for it.
Now that you know what to do, you can begin your search for your relevant keyword.
You can also explore a few more keyword research tools to plan your website.
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