If you want your content marketing efforts to be successful, you have to do keyword research; but with all the overpriced and complicated tools online, things can get tricky for you and your business.
Google offers an easy fix to that problem! The solution has always existed and it’s what all keyword research tools online rely on to come up with data.
In this post, we will show you how to use Google Keyword Planner to perform keyword research. If done properly, this can boost your SEO results and save you thousands of dollars each year.
What Is Google Keyword Planner?
Keyword Planner is a free keyword research tool by Google. It was created to help webmasters and advertisers plan their PPC campaigns and get a better insight into what their potential customers are looking for.
Keyword Planner is also widely used by content creators and SEOs in keyword research. It helps with finding topic ideas and lucrative search terms and phrases.
Most keyword research tools use Keyword Planner to extract their data and show results.
How to get a Google Keyword Planner Account?
Getting a Google Keyword Planner account has always been free. It comes as a tool within the Google Ads dashboard.
First, go to Google Keyword Planner.
You need to a Gmail account to use Google Keyword Planner.
If you already have one, click Start now.
You will be taken to a page where you can create a new campaign.
Google Keyword Planner is often used by advertisers to help them prepare for campaigns. Thus, you will be asked to create an ad and spend some money on it before using the tool.
But, if you’re just starting with Google Ads, and this tool specifically, click on Create an account without a campaign.
You will get to access Google Keyword Planner without having to make an ad investment and gain the same insight as someone who is utilizing paid search initiatives.
Make sure you enter the right business information here.
Then click SUBMIT.
If you see this page, then your account has been successfully created.
You can start using it right now.
Click on EXPLORE YOUR ACCOUNT to go to the main dashboard.
How to Use Google Keyword Planner?
Now that your account is successfully created, you will see this dashboard.
For this guide, we are only going to utilize the Keyword Planner tool.
Click on Tools from the header section.
Then under planning, click on Keyword Planner.
You have two options when using the tool — discover new keywords and get search volume and forecasts
Each option has some unique features but they both have many similarities and use the same data.
Discover new keywords:
This option generates new keywords and topic ideas to help you expand and cover new areas in your content.
For example, you can enter up to 10 keyword ideas and generate thousands of results that you can use in your articles and webpages.
There are three types of keywords you can enter — single words, phrases, and URLs.
To make sure Keyword Planner is pulling the right data that you’re looking for, verify the information in the small section below the header.
These options have to match your target audience. Why is this important? It ensures the validity of the numbers and data provided by Keyword Planner which is crucial to the success of your keyword research and content marketing strategy.
For example, if you are running a small local business, the location and language have to be specific to your potential customers. You will see different data and numbers when it comes to competition, avg monthly searches, bids, etc.
In this guide, we’ll use the keyword “pancakes” to demonstrate how to use Keyword Planner. (Target locations will be Canada + United States)
Here is the result: 2,702 keyword ideas available from just 5 we entered.
And here is the list of keywords that we now can use.
You will see keywords, average monthly searches, competition (specific to advertisers), and top of page bid (low and high range).
What is most important to us, for now, is newly generated keywords and their monthly searches. We can now look for keyword ideas related to our niche or topic that have enough monthly searches.
There are several filters you can apply to your results to get even more specific results.
For example, if your niche is too wide, you can use select “Closely related ideas” to keep the list short and focused on your keywords.
If your list is too small, and you are looking for new ideas to cover, then you can select “Broadly related ideas” and look for keywords that you can use.
Keyword text is another amazing filter you can apply to improve your results. It allows you to sort the list by keywords containing or not containing certain words.
For example, you can choose “contains” and type in “best” to come up with article ideas you can create for your blog.
Here is the result after applying contains the word “best”.
This way, you can have endless ideas for articles you can create for your blog or collect in one ebook that you can share with your audience.
Get search volume and forecasts:
As an advertiser, this option allows you to estimate how your keywords might perform the future. It can also be used to see monthly impressions as well as other important metrics.
You can enter as many keywords as you want. (Or upload a file .csv file with your list of keywords)
And then click Get Started.
As you can see, Google Keyword Planner will show you data such as clicks, impressions, and the average cost per click as it relates to the keywords you entered.
It will also show you how much a campaign with these keywords would cost and how they might perform.
We know for sure that there’s no way “pancake” would only receive 200 impressions per month. The reason it appears like that is sometimes when your budget is too low, Keyword Planner does not provide you with exact numbers.
With this one simple trick, we can get more precise data for our results.
Click on the down arrow, then pick a point where the graph is at maximum value.
You will notice that clicks and impressions will go up significantly. Now the number of impressions is as close as possible to the average monthly searches.
That is your real data!
Now that you have learned how to create an account and use it to find new keywords, we will take this information and guide you to the next step.
We have for you a tool and a trick that you can easily apply to find better keywords and generate richer data.
Exact Search Volume
Google wants you to spend money on multiple campaigns before Keyword Planner starts to show you exact numbers instead of ranges for average monthly searches.
Here is how your results will look if your account is new.
We can solve this problem by installing a browser extension that pulls data right from Google Keyword Planner and displays it to you for free. It works on more than 15 websites and major search engines.
(It works both on Chrome and Firefox).
First, start by downloading and installing Keywords Everywhere.
After installation, you’ll be taken to a page where you register to Get API Key.
Type in your email, agree to the terms of service, and then click email me the API KEY.
You will receive an email with a link to a page where you can get your API Key.
Click on it.
Then copy the key.
Now you have to paste it in the extension settings.
Click on the icon from the top right of your browser, then click “Settings”.
Paste your code and click “Validate”.
A green box will pop up under the form. The API key is valid.
Now if we go back to Google Keyword Planner, the tool will show exact numbers for average monthly searches and CPC.
Important: The settings in Google Planner have to match your settings in Keywords everywhere.
For example, if you choose Canada as a location in keyword planner, you have to do the same in the chrome extension. That is because impressions and monthly searches differ depending on many factors including language, location, etc.
Come Up With Ideas for your Content
Question and answer articles are very popular and have a much higher chance of ranking online.
But the problem always is, what questions are my visitors asking?
You can answer that by using the keyword text filter. You will come up with unlimited ideas for articles that answer all the questions for your audience and rank well on search engines.
You’ll end up with a list of questions you can create articles around.
Here’s are some examples for articles you can create from this list:
Everything You Need to Know About Pancakes and How to Cook Them.
8 Healthy Pancake Recipes For Your Kids
6 Creative Ways To Bake Delicious Pancakes Even If You Miss These Three Ingredients.
Your article headline does not have to be the same copy-paste keyword, but you can include a list of questions all under one long-form blog post.
To sum up, Google Keyword Planner may lack some features and options available in other premium tools. However, it is still a very useful tool to use to get you started.
Besides, it is completely free and beginner-friendly and there is a lot that you can achieve with it.
Using it to gain valuable insight into average monthly searches and impressions can help you choose the right keywords to use in your content marketing.
You can also use it to generate new keyword ideas and come up with topics to cover in your articles and other freebies you may wish to share with your audience.
Give it a try! You will be amazed at the results and what you are able to achieve.