Looking to increase site traffic from Google? To achieve this, you need to know what people are searching for. And this is where keyword research comes into play with the new Google Keyword Planner.

Google Ads Keyword Planner Screenshot


Google Keyword planner is a free tool that lets you research to your heart’s content. Previously known as the Google Keyword tool, recent updates have made it slightly less user-friendly. However, newer updates have added more flexibility.

Up until recently, users could see monthly search volume numbers that were exact and precise. And unless you run an AdWords campaign, you will only be shown an average monthly search that is pretty useless. (We show you how to fix this for free!)



With that said, Google Keyword planner is still the best keyword research tool out there. If you want keyword suggestions perfectly optimised for Google, then straight from the horse’s mouth is a surefire way to success.

If you have never used the Google Keyword planner tool before or are new to SEO, you probably don’t quite know where to start. Today, we are going to show you how to make the most out of this tool for maximum SEO benefits.

Sign Up to the Free Google Keyword Planner

Unlike most keyword research tools out there, the Google Keyword Planner tool is completely free to use. All you need to gain access is a Google account.

When you first sign up to Google Keyword Planner, don’t be tricked into thinking that you need to set up an AdWords ad to gain access. On the sign up screen, simply click on the ‘skip the guided setup’ link instead of entering your email address and website.

Google Ads Setup Screenshot

On the next screen, fill in your email address and country (Use a personal Google email account for this.) The currency and time zone should auto fill. Then click on continue. This will take you to the campaign overview for Google ads/AdWords.

Navigate to the menu bar and then click on tools. From here, select planning and then click on New Keyword Planner. Et voila! Free access is granted.


Google Ads Campaigns Screenshot

Now that you have successfully signed up for Google Keyword Planner, it’s time to work out the best way to use it. While it may look complicated to begin with. We promise you that it is much easier than it first appears.

Using Google Keyword Planner

When you first use Google Keyword Planner, you will be presented with two options. These are ‘find keywords’ and ‘get search volumes and forecasts.’


Google Ads Keyword Planner

The Find Keywords option helps you work out the best keywords for reaching those who are interested in your service, product or niche.

This is the option you should select if you are looking for keyword ideas. It’s as easy as entering a URL, phrases or words that relate to your brand or business.

These URLs, phrases and words are not only limited to one per search. In fact, you can use up to 10 seed phrases or words at once. However, this doesn’t mean you will get double or triple the results. Google limits the keyword suggestion results per search.


Keyword Planner Screenshot


While this number may seem small when compared to other Keyword Planners available on the internet. They will be highly relevant and more than enough to kick-start your SEO efforts.


Keyword Planner metrics Screenshot


Once you have entered this information, Google Keyword Planner will present you with some targeted keyword suggestions. These suggestions will provide the following information:

  • Keyword by relevance
  • Average monthly searches
  • Keyword competition from high to low
  • Top of page bid low and high ranges

Google Keyword Planner Search Vols & Forecasts

The Search Volumes & Forecasts throws up lots of keyword metrics, along with predictions of what their future performance might be. And this is the option to choose if you already have a set of keywords that you want to learn more about.


Keyword Planner Broad Keywords Screenshot


Simply paste them into the search bar, click on get started and get ready to see what their forecasted performance is likely to be.

Don’t expect to find further keyword suggestions. This option is all about learning more about your already chosen keywords. It gives you a good idea of how the keywords would perform on Google AdWords over the next month. Some of the information you will discover includes:

  • Maximum CPC (cost per click)
  • Expected number of clicks
  • Expected number of impressions
  • Approximate cost
  • CTR percentages
  • Average cost per click (CPC)

This data only shows the forecasted keyword metrics for the next 30 days. If you head on over to the historical metrics tab, you can view the average search volumes for your chosen keywords over a 12-month period.

Historical Metrics Tab Screenshot


But here’s the catch. Those 12-month averages don’t give you the exact keyword volumes. Instead, you are presented with a rough estimate anywhere between 10% to 90% accuracy.

Clearly not ideal for your keyword research purposes!

How to See Google Keyword Planner Exact Volumes?

There is nothing more infuriating than trying to find the best keywords only to be cut off at the last minute! This is a hated change implemented by Google. And one that so many SEO specialists refuse to use it anymore.

What use are broad average monthly search volumes? If you want to know how well your keyword performs, seeing an estimation between 20K to 100k is as useless as a waterproof tea bag. You know what it is, but you don’t quite know how to use it!

So. How can you get around this? The quickest and easiest way is to install the Keywords Everywhere Chrome extension.


Keyword reasearch highlighted Vol

Once installed, every search you perform on Google throws up monthly CPC and search volumes. And you can geo-target these to your preferred country or on a global level.

But how does this help you work out your Google Keyword Planner monthly search volumes? Well, Keywords Everywhere and Google Keyword Planner work hand-in-hand.


Google Search Screenshot


Of course, keyword volumes or never exact. Sometimes they are overestimated, other times, underestimated. Even on Google Keyword Planner! Nonetheless, they are going to give you better foundations to build your keyword planning strategy on then simply plucking random keywords out of thin air.


Keywords Everywhere Related Keywords

Use Your Competitors to Your Advantage

One of the best ways to generate highly relevant and target in keywords is to use your competition. Spend a bit of time looking at the biggest players in your niche. Grab their URL. Enter it into the search bar and then hit ‘entire site’ from the drop down menu.

Competitor SEO Analysis Screenshot

Of course, by scanning your competitors site you are going to be generating a lot of keyboards that are brand-specific. But not to worry, these can be filtered out in 4 simple steps.

Click on add filter > keyword text > does not contain > brand keywords

Keyword Text Google Ads


Hey presto! You now have a huge list of keyword ideas that do not contain your competitors name. And best of all, if you have chosen a competitor who is a giant or a leader in your business market, you can be pretty sure that the keywords will be high-hitters.

Top Tip: 5 Tools for Better Keyword Research

Finding the Right Questions with Google Keyword Planner

When you know what types of questions people want answered, you can create content that stops the search. But how do you go about finding these all-important questions?

Again, a few clicks of the mouse and Google Keyword Planner will reveal all. To do this, perform a search of the keywords you are interested in, and then:

Add Filter > contains > (enter question supposition.)


Google Ads Filters Screenshot


Start off by checking keyword text that contains who. Then add in how, what, why, when, and where. And before you know it, Google Keyword Planner will be showing you some of the best questions for your content marketing plan.

Another great way to find keyword questions is to use Answer the Public. This hugely popular tool allows you to perform up to five free searches a day. While not a huge amount top searches can be performed, it’s normally more than enough to get yourself on the right track.

These are just a few great tips and tricks for beginners to Google Keyword Planner. We will be following up this post with more advanced strategies over the coming months. If you are an online business, brand or company looking to leverage keywords to your advantage, don’t give up on Google just yet! It can help improve your marketing strategy more than you know.