Human-led SEO logo - white background, black text
Get low-effort, high-reward backlink opportunities sent to your inbox each week.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
SEO 101

How to Use Google Keyword Planner: A Beginners’ Guide

Here's an overview of how to use Google Keyword Planner
Grow Hack Scale
Editorial Team
How to Use Google Keyword Planner: A Beginners’ Guide
March 23, 2023
October 9, 2020

Do you know how to use Google Keyword Planner? Were you aware that it can help you grow your website’s organic traffic?

If you’re a new business owner and you’re confused about it, I’m here to explain it all.I used the Google Keyword Planner for my business many times, and it always brought results. 

Since I’m feeling rather creative, I’ll show you how to use this efficiently.

How to Use Keyword Planner

Step 1: Set up Google Ads Account

As you may know, Google Keyword Planner (previously known as Google Keyword Tool), is a free tool. 

However, Google insists for you to have an Ads account to access it.

So, let’s start with setting up your Google Ads account, in case you don’t have it.

First, Google will ask you what’s your advertising goal. 

How to Use Google Keyword Planner - How to set up Google ads account

I chose the option “Get more website sales or sign-ups” because lately, my fictional in-store sales are seeing a significant decrease. 

Planner guide Google keyword

After clicking on the “Pick goal” button, it led me to the business I want to advertise. You can promote as many businesses as you want, but for now, I’ll advertise Happie Little Trees.

what do you want to advertise - setting up Google ads account

Next, you’ll have to set up a target radius around your business. The radius is the location where the ads will appear.

Where are your customer - setting up Google ad account

Once you set your target location, you can click on “Next” to add more information about your business.

If you’re unsure of what to add, Google will suggest some keywords similar to those you already wrote.

How to use Google Keyword Planner: define your product or service - setting up Google ad account

Now, you can write your first Google ad. Make sure to write the name of your business or an offer in the Headline 2 and to write a description shorter than 90 characters.

Before you do, check out the guide for writing Google Ads copies.

Write your ad - setting up Google ad account

When you’re done with that, review if the settings are correct.

Review your campaign setting - setting up Google ad account

Last, you’ll have to set up the billing for your ads. 

There you have it. Your first Google Ads account. It wasn’t so troublesome, was it?

google keyword planner guiide 2

Let’s see how to use Google Keyword Planner within your account to nail your organic traffic.

Step 2: Find Keywords

You will use Google Keyword Planner primarily when you need new keywords. Later on, you can add them to the content on your site to optimise it.

Log into your Google Ads account and go to the Keyword Planner. It’s in the Tools & Settings section in your account.

How to use Keyword Planner: a screenshot of Google ads account

It will lead you to a dropdown menu with the Keyword Planner. Click on it.

A screenshot of how to access keyword planner in Google ads account

When you select it, it will give you two different options; “Discover new keywords” and “Get search volume and forecasts.” Go with the first one, after which you’ll have to “Select an active account”; in our case, Happie Little Trees.

Discover ew keywords - Google ads account

Now, it asks you to enter keywords related to your business. According to my imaginary business, I added “natural jewellery,” “earrings,” “necklaces,” “colourful natural jewellery,” and “wooden jewellery,” which all reflect what I have to offer in the shop.

Long-tail keywords (which have more than three words) will let you target more precise search terms with higher conversion rates.

You can also add your URL so that the Keyword Planner can comprehend which content is related to your site.

Discover new keywords - Google Keyword Planner

Step 3: Analyse Results and Pick the Winning Keywords

When you’re done with adding keywords, it will direct you to the search result analysis.

You can see here that the Planner enlisted 4,155 ideas, all with high competition. 

It means I haven’t added keywords that are more specific to the niche. High search volume can be useful if you mastered on-page SEO, but you should focus on low search volume keywords for starters. 

They are more unique and will lead people who are genuinely interested in your products to the site.

A screenshot of keyword ideas available - Google Keyword Planner

The results you’re seeing are based on the search data from the last 12 months. You can change that timespan after to see which new suggestions you got.

The only columns I’m interested in (those that aren’t paid traffic) are “Average monthly searches” and “Competition.”

They are both high for the keywords I entered initially. 

However, when I look at the “Keyword ideas” column, I can see that the first ten ideas have different monthly searches. In this case, it’s better to target those that have a lower search volume. 

So, I would go with “hoop earrings” instead of “name necklace” (which I don’t even sell in my imaginary shop).

Remember, every keyword idea has to reflect the real items you sell in the shop. You can’t target “diamond necklace” if you aren’t selling one.

Keywords with high competition will be much more challenging to rank for, and you’ll have to use paid ads for those.

A screenshot of keyword ideas results on Google Keyword Planner

Ok, I explained a little about high and low average monthly searches and competition. Now it’s time for you to add a filter to the keywords. 

How to add filter on Google Keyword Planner

When you click on it, it will offer an option called “Exclude adult ideas,” which removes the keywords linked to adult content from search. In other words, it decreases the number of monthly searches for the keyword ideas.

You can add other filters (e.g., “Show closely related ideas”) for a more narrow search.

How to add filter to keyword ideas on Google Keyword Planner

Once you narrow your search, make sure the location corresponds to the target location. It is crucial if you’re running a small business.

You can then download keyword ideas in a spreadsheet for each search you make.

How to download keyword ideas on Google Keyword Planner

Step 4: Enter Into the PPC Domain

In the last step of this Google Keyword Planner Guide, I’ll only tell you how to start if you want to pay for your ads.

Go back to the Keyword Planner homepage and chose “Get search volume and forecasts,” which will show you future search volumes when you decide to invest in PPC.

Get search volume and forecasts - Google Keyword Planner

In case you plan to allocate a specific budget for your paid ads, I say go for it. 

Nonetheless, if you’re a small business owner just starting with the Ads game, wait to see how your organic traffic grows.

Would You Use Google Keyword Planner in the Future?

There, I did it. 

You have your set of keywords to add them to your content.

Decide which are the most important ones and let the games begin!

You're reading Human-Led SEO

A regular column dedicated to illustrating how a searcher-first approach to SEO enables businesses to generate more revenue in less time from organic search.

Coming Soon
We sometimes earn referral commissions from these partners when a reader buys their products and services. Read our full disclosure here.