How To Use Google Keyword Planner in 2020

blue water marketing google ads keyword plan

Google Keyword Planner can be an incredibly useful tool for your business when used correctly. It’s proven to grow website traffic organically and is a great starting point as far as keyword research tools go.

The idea behind specific keyword research is to help your audience locate you organically. As you use keywords through your content, pay-per-click campaigns (PPC), and organic traffic, you help to increase your ranking on Google and are more easily found or discovered by your audience.  

The goal is to be strategic in determining which keywords to use throughout your website’s content in order to get the most out of your efforts. Google Keyword Planner is the perfect (and free) tool that can help you do just that!

What is Google Keyword Planner?

Google Keyword Planner is a free keyword research tool that can collect high quality keywords. It helps you discover new keywords that will add value to your SEO. Some might even say it provides a leg up on the competition as it provides raw data from Google itself.

The program allows you to search for words or phrases related to your business’s products and services and find keywords that are most relevant to you. Insights are provided into how searches have changed over time and how regularly certain keywords are searched for. You can also find information on suggested bids/estimates and add your keywords to your advertising plan. 

How to use Google Keyword Planner 

  1. To get started, you’ll create a Google Ads account if you haven’t already
  2. Once you are signed into your Google Ads account, click on ‘Tools & Settings’
  3. Click on the ‘Keyword Planner’ link
  4. Go to ‘discover new keywords’
  5. From there, you have the option to start with keywords or to start with your website – the choice is yours based on how you want to work
  6. To see all available data, create a campaign. This unlocks the keywords you are targeting along with their individual search volume

During the discovery phase of your keyword research, you will determine the variation of certain keywords that are most popular among searchers.

Keyword planner

A quick example

Someone searching for a dog groomer in their area who can cut their dog’s nails might search something like ‘dog nail grooming near me.’

This kind of search brings up a wide variety of results. But it’s a keyword phrase that a business like a dog groomer might consider in their SEO strategy. Google Keyword Planner helps to bring up popular searches for keywords and keyword phrases like these.

Seems easy enough right?

The difficult part in the keyword research process is while you may discover a lot of great and relevant keywords for your content, some search terms can be quite competitive.

As you use Google Keyword Planner and discover relevant keywords, you will notice the search volume can vary greatly between them. Some keywords will be searched for a lot more than others. But they may also be used more often by competitors as well. That’s why it can be advantageous at times to use search terms with lower search volume.

Ideally, the best terms to use will be the ones with high search volume and low competition. The decision around this will be yours to make as you complete your keyword research. 

  • Low-search volume keyword + high-competition keyword = poor results
  • High-search volume keyword + low-competition keyword = best results

Expanding your use of Google Keyword Planner

You might already have a list of keywords and keyword phrases you use for your website’s content. Google Keyword Planner includes a ‘get search volume and forecasts’ option to help you to determine which keywords to prioritize.

Upload a spreadsheet of your keywords or input them manually. Click on ‘Historical Metrics’ to see the search volume for your keyword list. 

Understanding Google Keyword Planner Terms

Some of the terms that Google Keyword Planner uses can be hard to understand at first. But they’re also essential for understanding the hypothetical results. 

Here is a quick summary of each of the table terms under forecast metrics:

  • Impressions: Each time your ad shows up on a search results page, it is counted as an impression.
  • Click-through rate (CTR): the number of users (as a percentage) who click on a specific link out of the total number of users who see it.
  • Cost per click (CPC): the amount you will pay each time a user clicks on your ad.
  • Average Position: Portrays where your ad tends to be placed in comparison to others. 
  • Cost: The number provided as an estimate of how much your ad campaign will cost, based on your chosen keywords.
  • Cost per acquisition (CPA): Shows the amount you will pay for each conversion.
  • Conversions: Occur when a visitor completes what you would consider the desired goal. This could be filling out a form, making a purchase, etc.
googles keyword planner

Long Tail Keywords

Long tail keywords are shown to convert 36% of the time, compared to broad keywords that are less likely to convert.

They can be described as keywords or key phrases that are much more specific and often longer than a regular keyword. They are more exact topics or subtopics of a head term.

For example, for the keyword ‘dog groomer’ a long tail keyword might be ‘dog grooming techniques for nails’.

While you may be thinking that you want to rank for the leading keyword as it gets a lot of traffic, it’s likely that you wouldn’t rank on the first page for that word. Long-tail keywords are less competitive and are more likely to produce a conversion.

You can think of these phrases as how a user would actually search through the internet. Utilizing this technique can help you to outrank your competition and give your content more context.

Want to dive deeper? We go into more detail about using long tail keywords to rank on Google in this post.

Switch up your Searches

Once you’ve done your initial keyword research, you can start to get creative in your strategic approach. 

Sort your keywords this way for further insights:

  • Competitor: Look at what keywords your competitors are not currently ranking for and prioritize them.
  • Season: Use keywords based on the season that they are appropriate in.
  • Region: Target a specific location in order to narrow down your research and target certain areas.

As you become more familiar with keyword research, you might realize the process can be overwhelming or it’s a lot of work. By hiring a digital marketing company, you can gain access to expertise within the area and be more at ease with the process. 

Get in touch with Blue Water Marketing to achieve expert keyword research and get the results you’re looking for!

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Taylor Lynch

Taylor Lynch

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Our digital marketing strategy is built on the foundation of driving measurable results. We take a full-circle approach to online marketing with a focus on increasing conversions, repeat traffic and generating greater brand loyalty.

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