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Basic Guide to Using Google Keyword Planner

By Edited Jul 4, 2014 4 6

Google Keyword Planner can be used for several things.  In this article I will focus on how Keyword Planner may be used to generate ideas for online content such as articles, blog posts, and so on.

Whether you're new to online advertising or an experienced pro, you can use Keyword Planner to lay the groundwork for a successful campaign.[1]

Steps for generating keyword ideas

  1. Open up a browser window.
  2. Type in Google “Google Keyword Planner”.  Click on the first result.
    Google Keyword Planner
  3. Sign into your Adwords account.  If you don’t have one, then you can sign up for one, but don’t worry, to use the Planner is free.
    Google Adwords
  4. Click on “Tools” and then on “Search for new keyword and ad group ideas”.  
    Google Keyword Planner
    This is what you should now see.
    Google Keyword Planner
  5. In the “Your product or service” area, type in a term that’s of interest to you.  For this example, I have used “financial freedom". Then click “Get ideas”.
    Google Keyword Planner
  6. Click on the “Keyword ideas” tab. This will take you to a page with a lot of data! Don’t be stressed, we will be focusing on “Avg monthly searches”.
    Google Keyword Planner
    Google Keyword Planner

Avg monthly searches (AMS) tell us how many people are searching for this keyword each month.

Google Keyword Planner


How to use this information

The higher the AMS, the more competitive it will be to rank for that keyword. For example, “how to achieve financial freedom” with an AMS of 210 is more competitive than “financial freedom university” which has an AMS of 90.

If you are just starting out with your creating your online content, you could use keywords with AMS under 2,000.  For instance, I would focus on using “how to achieve financial freedom” and not “financial freedom” that has an AMS of 9,900. 

Side note

To the left of the AMS column you will see an icon.  If you hover your mouse over it, you will see monthly results for your search term.  This data is shown in a graph.

To start a new search, simply type it in the “Your product or service” section at the top and click “Get ideas” (see the green arrow in the picture below).

Google Keyword Planner


Mar 22, 2014 12:19pm
I stopped using google to search for keyword rank. I never understood what all the figures meant.
However, your article explains it better. Thanks
Mar 23, 2014 2:48am
Your welcome Moronkee :)
Mar 23, 2014 6:05am
Ever since Google went to the Keyword Planner, I've been stumbling around in my writing because I couldn't figure out how to use it without setting up an ad campaign. Thank you so much for writing this article.
Mar 23, 2014 10:17pm
Your most welcome LavenderRose :)
May 27, 2014 11:52pm
Thank you so much for this, there is a lot to learn and simple explanations like this are invaluable!
May 28, 2014 8:50am
Your most welcome EdWalker.
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  1. "Using Keyword Planner to get keyword ideas and traffic estimates." Google Adwords. 20/03/2014 <Web >

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