A beginner’s guide to the Google Keyword Planner

Keyword research is an essential, valuable and profitable activity within digital marketing when it’s done correctly. However, ranking for the keywords can make or break your website and you can quickly get lost amongst the lower search engine results if it’s not triggered correctly.

Although Google do offer a free, essential keyword marketing tool in the Keyword Planner, the interface can quickly become overwhelming with the amount of data thrown at you at first impressions so sit back, relax and join our Cheshire web design agency as we present our beginner’s guide to the Google Keyword Planner.

In this guide, we talk you through both of the free tools found within the Google Keyword Planner so you can do your research and find out which terms and phrases to target.

What is the Google Keyword Planner?

Previously known as the Google Keyword Tool, the Google Keyword Planner is free and part of the Google Adwords advertising platform. Although it’s primarily use is for pay-pay-click campaigns, users will use this platform to research and analyse lists of keywords to target as part of their digital marketing strategy and SEO presence.

How to access the Google Keyword Planner

To access the Google Keyword Planner, you will need to have a Google Adwords account which will only take a couple of minutes to complete. You do not have to run an active campaign or provide any payment details to use the platform.

Once logged into the website, click settings (the wrench icon in the toolbar at the top) then choose “Keyword Planner”.

Here you will be presented with two different tools, “Find New Keywords” and “Get metrics and forecasts for your keywords”. Both perfect for generating keywords but for two very different purposes as our Cheshire web design agency will explain.

Choosing Your Tool – Find New Keywords

As you can probably guess, this tool is perfect for finding new keyword ideas. Perfect if you are looking for blogging ideas, specific products or services and want keyword to target.

Simply following the instructions, your can enter up to three words, phrases and/or a URL related to your business. The value you get from the planner is largely based on the information you enter here so let’s break down what the tool is asking…

Google Keyword Planner Find New Keywords Cheshire Web Design

Enter Words – These are singles words that best describe your business. Once you have chosen your three keywords, the keyword planner will analysis the data and using it’s algorithm, generate a list of keywords based on what users search for.

Phrases – This is where you enter “seed keywords” to get a list of closely related terms. If you are unsure of the term ‘seed keyword’, it’s what’s best described as a branch of a tree to generate further keyword ideas but using the same phrase you have used. For example, if I chose the phrase web design similar phrases could be web design company, web design development, web design Knutsford etc…

URL – This is primarily for Adwords users. But you can sometimes find a few solid keywords here using your site’s homepage or an article from your site.

TIP* If you decide to use words or phrases, you can still use the URL so the tool can better understand your business and/or products and services.

Choosing Your Tool – Get metrics and forecasts for your keywords

So while ‘Find your Keyword’ is perfect to help you generate new keyword ideas, the metric and forecast tool is ideal if you already have a long-list of keywords and want to take things one step further to research their search volume.

The difference between the two tools is with metrics and forecasts, the data will be determined by the keywords you have entered to predict how many clicks and impressions you will get based on forecasts and historic metrics.


Google Keyword Planner: Find New Keywords


Forecasts – This presents a snapshot overview of how well your chosen keywords will do based on clicks, impressions, costs, click through rate and much more… The data below the snapshot presents a breakdown of each keyword predicting how well it will perform for your campaign.

Negative – Here, this option allows you to filter keywords, you can instruct the tool to show keywords that are negative (meaning it doesn’t display the word), broad, exact and many more such as;

Broad Match = Is the default term used for a keyword. This means if we chose the example of web design, you are instructing that you wish to be found for that particular keyword.

Phrase Match = contains the keyword so if I have the example “web design” It will appear in all my chosen keywords so will appear in ‘Cheshire web design’

Exact Match = If you enter the keyword as [Cheshire web design] you are looking for that particular keyword to appear exactly as it is, so the tool will not produce any data in the wrong order e.g. ‘web design in Cheshire’

Historic – This allows you to gain further insight into your keywords and filter data so you can see how they performed on a weekly, monthly, quarterly or even yearly basis.

Filtering The Data

Google Keyword Planner Filtering Data

Ok, so when you have entered the information, what happens next? Well you are presented with over data you can’t make sense of and have no real use for at this stage… Let’s dig a little deeper, the information provided can be applied to both of the keyword tools I have spoken about inside this blog.

Location – The location filter works perfectly from the smallest to international businesses. If you are local business, you can filter keywords based on your area so for example, I would be interested in web design in Cheshire. However, you were an international brand, you may want to try and target Web Design in Thailand. Simply enter your location and the planner will create the location on the map.

Google Keyword Planner Cheshire Web Design Location

Language – This feature is auto-set to English so for small to medium businesses you do not need to do anything. However, if you have a presence in Europe, you can change the language to filter results to see what kind of keyword data you get from different countries.

Search Network – The option asks if you wish to only advertise on Google. If you click the drop down there are only two options. The second, Google and their “search partners” refers to other search engines and Google products such as YouTube.

Once you have filtered your data, you can download your keyword ideas which will provide an overview of keywords along with an average monthly search, competition and a how much it would cost to bid for that particular keyword (If you are interested in PPC) based on your location, language and search filters.

Cheshire Web Design Overview: Google Keyword Planner

Now you have been given a beginners guide, I hope you have found some of the tools useful in encouraging you to give the Google Keyword Planner a go to help find new keywords, or to find out how well your current keywords are performing so you can make SEO marketing decisions based on what you can find.

If you wish to discuss keywords and implementing an SEO strategy for your website, please do get in touch. You can contact me at tom@untitledtm.com or you can subscribe to our Web Grower newsletter for more tips on how you can grow your website.