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How to use the Google Keyword Planner


Keyword Research is the beginning to any successful digital campaign, and when news earlier this year started springing up on blogs and social networks regarding a radical change with the Google Keyword Tool, SEO’s and the world of SEM sounded worried.

The most popular search engine in the world had decided to create a cocktail of much loved Keyword Tool, together with the AdWords Traffic Estimator. Instead of ridiculing the new Google Keyword Planner, we at Verve say embrace it.

Here you’ll find a step by step guide to the Keyword Planner to help get you started!

But Before you begin searching though for Traffic and PPC Estimations for a future campaign, you require an Adwords account. This is one major change many are not keen on, perhaps to increase PPC revenue (not quite sure?), but once this is complete its plain sailing!

What would you like to do?

Once logged into Keyword Planner you have three main options, with further separate choices within each. It is a very simple layout and many are describing this as the wizard stage.

Wizard interface

So lets take a quick step by step guide through the new(ish) Planner.

  1. Search for Keyword and ad group ideas

Option 1

-          By Keyword: The Product or Service which you wish to advertise.

-          By Landing Page: A search on your website, or if that is not completed, how about a competitors? Searching Landing Pages will hunt for keywords relevant to the product and service you are providing.  

-          By Product Category: Search through thousands of selected categories Google has amassed.

Get ideas

Before hitting ‘Get Ideas’, make sure you check ‘Targeting’ and ‘Customise Your Search’ filters that Google has introduced.



The altering of these constraints allow you to see how campaigns fluctuate in other Countries, Cities, Languages and Search Engines.

‘Negative Keywords’ introduce Keywords you would prefer your campaigns to dissociate with, therefore never showing up in searches. For example, you may be searching for ‘Luxurious Holidays’ and your negative term would be ‘Cheap Flights’.


Customise your Search

This filter brings you closer to having the perfect match of words based on:

  • Average Monthly Searches 
  • Average Cost Per Click
  • Advert Impression share
  • Competition
  • Keyword Options: Adult Themes, Keywords already in account or Keywords already in included in plan.
  • Include and Exclude: Use the include box to contain those terms in Keyword search. Use the Exclude Box to remove those terms in the search results.
  • option 2
    2.  Enter or upload keywords to see how they perform

-          By Keyword List: Add a small amount of related Keywords, but beware of your punctuation as it can influence Broad, Phase and Exact Match searches.

-          By Bulk Upload: Using an external CSV file, you can load up to 10,000 existing Keywords from historical or customer research.


Option 3

3.  Multiply keyword list’s

-          By Multiplying Keywords: The multiplier tool requires experimentation, allowing keyword lists to be combined with others, creating multiple variables and a longer chain.

List searchA third list can be added to allow your Keywords to grow. However the results will only be based on the words in the lists, unlike options 1 and 2 where ideas can grow!


Ad Groups Ideas or Keyword Ideas

Google will now process your data and bundle it into two different views, which you can choose to pick. The default view is the Ad Group Ideas, a method of  creating groups of varying sizes which relate to each other.

Skateboards Ad Groups

The alternative view is Keyword Ideas, which produces extensive singular terms for you to trawl through and add to ‘Your Plan’.


The bonus graph feature introduced here is access to trend data for the last 12 months of any keyword.

Trend graph


Your Plan

Dependent on your campaign you may choose to add whole Keyword Groups or run through the list and add terms that are relevant to you with sufficient search volume. Once found, click on the far right of the term and it will be added to ‘Your Plan’.

your plan

Here Google estimate Daily Clicks and Costs, and if your budget can’t afford the quoted amounts, review your bid. Once your happy, you can ‘Review Estimates’ and proceed to view the daily costs in a separate window.


Users of now redundant Keyword Tool will notice the seamless transition from Keyword Research to Adwords. It will save many marketers time and allow speedier experimentation with their PPC Ad’s, which many are praising.


The fresh Keyword Planner looks like it’s here to stay, and is already receiving updates. As a user you’ll enjoy the organised layout, so within no time you will have learnt and mastered the relatively simple interface Google have provided.

Campaigns can be created in a blink of an eye and existing historic lists of up to 10,000 keywords can be loaded with ease allowing you to refresh data. The format of filtering and more specific targeting will allow your results to become more precise.

If you require the research to present to a customer or to store, the Keyword Planner allows you to download the data fast in Excel CSV, very similar to the old tool.

However, there are some negatives and so far we agree with what we’ve read so far – it’s the fact users require an AdWords account.

The planner has also decided to throw away a handy little tool for looking at Global Vs Local Monthly Searches, instead we have a 12 Month Average?

The last thorn in the Planner’s side is the removal of the ability to get device results. Google’s decision to amalgamate all laptops, tablets and smartphones searches into one result was slightly annoying!

But don’t sit on these, enjoy the positives and let your campaigns thrive!