A Guide to Google Ads Keyword Planner

A Guide to Google Ads Keyword Planner

Trapica Content Team

Marketing Guides
4 min read
April 28, 2021

As a business operating online, it’s almost a crime to not know pertinent keywords. What keywords do customers use to find your service online? If you can't answer this question, you will be unable to launch ad campaigns, create articles and other content, and properly reach your audience. This ultimately means that you can’t achieve your online marketing goals.

This might sound dramatic, but it shows how important keywords are in a modern marketing strategy. Often, people who are new to this area think they have to spend lots of money to find the right keywords. In reality, the internet is inundated with free tools, with one of the best being Google Ads Keyword Planner.

What’s Keyword Planner?

The Keyword Planner is a free tool from Google that is designed to help businesses identify keywords they need for ad campaigns on the platform. Even the best ad ever seen can’t succeed without the right keywords. Campaigns with the right keywords reach the right people which increases conversion rates while decreasing the cost per click and cost per conversion.

With a simple interface, you’ll not only identify new keywords, but you’ll also learn the estimated cost and search quantity for each one. All of this is available from the AdWords interface, which brings together the old Traffic Estimator and Google Keyword Tool.

All in all, you’ll use Keyword Planner for three main purposes:

  • To receive estimates after multiplying keyword lists
  • To seek new keywords
  • To receive estimates for single keywords

Benefits of Using Keyword Planner

Why should you consider using this tool? Well, there are a few advantages (especially when choosing this one over others!).

Highlight New Keywords - The Keyword Planner allows businesses to find keywords relating to their audience and strategy. What keywords will help to get your campaigns in front of your audience? For any marketing strategy, it’s important to find keywords relating to products, services, the brand, and the website.

Calculate Estimates - How much are you expecting to pay to appear in front of your audience? Often, this is something that isn’t understood until the campaign is up and running. With the Keyword Planner, you can plan in advance and get estimates for how much ad placements will cost.

Check Estimated Traffic - As well as cost, the tool also estimates monthly traffic for specific keywords. Once again, this helps with planning because you can find that desired balance between traffic and competition.

Create Informed Campaigns - It’s almost normal now to create campaigns with lots of guesswork, but this shouldn’t be the case anymore with help from tools like the Keyword Planner. With all this information available, you now choose keywords strategically. You choose keywords while considering your budget and with some estimates for how the campaign will go in terms of traffic and cost. With this, you’re making more informed decisions during the advertising process.

Some businesses even use the Keyword Planner to organize their keywords. This is especially helpful when you have various segments to an audience, because a small amount of research on this tool goes a long way.

Of course, don’t assume that predictions on this platform are 100% accurate. Google makes it very clear that these are just helpful estimates. Therefore, actual performance will differ from the predicted performance. Whether or not your campaign finds success depends on the quality of your ads, bidding, product, your target market, and plenty of other factors.

Using Keyword Planner - Searching for Ideas

If you’re just starting with Keyword Planner, it’s natural to feel a little lost even with the simple interface. To get started, you’ll see two options:

  • Get search volume and forecast
  • Discover new keywords

It’s important to note that the latter of these two settings has further options depending on whether you want to discover new keywords, edit existing lists, or add keywords to a plan.

Let’s go simple and assume that you want to discover new keywords to propel the business forward. After signing into your Google Ads account, you’ll find the Planning setting under the ‘tools’ icon. From here, choose to ‘Discover new keywords’ and you can start from two different angles. While some choose to begin the search with a website, others want to generate suggestions using keywords themselves.

If you choose to start with a website, Google will ask you to enter the address which it then scans for relevant keywords. Even if you choose the keywords route, you’ll still enter your web address so that Google can keep all keywords relevant. After you click ‘Get results’, you will be  faced with many advanced keyword ideas.

Don’t assume that these keywords add to your plan immediately. At this point, you’re still searching. If you’ve found some good keyword ideas, you’ll need to edit your list and add them here.

In the past, we’ve spoken to marketers who have given up on Keyword Planner because they panic at the list of potential keywords and don’t know how to progress from here. Fortunately, Google has always been a user-friendly company and it provides filtering options in the search results. Add a filter to your results whether you want to base everything on impression share, competition, or text.

Alternatively, you can read results more efficiently by refining the results by category. Click on ‘Keyword ideas’ and you’ll see an option to ‘Refine keywords’. Underneath, Google lists various categories, and you can tick and untick boxes depending on the themes, categories, and brands that surround your business.

After generating new keyword ideas and adding them to your plan, Keyword Planner then has options to get forecasts, search volume, edit location targeting and ad groups, and create campaigns using all the information you’ve learned. One new feature for the Keyword Planner allows marketers and businesses to multiply keyword lists. After combining three lists, you’ll receive estimates and continue as normal.

Best Practices for Keyword Planner

There’s no doubting the efficacy of this tool and the contribution it makes to businesses. However, Keyword Planner is like any other in that many businesses struggle to get value from it. If you’re to enjoy Keyword Planner, we recommend paying attention to the following tips!

Use Your Competitors

We aren’t suggesting that you pick up the phone and ask competitors for advice (that would be an incredibly bold move!). Instead, add a website address or domain to generate keywords…we didn’t say that this website has to be yours. Enter the domain of competitors and see for which keywords the website is optimized. If the company is in the same niche, use this research as a starting point (you might just find some valuable keyword ideas).

Check Search Volume Regularly

When checking search volumes and estimates for the first time, you will have nothing to compare it against and no reference points. Therefore, it’s best to keep checking keyword volume to see how demand changes for them over time. Naturally, some keywords are seasonal, and this means that demand fluctuates.

The more you check, the more likely you are to see trends and spot when certain keywords are on the rise. If you don’t check regularly, you might stick with keywords that lost significant amounts of traffic weeks ago.

Consider Device Segmentation

Learning keywords is one thing, but knowing what keywords are thriving on particular devices is even more important. As a business, you probably know the percentage of traffic generating from mobile devices. Now, it’s time to go one step further and learn which keywords are prominent on mobile devices.

You may think that everybody searches the same regardless of device, but you’ll be surprised to learn the differences. For example, you could find that a moderately popular keyword on desktop has three times as many searches on mobile. If you don’t perform device research, you cannot optimize campaigns and marketing strategies for particular devices and you cannot optimize conversions and other critical metrics.

Use Wikipedia

Ah, Wikipedia - a fountain of knowledge with pages on everything from NFL to high fives (this is actually a real page!). As well as competitors, you can also enter the URL of a Wikipedia page related to your industry. If Wikipedia uses certain keywords, you can almost guarantee that they’re the right ones for the audience.

Since Wiki pages are almost always at the top of search results, this is a great resource regardless of your industry. As you learn keywords on Wikipedia pages, you’ll start to implement them in your ads but also in your articles and other content.


Even for small businesses, Keyword Planner has lots of value in not only learning keywords but implementing them across a wide marketing strategy. Learn keywords from Wikipedia pages, competitors, and other sources before using the findings to improve advertising performance.

Marketing Guides
4 min read
April 28, 2021