How to use google adwords keyword tool for seo

Do you want to find the right keywords to increase organic traffic to your website? If so, knowing how to use Google Keyword Planner will really come in handy!Google Keyword Planner is a powerful tool you can use to identify new keyword ideas and blog post topics, and boost your search engine rankings. That said, it can be a little confusing to figure out how to use it if you’re new to the tool.

In this article, we’ll show you how to use Google Keyword Planner and get the most out of it to improve your SEO performance, how to use google adwords for keyword research and google keyword planner for youtube.

How to use google adwords keyword tool for seo

Keyword Planner helps you research keywords for your Search campaigns.

You can use this free tool to discover new keywords related to your business and see estimates of the searches they receive and the cost to target them.

Keyword Planner also provides another way to create Search campaigns that’s centered around in-depth keyword research.

This article shows you how to use Keyword Planner to lay the groundwork for a successful campaign.


  • Discover new keywords: Get suggestions for keywords related to your products, services, or website.
  • See monthly searches: See estimates on the number of searches a keyword gets each month.
  • Determine cost: See the average cost for your ad to show on searches for a keyword.
  • Organize keywords: See how your keywords fit into different categories related to your brand.
  • Create new campaigns: Use your keyword plan to create new campaigns centered on in-depth keyword research.

Keep in mind that while Keyword Planner can provide insights into keyword targeting, campaign performance depends on a variety of factors. For example, your bid, budget, product, and customer behavior in your industry can all influence the success of your campaigns.


To access Keyword Planner:

  • Your account must be using Expert Mode. You won’t be able to access Keyword Planner if your account is using Smart Mode.
  • You must complete your account setup by entering your billing information and creating a campaign. If you’re not yet ready to spend money, you can choose to pause your campaigns.

1. Create a keyword plan

Once you open Keyword Planner, there are 2 ways to create your keyword plan:

  1. Search for new keywords by clicking Discover new keywords.
  2. Upload existing keywords by clicking Get search volume and forecasts.

Discover new keywords

A. Get ideas for new keywords

Enter words and or websites related to your business to see keyword ideas.

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
    • Note: If you’re logged into a manager account, you’ll need to choose a managed account to use to continue. Learn more About Google Ads manager accounts
  2. Click the tools iconGoogle Ads | tools [Icon] , then under “Planning”, click Keyword Planner.
  3. Click Discover new keywords.
  4. There are 3 ways to discover new keyword ideas:
    1. Start with keywords: Enter words related to your products or services. You can separate multiple phrases with a comma and space.
      1. Enter your domain and Google will try to exclude keywords not related to what you offer.
    2. Start with a website: Enter any website and Google will look for keywords related to the content on that site.
    3. Preview keyword ideas in ad groups: Keyword Planner will try to organize keywords to automatically find new keywords for your top campaigns. Learn more About organizing keywords in Keyword Planner
  5. Click Get results.

After clicking “Get results”, you’ll see a list of keywords related to what you entered. These keywords haven’t been added to your plan. You can now edit your list with filters and categories to help you find those that make sense for your plan.

Note: Keywords with very low search volumes or keywords that are considered sensitive aren’t discoverable or forecastable. In those instances, you’ll get an error message and prompt asking you to try new keywords or URLs.

This image is an example of a keyword targeting error message.

B. Edit your list of keyword ideas

You can now edit your list of keyword ideas using filters and categories. Learn more in-depth tips on editing your keyword list.


Narrow down your list of keywords based on criteria like competition, impression share, and keyword text. For example, you may want to see keyword ideas where bids under $1 may be enough to reach the top of the page.

  1. Click Add filter.
  2. Select a filter and enter its values.
  3. Your list of ideas will now match the filter.

Refine by category

See groups of keywords based on their themes, brands or categories.

  1. Look for the “Refine keywords” side panel on the “Keyword ideas” page.
  2. Open the categories beneath it to see characteristics related to your keyword ideas.
  3. Uncheck the box next to each category to remove these keywords from your list.
    • For example, if your keywords are related to running shoes, you may see a category for shoe color. To only see keywords for “red running shoes,” you’d uncheck the box for all other colors.

C. Add keywords to your plan and see a performance forecast

After you have a list of keywords, there are 2 ways to incorporate them into your campaigns:

  1. Add the keywords to your keyword plan to see forecasts of their performance and create an optional new campaign.
    1. Check each keyword you’d like to add to your plan, then add them to an existing ad group or create a new ad group with a name.
    2. Select a match type using the “Broad match” dropdown.
    3. For a new plan, click Add keywords to create a plan.
    4. For additions to existing plans, click Add keyword.
  2. Add keywords to ad groups within existing campaigns.
    1. Select keyword ideas.
    2. Select Existing campaigns in the “Plan” dropdown menu.
A guide on how to add keywords and forecast their performance in Keyword Planner.

Get search volume and forecasts

Add keywords to plan and see forecast

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
    • Note that if you’re logged into a manager account, you’ll need to choose a managed account to use in order to continue. Learn more About Google Ads manager accounts
  2. Click the tools icon Google Ads | tools [Icon], then under “Planning,” click Keyword Planner.
  3. Click Get search volume and forecasts.
  4. Enter or paste a list of keywords into the search box, or upload a list of keywords from a CSV file following the instructions below:
    1. Click Upload a file.
    2. Click Select a file from your computer. Review the templates provided for uploading keywords.
      1. Upload a list of keywords: Your file should have just one column with the header titled “Keyword”.
      2. Upload an entire keyword plan: Download the template to include optional data like campaign, location, and ad group, etc. along with your keyword.
    3. Click Submit.
  5. Click Get started.

2. Understand your keyword forecast

Your plan forecast shows you how many conversions, clicks, or impressions you’re likely to get for your keywords based on your spend.

Understand your forecast

Your forecast is available on the “Forecasts” page of your plan. It includes keywords that you uploaded through “Get search volumes and forecasts” or those you added from the “Keyword ideas” page.

What’s included in your forecast

  • Forecast of optimal performance for all keywords based on your spend.
    • Change the metric you’re forecasting by clicking “conversions” or “clicks”. This is available to you when you enable conversion tracking in your account. Otherwise, click Add conversion metrics to review the options.
    • Change the average daily budget by clicking the amount.
    • Change your bid strategy by clicking the “Maximize clicks” drop-down.
    • Click the drop-down arrow to see a chart of your estimated performance to get based on your spend.
  • Estimates for each individual keyword based on the “Maximize clicks” bid strategy.
    • Edit the amount in the “Average daily budget” to see how these estimates change.
  • Ad groups that your keywords will be added to in a new campaign if you implement your plan.
  • Date range for your forecast.
    • Click on the date range at the top of the page to change the timeframe for your forecast.

Additional options

  • Add new keywords by clicking the plus button and entering new keywords. You can also return to the “Keyword ideas” page and add keywords from there.
  • Download forecast by clicking the download button.
  • Share plan with others by clicking the Share button and enabling share access.

3. Create campaign based on your plan

Create campaign

You can implement your plan by creating it as a campaign.

  1. You can create a campaign from the “Forecast”, “Saved keywords”, or “Negative keywords” page.
  2. Click Create campaign near the top corner.
  3. Name your campaign.
  4. Select the recommended daily budget based on optimal performance from your plan forecast, or enter a custom budget.
  5. Click Save.

After clicking “Save”, your forecast plan will be converted into a new campaign on your account’s “Campaigns” page. Click “View campaign” to access the settings for your new campaign.

Once you’ve implemented your plan as a campaign, you can still access its forecast from the tools icon, under “Keyword Planner”. However, you’ll only be able to make changes to the keywords for this plan within the new campaign you created.

google keyword planner for youtube

The best way to get consistent views for your videos is to do keyword research. That means knowing what your viewers are searching for.

By processing large amounts of clickstream data, our YouTube Keyword Tool shows reliable search volumes for any keyword. Compared to other tools which are assuming arbitrary numbers from Keyword Planner, this is the only tool that shows you the real search volume!

Not from the US? No problem. You can also see search volume numbers for any keyword in 170 countries (yours is likely in it!).

You can even see the average monthly number of clicks on the search results. If the clicks are low, that means searchers are not satisfied with the search results.

Translation: an opportunity for you to capture those clicks.

Generate thousands of relevant keyword ideas for your videos

Never run out of content ideas again.

Enter any broad topic into Keywords Explorer to see thousands of relevant keyword ideas in seconds. This should be enough ideas for your channel for the next few months, or maybe even years!

Want ideas that have the exact wording you’ve chosen? The Phrase match report shows you search queries containing your target keyword.

Find and prioritize the best keywords using filters

Make your workflow more efficient. Use our filters to find the best video topics for your channel. You can filter by:

  • Search volume – shows you how many times per month, on average, people in a given country search for your target keyword.
  • Word count – the number of words in a keyword or phrase.
  • Clicks – Some searches result in clicks on multiple search results, while others might have none. ‘Clicks’ shows the average monthly number of clicks on the search results for your target keyword.
  • Clicks Per Search (CPS) – shows how many different search results people click, on average, after searching for this keyword.
  • Return Rate (RR) – shows how often people search for that keyword again.

You can even include or exclude certain terms. Say you’re only looking for “how to” keywords. You can use the Include filter to show keywords with “how to” in them.

Save your keyword ideas in lists

You can easily save your favorite keyword ideas with the “Lists” feature in Keywords Explorer. Check any keyword and click “Add to”.

With just one click, you can see all the data of your favorite keywords!

how to use google adwords for keyword research

The Google Ads Keyword Planner tool is a useful resource for building strong keyword lists and helping to get your PPC campaign off to a running start. A free-to-use feature within Google Ads, its tools for generating keyword ideas and bid estimations can help you plan your marketing strategy. By using the Google Ads Keyword Tool, you can search for keyword and ad group ideas, see how a list of keywords might perform, and even combine keyword lists to create new ones. It can also help you choose competitive bids and budgets to use in your campaigns.

For example, let’s say you run a Vermont-based business selling locally-made and sourced maple syrup across the country. The Google Ads Keyword Tool can help you identify terms, phrases, and words potential customers are searching for related to your business that you may not have thought of before. You may be bidding against the phrase “handmade syrup” and “locally sourced syrup,” but the Google Ads Keyword Tool might uncover related and frequently-searched terms like “breakfast condiment,” “handcrafted syrup,” etc.

Once you understand the basics of using the Google Ads Keyword Tool, there are several strategies you can adopt to help take your campaign to the next level. Check out these tips on how to use the Keyword Planner to help your ad find its way to a potential customer’s search the moment they want what you offer.

1. Use Basic Filtering to Refine Your Audience & Budget

When you start using the Keyword Planner, you’ll be given four options:

  • Search for new keywords: Allows you to type in a phrase, website, or category to generate new ideas.
  • Multiple keyword lists: Combines two separate lists that you’ll input to create new keyword combinations.
  • Get search volume and trends: Shows the historical trending and search volume data of keywords.
  • Get click and cost performance forecasts: Gives you performance projections for your keyword lists based on average bids and your budget.

When you input keywords into any of these options, you’ll get a list or report which you can then filter based on a variety of elements:

While a keyword may have a high search volume nationally or across other wide areas, you can filter the location to help you determine whether it’s a popular and relevant term in your local area.


  • Location: Gives search volume data and trends based on a specified geographic location or range.
  • Language: Gives search volume data and trends for a specific language. This could be especially useful if you have multiple language versions or pages of your site (for example, English and Spanish).
  • Search Network: Determines where the provided data comes from. The default data source is from Google; however, you may also choose Google and Google Search Partners.
  • Negative Keywords: Filter out any words or phrases that you don’t want to see in your results. For instance, if you don’t want to target anything with the words “cheap” or “free,” this is where you enter those restrictions.


Lets you enter a specific date range so you can see average monthly searches for that time period. You can also compare two different date ranges. This could be especially useful in determining if certain keywords perform better during different times of year, to help you strategize your campaign timing.


  • Average Monthly Searches: Filters keywords based on average monthly searches for selected dates. Keywords with extremely high search volume (generally 10,000+ average monthly searches) are more difficult to compete for, with a higher suggested bid. If you’re just starting your campaign, focusing on keywords with mid-level search volume may help you avoid spending too much of your budget on too few keywords.
  • Suggested Bid: Allows you to see keyword options that could help you stay in better control of your budget. Your suggested bid is calculated by taking into account the cost-per-click (CPC) that other advertisers are paying for keywords with the same location and Search Network settings you’ve selected.
  • Ad Impression Share: The number of times people will see your ad, divided by the total number of searches that matched your keyword exactly in the last month for your selected location and network.
  • Organic Impression Share: The percentage of times a page from your website showed up in a regular, unpaid web search for a keyword. (Note: this is only available if you’ve joined your Google Analytics account to your Google Ads account.)
  • Organic Average Position: Shows how pages from your website rank in regular, unpaid searches compared to pages from other websites. (Note: this is only available if you’ve joined your Google Analytics account to your Google Ads account.)
  • Competition: Lets you filter keywords by how difficult it will be to receive a top position with them. You can filter by high, medium, and low difficulty. For small businesses, it’s generally recommended to filter for medium to low difficulty, as these tend to have a lower suggested bid, so you can make more of your budget.


Lets you further narrow your research to show only ideas that are closely related to your search terms or content, keywords that are already in your plan, and more.

While the purpose of filters is to whittle down your keyword list or report, remember not to set too many restrictions. Consider starting general, using just one or no filters to start, and testing out the filters to make sure you aren’t overlooking any opportunities. As you become more familiar with keywords in your industry and the filtering options available, you’ll start to find what filter options work for you.

Now that you have the basics on how to use the Keyword Planner, it’s time to explore some strategies for making the most of it.

2. Use Quality Keywords Over a Quantity of Keywords

If you’re struggling to think outside the box for keywords, or to find ones that are relevant to your business, the Keyword Planner can help you discover new terms and phrases potential customers are using to search for businesses like yours. The tool allows you to view Google-recommended keywords generated by:

  • Keyword: Type in words or phrases relevant to your business or website to get new ideas or longer-form keywords you may not have considered before.
  • Landing Page: Enter a specific page on your site (or any site), and the tool will read the page and generate relevant keywords.
  • Product Category: Select which product categories best describe your business to discover popular keywords frequently searched within your industry. This could help you identify keywords that you might not have realized potential customers are using to search for businesses like yours.

When analyzing the suggestions the tool gives you, keep in mind that if a keyword has high search volume, there might also be a lot of competition for it, raising its suggested bid. Try to choose keywords that are realistic for your campaign, and that won’t absorb the majority of your budget.

3. Show Your Ads to Your Geographic Audience

The Keyword Planner’s filters allow you to customize where your ads show up based on language or location. This may be particularly useful if, for example, your business has a physical storefront, and you’re therefore hoping to reach more people searching around your location.

While a keyword may have a high search volume nationally or across other wide areas, the filter can help you determine whether it’s a popular and relevant term in your local area. Back to our Vermont-based maple syrup business example, you can set your filters to whatever specificity — whether that’s within your city (Putney), state (Vermont), country (USA) and beyond. Your results in the keyword planner tool will show the average monthly search volume, search trends, suggested bid, etc., for Putney, Vermont, or whatever you’ve set as your geographic area.

These filters will also let you design your campaigns around different languages. If you find that your company is popular with both English and Spanish speakers, using the Google Ads keyword tool helps you find the most relevant keywords in each language, so you can create separate ad groups to reach both audiences.

4. Prepare for What Your Competitors Are Paying

The competition level for keyword choices can substantially inflate their costs. Based on how many other people are bidding on it, a particular keyword’s competition level is ranked low, medium, or high. High competition keywords cost more per average bid, and using them may make it more difficult — and expensive — for your ad to gain a top-level viewing position.

Using the Google Ads keyword tool can help you find effective keywords that fit your budget by showing you what other advertisers are paying for keywords. The tool’s suggested bid column shows the average amount being spent to rank in a top level position for a particular keyword. You can see which of your desired keywords are within reach of your budget, and build your campaign around them to improve your chances of being seen by potential customers.

While the suggested bid feature provides a good estimation of general costs, Google’s first page bid estimate tool provides an estimate of how much it will cost to rank on the first results page based on the Quality Score of your keywords and current competition for them.

To view the estimated first page bid metric for your keywords, follow these steps:

  • Visit the Keywords tab and click the Columns button
  • Select Modify columns from the drop-down menu
  • In the “Attributes” drop-down menu, add Est. first page bid, and click Save
  • You can do the same to view your estimated top of page bid (add Est. top page bid and Save)

If the first page bid estimate is very high, it may mean that your keyword’s Quality Score is poor. You can click the Help bubble next to your keyword to find more details. To find out more about this topic, check out our article on first page bid estimates.

5. Analyze Your Plan to Help Make the Most of Your Budget

As you discover keywords that are viable options, click the button to the right of the column to add them to your keyword plan. This will temporarily store your potential keywords. Once the keywords are in your plan, you can set a daily budget, bid maximum and location to receive a detailed forecast about the potential for the keywords that you’ve chosen.

Once you have a list of 10-20 keywords for your group, clicking on the Review Forecasts button will display the estimated clicks, impressions, average position, and average conversion rate for your potential keywords so you can analyze whether they’re realistic for your budget range. Use your findings to add and delete keywords until you have a refined list that will help make the most of your budget.

The Google Ads Keyword Planner is a useful tool to lay the groundwork for a successful PPC campaign. No matter your budget or company size, this tool can help you customize your keywords for more efficiency. Keep these strategies for how to use the Keyword Planner tool in mind to help your online marketing campaign succeed.

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