How To Use Google Keyword Planner For PPC

No matter what you are advertising or what keyword research strategy you are going to use, most of you time searching for new PPC keywords will be spent in Google Keyword Planner.

Google Keyword planner gives you everything that you need to make informed decisions, such as search volumes, average cost per click and level of competition so you can make accurate projections.

In this guide I’m going to show you how to get the most out of Googles Keyword Planner.

Here is how to use the tool.

Where to find Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword planner is accesable through your Adwords account.

Once you have logged into your Adwords account click “tools” in the top menu and then select “Adwords Keyword Planner” from the dropdown as shown below.

You will then be presented with the 5 different tools that Google Keyword Planner offers.

Three are geared towards finding new keyword opportunities:

  • Search for new keywords use a phrase, website or category
  • Get search volume data and trends
  • Multiply keyword lists to get new keywords

Two are geared towards planning your budgets and getting forecasts:

  • Enter or upload a list of keywords to get forecasts
  • Get forecasts for campaigns or keywords from your account

Now it is time to drill down further into the 5 different tools and see how you can use each one of them to find new keyword opportunities and make projections.

Search for new keywords use a phrase, website or category

This is the go to tool for finding new keyword opportunities using the Google Keyword Planner.

It allows you to enter a seed keyword and then it will find several different variations of the keyword that you can use.

There are three different ways that you can search for new keyword opportunities.

Your product or service. This is where you enter seed keywords that are closely related to what you advertise. For example if you ran a website selling phone cases you would want to add specific terms relating to products such as “iPhone 4 cases” as opposed to generic terms such as “phone cases”.

Your landing page. This allows you to generate keyword suggestions based on the landing page that users will visit. This can sometimes yield some gems however in is generally not as effective as entering seed keywords.

Your product category. This allows you to find keywords by searching Google’s internal databases of keywords relating to specific topics. This is a good option to explore if you have already exhausted the first two options.

One you have settled on a search method you need to choose your targeting options.

Targeting options.

The targeting options are country, language and search engine (search engine with search partners).

This is very intuitive, for example if you are targeting ads at the UK you would select the location “United Kingdom” and then select the language “English”.

There is also the option to and negative keywords.

This is a list of keywords that you don’t want your ads to appear for.

Search options.

Search options allow you to refine your results and find the most appropriate keywords faster.

There are thee options that you can use.

  • Keyword filters
  • Keyword options
  • Keywords to include.

I will now walk you through all of these options individually.

Keyword filters

Keyword filters allow you to only find keywords that have for example more than 10 searchers per month, or are only have low competition.

As a PPC advertisers you will want to stick to the three different options down the left hand side and the completion metrics at the bottom.

This is useful for example if you want to find keywords that have a high commercial intent (lots of people are bidding on this keyword so it is highly likely to be profitable for example).

Keyword options

Keyword options is one of my favourite tool as it allows you to find lots of very closely matched variations of keywords which saves you a huge amount of time trawling through different keyword ideas.

It also allows you to show keywords that are already in your account or plan and if you sell adult related products or services it allows you to view adult ideas.

Keywords to include.

This is another great tool for finding closely matched keyword variations. For example if I add the keyword “ppc management” it will only show me results that contain the keyword “ppc management”.


Get search volume data and trends

If you already have a list of keywords and want to see how many searchers they get in a certain geographic area then this tool will be useful for you, however it is not useful for finding new keyword ideas.

STEP 1. Simply paste a list of keywords into the tool or upload a CSV file containing the keywords.

STEP 2. Select the geographic area and language that you want to get search volumes for.

STEP 3. Finally click the “get search volumes” and you will be shown the projections.

Multiply keyword lists to get new keywords

The keyword multiplier tool allows you to add several lists of keywords and multiply them together to create hundreds, or even thousands of keyword combinations.

This words particularly well for ecommerce websites because you can multiply different brads, colours and sizes of products together so you can identify pretty much every possible combination that users might search for.

STEP 1. Add a list of keywords to list one and then a second list to list 2 that will be multiplied together

STEP 2. If you want to multiply more than two sets of keywords together click the large X on the right hand side of the page and add a list of keywords to list 3.

STEP 3. Once you have done this click the “get search volumes” button at the bottom of the page as shown below.

Enter or upload a list of keywords to get forecasts

The forecast tool is useful for giving you projections on how your keywords will perform. The tool looks like this:

You have the option of either uploading a CSV file with your keywords or your can paste them into the box at the top.

The tools gives you the ability to specify which match type you would like your keywords to be in.

You have the choice of:

  • Broad Match: New York Hotels
  • Phrase Match: “New York Hotels”
  • Exact Match: [New York Hotels”

As with the other tools that Google Keyword Planner offers you are able to target by location, language and platform. You also have the option of being able to add negative keywords.

When it comes to the date range for your projections, Google Keyword Planner allow you to get forecasts based on the next 7 days or if you prefer you can get them based on a custom time frame.

Get forecasts for campaigns or keywords from your account

This option allows you to get forecasts based on your current campaigns. To use this feature you must already have a campaign running on Google Adwords.

Simply select a campaign or several that you want to get forecasts for and then click “get forecasts”.

Using the keyword results page

Once you have clicked the “get ideas” button you will then be shown the keyword results page, that will give you several keyword ideas.

Here is a breakdown of the different elements of the page.

The first thing that you will see are the search volume trends that show you how search volume has varied month to month.

Down the right hand side of the page you have a sidebar that allows you to edit your search results, without you having to go back to the first page.

Below the search volume trends there are two tabs, “ad groups ideas” and a “keyword ideas tab”. Both of which will allow you to find a good number of keyword opportunities.

When you click on the “keyword ideas tab” you will see an interface that looks like the one below.

There are 4 main different columns that you need to know about:

Keyword column. This contains your keyword suggestions that Google deems to be relevant to the seed keywords that you entered.

Average search volume. This is the average number of monthly searchers for the keyword.

Competition. This indicates how many other people are bidding on this term, high competition will mean that several other advertisers are bidding on it and low competition means that very few advertisers are bidding on it.

Suggested bid. This is a suggested bid based on what other advertisers are paying to appear for that keyword.

When you click on the “ad group ideas tab” you will see an interface that looks like the one below.

Google provides pre made ad groups of similar keywords that allows you to quickly find relevant keywords.

You can view which keywords are in each ad groups by clicking on them.

Once again you have the same columns as in the “keyword ideas” tab to help you evaluate the keyword.

How To Get Exact Data Projections

One limitation of the Google Keyword Planners results page is that they just give you a rough average search volume, which is only partially helpful.

There is however an option that will allow you to get a more accurate search volume projections.

To access this tool you first need to add the keywords that you want to target to your plan. This can be done by clicking the two arrows at the left hand side of the row.

Once you have done this click the “review plan” in the right hand side menu.

Once you have done this on the next page you are prompted to provide a bid and a daily budget.

At this point enter your daily budget accurately and enter a rough bid (you will see why in the next step).

Google will then give you much more accurate projections on what you can expect in terms of number of impressions, clicks and conversions.

If you look at the number of impressions, that shows you how many people search for the term each day.

You can move the bar in the middle backwards or forwards to set different bids which will give you projections of how many impressions and clicks you will get at that particular bid.

For example if I move the bar along so that the max CPC bid is set to £10.05 I can see that I would generate 4.03 clicks per day, 227 impressions at a cost of £18.78

When using this tool be careful when looking at conversion volume because this can vary quite widely depending on your landing page.

If you have a high quality landing page that converts at around 10% then the estimates should be reasonably accurate, however if you are routing the traffic to a website that had a conversion rate of 2-3% then they will be a long way off.


There you have it, this guide should walk you through all that you need to know to find keywords and make projections using the Google Keyword Planner tool.

Got an interesting way to use the Google Keyword Planner that we missed out? Leave us a comment below!

wesley parker
About wesley parker

Wesley is Founder and CEO at Clicteq. He currently manages a £6 Mil Adwords portfolio across a range of different sectors. He regulally features in leading search publications such as Search Engine Journal, Econsultancy and Certified Knowledge. You can follow him on Twitter or connect with him on Linkedin

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