How to Use Google Keyword Planner [New Guide]
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How to Use Google Keyword Planner

Brian Dean

Written by Brian Dean

How to Use Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is a keyword research tool used by advertisers based on Google-suggested phrase terms as the primary foundation. It helps one discover relevant keywords for search campaigns to ensure ads get to the right audience. Importantly, the tool provides estimates for search volumes and costs to target the respective terms.

This is the ultimate guide to using Google Keyword Planner.

In fact, I’ve used the Google Keyword Planner (formerly known as Google Keyword Tool) to help grow my site’s organic traffic to 360,408 visits per month:

Backlinko – Organic traffic

And in this guide, I’ll show you how to get the most SEO value out of this awesome tool.

Brian's Tip
Brian's Tip

Try the FREE Backlinko Keyword Research Tool. Discover new keywords and performance data to use in your site content, SEO campaigns, and more.

Step #1: Access Google Keyword Planner

Yes, Keyword Planner is a free tool.

But there’s a catch:

In order to use the Google Keyword Planner, you NEED to have a Google Ads account.

If you don’t have a Google Ads account already, you can set one up in a few minutes:

(Just follow the prompts, enter some information about you and your business, and you’re in. Note: You don’t have to run an active campaign to use the Keyword Planner. But do need to at least set up a Google Ads campaign.)

Next, log in to your Google Adwords account. Click on the “Tools” menu item to the left of your screen.

Then, choose “Keyword Planner”:

You’ll see 3 different tools within Keyword Planner: “Discover New Keywords”, “Get search volume and forecasts”, and “Organize keywords into ad groups.”

When it comes to SEO-focused keyword research, the first two tools are enough to generate thousands of potential keywords.

To be clear:

This tool is designed with PPC advertisers in mind. So there are a lot of features in the tool (like keyword bidding features) that won’t be useful if you’re using this tool to find keywords for SEO.

With that, it’s time for me to show you how to find SEO keywords using each of the tools built into the Google Keyword Planner.

Step #2: Choose Your Tool

There are two main tools inside of the GKP.

And now I’m going to show you how to use these two tools to help you create a massive list of keywords for your SEO campaigns.

1. Discover New Keywords

Like the name suggests, this tool is ideal for finding new keywords.

As you can see, the field above this tool says: “Enter products or services closely related to your business”.

Quick Note: The value you get from the Keyword Planner is largely based on the information that you enter here. So you want to be VERY strategic about what you enter into this field.

So to help you get the most out of this tool, I’ll break down each of the two main options.

Start With Keywords”: These words and phrases describe your business (for example, “weight loss” or “coffee”). This allows you to access Google’s internal database of keywords for different industries.

Pro Tip: You can enter multiple keywords into this field. Just put a comma after each keyword and press enter. For example, if you run an eCommerce site that sells cookies, you’d want to enter terms like “gluten free desserts” and “low carb cookies” here.

Start With a Website”: This is designed for Adwords users. But you can sometimes find a few solid keywords here using your site’s homepage… or an article from your site.

(More on that later.)

Once you’ve entered your information into one (or all three) of the fields, click “Get Results”.

Next, you’ll see the Keywords Results Page. I’ll show you how to use that part of the Keyword Planner later in the guide.

For now, let’s dive into the second tool in the GKP: search volume and forecasts.

2. Get search volume and forecasts for your keywords

This feature is only really useful if you already have a long list of keywords… and just want to check their search volume. In other words, this tool won’t help you generate new keyword ideas.

To use it, copy and paste a list of keywords into the search field, and hit “Get Started”.

You’ll also see the same Keywords Results Page you see when you use the “Find new keywords” tool.

The only difference is that a) you only get data on the keywords you entered and b) Google will predict how many clicks and impressions you’ll get from the keywords you entered:

No matter which tool you ultimately used, you end up in the same place: The Keywords Result page.

And now it’s time for me to do a deep dive into how that page works… and how to get the most out of it.

Step #3: Filter and Sort the Results

Now it’s time to filter the list of keywords down to a smaller list of terms that are best for you.

Both the tools I just described will take you to the “Keywords Results Page”, which looks like this:

Here’s a breakdown of the page:

At the top of the page, you’ll notice four targeting options: Locations, Language, Search networks and Date range.

Here’s what these four things mean:


This is the country (or countries) that you’re marketing to. Simple.


This is the language of the keywords you want to see information on.

“Locations” and “Language” are automatically set to target English-speaking people in the United States. If that’s your target audience (in most cases it will be), you can leave these options as-is.

But let’s say you’re based in Germany. You’d want to change the Location to “Germany” and choose “German” as the language.

“Search networks”

This is whether or not you want to advertise only on Google… or Google and their “search partners”. Search partner sites include other search engines and Google properties (like YouTube).

I recommend leaving this set to just “Google”.

“Date range”

Leaving this as the default “12 months” is usually fine.

The next important feature of the Keywords Results Page is called “Add Filter”:

This feature gives you a decent amount of filtering options. So let me quickly break down each of the options for you.

Keyword Text

Here’s where you can have the tool ONLY show you keywords that contain a certain word or phrase.

Why would you want to include certain keywords?

Let’s say that you just launched a new line of blue t-shirts. In that case, you’d want to make sure the keyword “blue t-shirt” appears in all of the keywords that the Keyword Planner suggests to you.

Exclude Keywords in My Account

This excludes keywords that you’re already bidding on in Adwords.

Exclude Adult Ideas

Self-explanatory (I hope).

Avg. Monthly Searches

This is helpful for filtering out keywords with lots of search volume (after all, these terms tend to be really competitive). You may also want to filter out keywords that don’t get that many searches.

For example, let’s say that you get a big list of keyword ideas:

You can click on “Avg. Monthly Searches” to sort the results.

That way, you ONLY see keywords with lots of search volume.

You can also do the opposite. Click “Avg. Monthly Searches” again and you’ll get a list of low-volume terms:


You can have the Google Keyword Planner only show you keywords with “Low”, “Medium” or “High” competition.

Keyword Planner – Filter – Competition

This feature trips a lot of people up.

Remember: the Google Keyword Planner is designed 100% for Google Ads… not SEO.

So the “Competition” score here ONLY refers to Adwords competition (not how competitive the keyword is to rank for in Google’s organic search results). So I recommend leaving this blank.

Ad Impression Share

Again, this setting only applies to Adwords. So for the sake of SEO, we can ignore this filter.

Top of Page Bid

This is how much you’d expect to pay for your ad to appear at the top of the page for that keyword.

(This used to be called “Cost Per Click” or “CPC”.)

Top of Page Bid is a proxy indicator of commercial intent. So if you only want to target keywords that potential buyers search for, you can set this to a certain dollar amount.

As you can see, there are two options “high range” and “low range”.

Keyword Planner – Filter – Top

I personally set the “low range” to a few dollars. That way, I can filter out keywords without any commercial intent.

Keyword Planner – Filter – Top low

Organic Impression Share

This is how often your site appears in the organic results for each keyword. (Note: to use this feature you’ll need to connect your Google Search Console Account to Google Adwords).

Organic Average Position

Where you rank (on average) for each keyword in Google organic. Again, you’ll need to connect to the GSC for this to work.

So that’s it for filtering.

The last feature of the Keywords Results Page to look out for is called “Broaden Your Search”.

This is a new feature that shows you keywords that are somewhat related to the terms you typed in.

For example, when you search for “Paleo Diet”, you get this list of suggestions:

Google Keyword Planner – Broaden your search

Step #4: Analyze the Keyword Ideas Section

Now that you’ve filtered the results down to keywords that are ideal for your business, let’s break down the terms that are left.

Specifically, I’m going to show you how to analyze the terms that show up in the “Keyword Ideas” section of the Keyword Planner.

Keyword Planner – Ideas

Here’s what each of the terms in this section means:

Keyword (by relevance): This is the list of keywords that Google considers most relevant to the keyword or URL you typed into it.

Avg. monthly searches: Pretty self-explanatory. However, keep in mind that this is a range… and not a super-accurate indicator of search volume.

(I’ll show you how to get more accurate search volume data in a minute.)

Pro Tip: Watch out for seasonal keywords. That’s because seasonal keywords (like “Halloween costumes”) may get 50,000 searches in October and 100 searches in May. But the GKP will say that the term gets “10,000 searches per month”, which is kind of misleading.

Competition: Like I mentioned earlier, “Competition” in the Google Keyword Planner has nothing to do with SEO. Instead, “Competition” is simply the number of advertisers that are bidding on that keyword. But it IS useful to see if a keyword has any commercial intent (after all, the more people bid on a keyword, the more potential there is for them to become a lead or customer).

Top of Page Bid: This is another great way to size keyword’s monetization potential. The higher bid here, the more lucrative the traffic tends to be.

Step #5: Choose a Keyword

Now that you know how to use all of the tools, features and options within the Google Keyword Planner, it’s time for the last step: finding awesome keywords that you can optimize your site’s content around.

This is tricky.

Why? There are LOTS of factors that go into choosing a keyword. And it’s more art than science.

That said, I learn best from examples. So I’m going to help you choose a keyword from your list by walking you through a quick example.

(For this example I’m going to be using the “Discover new keywords” tool because this is the best way to uncover new keywords in the Google Keyword Planner.)

Google Keyword Planner – Discover new keywords

First, you want to think of a keyword that’s somewhat broad…but also describes your product, service or content idea.

For example, let’s say that you run an eCommerce site that sells organic food.

If you wanted to write a blog post about the health benefits of organic coffee, you wouldn’t want to use the keyword “coffee” (too broad) or “health benefits of organic coffee” (too narrow).

But a keyword like “organic coffee” would work GREAT.

So pop that keyword into the field and click “Get Started”.

Google Keyword Planner – "organic coffee"

And take a look at the keywords that come up:

Keyword Planner – Organic coffee results

So: how do you know which keywords to choose?

There are dozens of different factors to look at. But, in general, I like to choose keywords based on 3 main criteria:

Search Volume: Very straightforward. The higher the average search volume, the more traffic that keyword can send you.

Commercial Intent: In general, the higher the competition and suggested bid, the easier it will be to convert that traffic into paying customers when they land on your website.

Organic SEO Competition: Like commercial intent, evaluating a keyword’s competition in Google’s organic search results takes some more digging. You need to look at the websites that are ranking on the first page… and figure out how hard it’ll be to outrank them. This guide to SEO keyword competition covers everything you need to know.

Bonus Step #1: Get Exact Keyword Search Volume Data

The Google Keyword Planner will only show you exact search volume data if you’re running an active Adwords campaign. Otherwise, you see a range, like this:

Keyword Planner – Range

To be honest, the range is actually fine by me. Keyword volume tends to fluctuate anyway. So even the “exact” average monthly search volume that you used to see in the GKP was a rough estimate anyway.

In other words, there’s nothing wrong with choosing keywords based on search volume ranges.

That said, there’s a nifty trick you can use to get exact search volume out of the GKP… without needing to run ads in a Google Adwords account.

Here’s how to do it…

First, find a keyword in the list of suggestions that you want to target:

Keyword Planner – Target keyword

Then click “add to plan”:

Keyword Planner – Add to plan

Next, in the right-hand sidebar of the page, click “Plan overview”:

Keyword Planner – Plan overview

And look at the number of “impressions” you’d get if you bid on that term:

Keyword Planner – Impressions

That number is how many people search for that keyword every month.

(In this case, 2.1k searches per month.)

And just like that, you now have accurate search volume data for your keyword. Nice!

Bonus Step #2: The GKP Hack

As you saw, the Google Keyword Planner is pretty cool.

That said, the Google keyword tool has two major flaws…

Flaw #1: It only gives you keywords ideas that are VERY closely related to what you type in.

For example, let’s say your business sells organic food for pets.

So you type “organic dog food” into the tool. Here’s what you get:

Keyword Planner – Organic dog food

As you can see, these are VERY close variations of “organic dog food”, like:

  • “natural dog food”
  • “dog food brands”
  • “dog food”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t need a fancy tool to come up with a keyword like “dog food”.

And it’s the same story for most keywords. The GKP is good at coming up with long tail versions of your keyword. But it’s not great at generating outside-the-box keyword ideas.

Flaw #2: You get the same set of keywords everyone else does.

Needless to say, the Google Keyword Planner is an insanely popular keyword tool.

This means: the keywords that you find in the GKP tend to be SUPER competitive.

Fortunately, there’s a simple way around both of those frustrating issues: The GKP Hack.

Here’s how it works:

First, head over to the Discover New Keywords area of the GKP. Then hit “Start With a Website”.

Google Keyword Planner – Start with website

But instead of entering a keyword, you enter a URL from another website in your niche.

For example, instead of entering “organic dog food” into the field, let’s use PetSmart’s dog food category page.

Google Keyword Planner – Start with website – PetSmart


You get a laundry list of keywords that most of your competitors will NEVER see.

Keyword Planner – PetSmart results

It gets better…

There are LOTS of other pages that you can use for the GKP Hack, including:

  • Blog posts
  • Press releases
  • Conference agendas
  • Bio pages of influencers in your industry
  • News stories
  • Podcast transcripts

Basically: any page that has text on it is fair game for this technique.


I hope you enjoyed my guide to the Google Keyword Planner.

Now I’d like to hear from you:

Do you use the Keyword Planner to help you come up with keyword ideas?

Or do you mostly stick to other keyword research tools (like SEMRush)?

Let me know by leaving a comment below right now.


  1. June Avatar Junesays:

    Although this says it was last updated a few weeks ago, I find that it is actually outdated. I’m unable to access the keyword planner without creating an ad. The screen captures in the article are no longer the same as what Google Ads is showing a new user. The icons on the top right are no longer there and the only options is to finish your first ad.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey June, we just updated all of the screenshots. I’ll look into what might have recently changed.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      OK so I did look into this. And like I mentioned in the post, you need to setup a Google Ads account (including cc info). But you don’t need to actually run a campaign.

      1. I ran into exactly the same issue…It won’t let you create an account unless you create a campaign. When you do that, the campaign is in PENDING state. I immediately PAUSEd the campaign which I hope stops any billing! Then you need to click the gear and switch to Expert Mode which will give you access to the WRENCH (tools and settings) to launch the keyword tools. I hope this helps.

        1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:


    1. B. L. Joseph Avatar B. L. Josephsays:

      Click the ‘skip guided content’. Then there is no need to fill in any cc or payment method detail.

      1. Stacey P. Galvan Avatar Stacey P. Galvansays:

        But that you can only do 1st time while setting up new account and 1st time if you didn’t skip then there no option even you press go back button

    1. zoe Avatar zoesays:

      Hey Brian,

      Great article!

      I’m having the same problem as June though.

      I’ll bet someone at Google has spotted your article and decided to change it, so that people aren’t using the tool for free 🙁

      I was really excited about this too, it was a great read!

      1. Katherine Avatar Katherinesays:

        I was initially having the same issue, but you have to click on the settings gear icon in the top right of the page and select “expert view” or something to that effect. Then the screenshots will match the ones in the article.

        Great article, Brian! I’ve been running around trying to just “figure out” the GKP and gotten nowhere. This was exactly the straightforward tutorial I needed to get a good handle on how to make it useful 🙂

        1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

          Yup, Google makes it kind of tricky to access the GKP. But, as you pointed out, it’s doable if you follow the steps from this guide. Thanks Katherine!

        1. Hanna Avatar Hannasays:

          Did this, but no ‘expert view’ to see.
          I tried almost everything, followed the steps of Google itself, clicked on the link to the key word planner and it automatically sends you to the campaign builder…. Very frustrating.

  2. Lozzy Avatar Lozzysays:

    April 2019 – unfortunately I am also unable to get past the ‘Create an ad’ stage. It’s requesting I put in payment information for an ad I don’t want, and there are no other routes out of this page. Anyone know of any similar keyword planners that I could use please?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Lozzy, you need to setup a Google Ads account (which includes payment info) to get access. But you don’t need to actually run the ad.

  3. Swati Avatar Swatisays:

    Earlier GKP had option of choosing exact match and broad match keywords; couldn’t find any such option now. Could you help on this?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hmmm. Maybe they removed that feature? I’ll look into it.

  4. Kevin Avatar Kevinsays:

    Hi, Brian – I’m writing this comment on April 6, 2019 (in case this is relevant to answering my question). Per your post, I created a Google Ads account and also a Google AdWords campaign (and entered my CC info). Now, I don’t intend to run any campaign – just want to use the Google Keyword Planner tool. So what I did is that right after I finished creating the AdWords campaign, I immediately went to the dropdown that says “Enabled” (green color) and clicked “Paused” (tan color) instead. So, my question really is: Is that all I need to do to make sure this ad campaign (which I created only because I had to to use Keyword Planner tool) NEVER runs? In other words, will Google at some point “enable” the AdWords campaign without asking me? Thanks in advance! And thanks for creating this G. Keyword Planner guide (this is my first time using this tool).

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Kevin. Yup, you should be good to go. But you may want to reach out to Google Ads support to double check.

  5. Florencia Avatar Florenciasays:

    Hi Brian! and thanks for your post. I couldn’t come up with the same results as you in the Bonus Tip #1, basically my filter doesn’t take into account the item I selected and also I didn’t get why do say 120K impressions when it shows only 2.1K
    Anyway, hope you can answer, and thanks again man!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Flo, you’re welcome. That was actually a typo. It should be “2.1k”. Fixed!

  6. Brooke Avatar Brookesays:

    Question, so if I start this Google journey, will doing all this adding words, etc cost? Does everything cost to add words?

  7. Hi Brian

    Can you explain the difference between Volume and Average monthly searches in Keyword planner in detail

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Alex, You don’t have to run an active campaign to use the Keyword Planner. But do need to at least set up a Google Adwords campaign.

      1. alex Avatar alexsays:

        I don’t want to create an ad for now. It requires my bank card anyway. Is this necessary? How can I use the keyword tool withthout all that?

        1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

          You have to enter your billing details. You can’t use it without that.

  8. Erika Avatar Erikasays:

    Hi Brian,
    My question is as per the “old” GKP, you could add a word to your keywords and it would link the 2 together. Example: spa, facials, massage, then we would be able to add in maternity and it would only search for Maternity massage, maternity spa etc. Is this feature gone in the new version? Just makes our keywords easier to manage if w have more than one word to add (maternity was one but pregnancy with the same keywords as above.) any advice?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Erika, you can still enter multiple keywords (separated by commas). But I don’t think you can do what you outlined above anymore.

    1. Sam Avatar Samsays:

      Hey Erika, I think I know what you mean. You would want to use broad modified and phrase matches to have google fill in your desired blanks. E.g. +maternity +massage or “maternity massage”

      There is also another method when setting up your ads, you would add in a piece of code in one of the 3 headlines. Type: Keyword, and it will give you one of three options. Select keyword and enter your keyword, such as massage, and when somebody searches X massage, google will fill in their keyword before you keyword “massage”.

      Hope this helps

  9. Vincent Avatar Vincentsays:

    Hi Brian,

    Thanks for your guidance. But I couldn’t start any ad campaign without filling out the payment method. Once I give my credit card number to Google, I suppose it’ll incur ad costs? How can I get around this problem? Thanks.


  10. Hi Brian,

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge on the Keyword research for SEO The Definitive Guide it really helpful. But I can search with URL to get the list of keywords my competition ain’t seeing, Error: Invalid characters such as \][`/, Is there a hack to that? Thanks in advance.

  11. Rayan Avatar Rayansays:

    Hello Brian,

    This an awesome guide for the GKT, and I am so happy with the results I got when I followed all your instructions on this guide.
    TBH, your blog is the best blog ever I’ve read and applied it easily without any difficulties.
    There’s a new update on GKT I expect you noticed when you enter your phrases and your words on the “add new keywords” box there will appear another section below called: “Other keywords to try” includes keywords related to the searches results
    I think we can try these keywords in this section in our keyword research, what do you think?

    Thanks again for creating this guide for us!
    Best of luck!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Rayan. I’ll check that feature out!

  12. Brian – great info a usual! This is a somewhat related question to GKP, but what has happened to ‘Competition’ just being listed as Low, Medium or High? Realize they changed to this awhile ago but even then I used to be able to get the number when I exported it to CSV.

    I use SEO Powersuite’s Rank Tracker and I can see the number in their software – only hovering over it but it won’t export with number. When I do export still get the Low, Medium, High. It pulls directly from GKP so the number is still being generated.

    Multiple Questions:

    1 – I was wondering if there’s anyway to get the number? I’m creating algorithms as an additional check for keyword selection.

    2 – Is Google just tightening up in order to offer it in paid plans – just like they did with search volume

    3 – Is their competition calculation really a good number to consider with keywords? Does it really have/present useful information to consider in regards to keyword selection? (Guess this should be the 1st question – lol)

    4 – Does the “Competition (indexed value)” number have the same value as the old competition number or serve the same purpose? This number is found when you export GKP info to CSV.

    Sorry for the deluge of questions! Thanks again.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Andy. I noticed that too and I need to dig in, check out the new layout and features in the GKP and update that post. Right now, I’m not sure how to answer those questions outside of #3. And that’s basically: that’s not a great way to figure out which keywords to go with. Here’s more info on that:

  13. Sep Avatar Sepsays:

    Through and insightful. Thank You for posting. The new GKP tool requires: 1) register ads account. 2) start a campaign 3) activate campaign then pause. 4) follow along your article.

  14. Thank you Brian,
    What is the figure under Comp(Au) e.g. a value of 0-1 (e.g. .89). Is this the competition value? e.g. if its .45 vs .8 the .45 would easier to get than the one with .8?

  15. Paul Avatar Paulsays:

    Hey Brian. The guide is cool. However, I did not quote find the answer to something. When choosing a keyword for PPC (and low budget; new business with new Ad account), what combination to use:
    1. High Volume + High Comptt
    2. Low Volume + Low COmptt
    or some other combination? Or also use low bid range?

  16. Thank you for this useful content. There is a mistake in the beginning of your article where you say:

    Note: You don’t have to run an active campaign to use the Keyword Planner. But do need to at least set up a Google Adwords campaign.

    We can use google keyword planner without setup camping. In starting steps (what is your main advertising goal), below 3 options there is a link with this anchor text: “Experienced with google ads?”, by click on it, we can access google keyword planner without setup any campaign.

  17. zainab Avatar zainabsays:

    Hello Brian, this was great and I really liked the way you simplified everything and broke it down. It is a great content for first time users. However, I tried to use the “add to plan” part but in the plan overview I only get your plan in empty.
    could you maybe troubleshoot what I am doing wrong?!

  18. If you have paid version of Ahrefs, Semrush or smth else I don’t think that you need to have GKP. Even if you’re lack of budget there is another tool – Ubersuggest. However, all of these tools don’t show volume for exact cities, states and other areas. At that point, GKP is better for local SEO and your language. Another cool features are comparing mobile and desktop traffic. Some keywords are completely mobile or desktop. It’s better to consider when you create content.

  19. Olivier Vicent Avatar Olivier Vicentsays:

    Great post Bryan
    Thank you for the explanations 👍

  20. Dudz Caballero Avatar Dudz Caballerosays:

    Thanks Bryan, im planning to put up an eCommerce site, and, coming to your post was a very good find, cheers!

  21. So I made an account with google ads and I am in the dashboard area and I’m not seeing what is in the screenshots. I tried switching to expert mode but it doesn’t actually change what I’m seeing in smart mode. Is the expert mode only available on desktop?

  22. Thank you for providing this very helpful guide on the Google Keyword Planner tool. I have been using Google Ads for 7 years now, and never took the time to do keyword research. Great article!

  23. Hans Avatar Hanssays:

    Has the “suggested bid” information gone? Can’t find it anymore in my keyword stats.

  24. Sabit Al Sakir Avatar Sabit Al Sakirsays:

    I can’t manually filter The “Average Monthly Search Value” In “Google Keyword Planner”

    1. I can’t either, still trying to figure that out.

  25. Sachin Avatar Sachinsays:

    You said,”But do need to at least set up a Google Adwords campaign!”. But for this I need to pay right? So how come this Adword tool is free? If I’m wrong then correct me please…

  26. It is asking for a campaign set up and I can’t find any other way to skip it. I think it is not free anymore.

  27. Bec Avatar Becsays:

    As per the comments above, great descriptive article, but the information is no longer correct. On the final page of set up (in Aust. at least) it has a note about the amount for your ad campaign being deducted automatically. Although reasonably tech savvy, I have been unable to find any pages similar to the ones you are diplaying, no wrench icon, not even in “expert mode”… so beyond spending the $$, Im pretty sure you cant access it.

  28. Bart Avatar Bartsays:

    Great article. I always thought competition meant ranking competition -____-“. Thanks for sharing.

  29. I struggle with SEO so just starting to use Google keyword tool. I appreciate the detailed post. I’m gonna check out more of your stuff. I’m excited to get into the SEO stuff.

  30. Dylan Avatar Dylansays:

    I am going through the process of setting up a Google Adwords account, but it gives me no other option but to create an active campaign, and my website is still under development. How do I bypass this and get to Google Keyword Planner?

  31. Tim Meyers Avatar Tim Meyerssays:

    This guide is thought out, but actually outdated. Almost none of the screenshots match up. It appears Google changed everything up.
    So, if someone could muster up the courage and rewrite this whole article based on the new google format and use the SEO tactics, they could take advantage – no-one really has an updated guide out yet.

  32. Hi,

    I just signed up as a guide. There is nothing expect a page that says to create a campaign. I am not able to access the keyword planner without creating a campaign.

    Is there any solution to access a keyword planner without creating a campaign?

    Looking forward for your answer.

    Thank you!

  33. chetan Avatar chetansays:

    Hi Brian, Thanks for the Awesome guide about keyword planner & keyword research. How can i find question related keywords in keyword Planner.

    Looking forward for your answer.

    Thank you!

  34. Hamza Avatar Hamzasays:

    Hey Brian,
    this is a really nice guide and I use keyword planner for all my keyword research.
    But there is one thing that I’m not sure about, from what I know the impressions you talked about shows how many people will see my website if I rank in top results (as in PPC form), so how close are these numbers to the actual search volume?
    Thank you

  35. Jaime Avatar Jaimesays:

    Got it to work! Not really sure how, though. I was having issues with the requirements in the set up, but now it’s working. It was asking me for a url and an active website, but I bypassed it somehow. I opened a new tab and accessed google keyword planner like that. Went to try another account set up and it actually took me to the dashboard that’s shown in this article. Thanks!

  36. Jason Carey Avatar Jason Careysays:

    Thank you for the post, Brian. I’m just getting started out, so I am very appreciative of people like you who put this information out there.

    By the way, I found that when I was entering keywords into the “Discover New Keywords” line, you can just press enter without the comma to add more. Alternatively, you can use the space bar after a comma.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Nice tip there. Thanks Jason.

  37. Wow that was convoluted, I managed to get into Expert mode without putting in my card/billing details or starting a campaign.

    You have to RIGHT back to the beginning where you first put in your website name….if you are already in a Campaign, click BACK until you see the very first screen.

    At the bottom in small print there is an option to “Skip Guided Content”.

    (From here it gets a bit vague because I did a lot of clicks…)

    From there find an option to Switch to Expert Mode. Either on the page or on the top bar (there might be a wrench icon).

    In fact, I had to Switch to Export Mode twice.

    At some point I ended up with “All Campaigns”, this is good, because now you’ll see the Tools & Settings option > Planning > Keyword Tool.

    And Voila.

    Now bookmark it so you never have to tear your hair out again.

  38. Mats Gudmundsson Avatar Mats Gudmundssonsays:

    This doesnt work anymore does it?

  39. bob Avatar bobsays:

    1. go to search bar, type “google keyword planner tool”
    2. sign in with your google ads account
    3. if google is requesting you to make a campaign first, just hit the “back” button several times until you don’t see it anymore.
    4. click the tiny blue phrase “switch to expert mode”
    5. click the tiny blue phrase “Create an account without a campaign”
    6. click the “submit” button
    7. click “explore your campaign” button
    8. click the wrench icon which says “settings”
    9. click “switch to expert mode”
    10. confirm by clicking one last time “switch to expert mode”
    11. click the wrench icon which says “tools and settings”
    12. there ya go, click “keyword planner”

  40. Fabian Avatar Fabiansays:

    What happened to the blue graph that used to be beside the numbers on the average monthly searches column? It was a great indication of seasonality and now it seems to have disappeared.

  41. Sajeel Aryan Avatar Sajeel Aryansays:

    People here are saying that they can’t use Google KWP anymore, but that’s not true, I can use this, just by signing up for Google Ads with no campaign!

  42. vasanth kadali Avatar vasanth kadalisays:

    Hi Brian, After getting thru “Discover new Keywords”, I’m not getting exact monthly searches and graphs. I’m simply getting the range. How is this so???

  43. Rizwan Shaikh Avatar Rizwan Shaikhsays:

    Hi Brian, Thanks for this brief information. I am curious to know, the data shown in the keyword research is a real-time data or how to check the last updated date.

  44. Jacqui Avatar Jacquisays:

    Am I missing something? I’ve used Google’s keyword planner in the past and came back here in September 2020 because now it just gives me results based on EUR1 of spending, rather than the search volume data you can see in Step 3 of this guide. Is there any way to get to the old volume view?

  45. June Avatar Junesays:

    Hi Brian, thank you for your great content!

    I’m reading your guide in Sep, 2020 and I have just realized that there’s no more “Add to plan” button.

    The UI of GKP is changed, too. We can’t see the exact search volume without running ads campaigns.

    Please have a look and update your guide so it can be the most updated for everyone 🙂

    Once again, thank you and I admire you a lot!

  46. Liz Avatar Lizsays:

    Hi Brian,

    This is super useful! It’s a lot to take in, but step by step I’m getting there. Especially the part about entering a link to a website of a similar brand or product website. Maybe I haven’t been paying enough attention, but I am not sure what my next step can be once I have all these awesome insights in keywords from another website. How can I use this to my advantages? (It’s such a massive list).

    Many thanks!!

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