Google Ads Keyword Planner: The Keyword Research Guide for Epic Results

Google Ads Keyword Planner: The Keyword Research Guide for Epic Results

Google Ads Keyword Planner helps you find and select the right keywords to use in your Ad campaigns. Therefore, it is one of the most preferred tools when it comes to detailed keyword research. Every successful paid ad campaign relies on the use of correct keywords.

Although it might look pretty straightforward, keyword research has its own intricacies. In this article, we will walk you through the best practices of keyword research. We will also tell you everything you wanted to know about the abbreviations such as CPC, KD, SD, etc. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to search and select high-volume keywords for your ads, and you’ll learn which KPIs to track for measuring your ads performance.

In case you’re new to this, we recommend reading our beginners guide to Google Ads.

What is Google Ads Keywords Planner?

Keyword Planner is a free Google Ads tool for new or experienced advertisers to create new Search Network campaigns like a workshop. You can search for keywords using Keyword Planner and see how a list of keywords can work. Keyword Planner can also help you with your campaigns to pick competitive bids and budgets.

*Note: You might not be able to access Google Ads Keyword Planner directly without setting up a few mandatory details or running a campaign. If that’s the case, you can use a similar alternative called

With Keyword Planner, you can find new keyword ideas relevant to your product, service and target customers for your Search Network campaigns. Keyword Planner will show you historical statistics for these keywords, such as search volume data, so you can choose to add them to your campaigns.

Benefits of Keyword Planner

Selecting the right keywords is important to run optimized paid ad campaigns. With the keyword planner tool, you can accomplish the following tasks –

  • Keyword Research – you can search new keywords for your campaign. Alternatively, you can search for additional keywords related to your existing campaigns. You can search for keywords based on terms that are related to your business, product, and/or service.
  • Detailed Insights- you can get historical insights about the keywords. These include (but aren’t limited to) monthly search volume, difficulty score, cost per click, forecast, predicted clicks, etc.

It is important to remember that while Keyword Planner can provide some great ideas for keywords and traffic predictions, the success of campaigns depends on a variety of factors. For instance, your industry, your bid, budget, product, and consumer behavior can all impact your campaign success.

How to Use the Google Ads Keyword Planner?

First of all, you will need to sign in to your Google Ads account. If you haven’t already set-up one, please create a new account using this link. Once you have successfully logged in, check the upper right corner and click on the tools icon. Then, under Planning, click Keyword Planner.

Under this tool, all you need to do is follow Google’s instructions and enter words, phrases, or a URL that’s related to your business. That’s it! Sit back and watch Google Ads Keyword Planner come up with a huge list of suggestions.

google ads keyword planner - sample search for SEO
An example of keywords suggestion for the term “SEO”

The results depend on the search query. For instance, our search for the term “SEO” reflected almost 1100 keyword ideas. This is not the only thing that you get using Keywords Planner. In addition to keyword suggestions, you’ll also get the below listed details –

  • Average Monthly Searches
  • Competition
  • Top of Page Bid (low range)
  • Top of Page Bid (high range)

Quick Tips to Get The Most Out of Keyword Planner

With all of these numbers, the chances of getting overwhelmed is high. But, worry not, use this data to filter the view according to your liking. Here’s what you can do with the data –

  • Filter your results with keyword text, average monthly searches, top-of-page bid (low range), top-of-page bid (high range), competition, share of organic impression, share of ad impression, or exclude keywords from your account already.
  • See data from search volume by date range for your keyword ideas.
  • See views broken down by trends, platforms, and locations in search volume.
  • Download the entire (or selected) list.
  • Add keywords to your plan to break down predictions by location, language, or network configuration.

However, it is not just limited to single keyword searches. Google Ads Keyword Planner allows you to seed in and search ten keywords/phrases at the same time.

sample keywords search
Image Credit – Ahrefs

Alternatively, you can use any URL to search for keywords. Another cool trick is to use 9 seed keywords/phrases and a URL at the same time. However, you need to keep in mind that no matter which way you search, this tool doesn’t show you more than a few thousand keyword suggestions.

For our search with 9 keywords and 1 URL, the Keyword Planner showed us around 4700 suggestions.

maximum keyword suggestions by google ads keyword planner - source Ahrefs
Maximum Suggestions

Get Forecasts and Historical Metrics with Keyword Planner

In addition to getting keyword suggestions, you can also use this tool to view forecasts and historical metrics. To view these, go to the Tools > Planning > Keyword Planner.

In the search box, insert or paste a list of keywords separated by commas or line breaks in the “Get statistics and forecasts for your keywords.” Press Get Started to see your predictions. Click Historical metrics at the top of the page to view your historical statistics, such as average monthly searches or competition data.

You can use the Forecasts and Historical Metrics pages to –

  • Get updated keyword forecasts based on potential bids.
  • Sort the results by clicking, cost, type of match, impression, CTR, or average CPC.
  • Customize the projections by date range to see how traffic is influenced by seasonality.
  • See forecasts for top keywords, places, and phones, visit the Project summary section.
  • Download predictions of the plan in an editor-friendly format for Google Ads.
  • See historical statistics for your keyword ideas by date range.
  • Download the stats of the keywords in your plan.

Google Ads Keyword Planner – Best Practices

When you search for keywords, try to start by building a list of words that are directly relevant to your product or service. Listed below are a few things that you should incorporate in your keyword search strategy –

  • Think like your customers. Do not expect actual search requests that may be submitted by potential clients. There may be limitations for keywords that are too broad. For instance, hiking boots and what are the best hiking boots.
  • Try to be specific, but don’t over do it. Don’t be too common. Keywords that are too general do not give enough clues to what people are actually searching for your product or service. For instance, wedding planner, wedding, wedding planner for small weddings.
  • Use multiple keywords and keyword phrases about the same topic. Do not use keywords from unrelated topics or vague words.

KPIs to Track for Google Ads

When you run a campaign, it is very important to measure the results. Not only this helps you tweak the campaign for better results, but it also gives you a broader idea of what you are doing wrong. The Key performance indicators (KPIs) vary by the types of ads you run and your goals. Nonetheless, we’ll be telling you about the most-important KPIs that you should track anyway.

Number of Clicks

Analyze and monitor the number of clicks on an account, campaign, advertising group or keyword level in the required granularity. This obvious metric is very important and the basis for further analysis, because you can’t get any conversions without clicks.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

The click-through rate (CTR) is a Google AdWords KPI that displays the ratio of clicks received on ads to total impressions. It is important to increase the CTR. A higher CTR ensures improved ad positioning and quality score which directly impacts the cost per click (CPC).

Quality Score

Quality score is displayed within Google AdWords at the keyword level itself. The values range from 1 to 10. An ad’s quality score is calculated based on – the CTR, ad relevance, and user’s experience with your landing page. In order to get a high quality score, you need to optimize all the 3 factors.

Cost Per Click (CPC)

Another obvious KPI that you need to track is the cost-per-click (CPC). This is the key success factor as it heavily impacts the cost-per-conversion and your RoI. As a rule, a set total bid (max. CPC) is used to calculate the cost-per-click in Google AdWords, which is never surpassed. By multiplying the maximum CPC by the quality score, you will ultimately receive the previously mentioned ad rank, which will determine your ad’s position.

Average CTR and Ad Position

The position of the ad shows where the ad is distributed, which is calculated by the measurement of the ad rank: Ad rank= Max. CPC x Quality Score.

Conversion Rate

A conversion rate is the desired action that was performed by visitors after they clicked on your link. Your goal might vary. For instance, you may select “queries/calls/messages” as your ad’s call-to-action (CTA). Say your ad had 50 clicks and 3 filled the submission rate. Thus, the conversion rate is (3/50)*100%, which equals to 6%.


Ultimately, conversion costs are affected by two main factors: cost-per-click (CPC) and landing page conversion rates. Again, it shows how important, in addition to the ad layout, a high-quality, appropriate landing page is. This has a double impact on the cost per conversion: on the one hand, through the quality score (landing page experience) and on the other, through the landing page conversion rate.


Google Ads is a huge platform that yields results. You can run ads on a wide network of Google and it’s related products like YouTube, Maps, Local, Gmail, and Play Store.

The keywords planner tool is a straightforward tool that you can use to research keywords for your niche and add them to your list. It also provides you an in-depth insight into how each of your ad is performing. You can use the data to modify and allocate ads as per your liking.

We hope this guide gives you enough details to start using Google AdWords for your business. If you are looking for highly-optimized niche ads or help setting up an Ad campaign, feel free to chip in your comments and we’ll be happy to help you out.

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