How to Use Google Keyword Planner and Why You Should [With Keyword Worksheet]

How to Use Google Keyword Planner and Why You Should
This page was originally published April 20, 2022 and updated May 4, 2024.

Whether you’re running a small blog or a large e-commerce website, Google Keyword Planner can make a big difference in who and how many people are visiting your website. In simple terms, keyword planning helps you discover words or phrases people are using to search for products or services like yours. It not only provides insights into the popularity of these keywords (how many actual searches every month) but also suggests related terms that might not have crossed your mind. This guide is designed to walk you through the basics of using Google Keyword Planner, and why it can be a game-changer for your business.

Two Types of Traffic

Before we dive deep into keyword planning, it’s crucial to understand the two main types of traffic your website will encounter. There’s organic traffic, which comes naturally from search engines when your site matches a user’s search query. Think of it as people finding you because you have what they’re looking for. Then, there’s paid traffic, which is essentially when you pay for ads to direct people to your site. Imagine it as handing out digital flyers that lead people right to your doorstep. Both types play vital roles, but knowing how to balance and optimize them is key to attracting the right visitors. This tutorial focuses on increasing your organic traffic through keyword planning.

Organic Traffic

Organic traffic isn’t just beneficial; it’s essential for the sustained growth of your online business. When users find you through a search engine without you having to pay for that visibility, it signifies a match between their needs and your offerings. Here’s why focusing on improving organic traffic can be a game-changer for your business:

  • Highly Targeted: Users coming from organic search have a specific intent, making them more likely to engage with your content, products, or services.
  • Cost-Effective: Unlike paid traffic, where costs can escalate quickly, organic traffic is essentially free, aside from the effort you put into SEO and content creation.
  • Credibility and Trust: Being ranked high in search engine results pages inherently grants your website a stamp of approval in the eyes of users, enhancing your brand’s credibility and trustworthiness.
  • Long-Term Benefits: The efforts you put into optimizing for organic search continue to pay dividends over time, unlike paid advertising which stops the moment you stop paying.
  • Competitive Advantage: A strong organic search presence can set you apart from competitors, making it easier for consumers to find and choose you over others.

Strategies to increase your organic traffic is not just a smart move; it’s an essential component to building a sustainable and trustworthy online presence. This tutorial will guide you further on how to effectively harness the power of organic traffic, ensuring that the right visitors find their way to your website.

Keyword Planning

Keyword planning is perhaps the most crucial step in driving good traffic to your website. It is
the foundation upon which your content and online presence are built.

By understanding and using the right keywords, you’re effectively speaking the language of your
target audience, making it easier for them to find you in the vastness of the internet. Here’s why keyword research is so essential:

  • Targets Relevant Traffic: Ensures that your website attracts visitors who are actively searching for what you offer.
  • Improves Conversion Rates: By attracting more qualified traffic, you’re more likely to see an increase in conversions.
  • Gives Competitive Insight: Allows you to see what keywords your competitors are targeting, giving you the opportunity to differentiate or compete directly.

Think of it this way: Keyword research is the bedrock that ensures you attract the right visitors, improve conversion rates, and gain competitive insights. By focusing on the correct keywords, you’re setting up your online presence for greater visibility and success. Remember, selecting the right keywords means you’re speaking directly to your target audience, making it easier for them to find and connect with you.

A Repeatable Process

You perform keyword research to understand your audience’s needs and use this information to make sure your website can be found by people that can most benefit from what you offer. Imagine stepping into their shoes, uncovering the exact phrases they use to search online for solutions you can provide. That’s the information keyword planning can do for you.

This section will guide you step by step through the process, showing you how to uncover these precious keywords that serve as hidden gateways to drawing more visitors to your website who need and want your help.

You’ll learn how to utilize tools, analyze the competition, and fine-tune your strategy to ensure
you’re not just visible online but unmistakably prominent to those who are looking for exactly what you offer.

Broadly speaking, with keyword planning we will:

  • Identify Your Topics: Start by listing out the main topics that are relevant to your business and
    audience. Think about the broad categories you want to rank for.
  • Use Keyword Research Tools: Leverage tools like Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush to discover keyword ideas and gauge search volume and competition.
  • Analyze Search Intent: For each keyword, understand the intent behind it. Are users looking to buy, to learn, or to find a specific website?
  • Create a List of Seed Keywords: From your research, select a mix of short-tail
    (broad) and long-tail (specific) keywords that you believe are most applicable
    to your content.
  • Refine Your List: Based on search volume, competition, and relevance, narrow down your list to the most promising keywords.

Keyword research is simply identifying the words and phrases they use when seeking out services or information you provide. By diligently applying the steps outlined—from pinpointing broad topics to refining a sharp list of targeted keywords—you’ll enhance your online visibility.

Remember, the goal is not just to attract traffic, but to draw in the kind of visitors who are genuinely interested in what you offer. With practice and perseverance, you’ll turn keyword research into a powerful tool in your digital marketing arsenal, ensuring that your content resonates with and reaches the right audience. Next, we’ll cover using Google Keyword Planner and how it can help you with your online business.

An Overview of Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is a powerful tool designed to help you, the online marketer or content creator, craft a winning SEO strategy.

By understanding and utilizing this tool, you’re taking a significant step towards enhancing your website’s visibility and attracting more traffic. Here’s how Google Keyword Planner can benefit you:

  • Discover New Keywords: Quickly find keyword ideas related to your business that can help you reach out to your target audience more effectively.
  • Analyze Keyword Trends: Understand how search queries change over time, allowing you to craft content that meets current demands.
  • Estimate Traffic: Get estimates on search volume and competition levels for your chosen keywords, assisting you in prioritizing your efforts for maximum impact.
  • Optimize Your Budget: For those running paid campaigns, Google Keyword Planner helps estimate bid prices and manage your advertising budget efficiently.

Google Keyword Planner will guide your content and advertising strategies towards success. By leveraging its insights, you can make informed decisions that boost your online presence and ensure your message reaches the right audience.

How to Use Google Keyword Planner:

This tool isn’t just for advertisers; it’s an essential go-to for any online business owner who is keen to understand what their audience is searching for.

In simple terms, we’re going to walk you through how to make Google Keyword Planner your ally. From setting up your account to extracting those golden keywords that will direct the right traffic to your content, consider this your straightforward guide to leveraging one of the most powerful tools in digital marketing.

  • Begin with Broad Topics: Initiate by jotting down broad subjects that pertain to your
    business’s niche and audience interests. These topics are your stepping stones
    to narrower keyword ideas.
  • Navigate to Google Keyword Planner: Access Google Keyword Planner through your Google
    Ads account. This tool is specially designed to aid in finding relevant keywords and understanding their search metrics.
  • Discover New Keyword Ideas: Utilize the “Discover new keywords” feature by entering your broad topics. Google Keyword Planner will generate a wide range of related keyword suggestions along with insightful data such as average monthly searches and competition levels.
  • Evaluate Keyword Intent: For every keyword suggestion, consider the intent behind the search
    query. Is the searcher intending to make a purchase, seeking information, or looking for a particular website? This step is crucial in choosing keywords that align with your content goals.
  • Select and Organize Keywords: Pick a balanced mix of head terms (broad, short-tail keywords) and long-tail keywords (more specific phrases) that closely relate to your content. Assess each keyword based on search volume, competition, and its relevancy to your audience’s needs.
  • Refine Your Keyword List: After gathering your initial list of keywords, fine-tune it by focusing on those that present the best opportunity for your business. Consider factors such as search volume trends and competitive landscape before finalizing your keyword strategy.

With Google Keyword Planner for keyword research, you’re well-equipped to identify the most effective keywords for your content strategy. The goal is to select keywords that not only attract but also resonate with your target audience, enhancing your website’s visibility and engagement.

Continue to monitor the performance of your chosen keywords and adjust your strategy as needed to keep your content fresh and relevant. By diligently applying these insights, you’re setting the foundation for a successful online presence.

Free Printable Keyword Planning Template

Download our free printable keyword planner to help you organize your research.

This template will help you streamline your keyword research process, making it easier to identify and organize the most effective keywords for your content marketing strategy.

Wrapping Up & Next Steps

As you adjust and refine your keyword strategy, remember, it should always be evolving. Your keywords’ effectiveness might change over time due to trends, seasonality, or shifts in your audience’s interests. It’s essential for you to understand which keywords are driving traffic to your site and which ones aren’t performing as expected.

Don’t be afraid to tweak your keyword list. Adding new, relevant keywords or phasing out those that no longer serve your goals is a critical step towards maintaining your site’s relevance and engagement levels. Above all, stay adaptable and open to change; it’s the key to your success.

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