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How to Use Google Keyword Planner

Here's everything you need to know about how to use Google's digital marketing tool. 

Alison Martin
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Google Keyword Planner

No website page or blog should ever be written without first consulting a keyword planner — an online tool that reports the search volume, competition and geographical search trends of keywords. When you know which keywords people in your area are using to search for lighting, furniture and retail stores, you’ll be able to write better content including those keywords to increase your chances of being found on Google.

Many digital marketing experts recommend Google Keyword Planner not only because it’s free, but also because it’s connected with the world’s most popular search engine and delivers key insights. If you’ve never used a keyword planner but want to improve your digital marketing strategy, here’s everything you need to know about Google’s version. 

Keyword Ideas

This is the word or phrase you originally typed in. Stephan Futeral, CEO at DigitalCoast Marketing in Charleston, SC, recommends starting with broad keywords and drilling down to get more precise results. For example, you can search “living room furniture stores” instead of just “furniture stores” and see how the results compare.


In this section, you can add your own keywords and create Ad groups. You don’t have to use the Ad groups to purchase ads on Google, but they can help you stay organized. Create groups for website pages and blogs so you know which keywords should be targeted on each page. Flavia Santibañez, Digital Strategist at MAKE Digital Group, recommends choosing one core keyword and then 15 to 20 supporting keywords, which can be variations of the core keyword. For example, “bedroom furniture” may be your core keyword and “furniture for bedrooms” and “bedroom dressers” might be supporting keywords.

Keyword List

Google Keyword Planner provides you with other related keywords to help you compare and target the best keywords. Look for groups of similar keywords (bedroom furniture pieces for example) and see if one word or phrase ranks better (headboards versus bed headboards). As Futeral says, you might think one keyword will get a lot of hits only to find that your target market actually uses different keywords to search that product.

Average Monthly Searches

This number records how many searches this keyword sees each month within the parameters you set. Here you can see that “furniture stores” gets between 10,000 and 100,000 searches per month in Chicago. 


Google gives three ranks for competition: low, medium and high. The higher the competition, the harder it will be to rank on the first page of Google search results. Santibañez targets keywords that have low to medium competition. “If it’s high competition, it’s going to take a lot more effort for you to rank organically,” she explains.

What You Need:

A working Gmail account Chrome browser (recommended)

How to Access Google Keyword Planner:

1. Head to https://adwords.google.com/

2. On the Welcome to Google AdWords! page, click “Skip the guided setup.”

3. Sign into your Gmail account.

4. From the All Campaigns homepage, click the wrench on the top right side of the screen and select Keyword Planner under Planning on the far left.

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