How to Use and Get the Most Out of Google Keyword Planner in 2022

Do you agree that Google Keyword Planner is the most well-known keyword research tool? Although every SEO professional has used Google Keyword Planner at some point in their career, there are a lot of SEO experts who prefer other keyword research tools. Continue reading to figure out why it is so and how to use and get the most out of Google Keyword Planner in 2022.

In this article you’ll learn:

  1. What is Google keyword planner
  2. How much does Google keyword planner cost
  3. How to use Google keyword planner
  4. How to discover new keywords with Google keyword planner
  5. How to get search volume and forecasts
  6. How to get exact search volume from Google Keyword Planner
  7. How to estimate the traffic value of a keyword
  8. Which is the best keyword research tool
  9. How to do keyword research using Wincher

What is Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is a research tool created specifically for Google’s own advertising network called Google Ads. Google Keyword Planner has never been and will never be an SEO tool. The sole purpose of Google Keyword Planner is to help advertisers build, optimize and decide the focus of their advertising campaigns. 

Back in the day, Google Keyword Planner was the only proper tool for keyword research. That is why it quickly became widely used by SEOs around the world, however, Google’s mission has never been to help SEO specialists in their line of work. 

How much does Google Keyword Planner cost 

Google Keyword Planner is totally free to use for anyone. However, only users who are paying and running ad campaigns through Google Ads get the most detailed data compared to non-advertisers. Because it’s been modified to give away as little data as possible, over the years it has become harder and harder to get useful data from Google Keyword Planner. That’s why so many SEO experts prefer using paid tools for keyword research that don’t have that many constraints.

Anyway, there are still tricks that can help you get fairly detailed data from Google Keyword Planner. Follow me as I’m about to walk you through how to use Google Keyword Planner in 2022. But first, let’s have a look at how to get started.

how to start using keyword planner

How to use Google Keyword Planner

If you haven’t advertised with Google you will probably be asked to set up a new ad campaign. As I’ve mentioned before, Google doesn’t really want SEO people to use their tool for keyword research so for a non-advertiser it might be a bit tricky to find the tool.

So whilst Google is doing its best to make you set up and run a Google Ads campaign, you can just click here and you will end up in the right place to get started. The start page of Google Keyword Planner should look something like my screenshot below.

Google Keyword Planner Startpage
Screenshot from Google Keyword Planner

Google’s keyword tool will show you two options: Discover new keywords and Get search volume and forecasts.

Google Keyword Planner Choose Where to Start
Screenshot from Google Keyword Planner

You can choose either to get started as they both take you to the same tool, but with different views. Let me explain the difference real quick.

Discover new keywords

Basically, the first option will help you with finding new keyword ideas based on the keywords you put in.

Google Keyword Planner Discover New Keywords
Screenshot from Google Keyword Planner

The tool will ask for the URL of your website. keep in mind that this is optional and doesn’t really make a difference if you are just researching keywords and wish to find out search volume.

Google Keyword Planner Keyword Ideas
Screenshot from Google Keyword Planner

You will get suggestions on related keywords based on the keywords and search phrases you added in the previous step. Usually, this is where I start, but not always.

Get search volume and forecasts

The second option will show you estimates on clicks, impressions, and cost, but only on the keywords that you’ve put in. This is also a place where you can find a quite accurate search volume data, which I will explain in the next part of this article.

As you can see, the average monthly searches presented on the first view are not very detailed. This is actually a very rough estimation that leaves a lot to wish for. As you can see on the screenshot below, data used to be a lot more detailed in 2018 compared to 2021. It wasn’t super accurate back then, but still a lot better.

Google Keyword Planner 2018 vs 2020

This is probably the main reason why so many SEOs opt for keyword research tools designed specifically for SEO. However, a lot of people are missing that there is still a chance to get a very detailed and precise data for free using Google Keyword Planner. Let me show you how.

How to get exact search volume from Google Keyword Planner

If you have followed the steps so far, it’s time for you to choose the keywords you are interested in. Actually, the more the merrier, you might be surprised to see what keywords are actually the best. 

Choose either Broad match, Phrase match, or Exact match. Ten years ago I would definitely have gone for the Exact match. Today, since Google is very good at understanding synonyms these days, I would go for Broad match in most cases. It’s super important to experiment and try different options to know what works for you.

How to get Exact Search Volume from Google Keyword Planner
Screenshot from Google Keyword Planner

After you’ve chosen the type of match, just click on Add keywords.

A small pop-up will show up at the bottom of the screen, click on View forecast or on the Keyword view in the sidebar. This will lead you to the same place that “Get search volume and forecasts” would have taken you to. That second of the two options at the beginning remember?

Google Keyword Planner Show Forecast
Screenshot from Google Keyword Planner

Now enter the highest possible CPC. My Google Ads account is currently billed in SEK (Swedish Krona) and SEK 999 is equal to approximately USD 110 or EUR 100. For an advertiser, this would give you an estimate of how much traffic or clicks you can expect to get for your money.

Google Keyword Planner set Max CPC
Screenshot from Google Keyword Planner

But for you as an SEO specialist, the number of clicks is not that interesting. Not only because the CTR on ads and organic search is different, but also because right now we are interested in search volume. So the column Impressions will give us much more valuable data.

Google Keyword Planner showing Impressions and Exact Search Volume

If we take a look at the initial view, we can see that agency and marketing agency are equally good keywords in terms of search volume, whilst SEO marketing isn’t even in the same league.

After digging deeper we can now see that keyword agency is actually incompatible with a marketing agency in its value and SEO marketing is also a better keyword than an agency.

Estimate the traffic value of a keyword

Another great feature in Google’s keyword research tool is the estimated CPC (Cost Per Click). Whilst this is supposed to reflect the cost of a click on a Google ad, it will also give you a good idea of the value of a visitor and the overall traffic from that keyword.

Just take the estimated number of impressions and multiple it with the CPC. This metric will in no way reflect how much money you would potentially earn ranking number one, but it’s a quite good metric when comparing keywords to each other.

traffic equals to impressions multiplied by cpc

Do these little tricks make Google Keyword Planner the best keyword research tool out there? Well, personally I wouldn’t say so. It’s still a great tool for search volume and keyword discovery to some extent, but designated keyword research tools still have a lot to offer. 

So, what is the best keyword research tool? 

There are a lot of great keyword tools out there. Most of them offer a freemium version with limited features, which is great if you want to try them out before actually investing money in them. 

Personally, I don’t have a single one that meets all my requirements, but I am using a few different ones depending on what kind of keyword research I’m doing or what stage of the research I am in. 

One quite unique keyword research tool, in my opinion, is Wincher. What makes it so unique is that you can find keywords that you are already ranking for, import them directly from your Google Search Console, or explore new keyword possibilities by typing in any seed word or phrase. This tool is super easy to use and what is even more fascinating is that a keyword research module is fully integrated into the Wincher rank tracker. This way it’s extremely easy to monitor your keywords’ performance and get notified when any changes come up in order to react as soon as possible.

How to do keyword research using Wincher

First, you need to have active Wincher account. Grab a 14-day free trial with no strings attached if you don’t have one and let’s keep going.

To research keywords using Wincher, just go to one of your domains and click on the Keyword Research tab. 

Screenshot from Wincher Rank Tracker

At this point you have three options to choose from (or use all of them):

  • Get keywords’ suggestions
  • Explore related keywords by seed words
  • Import from GSC

Suggestions will provide you with a generated list of keywords specifically for your domain to help you explore what keywords you’re already ranking for but not tracking or using them yet.

Researching keywords by seed words as well as import from Google Search Console will help you find worthwhile opportunities you might be missing. 

Got overwhelmed with the number of suggestions? Filter them out to narrow your search pool. 

Screenshot from Wincher Keyword Research Tool

On the screenshot above you can see an example of what this tool looks like from the inside. Along with suggestions, you get relevant data such as the current position your website has for a specific keyword, estimated traffic you can get based on your rankings, search volumes, competition for advertising for this keyword in Google AdWords, and CPC data. 

Want to get more detailed information? I have separate articles about how to find the best keywords for your business and how to research keywords like a Pro using Wincher keyword research tool. These step-by-step guides will help you get the most relevant keywords for your business in kust a few clicks with no prior SEO experience required.

New to Wincher? Grab a free 14-day trial and try it yourself or let us assist you if you need help. 

Final thoughts

Keyword research is one of the foundations of SEO. Without proper keyword research, you will be searching in the dark. Even though Google Keyword Planner has been around the longest time and can provide you with data for free, I wouldn’t settle just for Google Keyword Planner if I wanted to thrive online and get noticeable results faster. 

Which keyword research tool is your favorite? Do you still use Google Keyword Planner from time to time? Please share in the comment section below!

How to Use and Get the Most Out of Google Keyword Planner in 2022

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