Home   ·   Index   ·   Search

Google's Keyword Planner


Quick guide on Google Keyword Planner
Keyword Planner is one of the most used tool for SEO and SEM when it comes to keyword research and optimisation. These days it might not be as widely utilised as it used to be, due to how unclear and complicated Google has made it to keep up with their algorithm updates but being free, it is still a very valid option. STP staff might be asked to use it to carry out this type of project and this is a quick guide on how to use it.
Please note that Keyword Planner tends to be updated fairly often so the interface shown here might not be 100% accurate depending on latest patches. You can also find a guide from Google on Keyword Planner and generally on the concept of Adwords here.
 

Accessing Keyword Planner

In order to be able to access the tool, you need an Adwords account. You can either set up a dummy one for the particular project you are working on or you can see if it's doable to use the one that STP already has setup. Check with your team to see what your options are, your translators might already have one. All you need is a Google account (like a gmail one for example).
Upon accessing it for the first time, you might be asked to set up your "first ad campaign". There is no need to do that and it is actually advisable to use the "Skip the guided setup" button to go directly to the main page. Make sure to do this because you don't want to give out your billing information. 
 
Once on the main page, you will be presented with the main summary page of all your campaigns and keywords:


Then to access Keyword Planner go to Tools>Keyword Planner to access the actual tool. 

Finding keywords and getting volume data


From the main page of Keyword Planner you can click on Find new keywords and get search volume data to open up the search function to set up your keywords: 

It's important to set up certain criteria to make sure the results you get are accurate for an SEO task, meaning:
1. the Product category should reflect as closely as possible what the client does/produces, and in general, when in doubt, it's best to just not specificy anything at all and go with All categories if the product in question does not fit any of the existing tags;
2. under Targeting, select the country of your target language but be flexible about it (for example, for Swedish it might be interesting/useful to also pick Finland to see if you can access a wider audience in terms of results), select the target language of the search results and in terms of search engines, it might be useful to run searches first in Google, then also in Google and search partners. You might also want to set Negative keywords to exclude certain results from your scope. 
3. the Date range should be set to a recent value of your choice (unless the client has a brief to follow), usually the last 12 months should be a good enough pool;
4. you can also use the three menus under Customise your search to specify a few parameters, for example how much competition that keyword faces (to exclude keywords that are too generic), including specific terms in the keywords or adding results that only relate very closely to the search terms.
After you have set up your search criteria, click on Get Ideas to launch the search. Here is for example a search for headset-related terms in consumer electronics pages for Swedish pages in Sweden over the past year: