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How to Use Google Ads Keyword Planner for Best Results

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Google Ads

The Google Ads keyword planner is one of the best ways to research keywords for search engine optimization. But it also has some limitations.

Although the planner is available for publishers who want to run search engine marketing campaigns on Google Ads, it’s also useful for anyone who wants to improve organic search results.

Publishers who create an account at can access the planner by clicking on Tools & Settings in the top navigation bar and then on Keyword Planner under the Planning column.

Type in one or more keyword phrases and hit Enter after each one. A single keyword is too general. Try to use two or more words in a phase to narrow results. Note the dropdown date box to the far right. The default time period is one year.

Below the keywords, a box is available for a URL destination that will refine the results. It is optional. Now click on Get Results.

Keyword Planner Search Results

The first result is a graphic that shows the difference between desktop and mobile searches. It’s useful for anyone who wants to target a specific platform with an ad campaign.

Next comes the real meat. The first number is the total searches over the one-year period for the targeted keyword. The remainder shows relevant keywords and synonyms that are similar to the original search target.

The results also show:

  • Competition for those keywords
  • The ad impression share if the keywords are already part of an ad campaign
  • Top of page bid at the lowest end of the range
  • Top of page bid at the highest end of the range

The range of the last two indicate how much an advertiser has to bid on keywords to get their ads to appear at the top of the first page of Google search results.

Getting the Best Results

Getting the best results is a matter of testing different keyword phrases to see which ones have any volume. Some phrases have massive volumes and others have hardly any.

Advertisers developing campaigns for search engine marketing should note the prices on the keywords with an eye toward finding ones that are both relevant and less expensive. They also should keep in mind that prices change constantly.

Anyone researching keywords for search engine optimization will discover that the relevant keyword list isn’t all-inclusive. They may find it helpful to test their own related keyword phrases against the original to see which ones didn’t show up on the original search results.

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