How to use Google Keyword Planner: 6 Hacks Most SEOs Don’t Know Exist

By | August 6, 2019


In August 2016, Google began limiting the
data available in Keyword Planner to non-advertisers. So instead of search volumes like this: You’d see useless data like this. Or is it really useless? In this tutorial, you’re about to find out
how to use Google Keyword Planner. Stay tuned. [music] What’s up marketers, Sam Oh here with Ahrefs,
the SEO tool that helps you grow your search traffic, research your competitors, and dominate
your niche. Now if you’re new to Keyword Planner, let’s
get a free account set up for you and run through Keyword Planner’s two main search
features in 45 seconds. First, go to ads.google.com and click the
“sign in” button up here and log in to your Google account. After you sign in, you’ll be asked to enter
in your email and website. Just click “Skip the guided setup,” or else
you’ll have to go through a long setup process. Confirm the settings here and you’re done. Now, click on tools, and choose Keyword Planner. You’ll have two choices: “find keywords,”
or “get search volume and forecasts.” These are pretty self-explanatory. Use the first option if you’re looking for new
keyword ideas. Just enter a seed keyword and Keyword Planner
will kick back hundreds or thousands of related suggestions, plus some metrics. If you already have a list of keywords that
you want to analyze, use the second option. This won’t suggest keywords but rather it’ll tell
you estimated search ranges and CPC data for the keywords you entered. Got it? Good. Now, onto the hacks! The first hack is to unlock exact keyword
planner volumes without spending a dime. Well… Kind of. When Google started restricting their data,
most SEOs completely stopped using their tool. And a lot of us just weren’t willing to spend
the money in advertising to unlock the search volumes since that money could be spent on
better SEO tools. The good news is that you can still see the
exact search volumes inside Keyword Planner without spending a penny. First, go to “find keywords” and search for
a keyword phrase or add multiple seed keywords. And here, you can see that both “iphone charger”
and “apple iPhone charger” fall into the same average monthly search volume range. But you and I both know that one of these
has significantly more search volume, right? So, I’ll select these two keyword phrases and
select “exact match” from this dropdown. Finally, I’ll add these to our plan. Next, click on the “keywords” menu in the
sidebar. And next, I’ll edit the maximum CPC value to the
highest Google allows. And as you start to exceed the maximum value,
Adwords will show you a limit. So I’ll match that number to see the most
exposure we can get for these keywords. Now take a look at the impressions column
in the table below. This number tells you the estimated number
of impressions your ad would get over the next 30 days from your target keywords if
you bid this amount. This number should be a workable representation
of the total search volume for your keyword if you were to attain a top ranking organic
position. Boom. Unlocked. One thing worth noting here is that you should
take these numbers with a grain of salt. Adwords doesn’t always show ads for every
search query. And these impression figures are meant for
advertisers and not for SEOs. For more accurate estimations, try a tool
made for SEOs like Keywords Explorer. The next hack is to steal keyword ideas from
your competitors. And Keyword Planner is the most useful for
its ability to generate keyword ideas based on a seed keyword. But did you know that you can generate keyword
ideas from a page or from an entire domain? Let’s say that you want to create a post on
broken link building. Go to Google and search for your target keyword
and look at the top ranking pages. Then you can copy and paste the URL right
into Google Keyword Planner. Just make sure to select the page URL and
then run the search. Keyword planner will then bring up a list
of keyword ideas based on the page that you’ve entered so you can get a list of relevant
keywords on that topic. Something to note is that this list of keyword
ideas do not necessarily represent the organic keywords that this page ranks for. For example, one of the keyword suggestions
is “link building company,” but if you look through the top 100 results for this search
query, our page is nowhere to be found. To get hyper-relevant keywords for a page,
you’d have to use Ahrefs Site Explorer’s organic keywords report, where you can see all of
the keywords a page ranks for, the keyword metrics, and ranking positions. So, take these recommendations in Google Keyword
Planner with a grain of salt and consider topical relevance when filtering through the
results. Another cool thing you can do is enter in
the domain of one of your competitors and see if you can come up with topic ideas that
are relevant for your site. So, I could type in, hubspot.com and then search
their entire site for keyword ideas. Now, you’ll see a bunch of branded queries,
which aren’t very helpful since you likely won’t be able to serve the search intent for
something like “Hubspot sales training.” You can exclude their brand name by clicking
on Filter, select Keyword Text, then choose “does not contain” from the dropdown. Now, just enter in their brand name and you’ll see a much more relevant list of topics that you can target. You can also get creative with these filters. If you wanted to find question-like keywords,
then you can add more keyword text filters. So, you can see here that I set up keyword
text filters that contain keywords like who, what, when, where, why, and how. And you’ll see a solid list of questions you
can use in your blog posts or FAQ sections. And it looks like most of the questions are
based around the topic of CRMs. But this report only shows us around 50 or
so results, which doesn’t seem right. Compare that to Ahrefs’ questions report with
the seed, CRM, and you’ll see over 10,000 different questions that have search volume. But again, Keyword Planner is made for advertisers, so it’s not surprising that SEO tools would outshine them. The next hack is to find lucrative keywords
by looking at suggested bids. And this tip is pretty simple but extremely powerful. And it’s based on this logic: If advertisers are willing to pay top dollar
for an ad placement on a keyword, then that keyword likely holds commercial intent. So let’s use furniture as our seed keyword. Then I’ll sort the data by “Top of page bid”
on the high range. And right away, you can see a whole bunch
of great commercial keyword ideas. One thing I would recommend looking at is the disparity between the low range and high range bids. You’ll see that “oriental furniture” has a low range of around $1, while the high range is over $20. On the other hand, office furniture has a
low range bid of around $6 and a high range of $22, which suggests that advertisers are
consistently willing to pay top dollar on these ad placements. It’s also worth looking for exact keyword
volumes on the keywords you’re interested in targeting. For example, Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer shows
that “modern green couch” only has 20 monthly searches in the United States. Now, while advertisers are willing to pay
upwards of $50, you’d have to evaluate if targeting this phrase would be worth your
time and effort. The next hack is one of my favorites and that’s
to get targeted locational data. With most keyword research tools, you can
only see keyword data by country. For example, if you look up “cleaning services”
using the impressions hack, then you’ll see that there are nearly 150,000 impressions
per month in the US alone. But I highly doubt someone is going to fly
across the country to clean your house. So, click on the locations at the top and enter
the location that you serve. So, I’ll set the location to Toronto, and you’ll
see the number of impressions change. One last thing you should do is to make sure
that the CPC is set to its maximum value since Adwords costs will vary based on location. And you should see a new updated version of the
impressions for the locations you’ve selected. Now, this example is for a pretty big city,
so if you happen to live in a rural area, you may want to select all of the different
cities and locations that your customers will be willing to travel from or the locations
you will be willing to travel to. Then you can get an extra layer of insights
by going to the plan overview. Just scroll to the bottom of the page
to see the percentage of impressions by the locations you entered. But using locational data isn’t limited to
just local businesses, which you’ll see in the next hack. And that’s to find out which countries, cities,
and regions need your products and services on a global or national scale. Just enter in a keyword phrase or phrases
that your prospective customers might be looking for. So, I’ll just type in SEO tools, keyword research,
and backlink checker. Then add the keywords to your plan. Next, make sure that you clear any selected
locations, which will search for data in all locations from around the world. The report that you want to look at is, the
“Plan Overview”. If we scroll down to the bottom of the page,
you’ll see the countries ranked in order of popularity based on the filter you choose
here. So, in our case as SEOs, impressions would
make the most sense. Seeing that the majority of searches come
from the US, we can set our location filter to search in the United States to drill down
on specific locations. Now, when you scroll to the bottom, you’ll
see the total number of searches ranked by state. And if you click on the dropdown, you’ll be able to drill down on specific regions, municipalities, and cities. So, even though the state of California produces
the most impressions, you’ll see that the top city is on the other side of the country
in New York. The next hack is to optimize for the devices
that are searching for your keyword terms. Different niches, in fact, different
keywords can have significantly different search volumes based on the device that’s
being used. If we look at the “Plan Overview” page for
our query on SEO tools, keyword research tools, and backlink checker, you’ll see that the
vast majority of impressions come from computers. And it makes sense since people searching
for these terms likely want to use or test a tool right then and there. And that’s not gonna happen on mobile. Also, these queries are more for a B2B audience
than a B2C audience. But let’s examine the queries “restaurants
near me” and other variants that are obviously more mobile dominant. You’ll see that almost all of the searches
come from phones and tablets. Now less obvious terms might be informational
keywords related to babies and toddlers sleeping. These searches are probably coming from tired
parents turning to their phones in the middle of the night rather than whipping out their
laptops. With that said, it’s important that you consider
this data in your keyword research process so you can optimize your pages for the devices
that will actually be viewing it. A couple additional tips to optimize for mobile
would be to ensure that your fonts are readable for smaller screens and you’ll also want to
make sure that your images are scaled proportionally. For example, if you have a really long image
at 1900 pixels, and a height of 500 pixels, it might look great on desktop, but it might
be tough to make out on a mobile device. So what do you think of these keyword planner hacks? Still think search volume is useless even
if you’re stuck with the ranged volumes? Make sure to leave a comment and while you’re
at it, hit the subscribe button for more actionable SEO and marketing tutorials. So, keep grinding away, find some cool keyword
ideas, and I’ll see you in the next tutorial.

44 thoughts on “How to use Google Keyword Planner: 6 Hacks Most SEOs Don’t Know Exist

  1. Vijay Srinivas Post author

    Quite good hacks! Loved 2 & 3! Good job Sam! 🙂

    Reply
  2. Mohit Singla Post author

    Understanding Better Google Keywords Planner Thanks. Can you make a Video on Google Display Planner.

    Reply
  3. Amor abrazo Post author

    So now, can we know what is Adwords express? same function with Adwords?

    Reply
  4. ZHIMIN LEUNG Post author

    But I find the search Volume different between ahref and ads, why?

    Reply
  5. Mehdi Malekzadeh Post author

    Here in Iran, I have no data for most of the keywords and there are no other tools working for Farsi phrases/Iran location.
    I found keywordrevealer.com and SEO Power Suite. Both have other problems. Do you have any other suggestion?
    Thank you

    Reply
  6. Universal Fun Post author

    Hi sir I learn how to find keywords proper please guide me I'm begginer from blogger I'm your subscribers

    Reply
  7. Digital Creations Post author

    My dear pls make videos …how I select low competition topics for my YouTube videos ???

    Reply
  8. Louis iaeger V Post author

    WOW. You guys are throwing fireballs of content in this video 🔥🔥🔥

    Reply
  9. local tv Post author

    that is pure gold I can't believe it is free on youtube. Thank you

    Reply
  10. McIntosh Bianca Post author

    thanks, really helpful videos, i like the way you teach

    Reply
  11. Protonusify Post author

    I tried this and it doesn't work, I don't get that link.

    Reply
  12. Nguyen Huu Nguyen Post author

    This video can't run, trying to consider why now 🙁

    Reply
  13. MorrizeN Post author

    I cannot go past the skip the guide set up… It does not give me the option !!

    Reply
  14. Ryan Ambler Post author

    Thanks Sam, got some good insights from this, cheers!

    Reply
  15. Heather Wood Post author

    I love how you race thru the information while you speak instead of dragging on thru talking about nonsense like most people. Thank you so much!!

    Reply
  16. Philip Stine Post author

    when i go on this site it sends me straight to a new campaign i am not able to visit main landing page, is there a way to avoid this?

    Reply
  17. Ray Rdhwn Post author

    this video is not relevant anymore so please consider to take it down & stop giving false hope. keep checking your video content with the current service.

    Reply
  18. Mohamed Ansary Post author

    You are one of the best YouTubers ever. Thanks for the information.

    Reply
  19. Jeff Wilson Post author

    Really well done video. Easy to follow! Thanks.

    Reply
  20. Felipe Dangond Post author

    was this updated??? I watched this a week ago and was fine but today everything's completely different in google ads.

    Reply
  21. Vlad Semenenko Post author

    such a powerful video, thank you so much!

    Reply
  22. Praise Worship Post author

    I have not had problems with seeing keyword impressions data in Google's keyword tool. Is there a minimum spend on Google AdWords to "unlock" the keyword data?

    Reply

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