How to Use Google Keyword Planner for SEO in 2023

Learn how to effectively use Google Keyword Planner for SEO in this step-by-step guide, and start optimizing your website with high-volume, localized, trending, and related keywords.
  • Sarah Berry SEO Consultant
  • October 25, 2023
  • 6 min. read

There are plenty of keyword research tools for search engine optimization (SEO), but one of our favorites is Google Keyword Planner — it’s free, fast, and easy to use. Keep reading to learn how to use Google Keyword Planner for SEO in 2023!

What is Google Keyword Planner?

Google Keyword Planner is a free keyword research tool available through Google Ads. With Keyword Planner, you can research keywords, view metrics (like volume, competitiveness, and cost per click), and download keyword data.

Why start using Keyword Planner for SEO?

We recommend using Keyword Planner for SEO for a few reasons, including the following:

  • Price: Google Keyword Planner is free, which is perfect if you’re looking for a cost-effective tool.
  • Accuracy: You’ll also get accurate data to make informed keyword-targeting decisions.
  • Depth: You can also surface short- and long-tail keyword ideas.

With its blend of capabilities, we recommend trying Google Keyword Planner for keyword research.

How to use Google Keyword Planner for SEO

Learn how to use Google Keyword Planner for SEO in these three steps:

  1. Set up Google Keyword Planner
  2. Choose a keyword research option
  3. Select how to discover new keywords

1. Set up Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner homepage

First, visit Google Keyword Planner and log into your Google Ads account. While you need a Google Ads account, you do not need to advertise on Google Ads to use Keyword Planner, which is another reason we love this tool.

2. Choose a keyword research option

Next, choose from one of the following keyword research options:

  1. Discover new keywords for finding keyword ideas
  2. Get search volume and forecasts for analyzing existing keyword lists

We’ll focus on the Discover new keywords option for this walkthrough on using Google Keyword Planner for SEO.

Google Keyword Planner search options

The second option — Get search volume and forecasts — is useful when you have an existing keyword list and need the metrics, like monthly search volume.

3. Select how to discover new keywords

After selecting Discover new keywords, Keyword Planner will present you with two options:

  1. Start with keywords by entering phrases related to your business
  2. Start with a website by entering a site URL, like your own or a competitor’s

Both options offer immense value when researching SEO keywords, so we’ll walk through both below:

Start with keywords

Select the Start with keywords option, and you’ll have two fields:

  1. Enter products or services closely related to your business: For SEO keyword research, you can use this field for products, services, questions, and other topics related to your business. As an advertising platform, Google Ads will nudge you to search for more transactional terms.
  2. Enter a site to filter unrelated keywords: While optional, you can add your website so Google Keyword Planner doesn’t suggest keywords unrelated to what you offer, making reviewing your initial keyword suggestions much easier.

Once you complete these steps, click “Get results.”

Google Keyword Planner discover options

Keyword Planner will then display the following:

  • Keyword suggestions for broadening your search
  • Keyword data for your given keywords
  • Keyword ideas related to your given keywords

In our case, we started with the keyword, “coffee pods.”

Google Keyword Planner results

Google Keyword Planner then provided the following:

  • Keyword suggestions like coffee capsules and coffee makers
  • Keyword data for “coffee pods,” like its monthly searches and search fluctuation
  • Keyword ideas like “nespresso pods”

Now, let’s experiment with refining our keyword results.

From the right-hand menu, you can access filters based on your given keywords. In our case, we have filters for brand or non-brand, drink, blend, and color. Let’s remove the branded results, like “nespresso pods.”

Google Keyword Planner filters

Once we do that, our keyword ideas change and get more relevant to our initial keyword, “coffee pods.”

If you want to save keywords to access later, select the checkbox and click “Add keyword.”

Google Keyword Planner keyword save

Start with a website

Let’s explore how to use Google Keyword Planner for SEO with the Start with a website option.

For this option, you can either submit your whole site or a single page for Google to review and analyze for keyword opportunities. The results will display the same as the Start with keywords option. Let’s begin with submitting a whole site — in this case,

Google Keyword Planner website option

There are some gems here, like “alternative to nespresso machine” or “aluminum coffee pods.” Overall, the results are far too broad and irrelevant to Cometeer and its products. The company, for instance, doesn’t sell on Amazon, but there are several Amazon keywords.

Google Keyword Planner site search results

As an experiment, let’s enter a specific Cometeer URL:

Here, Google Keyword Planner returns more branded terms, like “cometeer frozen coffee” and “cometeer iced coffee.” Still, there are some keywords that have potential, like “coffee sampler box,” which could have long-tail keywords even more relevant to Cometeer and its products.

Google Keyword Planner page search results

Like the Start with keywords option, you can refine and save keywords.

And that’s how you use Google Keyword Planner for your search engine optimization efforts!

3+ ways to use Google Keyword Planner for SEO

There are multiple applications for using Keyword Planner for SEO, like for finding:

  • High-volume keywords
  • Localized keywords
  • Trending keywords
  • Related keywords
  • And more

The more you experiment with Google Keyword Planner, the more you’ll find ways to use it.

Start using Keyword Planner for SEO today

Now that you know how to use Google Keyword Planner for SEO, log in and get started! If you’re struggling with SEO keyword research (or SEO in general), consider asking for help from our award-winning team and SEO services.

Contact us today to learn more!

Sarah Berry is an SEO Consultant at one of the largest SEO agencies in the USA — WebFX. With more than 10,000 hours of SEO experience, she offers practical insights and strategies you can use to grow your rankings, traffic, and revenue from search.

Add WebFX to your content marketing toolbox today

Get SEO Proposal

What to read next

An In-Depth Comparison of Semrush vs. SpyFu
  • Dec 06, 2023
  • 6 min. read
Keep Reading
Ubersuggest vs. Ahrefs: Pros and Cons of These SEO Tools
  • Dec 05, 2023
  • 9 min. read
Keep Reading
An In-Depth Comparison of Semrush vs. Similarweb
  • Dec 04, 2023
  • 6 min. read
Keep Reading