How To Use Google’s Keyword Planning Tool

 

To find keywords for your website, Google Business Listing, or online ads, why not leverage the top U.S. search engine’s brain?

Here’s how you would use the Google Ads Keyword Planner tool to find relevant keywords in your area, by town, city, state, or county.

  • Go to https://ads.google.com/
  • Enter your Gmail Account information.
    • If you do not have a Gmail account, you’ll need to create one. They are free.
  • If you’ve never created a Google Ads account before, you’ll need a credit card handy. It won’t be billed, but it must be entered.
  • Complete the rest of the login credentials needed, such as website address, billing info., etc.
  • Once complete, use the following screens to find keywords.

keyword-step-1-and-2 How To Use Google's Keyword Planning Tool

keyword-step-3 How To Use Google's Keyword Planning Tool

Once you’ve entered a few, long-tail terms, such as Best Bergen County Plumber, and have clicked enter, you’ll be presented with a list of terms, their average monthly searches, and competition.

Tip: Competition is how much other people are using the term. The higher the ranking the harder it will be to get found online for that term/phrase. Consider low to medium competition when looking at the average monthly searches.

Before you commit to these terms, check the location in the top, left corner of the screen. Is it the location you want? If not, click on it and change it to the city, town, county, or state where you’re trying to focus your search.

Change the Location

Before you commit to these terms, check the location in the top, left corner of the screen. Is it the location you want? If not, click on it and change it to the city, town, county, or state where you’re trying to focus your search.

keyword-location-change How To Use Google's Keyword Planning Tool

Example Search Results

With all these results, how do you choose the right ones for you? First, consider the competition for a phrase. If it’s high, then you will more than likely be fighting against established brands. If it’s medium, that’s a good place to start. Lower competition means a few things, first, the people searching for that term really want whatever they are searching for; and two, your competition isn’t using the term. 

The dollar amounts you see are for online, search advertising. This is helpful information to help you budget for online ads you may be running. These numbers change all frequently, so before running any online ads, check back to update your budget. 

You can also export the list using the Download icon above the chart on the right side. I export this information into Excel so I can sort it, delete the rows I don’t want, and keep a variety of listings for reference.

keyword-search-results How To Use Google's Keyword Planning Tool

Knowing the keywords people in your area are using is the first step to connect with them. Rather than thinking you know what people are using, leverage the search tools available to you to ensure you’re using the right terms. 

Additional Resources

We have a lot of SEO resources you can use, including:

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