Google Keyword Planner: Free Keyword Planner for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Share with Others:

How do you know what visitors are looking for in search engines? The simple answer is to use a tool like a free keyword planner.

In the ever-evolving world of search engine optimization (SEO), keyword research remains the cornerstone of a successful content strategy.

But uncovering the right keywords to target can be a daunting task, especially for those new to the field.

This is where keyword planner tools come in, providing valuable insights into search trends, competition levels, and potential traffic.

However, premium keyword research tools often come with hefty price tags. This begs the question: are there effective free alternatives available?

Absolutely! This post explores the Google Keyword Planner as one of the best free keyword planner for SEO, helping you optimize your content and attract your target audience without breaking the bank.

What is a Keyword Planner?

A keyword planner is a tool that helps you discover relevant keywords related to your niche or industry. These tools analyze search engine queries and provide valuable data such as:

  1. Search Volume: This metric indicates the average number of times a particular keyword is searched for each month.
  2. Competition Level: This reveals how difficult it will be to rank for a specific keyword based on the number of competing websites.
  3. Cost-Per-Click (CPC): This metric, relevant for paid search advertising, estimates the average cost you’d pay if you bid on that keyword in an advertising platform like Google Ads.
  4. Related Keywords: Keyword planners suggest additional keywords related to your initial search, helping you broaden your content scope and target a wider audience.

Utilizing this data enables you to pinpoint high-potential keywords that are actively sought by your target audience, yet possess a manageable level of competition for achievable ranking.

Such a strategic method enhances the organic traffic directed to your website, ultimately resulting in heightened conversions and the fulfillment of your objectives.

Why is a Keyword Planner Important for SEO?

Keyword research plays a crucial role in SEO for several reasons:

1. Content Strategy

Keyword research helps you identify the topics your target audience is interested in, allowing you to create content that directly addresses their needs and search queries.

2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

By incorporating relevant keywords throughout your website content, title tags, and meta descriptions, you signal to search engines like Google that your content is relevant to specific user searches.

This increases your chances of appearing on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for those keywords.

3. Improved User Experience

Targeting the right keywords ensures your content resonates with your target audience. This leads to a more satisfying user experience, keeping visitors engaged and potentially converting them into loyal customers.

4. Competitive Advantage

Keyword research allows you to identify long-tail keywords (more specific, multi-word phrases) with lower competition.

Targeting these keywords can help you establish a niche audience and gain an edge over competitors vying for broader, high-volume keywords.

Now that we understand the importance of keyword research tools, let’s delve into the top 3 free keyword planner options available:

Google Keyword Planner: Free Keyword Planner for SEO

Developed by Google itself which leads the search engine platform, the Google Keyword Planner offers unparalleled access to search data.

Here are the key advantages of using this free tool:

The Google Keyword Planner seamlessly integrates with Google Ads, allowing you to transition from keyword research to building and launching pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns.

As it’s a Google product, the Keyword Planner boasts the most accurate search volume data available, providing invaluable insights into actual user search behavior.

The other benefit is, that you can gain insights into historical search trends and identify keywords with increasing search volume, allowing you to capitalize on emerging trends.

Google Keyword Planner also allows you to estimate potential costs for your target keywords based on your budget, helping you plan your PPC campaigns more effectively.

How to Use Google Keyword Planner

1. Create a Free Google Ads Account

  1. Go to and click “Start Now.”
  2. Sign in to your existing Google account or create a new one. You’ll be prompted to set up a billing country, time zone, and currency.
  3. You can choose “No” for the question about wanting a personalized campaign consultation and click “Submit” to create a free account.

2. Access the Keyword Planner

  1. Once logged in to your Google Ads account, navigate to the toolbar on the left side of the screen.
  2. Click on “Tools” and then select “Planning” from the dropdown menu.
  3. Within the “Planning” section, click on “Keyword Planner.”

3. Find and Analyze New Keywords

Google Keyword Planner offers two main ways to find and analyze new keywords:

i) Discover new keywords

This option allows you to begin either with keywords or a website. I prefer starting with keywords as I’m unsure about the search results and potential.

Input up to 10 relevant words or phrases related to your business or niche, separated by commas and spaces.

You can also specify the location of your target audience, such as exclusively the United States. If you’re aiming for a global audience, simply omit specific countries.

Under Optionally, include your website URL to help Google refine suggestions based on your existing content. Click “Get results” to see keyword ideas.

ii) Get search volume and forecasts

Similar to the previous method, you’ll need to input keywords and select a country, after which Google Keyword Planner will furnish a summary or high-level results.

Between these two choices, I prefer towards utilizing the “discover new keywords” option.

Enter the URL of a competitor’s website or a relevant website within your niche. Choose whether you want keyword suggestions based on the entire website or just a specific page.

4. Analyze Keyword Results

The Keyword Planner will present a list of keyword suggestions along with several data points for each keyword:

  1. Average monthly searches: This indicates the estimated number of times a particular keyword is searched for each month. (Note: The free plan shows ranges like “1K-10K” instead of exact numbers.)
  2. Competition: This reveals how difficult it will be to rank for a specific keyword based on the number of competing websites.
  3. Top of page bid (low range): This provides an estimate of the cost per click (CPC) for running ads on that keyword within Google Ads. (Not directly relevant for pure SEO but helpful for understanding potential advertising costs.)

One notable benefit of Google Keyword Planner is its capability to suggest other relevant keywords related to your discovered keyword.

This functionality expands your options and provides insights on how to select the most suitable keywords for visitor searches.

5. Filter and Sort Options

  • Refine your keyword research by using the filters on the left-hand side of the Keyword Planner interface. You can filter by average monthly searches, competition level, and other criteria.
  • Sort the keyword results by various metrics like average monthly searches, competition level, or top of page bid (low range) to prioritize keywords that best suit your needs.

6. Add Keywords to Plan

Once you’ve identified relevant keywords, you can add them to your plan for further analysis or use them to inform your content strategy. Click the checkbox next to the desired keywords and then click “Add to plan” at the top of the page.

The Additional Features

The Google Keyword Planner offers additional features beyond keyword discovery:

  1. Forecast: Estimate potential website traffic, clicks, impressions, and costs based on your chosen keywords and budget if you were to run a Google Ads campaign.
  2. Share your plan: Collaborate with others by sharing your keyword plan with your team members.

Limitations of the Google Keyword Planner

While it offers valuable features, the free version of Google Keyword Planner has some limitations:

1. Limited keyword search volume because it displays search volume data in ranges (e.g., 10K-100K searches) rather than precise numbers.

2. While valuable for SEO research, the Keyword Planner’s core functionality leans towards informing PPC campaigns. This can be less intuitive for users solely focused on organic SEO.

3. To access the Keyword Planner, you need a free Google Ads account. This might deter users who are not interested in paid advertising.


Overall, the Google Keyword Planner is an excellent free keyword planner for those who want the most accurate search volume data and plan to integrate their SEO strategy with PPC campaigns.

However, the limitations in keyword suggestions and focus on paid advertising might make it less ideal for users solely focused on organic SEO.

Remember, keyword research is an ongoing process. Experiment with different free tools and identify the one that best complements your SEO workflow.

By consistently researching and incorporating relevant high-potential keywords into your content strategy, you’ll attract your target audience, improve your search engine ranking, and ultimately achieve your SEO goals.

Share with Others:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *