What is Google Keyword Planner?
Google Keyword Planner is the tool inside Google Ads that helps advertisers find keywords for ad targeting. With Google Keyword Planner you can find keyword ideas, get search volume, Google Ads competition and cost-per-click data for search terms.
Google Keyword Planner is not available for free. To use Google Keyword Planner, you need to create a Google Ads account and spend money on advertising.
How to use Google Keyword Planner?
While Google will not directly charge you for using Keyword Planner, you still can not use Google Keyword Planner for free. The costs are indirect - to use the Google's tool you have to spend money on Google Ads.
Before you can access Google Keyword Planner you need to complete the following steps:
- Create a Google Ads account
- Connect billing method to Google Ads (usually your credit card)
- Start a Google Ads campaign
- Keep the campaign running and make sure it spends money
If you would like to see the search volume data for keywords in Google Keyword Planner, you will need to continue running campaigns on Google Ads and likely spend the equivalent of hundreds of US dollars per months on Google Ads.
If for some reason, Google will decide that you do not spend enough money on ads, the precise search volume data in Keyword Planner will be replaced with search volume ranges.
You will get continuous access to Google Keyword Planner with precise search volume data for keywords only if you maintain the Google Ads spend.
Please note that if you stop spending money on Google AdWords, you will likely only see the limited data in Google AdWords Keyword Planner and even might lose access to it.
The best Google Keyword Planner Alternatives
Even if you spend money on Google Ads and have full access to Google's own keyword research tool, you might want to consider some of its alternatives.
Keyword Planner is created to find keywords for ads and is not displaying many popular long-tail keyword suggestions. In fact, it hides many great keywords that can be easily found when using some of the free Keyword Planner alternatives listed below.
Google Trends is a great free product created by Google that helps to find the relative popularity of keywords. It is an excellent alternative to Keyword Planner for keyword popularity comparison. With Google Trends, you can see how interest and the relative number of searches for a keyword is changing over time.
Using Google Trends, you can see the relative popularity of a keyword in a given country or region. The tool also allows you to compare the popularity of up to 5 different keywords at the time.
For example, on the graph from Google Trends below, you can see the relative popularity of "coffee" versus "tea" over the last twelve months in the US.
The downside of Google Trends is that it only shows the popularity of the keywords on a scale from 0 to 100, unfortunately, it does not show the actual number of searches that the keyword receives per month.
Google Suggest is a feature of Google search that shows different search terms when you start typing a keyword into the search box. This feature is a good alternative to Google Keyword Tool Planner for long-tail keyword research.
In fact, Google Suggest is the best way to find good long-tail keywords that people use to find information on Google. Google admits that while Google Autocomplete (another name for the Google Suggest feature) was not designed specifically for marketing, the smart use of it can deliver meaningful insights and help stay on top of trends.
To use Google autocomplete, paste a keyword into the search box of Google and add a letter or number before or after the term. Most likely, you will see the list of keyword suggestions showing up below the search bar.
While the keywords received from Google Suggest are certainly useful, you can not easily copy, export or analyze them in bulk.
Keyword Tool is the best alternative to Google Keyword Planner for one simple reason - it is made to extract thousands of useful keywords from Google Suggest in a split of a second.
Because Google Keyword Planner is part of the Google Ads product, you can not use Keyword Planner if you do not have a Google Ads account and are not paying for ads.
Keyword Tool - is the best free alternative to Google Keyword Planner for search engine optimization (SEO). To use Keyword Tool, you do not need to create an account or pay money.
Simply put a word in the search box of Keyword Tool, press “Enter” and the tool will immediately pull hundreds or even thousands of great long-tail keyword suggestions for your seed keyword.
Keyword Tool gets keywords from Google Autocomplete, that is why with Keyword Tool you will be able to find keywords that are hidden in Google Keyword Planner.
Frequently asked questions about Google Keyword Planner
Question: How to access Keyword Planner?
Answer: If you already have an active Google Ads account, you should be able to access Keyword Planner on this page. If you don't have an account, you can find more information on how to create Google Ads account on this page.
Question: How to use Keyword Planner for free?
Answer: You can not use Google Keyword Planner for free. You need to create a Google Ads account, connect your credit card to it and spend money on Google Ads to get access to Google Keyword Planner.
Question: How to use Keyword Planner without a campaign?
Answer: You can not use Google Keyword Planner without creating an AdWords (Google Ads) campaign. To find keywords, you can use some of the Google Keyword Planner alternatives, such as Keyword Tool instead.
Question: Is data in Google Keyword Planner accurate?
Answer: Google Keyword Planner was created to find keywords for Google ads. It will likely not produce very good keyword suggestions for SEO or content marketing purposes. Google Keyword Planner often hides good long-tail keywords. To find long-tail keywords for SEO, you can use Keyword Planner alternatives such as Google Trends, Google Suggest or Keyword Tool.
Question: How to use Keyword Planner for YouTube?
Answer: Google Keyword Planner is not created to find YouTube keywords. Best alternative to Google Keyword Planner for finding YouTube keywords is YouTube Keyword Tool. Another way to find out how popular are keywords on YouTube is to use Google Trends.