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Google Keyword Planner

by | Last updated: Dec 5, 2022

Looking to create a successful Google Ad Campaign for your business? The Google Keyword Planner is a helpful feature for generating concrete keywords and optimising your ad campaign. The world and his mother knows that ranking well in Google search is critical to success on the web. Ranking high up on the page, as in Number 1, is essential, but how do you know which terms people are searching? Check out our short guide on keyword analysis here.

Things to consider:

  • How many people want what you have to sell
  • Assess local and national market
  • Generate keyword ideas
  • Get forecasts for sales
  • Find predictive costs for any ad campaigns
  • See some Adgroups
  • Discover some Long Tail terms
  • Use Negative keywords
  • Learn to reduce wasteful expense in advertising
  • Find out what customers want


Utilise the Filtering Function

Be sure to take advantage of Google’s keyword filters to narrow down the right set of keywords for your ad campaign – it is important to avoid creating too many filters.

  • Average monthly searches – filters keywords on the basis of how often they are searched each month
  • Suggested bid – helps you find keywords that adhere to your budget
  • Ad impression share – # of times visitors will see your ad, divided by the # of searches matching your keyword
  • Competition – filters keywords based on the level of difficulty of achieving a top spot
Prioritise Precision

Finding a precise set of keywords is far more useful than having a number of generally unrelated keywords. These tools will help you find the most relevant keywords for your business. Be sure to always keep your budget in mind as the more popular keywords, are typically more expensive.

  • Keyword – type in relevant keywords and the keyword planner will generate a list of similar and long-tail (more specific – elicits higher-quality traffic) ideas
  • Landing page – insert link to a page on your website and the keyword planner will generate keywords based on the page
  • Product category – enter a product category to illustrate your business and Google will generate a list of the most popular keywords used in your industry
Adapt Keywords

The filters in the Keyword Planner also allow you to find keywords that best accommodate a specific language or location. For instance, if you are looking to attract web visitors to a physical store, you will want to filter for keywords in your area. In addition, the filtering tool is useful if you have customers that speak multiple or even different languages. The filtering tool allows you to find relevant keywords across multiple languages. This would be most useful if your business is located in Canada, for example, and you have both French and English speaking customers.

Consider the Cost

The cost of your keywords depends on how often they are used. Highly competitive keywords – the keywords your competitors use the most – not only cost more, but they also make it harder for your ad to get a top position in search results. Of course, this isn’t ideal. So, the question remains: how do you find relevant keywords that are not already used frequently by your competitors? Fortunately, the keyword tool shows you what your competitors are paying. You should chose your keywords based primarily on this information.

Takeaways –

If a keyword is out of your budget, it is more effective to choose the keyword that fits within it. If a keyword is being used by a number of your competitors, it is wise to not use it. With this approach, your ad is far more likely to show up at the top of a potential customer’s search page.

Take Advantage of Forecast Tool

The Keyword Planner provides click and cost performance forecasts, allowing you to determine how effective your plan is. The forecast tool uses a number of metrics including your bid, budget, etc. to project your ad’s performance. You can choose to forecast conversions or clicks, and make changes based on your results. This function is especially helpful if you are new to Google ads and are unsure how your ad will perform.

It is important to note that Google allows you to make adjustments or pause ads or even your entire ad campaign, at any time. This is particularly useful if your campaign provides less results than you had hoped. Or if you need to adjust your budget for certain occasions such as product launches.

Study of our own Keywords

In our case we want to be found for ‘Web Design Donegal’, ‘Web Development Donegal’ or even more generic terms like ‘Web Donegal’ or ‘E-commerce Donegal’.
Hurrah, when we do a search in Google, we are Number 1 for all of these terms! You could be forgiven for thinking that this is great that we are so well optimised.

Google Ads Planner Michael MacGinty

Local Search

Now, more importantly, if we want to know how many people in Donegal search for these terms we look at the Google Keyword Planner and find that the results are:

  • “Web design Donegal” – less than 100
  • “Web development donegal” – less than 10
  • “E-commerce donegal” – less than 10
  • “Web donegal” – less than 10
  • “SEO Donegal” – less than 20

In all cases the search volume is very low, so that is disappointing and might indicate that we are possibly optimised for too narrow a search area. This may also indicate that the local market demand is very small for what we offer. Being Number 1 in our own geographical area will not lead to much traffic or very many enquiries. It shows our local market that we are competent, but that is it. Try entering your own key terms for your own area before looking at a wider market.

National Search

If we then want to move the needle and start optimising for a wider geographical area, the task gets harder and the competition a lot more stiff. Volumes rise to 400 a month for the same terms and if we drop the word Donegal, we get 50,000 for Web Designers or 150,000 for just Web Design. And any longer term such as “web designing companies” gets 500. As does “web pages design” or “design web page”, “web design sites” and “professional web design company.” In order to compete in this space, we need to have a lot more relevant and optimised content, which is where you get your SEO Search Engine Optimisation in gear. As we always say, start with a Strategy or Plan to determine what is needed to get optimised for any particular area or sector.

You can do it yourself or talk to a good Digital Marketer, who can prove that they have done this before for a similar business type. There is a lot of work to get this right, but it is the way to go and should not be seen as an optional task. Wherever you think your target market exists then this is where you need to be optimised successfully and it can take time. Being Number 1 in your area is like being a big fish in a small pond, so it may not be right for you. Especially if your local area is not a big enough market. If you are unsure about how to put together a Digital Strategy, get an expert to do it with you, before you embark on the project.

Talk with your Digital Marketer

Snake oil salesmen will tell you that they can get you to Number 1 on Page 1 of Google, but usually it is for your own company name or in your own home town. However, that may not be your target market and anyway. If someone knows your name, then this is not a new lead. Be very specific with your Digital Marketing Agency about where your market is. And be sure to ask them if there is any existing demand to chase at all. Never work with anyone who uses black hat techniques. It will adversely affect your reputation with Google and your site may be suspended from search.

Check it out yourself in Google Keyword Planner. This tool is where you should navigate to before you produce any product or try selling anything at all. It is a great source of information upon which to plan your sales campaigns. Your Digital Marketer will also talk to you about Long Tail SEO, focused content, and other ways of tweaking your website.  All of which will attract the sort of client you are looking for.


Google ditched the Keyword tool and replaced it with the Google Keyword Planner. Their aim is to get you to check the cost of advertising and then obviously have you book ads.

So get used to the new Google Keyword Planner tool, it is better for Targeting, but takes a bit of getting right. It is all about selling Ads as Google tries to monetise the tool. You must set up an Ad account to use the tool. Unfortunately, some insights have disappeared in search results where we used to get results by device. Nevertheless this is an invaluable tool so read all about it here. Get started here.

RLSA Re-marketing lists for search ads

Google feature allows you customize your search ads campaign to people who have previously visited your own website – for full details check out Google explanation.


About The Author

Do you want more traffic?

Hi, at MEANit we help 34 ‘Professional Services Firms‘ to be effective online annually. Will your business be one of the 34 in 2024?


Written by Michael MacGinty

Michael is a well known speaker, author and coach on SEO and how to use the web to grow a business. He is also WP Elevation certified as a Digital Business Consultant.
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