The Google Keyword Planner

The best new way to assess your business potential.

If you are a local or national company owner, you are constantly looking to increase your company’s influence. With all of the marketing options available, you may be wondering if Google is the right place to advertise. Can you generate enough clients or business using their search engine? How much will AdWords cost you? How do you even find out the answers to these questions?

Answer: The Google Keyword Planner, the free tool that can tell you all this and more.
What is it?

The Keyword Planner is a tool that gives you great insights into how to optimize your website to drive traffic and gain conversions. Google provides it for FREE! This interface has many different functions, but for simplicity’s sake, in this blog post we will just stick to search volume, click forecasts, and cost.
This is the foundation for any business looking to advertise using Google AdWords. The Google Keyword Planner has all of the historical data for every search conducted on Google in every location. It shows you how many times specific terms are searched on Google. It also shows you how much you might pay per click and it will estimate how many clicks per day you can receive if you were to use Google AdWords. One main feature is the ability to limit the areas where you would be willing to advertise. The information you receive from the Keyword Planner is more than enough to determine whether or not you should advertise using a search engine.

Where to start?

First, you have to create a Google AdWords Account, which requires you to have a Gmail account also.

Step 1: Login into your Gmail account

Step 2: Go to www.adwords.google.com to get started. After you complete inputting all of your campaign information, you should see a screen that looks like this:

Step 3: Now click on the link labeled “Tools” in the top navigation (a drop down menu should appear). Click on the link labeled “Keyword Planner”. You should then see a screen that looks like this:

Step 4: Now click on the tab that says “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category”. Then you need to choose a word or phrase that your customers would search to find you on Google. Enter your chosen term in the box labeled “Enter one or more of the following” directly under “Your product or service”. Next, you need to choose your targeting. Fill in your company’s location and where you can do business ( for example, multiple counties, cities or states) in the location box labeled “All locations”. Once you have chosen your location click save to continue. Lastly, hit the “Get ideas” button.

Decoding the Keyword Planner:

The information you are seeing now is probably a bit overwhelming, but relax- it is actually very straightforward! There are only 4 columns you need to focus on.
Search Terms Column
This column is exactly what it sounds like- the search terms your potential customers have typed into Google when they look for the services your business has to offer.
Avg. Monthly Searches Column
This column shows how many times that specific search term is searched on Google per month.
Competition Column
This column tells you how competitive the term is on AdWords. Words that have high competition indicate that businesses actively compete for these keywords and they are likely to gain conversions.
Suggested Bid
This is how much Google recommends you bid on these keywords in order for your company to show on the sponsored ad spots. This amount is not necessarily how much you will pay per click, but it is a possibility. The higher the cost, the higher quality of the keyword, and higher likelihood it is that keyword will bring in business.

Step 5: Hover your mouse over the keyword you decide on. This will reveal a blue button with arrows (the “add it to plan” button). Click on it. You can also choose any of the related keywords Google suggests for your business and add them to the plan.

Now that you have added the related keywords to your plan, you can begin to forecast how much you can spend on Google and what the results will be. In the right hand column of the page, you will see a section labeled “Your Plan”. There is a slider for the bid range. Toggle the lower value to the lowest cost keyword you chose and the higher value to the highest cost keyword you chose (note: this does not have to be exact; it will give you relatively accurate data, and remember this is just a projection!). The top number you will see below the slider is the amount of clicks you can get per day with that bid, and the bottom number is the cost per day of the bid. The more you bid, the more clicks you will get, but the higher your marketing costs will be. With Google, you can spend as much as it says or as little as you want. This is the most basic way you can see what your business’s online potential is without having to spend a dime!

So to summarize, and to answer to the original question, “Should I use Google to advertise my business online?”- it depends. First, you need to see how many clicks per day you can get for a bid you are comfortable investing in. If the results include a number above 3-5 clicks per day, then it is probably worth trying AdWords. It may be low volume, but it can still drive business more than if you did no advertising. Also, Google’s Keyword planner is very conservative in its estimations, so you will probably get more clicks than they project!
When it comes to cost analysis, you want to see how much it will cost you per day to spend. From there, you can work out hypothetical conversion rates on your website and how much each customer is worth to you to see if you can generate a positive ROI on AdWords. Empirical360 does this for you for free if you are interested in advertising on Google AdWords. Let us help!

Elliot Alicea – Author

Co-Founder of Empirical360


Elliot is a Co-Founder of Empirical 360 and is extremely passionate about creating highly effective marketing campaigns. He places ROI above all else!

Shea Duncan – Contributor

Lead Content Producer


Shea is an expert content writer and is a classic literary nerd! She loves writing highly engaging content and has a knack for making it convert!