Google’s keyword tool has been the foundation of SEO campaigns for years. Because it was free and provided all the information necessary to conduct keyword research, it was the first place most SEO professionals visited when planning a new SEO campaign.

However, Google’s keyword tool has been replaced with a new tool. Taking its place is the Keyword Planner. The new Google Keyword Planner works in a similar way as the Google External Keyword Tool. The new tool combines the functionality of Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator to make it easier to plan search campaigns

Keyword Planner is definitely still usable for keyword research, especially on the ultra local level.

How do I access it?

To get access to the tool you’ll need to create a google adwords account.  You don’t have to pay for any advertising but you do need to have an account.

If you don’t have a google adwords account start here – Creating a Google adwords account.


Once you log in with your Google account, first ensure that you’re in the Keyword Planner section. If not, click on Tools and Analysis –> Keyword Planner from the top menu. Next, click on Search for keyword and ad group ideas. From here, you can research keyword ideas based on:


The Keyword Planner has a “wizard” type interface. The first step in the process is to determine how you’re going to go about creating your ad campaigns and ad groups. You’re asked to pick one of 3 possible paths:

  • Search for Keyword and Ad Group Ideas – Select this option if you want to perform normal keyword research where you just enter in your keywords and Google will show you the searches based on these keywords.
  • Enter or Upload Keywords to get Estimates –  Enter keywords or upload a file with keywords and get details related to ads you could run based on these keywords.  For example, you’ll see the average cost per click, estimated clicks etc.
  • Multiply keyword lists to get Estimates – This allows you to create 2 lists of keywords and Google will come up with combinations of keywords based on multiple keywords.  For example, one keyword list could have locations and the second could have activities that you can do for any location.  So instead of typing in all the combinations Google will match them up.


When you select the option to ‘Search for ‘keyword and adgroup ideas’ you are presented with the following three methods:

  • By Keyword:  you can type in a word or phrase relevant to your business
  • By Landing Page: by entering a landing page on your site (or any competitor’s webpages, for that matter), the Keyword Planner will scan and infer keywords that are relevant to those pages
  • By Product Category: you can select from one of thousands of pre-defined keyword categories

What’s the difference between Google Keyword Tool and Google Keyword Planner?

1.  You access it through your Google adwords account.  So the interface is different and it’s more targeted at advertisers.  But you don’t have to advertise to use it.

2.  With Google keyword tool the default results used to show a ‘broad match’ for average search results.  If you wanted you could change this to phrase match or exact match.   In Google keyword planner you can only view exact matches on keywords (i.e. the average number of searches will be based on people typing in those exact keywords).

3.  You used to be able to view average searches for keywords broken down by device.  You can’t distinguish between devices with the new tool.  This means the average search for keywords will appear higher.

Free Keyword Tool Alternatives

To this date, there are only few keyword planner alternatives. Long Tail Pro is a nice keyword tool software that can help you find new keywords even decide on new niches to target or plan your next link building campaign effectively.

click here to visit Long Tail Pro


How are you using Google’s New Keyword Planner? Did you like this post? Click like, please share, tweet and leave your comments below.

Wishing you great success in your online campaigns. Cheers!