How to Use Google Keyword Planner for Local SEO


how to use google keyword planner

Let me introduce you to the Google Keyword Planner. Learning how to use the Google Keyword Planner is very simple if you follow the steps below

[thrive_headline_focus title=”So how do you how to use Google Keyword Planner? Let’s get started!” orientation=”left”]

Before you get started make sure you have a Google account because to access the planner you will need to be logged in. Once you are logged in simply visit the Google Keyword Planner here.

IMPORTANT: If you don’t currently have an AdWords account, you will need to set one up. You DO NOT have to run an AdWords campaign. Once you sign up here, you will be prompted to set up a campaign. You do not need to do this. Click here to be redirected to the Google Legacy Signup page which will set up your account without starting an Adwords campaign.

[thrive_headline_focus title=”Step 1: Go to the keyword planner” orientation=”left”]

Once you are logged into your account, you might be directed to the keyword planner page (if so, skip to step 2) or you might see a screen like the one below.

If you come to the below screen, click on Tools at the top and then click on Keyword Planner.

google keyword planner tools dropdown

[thrive_headline_focus title=”Step 2: Find new keywords and get search volume data” orientation=”left”]

Now that you are at the Google Keyword Planner page, under the heading “Find new keywords and get search volume data”, click on “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website, or category” at the top. In the box under “Your product or service”, you should put the various keywords that customers would typically use for your industry. For example, if you’re a plumbing company, you could put in keywords like:

  1. plumbing repair

  2. water heater installation

  3. drain cleaning


google keyword planner enter keywords

This is where it starts to get real cool! Using this tool you can see the search volumes for your keywords in certain geographic locations. Since we are using this for local keyword research, we want to find out how many people in our city or surrounding areas are searching for our keywords. Under the targeting area, make sure to add the cities you want to focus on. As a general rule of thumb, the larger cities with higher populations will generate more results for your keywords. Where there are more devices, there are more searches.

Under the Targeting area, click on “Locations”. Begin by typing in your target cities in the box that says “Enter a location to target”. If your business is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, you will want to include Cedar Rapids, Marion, Hiawatha and any other cities within your service area.

google keyword planner target locations

When you are done, click “Save” and then click on the “Get Ideas” button at the bottom.

[thrive_headline_focus title=”Step 4: See Results and Get Ideas” orientation=”left”]

If this is done correctly, it should display the areas that you’re targeting on the left side of the screen. You will also see the results for the exact keywords you entered.

google keyword planner results

You can also scroll below the keywords you input and have access to other keywords that Google believes are relevant to your search terms. This will give you more ideas about what keywords people are searching related to the ones you came up with.

google keyword planner keyword ideas

[thrive_headline_focus title=”How Can You Use This Data?” orientation=”left”]

There are many great ways you can use this data, but we’ll point out a couple that are important.

Average Monthly Searches – Google defines this as, “The average number of times people have searched for this exact keyword based on the date range and targeting settings that you’ve selected.”

Competition – Google defines this as, “the number of advertisers that showed on each keyword relative to all keywords across Google.” (The advertisers are the ones who are paying for an ad in Google search results via AdWords.)

Suggested Bid – This is approximately how much advertisers are paying per click for that keyword.

Using this data you can find keywords in your target area that you know already have search volumes. Another thing you can do is start developing strong content marketing strategies to provide great information on the web and reach potential customers through long tail searches.

If you looked on in horror when you saw the low volumes for these searches, it’s important to remember that all searchers are different. This is where a long tail strategy comes into play. Put yourself in other’s shoes and create content that actual customers would want.

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