The Ultimate Guide
To The Adwords Keyword Planner

To help streamline the process of creating effective keyword lists, Google has launched the new Keyword Planner, a combination of the old Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator. The goal of this guide is to highlight the new features of the Keyword Planner to help you create rock solid keyword lists.
Old Tool
Old Adwords Keyword Planner Screenshot
New Tool
New Adwords Keyword Planner Screenshot

The New Interface

3 Input Methods

The first new feature in the Keyword Planner is the choice of 3 different keyword input methods.
3 Input Methods Screenshot

Search for Keyword and ad group ideas

Search for Keyword and ad group ideas Screenshot

The first option is similar to the old tool, where you can look for new keyword/ad group ideas based on product/service, URL, or product category.

You’ll also see targeting options (location, language, network, negative keywords) and other customization options (keyword filters, keyword options, include/exclude) to further refine your keyword/ad group lists.

Enter or upload keywords

Enter or upload keywords Screenshot

New to the Keyword Planner is the ability to add a list of keywords to the tool to get volume and traffic estimates. You can manually enter your keywords into the field (Broad Match, “Phrase Match”, and [Exact Match]), or you can upload your keyword list as a CSV.

You can also target your keywords by location, network, and negative keywords.

Multiply keyword list

Multiply keyword list Screenshot

The Multiply Keyword function allows you to save time by combining keywords so you don’t have to manually. By default you can create 2 separate lists and the Planner will automatically combine each keyword in List 1 with the keywords from List 2. You also have the option of using a third list to get even more keyword variations.

Like the previous methods, you can also filter by Location, Network, and Negative keywords.

Main Interface

Main Interface Screenshot


The left side of the screen is where you find the targeting/customization options for your keyword/ad group ideas similar to the previous page. But new to the Keyword Planner is the ability to search for keywords based on specifics regions, like Province/State, or City. This has huge implications for local search as you can see exactly what your local customers are searching for and can tailor content/ad groups to those searches.

Targeting/Customizing Screenshot

“Your Plan”

“Your Plan” is new to the Keyword Planner and acts as a playbook to create and organize potential keywords/ad groups. “Your Plan” also shows your estimated performance statistics based on a potential bid/daily budget. You can then click on the “Review Estimates” button to take you to the Traffic Estimator where you will get detailed projections for metrics like clicks, impressions, avg. position, cost, CTR, and avg. CPC.

You can even download “Your Plan” as a CSV and export it into another program to create detailed keyword research reports.

Your Plan Screenshot

Main Nav Header

You no longer have the choice of which metrics you want displayed, but are given 3 metrics; avg. monthly searches, competition, and avg. CPC.

Unfortunately with the new tool you can only have one match type selected at a time and can only get search volume estimates for [Exact Match] keywords.

Main Nav Header Screenshot

Volume Trends

You can now also view the 12 month trend for any keyword to see seasonal effects to help create seaonsally themed ad groups.

Volume Trends Screenshot

Traffic Estimator

Add Bids/Budgets

Here you can add bids and daily budgets to see how both variables effect potential performance.
Traffic Estimator Screenshot

Set Targets

If you didn’t specify any targets on the previous page you can do so from here. You can set location, language, network, and add negative keywords for your campaign.

Targeting Screenshot

Daily Estimates

This section shows the range of estimates you may expect based on the bid range you choose. These estimates change as you adjust the bid range slider.

Daily Estimates Screenshot
Keyword Planner

Detailed Estimates

This section allows you to see detailed projections for all of your ad group or keyword ideas. You get to see how your bids/budget effect clicks, impressions, avg. position, cost, CTR, and avg. CPC. This information is crucial for setting up effective campaigns.

Detailed Estimates Screenshot