Meet AdWords Keyword Planner – The New Google Keyword Tool and AdWords Traffic Estimator Mash-up!

Meet AdWords Keyword Planner – The New Google Keyword Tool and AdWords Traffic Estimator Mash-up!

April 25, 2013
Larry Kim

Keyword Planner

AdWords has just rolled out AdWords Keyword Planner, a new tool that combines two of the most popular existing AdWords tools, the Google Keyword Tool and the AdWords Traffic Estimator, and adds to it a wizard-like integrated workflow to guide users through the process of finding keywords for creating new Ad Groups and/or Campaigns.

I’m guessing that at some point in the future, the AdWords Keyword Planner may replace the Google Keyword Tool and AdWords Traffic Estimator – tools which have been in service for over 10 years and are widely used for both PPC and SEO. So if you’ve used either tool in the past, take note here – your process is probably about to change!

Getting Started With AdWords Keyword Planner

The AdWords Keyword Planner supports three key use cases:

  • Search for keyword and ad group ideas
  • Enter or upload keywords to get estimates
  • Multiply keyword lists to get estimates

The functionality is exposed via a wizard-like interface, as shown here:

Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool

Searching for Keyword and Ad Group Ideas Using Keyword Planner

Adding keywords to your account based on Google suggested keywords is the primary use case. The Keyword Planner (illustrated below), provides a robust keyword workbench for researching and picking keywords to add to your AdWords account.

Using the AdWords Keyword Planner to Research Keywords

Using the Keyword Planner Tool you can:

  • Look for keyword and ad group ideas: Brainstorm keyword ideas based on individual keyword ideas, or based on your landing page, a product category, or any combination of the above.
  • View keyword statistics and performance estimates:  Specify targeting options that you select such as country, language and search network to inform your keyword estimates.
  • Filter keywords: You can narrow your keyword list based on various criteria, such as average CPC and average monthly search volume. You can also include or exclude keywords containing specific terms, and exclude keywords that are already in your AdWords account.

Please note that AdWord's Keyword Planner returns exact match search traffic. For phrase and broad match search traffic, try these Google Keyword Planner tips.

List View vs. Grouped View and “Your Keyword Plan”

Keywords in the Keyword Planner appear either in list view or in grouped view, which is sort of analogous to the concept of keyword niches and keyword lists that we’ve long supported in WordStream’s own keyword tools.

Additionally, you can add individual keywords or keyword groupings to “Your Plan,” which is sort of a temporary storage area for saving interesting-looking keywords and keyword groupings for later.

The Keyword Planner maintains state for the duration of your session – keywords that you add are saved while you’re in the process of looking for keywords.

Finally, when you’re done finding keywords, click on the “Get Estimates and Review Plan” button.

Getting Estimates and Reviewing Your Keyword Plan

The next step of the Keyword Plan process involves setting a keyword bid and daily budget for your portfolio of keywords and keyword groupings. 

Since keyword volume and CPC bid estimates vary wildly based on your budget, bid, location, and other factors, it’s important that you provide Google with some information to customize your estimates.

For example, you could enter in a bid of $40 and a daily budget of $1,000.00 and based on those settings, the Keyword Planner will generate detailed daily estimates for clicks, impressions, average ad position, and costs, as shown here.

Keyword Planner - Get Estimates and Review Plan


Enter or Upload Your Own Keyword List in Keyword Planner

Sometimes in search marketing, you’re lucky to have your own analytics data, for example, a list of top keywords that generate conversions for your website. If you’re this fortunate, it would definitely make sense to use those battle-proven keywords rather than the generic keyword suggestions you get from the Google Keyword Suggestion Tool.  Here’s what that looks like:

Upload Keywords to Keyword Planner

When you press the Get Estimates button, you’ll be brought to the same keyword workbench area; the only difference is that you’ll be looking at your own keyword list, rather than the generic keywords suggested via the Google Keyword Tool.

Multiplying Keyword Lists Using Keyword Planner

A completely new feature in Keyword Planner which isn’t available in either the existing Google Keyword Tool or AdWords Traffic Estimator tools is the ability to mash up and multiply keyword lists. For example, you might want to multiply a bunch of names of cities and towns with different action words to come up with all the different keyword permutations, as shown here:

Multiply Keyword Lists Using Keyword Planner

You can add up to 3 lists to mash up, and clicking on the Get Estimates button brings you to the same keyword workbench area.

Summary: The AdWords Keyword Planner

The new Keyword Planner tool supports various workflows for building ad groups and ad campaigns either starting from scratch, or based on your existing lists, and provides a more cohesive user experience by integrating the keyword selection, keyword grouping, keyword analysis and filtering aspects of the keyword selection workflow.

The Keyword Planner is currently available in a small number of AdWords accounts today. To find it, I just loaded up my MCC and checked every account to see if it had the Keyword Planner (thankfully, we have hundreds of accounts linked up). I found an account with Keyword Planner on around my 67th account. Google tells me that they plan to roll out Keyword Planner to a broader audience in the near future!


grade your adwords account


Apr 25, 2013

This is an excellent tool from Google AdWords team - A good explanation by Kim on how to use the tool

Apr 26, 2013

Nice tool and will be very helpful to all of us

Vance Woodward
Apr 26, 2013

This seems like an amazingly powerful solution for people trying to constantly optimize their campaigns. I'm glad to see Google remaining active and responsive in regards to their users needs, and I can't wait to see where they go from here.

Apr 28, 2013

But I do not have such menu option. Maybe that is not yet given to everyone to access?

Elisa Gabbert
Apr 29, 2013

It's currently in a limited beta, so if you don't have access yet, check back later.

Graeme Benge
Apr 30, 2013

Great post Larry - actually used this last week to build a campaign and was impressed how intuitive it was. I'd certainly recommend everyone test it.

Tom Dearing
May 01, 2013

Brilliant tool, it will definetly come in really handy for most people. Even though Google is such a huge company, they are still constantly trying to improve. It amazes me, it really does, well done this is a great post!!

Code Blue Media
May 03, 2013

Now that's just so great. Google adwords tool just got better! More sophisticated and organize. Been trying the latest updates recently and your post has kept me on right track. This post deserves a share! brilliant.

May 03, 2013

Google has added  powerful feature to enhance its best keyword  research tool. this will provide not only a well targeted and enhanced features which let users not only choose right keywords with more accuracy related to their offerings but also let them estimate the inbound traffic and to some extend projected conversion of their potential leads.  

R Lawrence
May 04, 2013

In the UK I have the Display Planner, which is very similar but intended for use with the Display network. There isnothing called Keyword Planner. Is Display Planner the same thing renamed, a different tool I never before noticed, another beta tool offered in UK,or what…--anybody know? 

Larry Kim
May 08, 2013

it's being rolled out slowly to accounts. it's available in 5% of adwords accounts today.keep checking or check other adwords accounts!

Hao Ngo
May 04, 2013

A great tool, I need to have a try !

May 05, 2013

Can't wait to give it a try. Hope they'll roll it out soon for all accounts.

May 06, 2013

Thankx for your great explanation, it helps a lot. This one sounds interesting, i can´t wait to find it in my own accounts.Looks like a great tool.

May 07, 2013

The keyword multiplier is a fantastic idea. Extremely helpful when campaigns/adgroups target specific areas/locations. 

May 08, 2013

Doing keyword research was not that easy and not that fun now with this one out, doing keyword research will be more interesting and fun...

May 22, 2013

Great new tool! I hope it will be launched in Germany soon!

Jun 01, 2013

finally.. this gonna make my keyword research more easier and faster..great tool

Jul 11, 2013

Half the day I have the old Keyword Tool and the other half I get the new Keyword Planner. I was only using it for keyword rankings for blogging. Now this new tools is not as advantageous as Keyword Tool. I have searched for keyword; then search a different one; go back and enter the first keyword back in and provides different results. I'm so confused!

Jul 17, 2013

I have been using the original keyword tool and have tried using this new tool... but i sincerly think its way complicated to understand whats happening in this new Keyword Planner! The original tool was so simple and we got what we wanted quickly... this tool merging with estimator is not coming by easily to understand what stats we are getting?I know its google's tool but m just wondering why has google made it so complicated? from what it originally was so simple and easy.

Anonymous (not verified) Said
Aug 29, 2013

I too believe from what I've read so far, the tool is much more complicated than the Google Keyword Tool and that it appears that the point of doing this is to combine Adwords which involve PPC's.  Is the bottom line money??

Sep 01, 2013

Quite unhappy with this planner!

Nov 20, 2013

So how exactly do we get to the Adwords Keyword Planner? All the links you posted on this page lead to other Wordstream pages. It's almost as if you don't want any links leading out of your site. You guys suck. You'd rather artificially lower your bounce rate rather than actually help your readers.

Elisa Gabbert
Nov 20, 2013

There's a screenshot at the very top of the post showing you where to find this tool! We can't link to a tool inside your AdWords account....

Jan 15, 2014

I am not satisfy this tool............. un happy........

Jan 31, 2014

To confirm about accessing the tool/links to it, I've just found this tool by searching Google for "adwords keyword" and it was the top link. As Elisa says above though, to get into it you have to access your AdWords account - which I didn't have, but I did already have a Google Analytics account so I used those log in details and was quick/easy then. I've never usedthe old Keyword tool so don't know if this is more complicated,certainlyseems useful to me.

How to do keyword research
Dec 06, 2014

I liked the old "Keyword tool" a lot more than the keyword planner honestly. I guess it isn't that bad once you figure out how to use it- took me weeks to figure it out. Thanks for the tips

Jan 28, 2015

still new on this keyword tools

Leave a comment