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:
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 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.
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:
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:
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!