How to use Google Keyword Planner
1. Sign in to your Google Ads account and go to Tools & Settings > Planning > Keyword Planner.
2. Select Discover new keywords > Start with keywords.
Type in one of your initial keywords and configure the language and location settings (you can change these later).
3. On the results page, you can see a list of related keywords along with other data such as average monthly searches, competition, etc.
Since Google’s keyword planner is originally intended for planning paid keywords, much of the data in the columns are related to Google Ads.
Typically, you will only have to look at the “Avg. monthly searches column”.
(Looking at this list, we can conclude that “schema” alone is a very broad keyword and probably not the best fit for what the article is about.)
(Changing the keyword to “website schema” returns a list of keywords that are actually relevant to the subject of our article.)
4. From the results, you can then start to take note of keywords that are interesting for you.
Take note of the average monthly searches, or search volume.
Naturally, most would like to target the keywords with the highest search volume, but these keywords also tend to be the ones with more websites competing for ranking.
Lower search volumes may help you rank easier and faster, but too low of an average may just be a waste of time on your part.
Ultimately, the ideal search volume will vary depending on your business and goals.
One way that you can put the numbers into perspective is by asking yourself if you’ll be satisfied if the number of average monthly searches is also your monthly traffic for that page.
If you’re targeting a niche keyword, a highly specific phrase or term that really describes your website or at least the page that you’re optimizing, then even a very low search volume can probably get you more leads than a broad keyword with thousands of monthly searches.
5. You can further expand your keyword list by searching for more related keywords to the related keywords you first found, and so on until you have a sizeable list of keywords you can target.
6. Start refining your list by actually searching for the keywords you’ve gathered on Google.
This will show you what pages are currently ranking for a specific keyword, and will give you an idea on whether it’s actually fit for the topic of your page.
(Searching for “schema” gives understandably varied results. This will not be a good keyword for our article since 1) bigger and more popular websites are already ranking and will be hard to beat, and 2) it’s hard to gauge what the user is actually trying to find with this broad keyword, and the chances are, our article will not be the right fit for this search.)
Note: If you want to target internationally or a different country, it’s best to use a VPN or virtual private network set to the country you’re targeting so that you can see the same results that someone from that location will likely see.
7. Finalize your list of keywords and decide on a focus keyword, or the best one in your list (i.e., the most relevant with the ideal search volume) that will be the primary keyword you will use in your page.