Google’s Keyword tool has been the preferred choice for many bloggers for keyword research because it is free. Google replaced the Keyword tool with another new tool called Keyword planner in August, 2013. This new keyword tool has lot of improvements and new features added to it. Below is the detailed guide for using the new Google Keyword planner tool.

To start using the Keyword planner, you need to first login to your Adwords account at https://adwords.google.com. Doing anonymous keyword research is no longer possible under the new Keyword Planner. To open the keyword planner from the homepage of Google Adwords click on ‘Tools and Analysis’ from the top menu and select ‘Keyword Planner’. The next step is to click on ‘Search for keyword and ad group ideas’. The required keywords can be researched by choosing any of the three parameters, viz. product/service, landing page, and your product category.

Keyword research can be fine tuned through the filters that are found below the search box. The ‘targeting’ section which has seen some improvements from the days of Google Keyword tool makes it possible to target your keyword research basing on the geographic location, language, basis of your keyword research, and negative keywords that ought to be excluded. The ‘Customize your Search’ allows you to apply filters like the minimum average monthly searches, option to include adult based keywords, include/exclude keywords containing certain terms, etc.

Clicking on the ‘Get Ideas’ will give the search results which are divided into ‘Ad group ideas’ and ‘Keyword ideas’. While the Ad group ideas is for people who want to run ad campaigns the Keyword ideas tab is for people who are doing keyword research for SEO campaigns. Clicking on Keyword ideas tab will display results basing on their average monthly searches, competition for each keyword, and average CPC for each keyword. Note that the local monthly searches and global monthly searches have been merged into a single ‘Average monthly searches’ column. But the global monthly search data can still be accessed by selecting all the locations from the targeting section.

Monthly search trends segmented for each of the past 12 months can be viewed by hovering the cursor on the tiny graph icon found to the left of the average monthly search figure for each keyword. F0r downloading the keyword search results just click on the ‘Download ideas menu’ found at the top right of each search results page. Results can be dowloaded in both the ‘Excel format’ and ‘Adwords Editor CSV’ formats (see image below). Search results downloaded in the Adwords Editor CSV format can be later imported back into Adwords when ever it is necessary.

Eventhough the new Keyword planner looks a bit confusing in the beginning, a closer examination will make you to appreciate the efforts made by Google in providing more information on the keywords.