Keyword Research with Google Ads

Modified on Sun, 22 Aug 2021 at 05:14 PM

Below is a tutorial to set up Google Ads and learn how to analyze data in order to do keyword research.


Sign up for Google Ads

Go to, and sign up for the feature (for free). 

Navigating to the Keyword Planner

Once you are all registered and on the main page, go to Tools & Settings in the top right corner. Under that select Keyword Planner. 

Select the button with the lightbulb labeled “Discover new keywords”.

Google’s tools here offer two ways to plan for keywords.

From this point we can either “Start with Keywords” or “Start with a Website.” The former lets us measure the strength of any keyword and offers suggestions for phrases around that search. The latter lets us see how our site is doing and tells how our site is optimized. 

Starting with Keywords

In the search field, type in a search term. For this example we’ll be using “acoustic guitar” 

We are also able to add multiple keywords at once to see the results of all of them. Once we are done entering the fields in, the “Get Results” button below will turn blue, and can be clicked to see the results.

 Using this page and searching for different terms is a great way to explore how each keyword gets populated, offering a range of suggestions thereafter. 

Let’s say I type in “acoustic guitar”


The results tell you how many searches each keyword is getting each month and how competitive they are.

Notice underneath, based on what keywords you research, Google will offer suggestions. This tool can help narrow down search terms as you do your research. On the right pane, Google offers certain ways you can refine your search, including by brand and other classifications.

 Using this page and searching for different terms is a great way to explore how each keyword gets populated, offering a range of suggestions thereafter. 

Starting with a Website

In the “Navigating to the Keyword Planner” section, repeat those steps, but select “Start with a Website” instead. 

Now try using your own website to see how Google’s assessed your site for keywords, exclusively from using their own search crawlers. 

From here, enter your website in the URL box and then hit “Get Results”. For this example, we’ll be using To see your whole site, select “Use the entire site.” If you want to just see the search results people use when getting to a specific page, select “Use only this page.”

Let’s compare the results if we use the whole site, or just the home page.

The keywords at the top are the primary optimizations Google says the site’s optimized for. Thus in the example below,’s whole site from August 2020 to July 2021 was most optimized for the keyword “music den randolph hours.” 

This page provides the average monthly search amount, and how competitive each keyword was.

You can also customize the date by adjusting the date window.

Seeing the results of the whole site is insightful, as it can tip the site owner towards understanding how their site is overall perceived, and what type of intent searchers overall carry to get to their site. For example, a search such as “music den randolph hours” was a search with navigational intent. A search such as “roland 1x17 price” has transactional intent.  

Instead of seeing the results of the whole site, if we had selected “use only this page,” we can select just the home page, which yields quite different results.

Analyzing your site by the page is quite important, as you can infer how effective each of your pages are. In the above example, the home brought in a lot of searches with navigational intent. However, people landed on the home page when they searched for “used guitars” instead of a category/informational page that was specific to used guitars. Users can reflect on the results they get here to know what kind of content they should build or shift, based on where they want their search traffic going.


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