I know. I know. You’re freaking out at my headline because you know I hate pay-per-click (PPC), but don’t. I know what I’m doing. Let me explain How to Use Free Keyword planners.

So the reality is, no SEO strategy is going to get your website at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) in a short period of time. As discussed in other posts, SEO takes at least a couple months before you start seeing results. That being said, some new businesses do not have that luxury of time.

For them, PPC offers a few advantages SEO don’t, such as: position on the page (paid search dominates above-the-fold content. A user will always see the paid search Ads, even if they choose to scroll past them), improved Ads (PPC Ads are just that: advertisements.

Free Keyword Planners and PPC

As you can see, with PPC you have far more space for delivering your marketing messages), visual product Ads (Google provides the option of visual shopping Ads [Product Listing Ads, or PLAs] that can help a user see what they will be clicking on.

This kind of Ad can really improve the click-through rate by offering a feature not available in organic search). Other advantages include targeting (PPC provides a laser-targeted way to get in front of potential customers based on time of day, day of the week, geography, language, device, etc.) speed (PPC campaigns can be created in days and ramped up in weeks) and agility.

Speed provides agility. Want to test a new product? A new marketing message? You can get rapid feedback on a new product launch (or minimum viable product) by running a short PPC Ad campaign.

But whether you’re running an SEO or PPC campaign, one thing that is pertinent to both is keyword research. What Is Keyword Research?

SEO keyword research is the process of identifying what words and phrases people type in when they are trying to find information about a specific topic online” (DemandJump). It can give you insight into the demand for certain keywords, and what it takes to compete for the top position in SERP.

Why Do You Need A Keyword Research Tool?

In order to do keyword research, you need to use a keyword planner that will ***? And because I love my clients so much, I would never deprive them of any opportunity that could work in their favour. So that’s why I am going to show you how to use free keyword planners for SEO and PPC strategies. No client gets left behind.

First, you must understand that there are many keyword planners for SEO and PPC out there on the market. However, for the purpose of this article I will discuss the one most people are familiar with, i.e, Google Keyword Planner (an SEO keyword planner tool for PPC campaigns), along with a few others including Answer the Public and Google Keyword Planner.

Google Keyword Planner

According to Google, its Keyword Planner “helps you research keywords for your Search campaigns”. It provides another way to create search campaigns that are centred around in depth keyword research.

You can use this free tool to discover new keywords related to your business and see estimates of the searches they receive and the cost to target them. Not only is it free, but it is not difficult to use, especially as Google has an easy to read Guide.

You can use Keyword Planner to discover new keywords related to your brand. It will show you estimates of the searches those keywords receive along with the cost to target them. However, when creating an online campaign, you must know how to effectively use this free resource for successful outcomes. So how do you do that?

Find Relevant Keywords

Google Keyword Planner can help you discover new keywords that your target audience uses when searching for brands like yours. You can find quality, relevant keywords you never thought of with GKP:

By filter: If your brand has a physical storefront and you want to target people searching around your area, you can use GKP’s filter that lets you see a keyword’s popularity based on location. While a specific keyword might have a high search volume in a wide area in general, this filter allows you to see if that same keyword is widely used in your targeted area by:

  • Keyword: If you already have a keyword that you know is solid, type in the keyword and GKP will generate several long-tail keywords from which to choose.
  • Landing page: if you type in the URL for any page on your website, the GKP will scan that page and create relevant keywords based on the content on that page.
  • Product category: If you pick a product category that best describes your brand, the GKP will help you discover keywords that are frequently searched for by users of similar brands.

Refine Your Keyword Search

As mentioned, Google Keyword Planner gives you options to filter for relevant keywords. You can also refine your budget and audience. Here are the choices for filtering when you are setting up your keyword plan:

  • Discover new keywords – lets you generate new keyword ideas by typing in a phrase or website.
  • Using multiple keywords lists lets you combine two individual lists to create new keyword combinations.
  • Get search volume and forecast – know trends by seeing the historical and trending data for keywords.
  • Review performance forecasts for clicks and costs to understand performance projections for a keyword list based on average bids and your budget.

After completing your filter and running the report, you still have another option to further filter based on data range, reach, monthly searches, keywords competitors looked at, etc.

See What Your Competitors Are Paying

Not only can Google Keyword Planner show you what keywords your competitors are looking at, but it can show you what they’re paying for these keywords. It can also assist you with finding effective keywords that fit your budget.

Keyword costs are often dependent on how competitive they are. I.e. depending on how many people are bidding on them, the competition level will be ranked low, medium or high. As you can imagine, the higher the rank the more costly the keyword. As such, it can be quite costly to rank at the top of SERP. That’s why the Google Keyword Planner is a handy tool to provide insights into keyword targeting.

However, although the GKP is a great free tool for PPC campaigns or getting started in SEO, in many ways it is still limited. For example, the GKP can only be used for specific purposes, so it requires SEO experts like myself switching between tools to meet all the needs of my clients.


Another free keyword planner for SEO and PPC strategies is: AnswerThePublic
AnswerThePublic is a search listening tool that “listens into autocomplete data from search engines like Google then quickly cranks out every useful phrase and question people are asking around your keyword”.

It’s a treasure trove of useful information that can help you plan your SEO and PPC strategies. With AnswerThePublic you:

  • Meet your customers exactly where they are
  • Keep your finger firmly on the pulse
  • Uncover hidden treasures
  • Stop wasting time on gut-feel and guesswork
  • Make solid business decisions: take fewer risks
  • Streamline your content production

AnswerThePublic provides FREE searches (over 500k a month!). If unlimited searches is what you need, then you can upgrade to one of their pro or education plans. How else can you use AnswerThePublic for SEO and PPC strategies?

  • By tracking shifts in brand perceptions and spotting seasonal trends.
  • By easily comparing search behaviour changes over time in your research. Btw, did you know 20% of daily Google searches have never been seen before?
  • By creating folders to organise your search, i.e. Collections.
  • By exporting your results to CSV.
  • By producing high resolution images.


As I mentioned at the beginning, there are many free keyword planners for SEO and PPC strategies. Some are not totally free–you have to upgrade at some point. I didn’t even get to:

  • DemandJump’s SEO keyword research tool,
  • Keyword Magic tool,
  • Amazon Keyword tool,
  • Reddit’s KeyworddIt,
  • Ahrefs Keyword Generator, among others.

Instead, I showed you how to use Google’s Keyword Planner and AnswerThePublic as great starting points for your SEO and PPC strategies. Want us to go through some of the others? Let us know in the comments below. Know a few free keyword planners that have produced favourable results? Why not share with our audience?

Hi! I’m AJ… the Best SEO in Canada. Are you still unsure after reading How to Use Free Keyword Planners for SEO and PPC Strategies? Don’t worry. I’m here to help. My team and I have over 10 years of experience doing SEO. We can work with you to use any keyword planner to generate the most relevant keywords for your SEO and PPC strategy. Give us a call or send us an email. You’ll be glad you did.

Published On: March 15th, 2021 / Categories: Marketing Strategy Tips, Online Marketing Tips, Rad /

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