top of page
  • Writer's pictureKelly Alica Liman

How to Perform Keyword Research via Google Keyword Planner

Keyword research is a critical component of any digital marketing strategy. It provides vital insights into the queries that your target audience is actually searching for on Google so you may target the best and most relevant keywords. Aside from that, effective keyword research can help you better understand your audience, create relevant content, optimize your website for search engines, and spot opportunities and trends to stay ahead of the competition. If you're new to digital marketing, you might find it challenging to begin doing keyword research. Fret not, this easy, step-by-step guide will show you how to perform keyword research via Google Keyword Planner to ensure the success of your SEO and SEM operations!

Before we begin, in case you need some video guidance, here's a 10-minute tutorial from XYZ Lab's Youtube Channel!

Are you looking to scale your SEO Content? If the answer is yes, enroll in our latest course: ➡️ How to Scale Your SEO Content from 0 to 100K Clicks, 📥 or download the full slide deck on this link!

Topics Covered:


Step 1: Access Google Keyword Planner

Navigate to Tools and Settings and click on Google Keyword Planner.

Step 2: Select "Discover new keywords"

Step 3: Narrow down to your location of interest

Step 4: Seed one or more keywords per vertical at a time

We will be using the insurance industry in Singapore as an example. We need to brainstorm the topics or keyword clusters relevant to insurance in Singapore. There are a few verticals in the insurance industry, including life insurance, home insurance, health insurance, vehicle insurance, generic insurance, and others. We will narrow down these categories and seed the keywords one at a time.

For the first example, we will input the seed keyword "life insurance" and click Get results.

Step 5: Filter the Results

The keyword results that are provided by Google might sometimes be irrelevant to our seed keywords. As such, we can apply a filter for keywords that contain a specific term.

1. Click on "Add filter"

2. Select "Keyword"

3. Narrow down the Keyword that "contains" your [seed keyword]

In our example, we narrow down the keyword to "life insurance".

4. Click "Apply"

Step 6: Download keyword ideas

You can download it in CSV or Google Ads format.

Step 7: Clean up the data

1. Select only the columns with Keywords, Avg. monthly searches, Three-month change, and YoY change.

2. Apply filter and remove all the keywords with 0 search volume.

Step 8: Copy and paste the keywords into a new Google Sheets tab

You can do some formatting to clean up the data further.

  • Sort the average search volume from highest to lowest.

  • Turn the average search volume into a numeric form.

  • Clean up irrelevant keywords.

Step 9: Repeat Steps 1 - 8 for the other verticals

You can repeat the same exact steps for any other vertical and input it into the same document.

However, for Generic keywords, we need to make sure that the previous keywords we have copied from other verticals will not be repeated again. To do so, we can apply a filter to remove these keywords by selecting "does not contain" and the [specific seed keyword].

For example, we will remove the keywords "travel", "health", "life", and other keywords that pertain to specific insurance categories and keep only the generic "insurance" keywords.

Step 10: Summarise search volume by category

1. Create another tab titled "Summary".

2. Create a column named Topics and Avg. Monthly Searches.

3. Sum the search volume for each topic.

Step 11: Plot a chart showcasing the volume by category


Now that you've completed the process, you might be wondering what is the value of this keyword research. Well, this keyword research is very important to help in decision-making for your paid search or SEO campaigns. You'll be able to know the most popular keywords and how they are trending to use on your campaigns and many other cases.

Before we end the article, here are some disclaimers:

  • Disclaimer 1: you can use different keyword tools (e.g. Ahrefs, SEMRush, etc). The tool doesn't matter, the process is more important.

  • Disclaimer 2: you can use Excel sheets instead of Google Sheets.

  • Disclaimer 3: if you know coding you can automate the process through Python.

We hope this article has been helpful as a guide for you to start your own keyword research process and supercharge your campaigns! Or, if you would like to automate your keyword research, feel free to get in touch at


bottom of page