How to Use Google Ads Keyword Planner for Free Keyword Research (Without an Ads Campaign)

I’ve tried a ton of keyword research products out there…and none have been so helpful or as straightforward as the Google Ads Keyword Planner.

A free SEO option, it’s a great tool for DIYers and entrepreneurs alike. It’s one I often recommend for those business owners interested in learning what their target market is searching for online, acquiring new ideas, and much more.

It’s also a tool that I use regularly myself, in conjunction with others; regardless of whether I’m running an organic campaign or a paid search campaign.

But there’s a problem with the Keyword Planner…Google make it appear like you can’t use the keyword research tool unless you’re running an Ads campaign. But that’s not true, and here’s the step-by-step process for using the Planner without an Ads account.

keyword research

How to Keep Using Google Ads Keyword Planner for Free Keyword Research

At one time, Keyword Planner was much more accessible than it is now. Currently, there are a few extra steps you’ll need to take in order to use the Keyword Planner for free.

1. Start by going to the Keyword Planner.

2. Sign into your Google account (if you aren’t logged in already).

3. Click “Go to Keyword Planner.”

4. When presented with this screen, scroll down…

…if you don’t see “Switch to Expert Mode,” expand your browser window wider.


5. Then click “Create an account without a campaign.”

6. Next, confirm your country, time zone, and currency; then click “Submit.”

7. And you’re almost done! Click “Explore Your Account.”

8. If you are taken to the Ad campaign page, simply go back to the Keyword Planner.

9. You’ll end up at the Keyword Planner page and able to start your keyword research!


Now you can enjoy all the perks of Keyword Planner without having to put together any campaigns!

Ready to start showing up higher in Google results?