International keyword planning

A guide to expanding and refining your international keyword lists

International keyword planning

1 Overview

The challenge

For each new market you expand into, you need to choose highly targeted keywords based on the search behaviour, culture, and language of the consumers you want to reach.

Your aim

To know how to expand and refine your keyword list for each market.

How to go about it

As you expand into new markets, international keyword research is essential to your success. Keyword Planner is Google’s free tool to help you build new lists, or expand existing ones.

Keyword Planner makes it simple to determine keyword volumes and competition levels across many countries. Correlate search volumes with on-site conversion rates, bounce rates, time-on-site and return visits, and you can easily determine the highest-performing keywords to use in future Search ad campaigns. You can select keywords by country and language. Enter an initial keyword, select a language and/or target countries, and Keyword Planner will return a list of keyword ideas with the associated monthly volume for each.

With Keyword Planner, you can:

  • Research additional keywords — when you want to find additional keywords to add to an existing campaign, you can search for keyword and ad group ideas based on terms relevant to your product or service, your landing page, or different product categories

  • Get historical statistics and traffic forecasts — use statistics like search volume to help you decide which keywords to use for a new or existing campaign. Get forecasts, like predicted clicks and estimated conversions, to get an idea of how a list of keywords might perform for a given bid and budget. These forecasts can also help guide your decision on which bids and budgets to set


Dedicate an individual campaign to an individual language. If you want to reach people who speak a particular language, your keywords, ads and landing pages should be in the language targeted, as should your landing pages and the majority of your keywords.

In the following chapters, we’ll cover how to use Keyword Planner to lay the groundwork for a successful campaign.