Even if you’re not directly responsible for managing search engine optimization or search engine marketing, it is invaluable to understand search volumes on Google for keyword phrases that are relevant to your organization.
In past years, Google has allowed you to perform this keyword research in the External Keyword Tool, whether or not you were logged in to an AdWords account.
The External Keyword Tool and the related Traffic Estimator Tool are now combined into the AdWords Traffic Planner, which does require an AdWords login for access. The External Keyword Tool is scheduled to be phased out in the near future.
While you have to create an AdWords account to access the Traffic Planner, you do not have to fund the account. Even if you’re not planning to run any AdWords campaigns, sign up for AdWords so you can access the Keyword Planner.