It is hard to underestimate the power of keyword research in modern digital marketing. Keyword research is a fundamental activity of any SEO campaign — a sort of business justification of content creation that helps you adjust your vision to actual user needs.
Keyword research is simply the process of discovering words and phrases that are popular among your potential audience. It’s the first step specialists should take when planning out new content: while it aligns your vision with actual user queries, it can also become a source of fresh ideas for the next content pieces. Finding the right keywords for your website, PPC campaign, or youtube videos can make or break how many people will actually find it. That’s why it’s worth putting some thought into the tool you use for keyword research. When starting out, it can be hard to find a good keyword research tool that is not a million dollars. Luckily, you can find many free keyword research tools to help you search through relevant keywords and understand whether those keywords will help your content rank high on Google. Even a free keyword research tool can show keyword volume, density, and difficulty, helping you gain valuable insights.
We’ve put together this list of free tools for any marketer on a budget. Here are 17 free keyword research tools for SEO:
1. SE Ranking
SE Ranking Keyword Research Tool will help you analyze keywords and find suggestions for relevant queries to support your SEO strategy. We all know how much the quality of the keywords matters, so missing out on research will affect your rankings later.
SE Ranking provides data on the difficulty, monthly search volume, and CPC of your query. In addition, the tool gives you three lists of suggestions: similar, related, and low search volume for more precise targeting. For each keyword, the instant SERP competition assessment is available so that you know who you have to beat. The best news is, SE Ranking offers a 14-day free trial for its powerful SEO toolset! Click the button below to give it a try.
2. Google Keyword PlannerThe Google Keyword Planner is a tool provided by Google to help find keywords, search volume, and even CPC (cost per click) pricing. Simply add your keyword and get a table of relevant search terms and their average monthly searches. The key is to look for high searched keywords that have low competition. It’s not super great at finding long-tail keywords, but if you can give you a good idea of some good keywords to start with.
3. Google TrendsGoogle Trends is another free keyword tool created by Google that allows you to search for trends in Google’s web search. Just add any term and it will show you the interest over time, interest by regions, and similar searches. This tool can give you a good idea of your brand interest over time and even help you find where your best customers are. You can also put in products. books, movies or anything else to see the overall search popularity over time. If you are marketing on a budget, then Google Trends is great to get off the ground for free but the data is not very timely.
4. Google Auto SuggestIf you have used Google, then you are very aware that when you type in keywords, it tries to guess what you are going to search for. It can do this because they have data from all the searches being made so they can find other highly searched keywords and suggest them to you. That means that the search suggestions you see are other good keywords that you can use and optimize your site or PPC campaign for. Just start typing a keyword and you will get a list of similar keywords that people search for. You can put these keywords in a keyword tool and see how many searches they get and what the competition is.
5. ‘Searches Related to’ KeywordsSimilar to the auto-suggest feature, there are also LSI keywords that can be found at the bottom of any Google Search. It will show you other searches that are related to the keyword you searched for. This is great for getting synonyms and long-tail keywords to use.
6. KeywordTool.ioKeyword Tool is a Freemium version of Keyword Tool Pro that allows you to search for keywords for a number of different platforms including:
- App Store
7. KW FinderKW Finder is an online app that can give you a treasure trove of keyword data for free. You can even see Google SERP data for specific keywords. They will allow you to make 5 searches per 24 hour period so make sure you use your searches wisely. The keyword difficulty column will show you how hard a keyword is to rank for on a scale from 0 to 100, 100 being the hardest.
8. WordtrackerThis free keyword tool is similar to KW Finder in that you can see volume, PPC data, trends, and similar keywords. Wordtracker is a powerful and free keyword suggestion and research tool. Whether you are looking for SEO or PPC keywords, Wordtracker’s free keyword tool can help you find those insanely good keywords and trends.
9. WordstreamWordstream’s free keyword tool can give you a small look at some keyword data without paying a dime. Simply enter in a keyword and you can see a list of 10 keywords and their Google Search Volume. This will show you some of the better keywords to use but you won’t be able to see any other data unless you subscribe to their service. But for a new marketer or amateur PPC manager, this tool can do wonders for basic keyword research and Google Search Volumes.
10. Twin WordNow, this is a great free keyword tool. The Twin Word Ideas tool can separate out the keywords into intent-based keywords or even split by topic and pattern. This tool is very powerful for expert or amateur marketers. Use the filters on the right to find the perfect keywords with low competition. There are also a few other tabs that can give you some great keyword data including the LSI Graph and the Trending Tabs. The trending tab can show you trending keywords for a certain search term in a list or a graph form. The LSI graph will show you LSI keywords for any search term you enter into the tool. You can even download keyword lists into excel for free! Would highly recommend this tool.
11. SoovleIf you are looking for simple and easy keyword tools, then Soovle may be a great starter tool for you. Simply enter a keyword you would like to get ideas for and it will search all sorts of online databases to find similar keywords use throughout the web. While it’s not the bee’s knees of keyword tools, it’s a fast tool to get some ideas for synonyms and LSI keywords people are searching for throughout the web. Its also good for product keyword research if you are looking for product keyword ideas.
12. Uber SuggestNeil Patel recently acquired Uber Suggest and integrated the tool into his website, but it still provides a detailed look at keywords, trends, volume, CPC, and more. They even feature keyword ideas, suggestions and related keywords as well. Neil offers this tool completely free to his visitors, just to gain more traffic and exposure to his brand. Not a bad idea!
13. Keyword SpyThis free keyword tool is old, but its a great tool for finding great keywords at no cost. Keyword Spy have as much data as some of the other keyword tools so you have to be very basic in your keywords. Most long tail keywords won’t pull back any data but if you use root words, you will get some good keyword ideas. As you can see, the keyword data is updated very often (these haven’t been updated since 2017) but it will give you a general idea of search volume and trends.
14. SEM RushSEM Rush is a paid service that has a free keyword researching tool they offer to registered users. This all-around SEO tool helps you analyze your rankings, SEO keyword use, and more. You can use SEMrush temporarily for free for SEO keyword use and a few other functions, but all the good stuff requires a subscription. SEMrush is to Ahrefs what Android is to Apple: arch-nemeses. SEMrush specializes in analyzing traffic. They are generous with a 7-day free trial. SEMrush offers a ton of SEO tools for SEO, Content Marketing, PPC Advertising, Social Media, and Competitive Research, and Community. With SEMRush, you can get an estimation of any website’s organic search traffic and even see the keywords that are bringing in that traffic. When it comes to keyword data and research, SEM Rush is at the top of the pack, along with Ahrefs. They provide a state-of-the-art tool to find CPC keyword data and search engine statistics.
15. Keyword DiscoveryThe Keyword Discovery tool is a very simple tool that shows you the total searches for particular keywords over the last 12 months. You can also view search trends over the last 12 months for each keyword. The free version is limited to only 100 results but if you want the full 10,000 results, you will need to upgrade.
16. SpyFuIf you are a pro marketer then you know that marketing is basically copying what your competitors are doing (and doing it better). With SpyFu, you can add your top competitor’s domains to see what keywords they are ranked for and which ones are giving them the most organic traffic. You can see which paid keywords they are bidding on and what they are bidding as well. All of this data put together can give you a great start on your marketing efforts.
17. SerpStatSerpStat is an all-in-one SEO platform that offers a free keyword research tool that can give you some great data. Like other keyword tools, you can view search volume, CPC, competition, and even similar keywords, without spending any money. Serpstat shows you some data with the free account, but if you want to do extensive research, you will need to sign up with a paid account.
Keyword research is an efficient way to stay on top of your marketing game. You find out what people are searching for in your niche, which benefits both you and those who are searching. Since you will not waste time and resources on making content people don’t need, users will get truly accurate and valuable content.
Additionally, you help people who might be looking for your services to find you and see the competition you have in the niche. The keyword difficulty metric can give you insights into how difficult it will be to get ranked on Google. Based on such data, you can choose your tactics for using and testing different keywords: for instance, going after low-competition keywords can be a source of relevant visitors and increased traffic.
Even though paid tools usually have a set of advanced features and offer additional information with an analysis, free keyword research tools are enough to get started. Your primary goal during keyword research is to find topics that will be relevant to your targeted audience or justify the topics you’ve chosen. Most free tools also bring value to your content and show relevant information that you can use to stay competitive among search queries.
We’ve evaluated numerous free tools based on features, the user experience of platforms, and the relevancy of information. As of now, the best free keyword research tool is SE Ranking. You can enter a keyword in the search bar and discover its search volume, cost per click, and difficulty score. It also offers similar, related, and low search volume keyword ideas that you can add to your SEO strategy. This information lets you understand which keywords to use for your upcoming content and get fresh ideas to add to your existing content plan.