Keyword research is a vital part of planning any SEO strategy and campaign and keyword research software can easily run into the hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month. However, there are free keyword research tools out there that can hold their own and give your SEO strategy a great basis to work from. Here we take a look at the best free keyword research tools for both organic (SEO) and paid (PPC) keyword research.
The 5 Best Free Keyword Research Tools
#5 – WordStream Free Keyword Research Tool
WordStream are a PPC management company so this tool is aimed more at paid search, but it still has its uses for organic keyword research. It’s simple enough to use, just enter your initial keyword in the box and click “Get Keyword Ideas”. The WordStream keyword tool doesn’t provide anywhere near as many suggestions as some other tools. However, the keywords it does provide are generally good quality. Search volume and competition are hidden until you sign up for the free WordStream trial, which is a little frustrating. If you do sign up for the trial expect a lot of marketing emails and sales
Search volume and competition are hidden until you sign up for the free WordStream trial, which is a little frustrating. If you do sign up for the trial expect a lot of marketing emails and sales patter – it’s not something I’d recommend.
#4 – KeywordTool.io
KeywordTool.io is a free keyword research tool that is simple, easy to use and can find target keywords for Google, Bing, and YouTube. Simply enter your initial keyword in the search box, choose your desired search engine, and KeywordTool will do the rest. KeywordTool.io will produce a list of up to 750 free related keywords. The downside to KeywordTool is that without paying you don’t get data on search volume, AdWords CPC or AdWords competition. However, you can manually copy the keywords into an Excel document and run them through the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to get that data, so it’s no great loss.
#3 – Ubersuggest Keyword Research Tool
Ubersuggest is another free keyword research tool that is highly popular. Ubersuggest will suggest keywords for Web, Images, News, Shopping, Video and Recipe results so it does cover more niches than other keyword research tools. However, Ubersuggest has a more complex UI so can be a little tricky to navigate at first. The selection of keywords suggested is good though, as is the ability to select all keywords at once and copy/paste them. We’d suggest copying them into the AdWords Keyword Planner since Ubersuggest doesn’t provide any search volume data. One of the best features about Ubersuggest is the ability to go down a “Keyword Tree”. By clicking on a suggested keyword Ubersuggest will generate new suggestions on the fly, related to the keyword selected.
#2 – Keyword Shitter
Despite the unfortunate name, Keyword Shitter is actually a fantastic free keyword research tool. Simply enter an initial keyword (or more than one keyword if you wish) and add some filters. The software will continually suggest new target keywords until you tell it to stop. Some of the suggestions are less than useful, but the huge amount of data you get means you’ll find some real gems. Clicking the “Download” link gives you a list of your keywords in .txt format. This means you can then paste into the AdWords Keyword Planner to get search volumes, CPC’s and more.
#1 – Google AdWords Keyword Planner
The Google AdWords Keyword Planner is the holy grail of free keyword research tools, but only if you know how to use it. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll soon understand how powerful it is. One excellent feature is the ability to input your website’s URL and have Google automatically suggest target keywords for you. Of course, they won’t be perfect, but they’re a great basis to start from. The AdWords Keyword Planner also provides the following data, all for free:
- Number of people searching for that keyword on Google per month
- A 12 month breakdown showing seasonal popularity of a given keyword
- The average CPC (cost per click) for that keyword on AdWords
- The competition level on AdWords
The downside is that it’s slower to check the data for large quantities of keywords. Some paid tools do this much better. There is a limit of 800 keywords for which data can be retrieved at any one time.
Honourable Mention – SEMRush
SEMRush is primarily a paid keyword research tool, but we’ve given their free/trial version an honourable mention.
It provides users with some very useful data which can be used for all kinds of things. The free version does limit you to just 10 results for phrase matches and similar keywords. However, unlike most free tools it does provide CPC and number of searches data which is a nice touch. If you’re serious about keyword research or looking to start any large scale campaigns, then we can wholeheartedly recommend the paid SEMRush plans.
SEMRush is the tool that we use in house for all our keyword research. Coupled with some of the free options above, and the data insights that we are able to attain from it are fantastic. Support is excellent too if there’s ever any issues.