8 free keyword research tools for SEO (that beat their paid alternatives) (2023)

8 free keyword research tools for SEO (that beat their paid alternatives) (1)

If you Google for a list of SEO tools, you’ll see there are almost 200 options on the market now.

All of them differ in features, amounts and sources of data, and, definitely, prices. But which of them do you really need? And, most importantly, do you have to fork out hundreds of dollars a month, or is there a way to cut the costs?

Today we’ll explore 8 of the best free keyword research tools. Each of them best fits a specific keyword research task and does the job no worse than their paid alternatives.

1. Rank Tracker

To find the most ample list of keyword variations and analyze their SEO profitability.

8 free keyword research tools for SEO (that beat their paid alternatives) (2)

When to use:

Your best SEO keywords are often not very obvious. To find real keyword gems, you need to dig out all the possible variations from multiple data sources. That’s the essence of keyword research.

And this is where Rank Tracker comes in especially handy with 23 different keyword research tools inside it:

  • Suggestions from Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Amazon;
  • Google Ads Keyword Planner and Google Search Console integration;
  • Database of all SEO keywords your competitors rank for;
  • Long-tail keyword and question generator;
  • Popular misspellings and permutations;
  • And more.

Using the tools one by one, you get the most ample list of keyword ideas. More to that, you can analyze the keyword difficulty and traffic potential of each keyword you get. This lets you focus the SEO efforts on what takes the least effort to bring in the most traffic.

Free version:

Even though the tool has a more feature-rich paid version, the 100%-free version is absolutely enough for keyword research. It lets you use all the research tools and analyze the keywords’ traffic potential.

2. Google Search Console

To discover “low-hanging fruit” traffic growth opportunities for your current keywords.

8 free keyword research tools for SEO (that beat their paid alternatives) (3)

When to use:

Google Search Console is the place to analyze your current SEO keywords with their average Google positions, impressions and CTRs.

Looking through this research data is a great way to find unexpected SEO shortcuts. For example, if your URL currently ranks on page two or three, Google already considers it pretty relevant for the keyword. And the URL might need just a little SEO boost to storm onto page one and start bringing you a lot more traffic.

Or you might notice that some of your page-one ranking keywords underperform in terms of clicks (have low CTRs). A little tweaking of their SERP snippets or adding the Schema markup could work wonders here.

Free version:

Google Search Console is a free keyword research tool.

3. Google Ads Keyword Planner

To decide which keywords to target with SEO and PPC.

8 free keyword research tools for SEO (that beat their paid alternatives) (4)

When to use:

For some keywords, low ad bids make it reasonable to simply purchase keyword clicks with PPC. For others, overly expensive clicks mean you need to win over the traffic with SEO.

So, before starting out any search engine marketing campaign, you need to split your keyword list between SEO and PPC targeting. And the best place to look for the needed data is, obviously, Google Ads Keyword Planner.

The tool shows you keyword suggestions, search volumes, cost-per-click data, advertiser competition and seasonal traffic fluctuations, all in one place. And it even lets you estimate the prospective PPC spends in your niche.

Free version:

Google Keyword Planner is a free keyword research tool. However, keep in mind that unless you are already spending enough money in Google Ads campaigns, your search volume analysis is limited to ranges (rather than exact search volumes). And you might need another tool (like Rank Tracker) for more precise search volume analytics.

4. AnswerThePublic

To find keyword suggestions through popular questions for featured answers and voice search optimization.

8 free keyword research tools for SEO (that beat their paid alternatives) (5)

When to use:

With Google’s ability to better understand natural language, searchers got used to phrasing their queries as questions rather than separate words. The rise of voice search also helped this trend along.

Making your content to answer the exact questions is one of the key aspects of your keyword research success. Plus, question-based content has a bigger chance of squeezing into Google’s featured answers or the so-called “position 0” results.

The quickest and easiest way to find popular questions related to your business niche is AnswerThePublic – a no-brainer keyword tool that combines your main keywords with various question words (like who, what, why, etc.).

Along with questions, you will also get a handful of keyword ideas through “preposition” keywords (when your seed keyword is combined with another keyword via a preposition) and “comparisons” (like “your keyword vs another keyword”).

Free version:

AnswerThePublic is a free keyword generator.

5. Keyword Tool Dominator

Perfect keyword research tool for Amazon, Etsy and Ebay.

8 free keyword research tools for SEO (that beat their paid alternatives) (6)

When to use:

The way your customers search Google differs from the way they search Amazon, Etsy, or Ebay. Google is used to find places to shop at, whereas Amazon et al. are searched for the actual goods they need.

For you as an Amazon vendor, it isn’t going to be enough to do keyword research for Google. You need to have your listing optimized for Amazon search as well.

A nice tool to dig through the Amazon database is Keyword Tool Dominator. The only thing to keep in mind is that there’s no way to check keyword search volume. What you get is a plain keyword ideas list.

Free version:

While it’s a free keyword research tool, without a paid license, you are limited to three requests per database a day.

6. Google Trends

8 free keyword research tools for SEO (that beat their paid alternatives) (7)

To find the right keywords for your local business.

When to use:

Anybody doing local keyword research knows that search patterns differ between countries. But, surprisingly, the trends also vary considerably from region to region — this is why a precise local keyword tool is needed.

Google Trends is here to help you identify city/location specific search volume variation. Just have the tool compare two synonymic queries to see how misleading a country level keyword analysis could be for a local biz.

For instance, according to Google Trends, even though “personal injury lawyer” is the most popular search request throughout most of the US states, in Tennessee and New Mexico you’re way better off when optimizing for “personal injury attorney”.

Another no less important use-case is tracking down your keywords’ seasonal fluctuation and being able to reliably predict how this or that keyword is going to perform in it’s high and low seasons.

Free version:

Google Trends is a free keyword tool.

7. Google Correlate

To pull unexpected keyword ideas from adjacent niches.

8 free keyword research tools for SEO (that beat their paid alternatives) (8)

When to use:

When thinking of seed keywords for your business, most probably you’ve already listed the most obvious ideas. Say, it comes as no surprise you flower delivery shop should target all kinds of “local florist” and “roses delivery” variations.

But Google Correlate helps you look at your keyword list at a new, unexpected angle, identifying the words, whose seasonal interest fluctuations correlate with that of your main keywords.

For the flower delivery example, our main keywords are in correlation with other female present delivery services: chocolate delivery, dipped strawberries and so on. And even if those have nothing to do with your biz, you can probably utilize them in content targeting for holidays like St. Valentine’s Day.

Free version:

Google Correlate is a free keyword tool.

8. Keywords Everywhere

To analyze keywords while you’re browsing.

8 free keyword research tools for SEO (that beat their paid alternatives) (9)

When to use:

Keywords Everywhere is a free browser add-on which lets you do keyword research naturally while browsing Google, Bing, YouTube, etc.

Every time you search for something it will be considered a keyword, and you’ll get keyword search volume immediately in Autosuggest. On the SERPs themselves, a box with new keyword ideas is embedded on the right-hand side of the page, so that you can fill in your keyword list without actually leaving Google.

Free version:

Keywords Everywhere is a free keyword tool.

These are the tools to always keep at hand

There’s hardly any SEO task more important than keyword research. Whatever goals you have, and whatever business you run, picking the right SEO keywords lays the basis and adjusts the direction of your SEO campaign. So you’d better make sure to pack your SEO toolset with a few of these free and easy-to-use tools.


8 free keyword research tools for SEO (that beat their paid alternatives)? ›

Keyword Planner helps you research keywords for your Search campaigns. You can use this free tool to discover new keywords related to your business and see estimates of the searches they receive and the cost to target them.

How do I find competitors SEO keywords for free? ›

How to Find Competitors' Keywords
  1. Head to www.wordstream.com/keywords.
  2. Input your competitor's website URL.
  3. Click Find My Keywords.
  4. Confirm the URL, choose an industry (optional), and enter a location.
  5. Click Continue.
  6. Click Download all Keywords to send the full list to your email.
Jul 5, 2022

Which is the best tool for SEO keyword research? ›

The 10+ best keyword research tools
  • Google Keyword Planner.
  • GrowthBar.
  • Long Tail Pro.
  • Majestic.
  • Keyword Tool.
  • Serpstat.
  • Moz Keyword Explorer.
  • SpyFu.
Feb 8, 2023

What is the free tool provided by Google to get the list of keywords and their rankings called? ›

Keyword Planner helps you research keywords for your Search campaigns. You can use this free tool to discover new keywords related to your business and see estimates of the searches they receive and the cost to target them.

Is there any SEO tool as good as Google keyword Planner? ›

If you're looking for more in-depth information, a more comprehensive tool like Semrush's Keyword Magic Tool is your best bet. A free Semrush account will grant you 10 free searches per day. And you'll see every keyword's: Organic keyword difficulty.

How do I find the best keywords for free? ›

Free keyword research tools
  1. Keyword Surfer.
  2. AnswerThePublic.
  3. Keyword Sheeter.
  4. Keyworddit.
  5. QuestionDB.
  6. Ahrefs Keyword Generator.
  7. SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool.
  8. Ubersuggest.

Is Semrush a free tool? ›

Get Semrush free trial. Read the industry's latest thoughts on digital marketing, content strategy, SEO, PPC, social media and more. Learn how to use Semrush with user manuals, how-to's, videos and more! Keep track of the newest Semrush features and improvements.

How do I find most searched keywords on Google for free? ›

Google Search Console

To see what type of keywords users are searching for to find your website, pop over to Google Search Console > Search Traffic > Search Analytics. Once you're here, you'll see a list of keywords that are getting some traction.

Does Google have free SEO tools? ›

Google's SEO tools are a great place to start.

Since the search engine currently accounts for 70% of all searches, their SEO tools harness the most accurate and comprehensive source of data. The best part of using these tools is that they're absolutely free and generally unlimited.

Does Google have a free keyword tool? ›

Google Keyword Planner is a free tool that assists digital marketers in their research efforts, most commonly for search campaigns, both paid and organic. It highlights various types of “keywords” or “search phrases and terms” related to your business.

Which website maker has best SEO? ›

The five best website builders for SEO are:
  • Wix – perfect for absolute SEO beginners.
  • Squarespace – best for boosting your site's SEO with in-built features.
  • WordPress.com – great for those who want a hands-on SEO experience.
  • Weebly – has dozens of high quality, helpful SEO apps.
Dec 21, 2022

How do I use Google keyword Planner without paying? ›

Google Keyword Planner is free. All you need is a Google Ads account to use it. To set one up, go to ads.google.com, click “Start now,” and sign in to your Google account. Next, click the small blue “Switch to Expert Mode” link.

Which tool is best for finding relevant keywords for your website? ›

Google Keyword Planner

Google's Keyword Planner is really designed for use by advertisers who want to run their ads on Google. However it's still a useful tool for SEO, and unlike other paid tools, this is free to use. To access it, you'll need a Google Ads account.

Is there a free version of keywords everywhere? ›

What is Keywords Everywhere? Keywords Everywhere is a freemium chrome extension and firefox add-on that helps you with Keyword Research.

How do I find valuable keywords? ›

Free Keyword Research Tools
  1. Google Keyword Planner.
  2. Google Trends.
  3. Keyword Tool.io.
  4. Term Explorer.
  5. Moz's Keyword Difficulty Tool.
  6. SEMrush.
  7. Ahrefs.
  8. SE Ranking.
Feb 13, 2020

How do I find hot keywords for SEO? ›

Here's the quickest way to find keyword trends on Google: use the autocomplete function on Google. Type a word you want to find keywords for and see what else Google displays. These are the trending searches related to that keyword. In a slightly more professional approach, you'll use Google trends.

How do I find competitors paid keywords? ›

And don't miss our post on how to do competitor keyword analysis!
  1. WordStream's Free Keyword Tool. ...
  2. BuzzSumo. ...
  3. Semrush. ...
  4. SpyFu. ...
  5. Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer. ...
  6. Google Ads Auction Insights. ...
  7. Crowdsourcing Keyword Research. ...
  8. Tag Clouds.
Sep 24, 2022

Which keywords are best to target? ›

If you want to boost your website in Google search results, here are seven types of keywords you should target in your SEO campaign.
  • Generic Keywords. ...
  • Long-tail Keywords. ...
  • Short-tail Keywords. ...
  • Exact Match Keywords. ...
  • Topic-Based Keywords. ...
  • Evergreen Keywords. ...
  • Location Keywords. ...
  • Conclusion.
Nov 15, 2022

What are high competition keywords? ›

A keyword phrase is highly competitive if the term is popular, with a high SERP/Search Ratio and if the competition has link authority is optimizing for that term.

How to do keyword research in only 5 minutes? ›

How To Do SEO Keyword Research In Less Than 5 Minutes
  1. Always start with a broad search term (seed keywords).
  2. Narrow this list down with include and exclude words.
  3. Remove low-volume keywords.
  4. Use a keyword clustering tool, such as KeyClusters.
  5. Check that the results satisfy the user's search intent.

What are the 3 steps to keyword searching? ›

In this guide, we'll cover the three steps of keyword research:
  1. Finding keywords: how to find relevant keywords with keyword research tools.
  2. Analyzing keywords: how to prioritize keywords using key metrics and criteria.
  3. Targeting keywords: how to identify primary keywords and nail their search intent.
Dec 2, 2022

How many keywords should I use for SEO? ›

It's easier for pages to rank if they focus on one topic, so you should focus on two or three primary keywords per page that are reworded variations. Targeting four or more keywords is difficult because there is limited space in the title and meta description tags to target them.

What is the limit of SEMrush free? ›

There's substantial value in SEMrush's free plan. It provides access to all major SEMrush tools including its Keyword Magic tool, Keyword Gap tool, position tracking, and site audits. The plan limits the amount of available data in each tool, and limits you to 10 requests per day.

How long is SEMrush free? ›

You can get an exclusive 14-day free trial of the Semrush Pro plan using our free trial link. Once your free trial expires, you will be charged monthly for the pro plan. You can only use the Semrush Pro plan for the first 14 days. There is no loophole to get the Pro plan for free forever.

Is SEMrush real or fake? ›

To conclude, is SEMrush's data accurate? For specific aspects like backlinks and keyword research, the answer is a definite yes, as SEMrush offers highly accurate information. However, it tends to fall short when it comes to social media and paid search data.

How much does a keyword cost on Google? ›

However, the average Google AdWords cost per click is between $1 and $2 on the Search Network(search results). The average CPC on the Google Display Network(on other websites) is under $1. The most expensive keywords in AdWords and Bing Ads cost $50 or more per click.

Can you improve SEO for free? ›

Doing so will ensure your posts are as optimized as possible. SEO tools can help you identify ways to improve the discoverability of your site. SEO can seem daunting to novices, but there are several free SEO tools are are just as powerful as their paid counterparts.

How much does Google charge for SEO? ›

Technically, SEO is free. You're not paying money for SERP placement. Google ranks content based on a number of factors including the E-A-T trio: Expertise, Authority, and Trust. They're going to highly rank those who are seen as valuable resources for users.

Is there a free website to check SEO? ›

SEOptimer is a free SEO Audit Tool that will perform a detailed SEO Analysis across 100 website data points, and provide clear and actionable recommendations for steps you can take to improve your online presence and ultimately rank better in Search Engine Results.

Which free website builder is best in SEO? ›

List of the 10 Best Website Builders For Seo
Website Builders for SEOPricing
1. WordPressFree
2. Wix$16/month
3. Squarespace$16/month
4. Weebly$5/month
6 more rows

Who is the best SEO expert? ›

Here is the list of the top 11 SEO experts you should consider following.
  • Brian Dean. Founded — Backlinko, ExplodingTopics. ...
  • Rand Fishkin. Founder — Moz, SparkToro. ...
  • Neil Patel. Founder — Hello Bar, Crazy Egg, and Neil Patel, ...
  • Danny Sullivan. Founder — Third Door Media. ...
  • Matt Diggity. ...
  • Dave Davies. ...
  • Vanessa Fox. ...
  • Aaron Wall.
Jan 22, 2023

Can I do SEO with GoDaddy? ›

Note: We offer an SEO service where our experts optimize your site for you, if you prefer to spend your time on other things. Now that your site is live, it's time to optimize its content so search engines understand how to rank you in search results.

What are the pros and cons of Google keyword Planner? ›

  • Pros: Enables you to swiftly export your data. Includes a multiply keywords tool and other unique features.
  • Cons: Not good for low search volume keywords.
  • Bottomline: Enables you to search for keyword and ad group ideas for your business's campaigns.
Feb 2, 2023

Do you pay per keyword on Google Ads? ›

When you select each keyword, you can choose how much you're willing to pay whenever a customer searches on that keyword and clicks your ad. This is your keyword's maximum cost-per-click, or max CPC, bid amount.

Is Google keyword Planner worth it? ›

While Google Keyword Planner is a helpful tool, it is not perfect. The data provided by Google Keyword Planner should function as a starting point for your keyword research, but you should not rely on it solely. Please leave a review below to let us know what you think of Google Keyword Planner!

How much does keyword research cost? ›

SEO software for keyword rank tracking costs between $500–$4,500 per month (depending on the number of keywords tracked), and rates for consultants fall between $500–$3,000 for a monthly retainer.

How many monthly searches should a keyword have? ›

If you twisted our arm for a definitive answer, a good keyword search volume is 100 – 1000 searches a month, as this would likely provide good levels of organic traffic. However, a 'good' keyword volume depends on a variety of factors, including search intent, industry, seasonality, and competition to name a few.

How do you find keywords competitors are ranking for? ›

Top 5 Tools for Figuring Out Your Competitors' Keywords:
  1. The HTML Page Source of Your Competitor's Website. In your Internet browser, go to your competitor's website and choose a page to look for keywords in. ...
  2. Screaming Frog Spider. ...
  3. Google Keyword Planner Tool. ...
  4. SEMRush. ...
  5. BuzzSumo.

How do I find SEO competitors? ›

The best ways to find SEO competitors
  1. Google (Search and Maps)
  2. Competitor keywords.
  3. Domain data and backlinks.
  4. Social media presence.
  5. Top websites.
  6. On-page SEO.
  7. Website speed.

How do I find competitors of a company SEO? ›

How to identify SEO competitors
  1. Google Search. This is the most manual process for finding your online competitors and is totally free / straightforward. ...
  2. Google “Related:” search operator. ...
  3. STAT (paid) ...
  4. SEMRush (paid) ...
  5. Searchmetrics (paid) ...
  6. Google Maps.
Nov 23, 2020

How do I find competitors on Google keywords? ›

Set up a local competitive search terms report
  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Campaigns icon .
  2. Click the Audiences, keywords, and content drop down in the section menu.
  3. Click Search keywords.
  4. Below the "Search keywords" heading, you'll find 3 tabs. Click Local competitive search terms.

How do you find profitable keywords with low competition? ›

For example, if you were looking for low-competition transactional keywords, here's how you'd do it:
  1. Enter your seed keywords.
  2. Choose the “Phrase match” keyword ideas report.
  3. Filter for low-competition keywords with the KD filter (KD < 10)
  4. Add words like “buy” and “cheap” to the “Include” filter.
Apr 1, 2021

Which is the best tool to check keyword ranking? ›

List of the Best Keyword Rank Checker Tools
  • Sitechecker.
  • Semrush.
  • SE Ranking.
  • Ranktracker.
  • SEO PowerSuite.
  • Serpstat.
  • Seobility.
  • SERPWatcher.
May 17, 2023

What is the fastest way to rank a keyword? ›

Here are the ten steps to rank for a keyword in Google.
  1. Step 1: Lay the Groundwork. ...
  2. Step 2: Do Your Initial Keyword Research. ...
  3. Step 3: Check Out the Competition. ...
  4. Step 4: Consider Intent. ...
  5. Step 5: Conceptualize the Content. ...
  6. Step 6: Execute. ...
  7. Step 7: Optimize for Your Keyword. ...
  8. Step 8: Publish.
Oct 24, 2022

How do I hire the best SEO expert? ›

If you think hiring an SEO specialist might be for you, here are some steps and guidelines to help you find a promising candidate:
  1. Conduct an interview. During the interview, pay attention to the types of questions the candidate asks. ...
  2. Check references. ...
  3. Request an audit of your site.

How do I beat my biggest competitor? ›

How to Handle Competition in Business: 7 Tips to Beat Competition
  1. Know Your Customers.
  2. Understand the Competition.
  3. Highlight Your Difference.
  4. Clarify Your Message.
  5. Explore Strategic Partnership Opportunities.
  6. Keep Innovating.
  7. Look After Your Team.

What are the 4 types of competitors? ›

Key Takeaways

There are four types of competition in a free market system: perfect competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly, and monopoly.

How do I find competitors of a company for free? ›

10 Free Competitor Analysis Tools
  1. Google Trends. Google Trends is a website that helps users in tracking down the most popular Google Searches across several geographies and linguistic communities. ...
  2. Similar Web. ...
  3. Ubersuggest. ...
  4. SEMrush. ...
  5. Siteliner. ...
  6. Vidiq. ...
  7. Moz. ...
  8. Buildwith.
Feb 12, 2023

Can you run Google Analytics for a competitor's website? ›

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is one of the most convenient solutions to track your competitors. This free tool helps you understand your audience through data. You can use these insights to: Optimize your online presence.

How do I find popular search keywords? ›

To see what type of keywords users are searching for to find your website, pop over to Google Search Console > Search Traffic > Search Analytics. Once you're here, you'll see a list of keywords that are getting some traction.

What have Google replaced keywords with on Google Analytics? ›

To protect users' privacy, keywords information is automatically replaced with “not provided.” Here's how it works. Think about when you write anything (your keywords) in Google's search engine and click on a link to visit a website.

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