Without keyword research tools, finding the right terms to incorporate into your blog or online store content to help it rank on search engine results pages (SERPs) would be like throwing darts in a dark room. Every once in a while, you would hit the target, but many darts would land on the floor.
Keyword research tools facilitate your SEO planning in multiple ways. They can help you generate keyword ideas, reveal how many people actively use a search term, identify trends, and show you how much competition you face to rank for a specific phrase.
Free keyword research tools
There are a surprising number of fantastic free tools you can use to gather vital information for marketing and SEO. Here are 12 free keyword research tools that are easy to use and full of valuable data.
Some are powerful keyword generators for Google and other search engines. Others provide targeted data for e-commerce websites like eBay, Etsy, and Amazon. The most comprehensive of these tools include essential SEO data like the monthly search volume and intensity of competition for your target terms.
Below are descriptions of what you can accomplish with each free keyword research tool, as well as their benefits and drawbacks. The tools covered are:
- Keyword Surfer
- Keyword Sheeter
- Ahrefs Keyword Generator
- SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool
- Moz Keyword Explorer
- Keyword Tool Dominator
- Google Trends
Keyword generators for blog topic ideas
Keyword generators help you home in on what your potential customers want to know. They scrape search engines and question-and-answer databases to reveal new blog topics and keyword ideas.
Keyword Surfer is a newer tool that plugs right into the Chrome web browser. When it’s on, results automatically display on the right side of your results page each time you enter a search term.
The data delivered by Keyword Surfer includes:
- Keyword ideas with their volume
- Cost per click (CPC) for each search term
- Pages that rank for the term you entered
- Traffic to pages ranked 1 through 10 for that term
It’s a highly efficient keyword research tool and delivers results as you use your web browser. As a new tool, there may be some kinks to work out. Data delivered by the plugin can sometimes differ from data supplied by other Google search tools. However, it’s a fast and easy way to get content ideas.
AnswerThePublic is a great place to see raw search insights. After you enter your search term(s), it displays the questions people are asking related to that topic. The results are shown in a graphic display with all the who, what, where, when, why and other questions users ask.
It’s a powerful way to generate keyword ideas and see what your potential customers actually want to know. You can download the data as a graph or a list.
There is one con for this tool: With a limit of 3 free searches a day, you have to be thoughtful about each phrase you search.
Keyword Sheeter pulls autocomplete results from Google. It delivers real-time data on what people are typing into the search engine.
If you want to generate a long list of keyword ideas fast, Keyword Sheeter is an excellent choice. It pulls about 1,000 ideas per minute, and exporting your list is free.
It’s a simple and powerful resource to identify ideas for blog topics. However, the free features of Keyword Sheeter do not include search volume or data on how competitive it is to rank for a phrase.
Keyworddit mines Reddit for keywords. To use it, enter a specific subreddit with at least 10,000 subscribers and specify a timeframe. The tool searches through the titles and comments to extract up to 500 keywords with search volumes.
Due to the variety of answers within each subreddit, the relevance of the results may vary. There is an option to specify high relevance, which slows down the tool somewhat.
Keyworddit is not designed to replace other keyword research tools, but it can be an interesting complement to your existing strategy. Reddit is a popular site where people with specific interests take deep dives into a topic. It may reveal keyword phrases and blog topics you wouldn’t find using other search tools.
QuestionDB is an excellent blog topic idea generator. It pulls from several question-and-answer websites, including Reddit and Quora, to give you questions people are actively asking related to your keywords .
The free version of the tool allows unlimited searches without registering for an account. You can download your results with a single click.
You have the option to display the source link for each question. This allows you to review additional details about how people are framing their questions. You can also review the answers. QuestionDB also displays related topics mentioned in the questions.
The free account limits you to 50 results per query.
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Freemium keyword research tools for SEO analysis
A few of the premium paid websites offer free tools for limited use. You get the same outstanding services provided by the premium services for a limited number of searches or fewer features. Even so, they are comprehensive free keyword research tools.
Ahrefs Keyword Generator
Ahrefs Keyword Generator is one of the free tools offered by Ahrefs, which is a popular paid service. Enter any target keyword or phrase, and it will pull the top 100 keyword ideas from its database of over 8 billion keywords from more than 170 countries.
For each keyword phrase, the Keyword Generator displays:
- Search volume
- Keyword difficulty from 1 to 100
- How recently this result was updated
- A list of questions related to your search term
You can use this keyword research tool to identify long-tail keywords, target less competitive phrases, and isolate your search using geographic location or search engine.
While some freemium services include the SERP results inside the keyword search tool, Ahrefs provides their free SERP service on a separate page.
Ahrefs Keyword Generator is an efficient and valuable free tool that allows you to do unlimited searches without creating an account. However, unlike other tools, it does not allow you to download your results. And, because you don’t create an account with the free service, you have to prove you’re not a robot with every new search.
SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool
Semrush Keyword Magic Tool is one of several free tools offered by SEO giant Semrush. To access their free tools, create an account and select Skip Trial. You can always sign up for the paid service down the road if you’d like.
The Keyword Magic Tool gives you access to more than 20 billion keywords from over 120 geographical databases.
Free reports include:
- Monthly search volume
- Competitive density (competition among paid advertisers)
- Keyword difficulty (how difficult it would be to rank in Google’s top 20)
The Keyword Magic Tool also has some helpful sorting and organizing features. It allows you to sort keywords into topic-specific subgroups, apply smart filters to narrow or expand your search, and quickly export your findings. You can see related keywords by topic and semantically related keywords or by keywords with similar phrasing.
The free account limits you to 10 searches a day across all the complementary tools provided by Semrush.
Ubersuggest provides a wealth of information with its free version. When you enter a search term, it displays the search volume, SEO difficulty, paid difficulty, and CPC.
Immediately beneath that display, it identifies the number of backlinks you would need to rank on the first page of Google for that keyword phrase.
As you scroll down, you can view lists of keyword ideas and page content ideas.
The list of page content ideas displays related blog titles. At a glance, you can see how many people click on and share each article. You can export most of your data reports to CSV to save and sort. Ubersuggest provides a free Chrome extension to see data right on the SERP easily.
The free version limits your use to a single website and 3 keyword searches per day.
Moz Keyword Explorer
Moz Keyword Explorer is an attractive and well-laid-out keyword research tool. You can see monthly volume, organic difficulty, organic click-through rate (CTR), and a priority score for each search term.
The organic CTR displays how many people who use the term follow through and click on one of the results. The priority score aggregates the difficulty, opportunity, and volume to show you in a simple score how likely you are to rank for that keyword phrase.
Keyword Explorer delivers a long list of keyword suggestions for each term, with monthly search volume and relevancy.
The SERP analysis, also included with the free search results, gives you 10 specific pages that rank for your target keyword. You can see their title, URL, page authority, domain authority, number of backlinks to the page, and the number of backlinks to the root domain. It’s easy to download results into a spreadsheet.
Moz provides an excellent service. The downside is the free account limits you to 10 queries a month.
Keyword research tools for e-commerce, online sellers, and multichannel marketers
Most keyword tools focus on Google and other search engines. However, platforms like YouTube, Amazon, eBay, and Etsy have their own algorithms.
For e-commerce stores or sellers whose goals reach beyond ranking on Google and other search engines, tools like Keyword Tool Dominator and Soovle help you target the platforms you are using.
Soovle is great for e-commerce websites or marketers using multiple channels. It helps you find popular keywords across several megasites, including Amazon, Wikipedia, YouTube, and eBay.
Soovle works as a keyword research tool and a keyword generator. As you type in your target terms, it autogenerates phrases to help you expand your ideas.
Soovle includes unlimited searches for free. On the downside, it is limited to an idea generator and does not include metrics like keyword difficulty or search volume.
Keyword Tool Dominator
Keyword Tool Dominator helps you identify search trends as they happen. It brings you the autocomplete databases from Google, YouTube, Amazon, Walmart, Bing, Etsy, and eBay to uncover up-to-date keywords and search terms.
It’s an outstanding resource for sellers and multichannel marketers who want to rank on more than Google or the other search engines.
The downside of this fast and easy-to-use tool is the free version limits you to 2 searches a day. For more queries, you’ll need to pay for a plan.
Keyword usage over time
Sometimes you want to know if a topic is an established trend or just a fad. In that case, Google Trends is a powerful and unique tool.
Google Trends is a free tool that delivers graphs and data on specific search terms used on Google and YouTube.
When you enter a search phrase on the homepage, it will deliver a list from Google by default. On the results page, you can change your options to see results from YouTube instead. It also offers trends from Google Shopping, Images, and News.
Google Trends is a valuable tool for:
- Identifying what’s currently trending
- Isolating popular topics or subtopics within an industry or related to a theme
- Discovering local search trends
- Finding related keywords that are growing in popularity
- Graphing the public interest in a topic over a range of time
- Seeing where a topic is most popular
Google Trends helps you identify keywords that are rising in popularity and avoid terms that are losing momentum. It does not provide data on monthly search volume or how much competition there is for each keyword phrase.
Free keyword research tools aren’t your only option. If your business is booming or you want to go down a new avenue, you can always invest in paid tools. Tools that require payment or a subscription to access do everything that the free tools above can do, but may also:
- Provide more keyword data
- Enable you to do more keyword research
- Feature location-based SEO tools
- Have rank trackers so you can see how well your website is ranking on SERP pages for certain keywords
- Have more user-friendly interfaces
- Have an all-in-one suite where you can conduct all your keyword research
If you are looking to branch into pay-per-click marketing, these tools may also offer additional insights into search engine marketing. (One free tool for paid marketing is Google Keyword Planner, which supplies data around Google’s biddable keywords.)
Planning with data
Whether you are promoting a blog or building an e-commerce website, each page you create takes time, energy, and expertise. When you use the best keyword research tools for your business, you ensure your efforts produce results.
Don’t throw darts in the dark and hope they find their target. All the data you need to make solid content planning decisions is available in these 12 free keyword research tools.
Your audience knows what they want and need. Do you?
Best Keyword Research Tools: FAQ
Which tool is the best for keyword research?
When conducting SEO research, finding the best tool for keyword research can feel overwhelming, especially with the vast selection of both free and paid solutions available today. One of the most notable keyword research tools used today to help with understanding the top-performing keywords in any industry includes Keyword Surfer. Keyword Surfer is a well-known keyword research tool that can be used entirely for free from Surfer SEO.
Is Google keyword research tool free?
Yes. Both Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner are free keyword research tools that can be accessed by both individuals and business owners alike. With Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner, take advantage of free keyword tools that deliver top-tier results based on the latest algorithms in place by numerous search engines, including Google itself.
Using Google keyword research tools is highly recommended, especially if you are interested in boosting the ranking of your website or eCommerce store within Google search results themselves. With Google Trends, you can quickly and efficiently search for and compare keywords, phrases, and trends that are most relevant to your business and brand. Compare regions where your keywords are most popular as well as data as it has been collected and tracked over time. Using Google Trends is optimal for anyone who is seeking the best free keyword research tool or for those who are just getting started with keyword research for the first time.
Google Keyword Planner also provides a free keyword research tool that can help you plan for PPC and SEO marketing campaigns based on keyword popularity, usage, and market trends.
Are paid keyword research tools worth it?
At times, paid keyword research tools may be worth the investment, depending on the features you require as well as the budget you have for your next marketing campaign. Some paid keyword research tools provide additional keyword data, offer more results, and even include location-based SEO tools, which are optimal for those interested in locale-based targeting.
With paid keyword research tools, it is also often much easier to save and store your keyword research in one central location. You can also take advantage of rank trackers to determine how well individual pages on your website are currently performing with the tweaks you have made using your preferred paid keyword research tool.
How to choose the best keyword tool for your needs?
Before choosing the best free keyword research tool for your business or brand, consider your needs and the reason you are conducting keyword research. Ask yourself the following questions before determining whether a free or paid keyword research tool is right for you:
- What purpose is my keyword research going to serve? What am I attempting to learn or gain by conducting keyword research?
- Am I trying to spread the word about my business or brand with proper keywords and targeting, or am I attempting to generate sales with my keywords?
- How can I reach my users with relevant language and keywords? What keyword is my target audience most likely to search for while browsing for the products, services, or content I provide?
- Who is my current competition and how can I use popular keywords to boost my own ranking among my competition online?
- What features matter when it comes to a keyword research tool?
Knowing what features are necessary to achieve your own marketing goals can help in the process of eliminating keyword research tools that simply do not serve your needs.
1. Google Keyword Planner. Google Keyword Planner has the most accurate keyword search volume data. Since it is a Google property, GKP pulls search volume data directly from the Google search engine.Which free tool is best for keyword Research____? ›
- Keyword Surfer.
- Keyword Sheeter.
- Ahrefs Keyword Generator.
- SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool.
- Google Search Console.
- Ahrefs Keywords Explorer.
- Google Keyword Planner.
1. Google Keyword Planner. Google Keyword Planner has the most accurate keyword search volume data. Since it is a Google property, GKP pulls search volume data directly from the Google search engine.Does Google have a free keyword search tool? ›
Google Keyword Planner is one of the most common keyword research tools and has been around for quite a long time. The benefit of using Google Keyword Planner for keyword research is that it is free and it uses Google data.Is Semrush for free? ›
Try Semrush for free
If you are interested in just accessing this data without the other functions that Semrush offers, you can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can choose one of the three main plans from the start: Pro, Guru, and Business. Please find the pricing for each plan here.
Price: The Keyword Magic Tool is a part of Semrush's SEO toolkit. You can sign up for free and perform 10 keyword searches per day. But the available data will be limited. To use the Keyword Magic Tool to its fullest potential, subscribe to one of the paid plans.How do I find SEO keywords for free? ›
- Google Search Console. Content teams can use Google Search Console to begin their keyword research and gauge how well their organization's web content performs on Google. ...
- Rank Tracker. ...
- AlsoAsked. ...
- Keyword Surfer. ...
- Google Trends. ...
- Google Ads Keyword Planner. ...
- Moz Keyword Explorer. ...
#2: Google's Keyword Planner
You can: Enter a broad topic to get specific keyword ideas. Upload an existing list of keywords to check their search volume, seasonal trends and other data. Enter a website URL (your own, or someone else's) to see what keywords they are bidding on and ranking for.
Use the Keyword Planner tool at no cost.
It's free to use this powerful keyword research tool.
Keywords Everywhere have a great range of free and paid features. I will show you how to use both types of features. Make sure that you have toggled on Keywords Everywhere – even for the free version.How much does Google keyword cost? ›
The average cost per click in Google Ads is between $2 and $4 on the Search Network. The average cost per click on the Display Network is under $1. The most expensive keywords in Google Ads and Bing Ads cost $50 or more per click.What is free keyword tool? ›
How Does Keyword Tool Work? Keyword Tool is free online keyword research instrument that uses Google Autocomplete to generate hundreds of relevant long-tail keywords for any topic.What is the free keyword tool for resume? ›
SkillSyncer is a free resume keyword scanner and job application tracker for job seekers. Our tool intelligently identifies skills and keywords missing from your resume when compared to a job description.Is keyword keg free? ›
The tool has a premium version but you can start with some of its free features. Start by entering your seed keyword in the bar provided and wait for the results.