Top Free Keyword Research Tools
Finding and determining the right keywords can be quite a challenge. Especially if you don’t know where to start or you don’t know which top free keyword research tools to use because of all the different type of free and paid tools that are available for keyword research.
In this article, I will show you, step by step guide on how you can find keywords that many people search on in Google (high volume) using any of this top free keyword research tool, so that you can make your blog posts rank on first page of Google Search engine.
Table of Contents
- 1 Make Your Keyword Research first, then optimize!
- 2 Why do you want to be found for a specific keyword?
- 3 Why you don’t need a paid keyword research tool every time
- 4 Manually write down possible keyword idea
- 5 Now you can start using these top free keyword research tools
- 6 Top Free keyword research tools :
- 7 1. Google keyword planner
- 8 Google Search Console
- 9 Google Suggest & related searches
- 10 Ubersuggest
- 11 Yoast Suggest
- 12 Bing Keyword Research
- 13 After your Keyword research using the top free keyword research tool, next is Search Volume
- 14 One last thing then: don’t forget your LSI keywords!
- 15 Ok, now you can almost start writing your page!
- 16 Wrapping up on Top Free Keyword Research Tools
Make Your Keyword Research first, then optimize!
Before you start researching your keywords, you must remember that this is only researching possible search terms on which you want to be found.
We must always keep an eye on some important things during the Research:
- What search results are there on page 1 for that keyword?
- Who are the competitors?
- Does the page that I want to write fit in with those search results?
- Is it useful to get my page on the first page?
- How hard is it to rank for that keyword?
- Do I know enough about the subject?
- Do I have enough time to write an article about this?
First of all, you have to come up with an idea, and you will write it down some words manually by thinking and looking at the competitor’s website.
Fortunately, there are also many free keyword research tools that can help you with this research. If writing new articles is not your daily activity, then you can make use of some free tools that I will share with you.
Why do you want to be found for a specific keyword?
An important question that you have to ask yourself. Why do you want to be found for a specific keyword? Is it just to share some information? Is it part of your Sales Funnel? Is it just to keep your knowledge up to date by doing deeper research in that area?
These can all be good reasons to be found for that one keyword, right?
Another reason may be that you see that the competitor is also findable, so why not. And that is also a very good reason in principle. As you can see, there are enough reasons why you would like to be found for a specific keyword.
Remember that writing a new article also takes time, or money, in case you let someone else do this for you. But ask yourself this question:
For what purpose do you write the article?
A question that is actually even more important but is often overlooked is the following:
What exactly does the intention of the keyword say?
What I mean by this is the “reason” why people search for that word. If you sell products you might be better off on “pink hill women’s shoes” instead of stopping thousands of euros to score at the top in Google on the broad keyword “shoes”.
Simply because the more precise the search query becomes, you are more likely to rank and convert. Exactly where is that word? Which keyword converts?
We will come back to this question later.
Why you don’t need a paid keyword research tool every time
It is very tempting to pay for a tool and to think that the solution to your problem, or the answer to your question, will appear automatically.
Nothing could be further from the truth, because with paid research tools you might as well have to do the work yourself. They are only slightly more advanced and therefore bring a little more choice stress and distraction. Not necessary!
Manually write down possible keyword idea
Open Microsoft Excel, Google spreadsheets or pick up a notebook and start writing down some keyword ideas. You can simply write this down by thinking, but there are also a few other ways to find these search terms for your keyword research!
In any case, try to have an idea of what the main topic should be. Then you can look for more ideas in the following places:
- Competition websites
- Online forums that deal with the topic
- Facebook groups that are full of people who are interested in a certain topic
- Questions asked on Quora about that subject
- And use a website such as synonym.com for a list of synonyms
Why a manual examination?
These are all manual things you can do to get ideas that you would like to write about. But researching manually also has an additional advantage, and that is that you might learn something new or find something that a paid or free keyword research tool cannot show you.
In some cases, you will find something newsworthy to write about during your research! In that case, it is quite possible that a keyword tool could never have given you this idea. This is mainly because it is not yet ‘old enough’, or has not been searched often.
Manually writing down possible keyword idea is therefore very important in my view. If you have a bit of an idea for which search term you want to go, read the pages of your competitors on page 1. Maybe you learn something new, or you get more ideas. An additional advantage is that you immediately get an idea about their SEO!
Synonyms can also help! Use for example synonyms.
Unfortunately, you cannot find a suitable synonym for every word, but this is certainly useful, especially if you use the word VERY often in your blog!
Now you can start using these top free keyword research tools
Fortunately, you don’t have to do everything manually, but you can learn a lot from it. Because you read things and maybe see something that is also newsworthy, and about which you can also write a piece.
Research tools on the other hand sometimes take a lot of guesswork out of your keyword research. Because they all give you data to work with, of search volumes and the anticipated difficulty of ranking for a certain term. With these top free keyword research tools, you can get a lot of keyword ideas in a short time.
Also Read: What is SEO and how does SEO work?
Top Free keyword research tools :
- Google keyword planner (free)
- Google Search Console (free)
- Google Suggest & related searches(free)
- Ubersuggest (free)
- Yoast suggestion (free)
- Bing Webmaster Tools Keyword Research (free)
1. Google keyword planner
Step-by-step use of the keyword planner
If you have a Gmail account you can also sign up for Google Ads. Google Ads are the ads that you see in the search results, but also in other places such as YouTube and other websites. This Ads also has a built-in research tool that you can use to get ideas on which you would like to advertise. If you are concerned with online marketing, you have certainly already created an account.
You will, therefore, be able to understand that you can also use it well to get ideas for your keyword research. The only drawback is that you do not see complete data, but rounded numbers. You can only see the specific numbers if you have an active Advertising campaign.
Note: The other disadvantage is that you can only find search terms on which you can advertise. Google is still a money machine and only shows keywords that will generate money for them. So this is a super big disadvantage! Because that’s how you miss all kinds of long questions or phrases about the keyword.
Go to https://ads.google.com/ and login.
Then go to Tools Keyword Planner
Then click on Find new keywords. As an example, I take online marketing here. A well-known keyword when dealing with SEO! Because say yourself, the reason you need keywords is to make it easier to find online, which is why our keyword is ‘online marketing’.
Then you can also sort the search terms by search volume to keep your keyword research extra clear. This means that the most searched words are at the top, and probably also the most interesting for you. You can then also download this entire list to open in the spreadsheet.
PRO TIP on Google keyword planner:
The column with CPC (cost per click) gives a kind of indication of the value of a word. Because the words with a higher CPC are probably also the words that yield the most for the advertisers!
They don’t cost that much for nothing because advertisers are also willing to pay for such a click! This does NOT mean that it is always harder to rank higher in the search results! Although that correlation is certainly there.
Google Search Console
Step-by-step use of Search Console
If your website has been around for a long time and you already have a lot of content on your website, it is also a great tool to get ideas. It can happen that there is somewhere a word or sentence in the text that Google has picked up and that has shown in the search results.
Get started as follows:
2. Go to Performance, click on Filter, and enter a search query. The list of search queries will then show all terms and phrases on which your website has ever been displayed. By the way, don’t forget to set the DATE to 6 or 12 months to get STILL more ideas.
You can then add this list to your spreadsheet with your previous list. With this list, you will go a long way.
Step-by-step use of Google Suggest
What you will do is type in the search terms, in this example ‘online marketing’, on Google. You will immediately see the suggestions from Google. This function is therefore called “Google Suggest“.
What Google says with these suggestions is that people who search for ‘online marketing’ often also use the words ‘strategies’ or ‘companies’ in their search query. In other words: those are the most popular search terms.
What is also very useful about Google Suggest is that you can place a space before you enter your search term. Google will then show other search terms that do not start with the word ‘online marketing’, but which do contain this word.
Step-by-step use of Google Related Searches
After you have entered the term “online marketing” on Google, scroll all the way down. Then you will see the related searches.
In Google’s eyes, these keywords are related to the keyword ‘online marketing’ and can, therefore, be interesting for you to find.
You copy these terms to an Excel file or Google Spreadsheet and continue our investigation
Step-by-step use of Ubersuggest
A better alternative to the Google Keyword Planner!
This is, in my opinion, an even better option than the Googles keyword planner above. That’s because you don’t need a single account for Ubersuggest, and you don’t have to log in first to go to the right tool. And last but not least, it works better because instead of rounded numbers (which you get with an account without ongoing campaigns) you get specific numbers, so no search volume of 10-100 or 100-1000, but simply of 510 or 1480!
And the best thing is that Ubersuggest simply uses the keyword planner for its data! So you kill 2 birds with one stone.
This is how you can use Ubersuggest:
- Go to https://app.neilpatel.com/ubersuggest
- Enter a keyword
- Select the correct country
- Click on search
The tool will search for a while and then show a simple overview for that keyword. See the image below. Here you can quickly see what the average monthly search volume is, and you also see the search volume per month.
This is super useful for you to quickly see if the word is not searched more often in one month than in another. Suppose you sell Kitchen items, the average search volume will be much lower than the actual search volume in January, November, and December. This is a pro tip right away.
On the left, you have more options, and when you choose keyword ideas, you get an extremely useful overview with all kinds of terms related to your search term. In most cases, these are terms that are directly related to your topic.
We will come back to a different kind of word later, namely LSI (which is actually not the correct name) or related terms that come to mind when you talk about a certain topic.
The handy thing about keyword ideas is that you can easily download the list again and add it to your spreadsheet for your keyword research!
Find out where your competitor is found
There is still 1 tool available within Ubersuggest that is completely top!
You can enter a competitor’s domain name and find a whole list of keywords that your competitor is currently found on! Normally this option is only available in affordable tools such as Ahrefs, Semrush, SkypFu, Moz, etc!
These tools easily cost 100 euros per month or more. And Ubersuggest now offers this feature completely free of charge! That is why this is 1 of the best free tools in the SEO world right now!
Traffic analysis – Keywords
The tool we are talking about is simply called keywords. See the image below where you can find them. Once you have this list, you can also download it again and add it to your Spreadsheet! If the list has thousands of keywords you may be a bit long, then you can always filter them by search volume!
Step-by-step use of Yoast Suggest
Yoast Suggest actually works a bit like Ubersuggest. They both suggest keywords. Yoast looks instead of the keywords from the keyword planner at the keywords in the automatic addition of Google itself, as in this image. The words that emerge are often longtail keywords.
Both words that come after the keyword and keywords that appear before the keyword are included in Yoast Suggest. You can use Yoast Suggest here. There are also other tools, such as keyword.io and keywordtool.io
The list that you get can also be incredibly long, and you can export the handy Yoast Suggest (actually just like any other top free tool keyword research tools mentioned here)!
Also Read: 20 Best Keyword Research tool 2019 Edition
After exporting, you can then add it to the spreadsheet to dig them through. Unfortunately, there is no data available such as search volume or difficulty in scoring in the search results!
- Enter your keyword
- Select the correct language
- Check the box at Output a CSV if you want to download the list!
- Click Submit
Bing Keyword Research
Step-by-step Keyword research with Bing webmaster tools
This is 1 of the least known sources for your keywords, but certainly not the wrong one to include in your keyword research.
Bing is still an important but small player in the search engine world, and you can, therefore, make better use of it. Because it’s free! Although it is not nearly as large and large as Google, it can still be used as a free keyword research tool and as part of your SEO tools.
In my opinion, you should always sign up for Bing Webmaster if you want to be serious about SEO, or online marketing in general. Because on average 10% of all searches are still done via Bing.
And why would you ignore 10% of your visitors if they can come in for free? Small effort by registering yourself and linking your website to Bing Webmasters. Then pass on your Sitemap and you’re done.
Get more Keyword ideas with Bing Keyword Tool
Log in to your Bing Webmasters account: https://www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster
- Go to Diagnostic & Tools on the left, and choose Keyword Research
- Type the keyword that you would like to receive more keyword ideas from
- Don’t forget to set the country
- Also, set the language to find the right keywords, this is especially important for words that they also use abroad
- Select 6 months to receive even more data
- And then click on SEARCH
Now that you see the entire list of keywords, you can also sort them using search volume. You do this by clicking on the word: Appeared in Search above the columns. As soon as you click on it, the list will sort in order from large search volume to low search volume.
Do not forget to export (download) this list again and then add it to your spreadsheet. Right now you really need a whole laundry list of keywords in your list.
After your Keyword research using the top free keyword research tool, next is Search Volume
Once you have the lists in your excel sheet, you can start with stripes and highlighting. What I always recommend is to go through the entire list of possible keywords again through Google Ads keyword planner to see what the monthly search volume is!
Go to ads.google.com
Go to Keyword Planner
Then select Search volume and View forecast, as you can see in the image above. Then add all your keywords that are interesting. You can also upload an entire list from a file here! The only problem is that you have to do that in a certain format, and just copying and pasting the list is usually faster!
Once loaded, you can choose Historical data, and download the entire list and open it in a spreadsheet. Now you also have the data you have from the other tools in the same overview! Now you can start sprouting and choose which are the best keywords for you!
One last thing then: don’t forget your LSI keywords!
Create 1 new tab for the LSI (Latent semantic indexing) keywords in your spreadsheet. LSI keyword is a term that has been somewhat embarrassed in the SEO world, so that’s why I use it for a while. These words have become an essential part of search engine optimization and therefore keyword research.
LSI keywords are terms that can come up automatically when you talk about a certain topic. They are words that you often hear within a certain context.
For example, if you have a conversation about a Kitchen, then there are words that you would probably mention such as refrigerator, countertop, sink, extractor hood, microwave, etc. These are the relevant and contextual words that we mean by this. We do not mean synonyms.
When you know a lot about a certain topic you will automatically add these words to the text! That is why it is wise to have someone write about a subject who also knows a lot about it, then those related terms will automatically come in!
People like me, who are not very good at writing texts and are not very creative but are more concerned with data, there are fortunately tools to help you with this. To find some words that are relevant to your text, you can use LSIgraph.com or https://lsikeywords.com.
Unfortunately, both are not super good at adding new words, but you can pick 1 or 2 again! I also find http://semantic-link.com/ a good tool that really shows separate words that definitely have to do with the subject!.
Ok, now you can almost start writing your page!
Well done, you now have everything at a glance for your keyword research. But what are the best words you can use? Before we look at the ‘level of difficulty’ to score high in Google, I first want to pay attention to something else. The intention of the search word.
What is the intention behind the search?
Very nice that you are at the top for “SEO Service”, but what good is it if you are a Digital Service Provider?
Although there is something to be said for the number of rankings in the search results when choosing a keyword you have to consider what a searcher would like to find.
The simplest and at the same time also the best way is to just google the word. Once you have the search results in front of you, you can already see what Google thinks is important to you.
Google is pretty smart in that respect that it tries to show search results that searchers find useful. So they answer their question or problem.
Therefore, Google the word and view the Titles and Meta descriptions of the search results. Your keyword research, therefore, does not remain purely and solely with the words, but also the meaning of it, or the intention behind the search query. If you are sure that the search results match what you would like to achieve with that keyword, then you can mark the keyword in your spreadsheet!
Which keyword should I choose now?
What I recommend now is to check the person for difficulty. Use for example KWfinder Serpsta or Moz Keyword Explorer for this! All these tools have a free version and a paid version. The free version often shows you only a small number of keywords with a difficulty number. You can use this to estimate how difficult it is to rank. Moz keyword explorer gives you 10 searches per month to see how difficult a keyword is. So be careful with this, because 10 words are not very much.
The other tools simply show a shorter list of keywords. What is handy about Serpstat is that you can, for example, add a filter or sort on another segment so that you can still see some other keywords.
Unfortunately, all these tools use a different difficulty number. But what I often count on is the MOZ level of difficulty. If it is below 30, you can expect it to take approximately 2-3 months to reach the 2nd page. This, of course, depends on the authority of your website as well as the number of backlinks you have.
Other ways to check how difficult it is to perform a search in google with special Google Search Operators such as “keyword” (in quotation marks) or intitle: keyword (which only finds pages that have the keyword in the title). If you want to know more about these Search Operators, you can follow this Ahrefs manual for now.
Here is a step-by-step plan that you can follow to see what the intention is and how difficult it is.
- Search for the keyword in Google or Bing
- View who the competitors are (also visit their websites)
- View how much content they have. (How many words)
- Estimate how long it takes to get to the 2nd or 1st page by searching the keyword in Moz, Serpstat, Ubersuggest or another tool.
- Check how many backlinks the pages have, which are now in the top 10.
Wrapping up on Top Free Keyword Research Tools
Once you have enough ideas for topics to start blogging about, then choose a keyword that best matches the intent of the search engine, does not have a too high degree of difficulty, and has sufficient search volume. This is not always easy and can take some time.
And start writing according to these top free keyword research tools guide, make sure you include your search terms (keywords) in the H2 headers of your article!
Don’t forget to add the LSI and synonyms in your text!
That way your chance is even greater that you will be found!