Top 18 Free Keyword Research Tools
Keyword Research is a basic and essential component for Digital Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and Advertising. It reveals what the audience and customers are looking for, and what the related topics and questions are for a given keyword. Keyword research provides quantitative information about how easy it is to rank for a given keyword, what the volume of given search terms is, and what keywords are captured by a competitor. This supports data-driven decision making and strategic planning for various competitive pursuits in digital marketing, sales & advertising. Keyword Research is critical in content planning for blogs and social media, landing pages, product descriptions, press releases, and advertising copy.
In essence, marketers, creators & entrepreneurs use keyword research to understand what's in demand and where are the gaps in supply, to fish out lucrative business opportunities from a vast ocean of activities & interactions on the web.
Our List of Free Keyword Research Tools
1. Answer the Public
Answer the Public provides visual keyword research by collating related questions, comparisons and prepositions being searched online by users. When you enter a keyword in this tool, along with location and language, you can view the resulting related phrases as visualization and data. For best results from this tool, they recommend using short-tail keywords or phrases with 1-2 words.
You can click on any related keyword presented, to go directly to its Google SERP (search engine results page) to see the ranking of content. Having related questions, comparisons, and prepositions is useful for creating FAQ articles and subheading titles, and then creating appropriate content to answer them. In this way, you know what the public is looking for, and you are answering it through your content creation.
It is one of the best paid keyword research tools, but we are mentioning it here as you can utilize it for free for a limited time. You can get a 7-day free trial to use this paid tool for free. Daily free limit for guests is only 3 searches.
It provides quantitative data on keyword overview, keyword ideas, content ideas, keyword visualization and similar sites. You understand the search volume, CPC advertising cost, SEO difficulty and Paid difficulty, which are essential numbers to know before deciding whether to target a given keyword.
3. Exploding Topics
How do you find out what products, concepts, or keywords are just beginning to trend? Normally, the big players and insiders are privy to the next-big-thing, and they snatch all premium opportunities to create content to capture the keywords. There are many content creators who can produce high-quality content, but it is difficult for them to find the right original article ideas as they don't have access to costly market datasets or connections with the industry.
But with the help of Exploding Topics, you can see the rapidly growing topics based on search volumes, before they become trends. So using this tool will give you an early start that is critical for smaller blogs and individual to compete fairly. You can choose the time period to target, from 3 months to 15 years; filter by popular categories; and also enter search keywords directly, to look for relevant topics that will soon be hot cake in the market.
WordStream gives free keyword suggestions & their performance data for search terms and domains. You can use these suggested keywords in your Google ads campaigns, site content, and other ways to maximize the returns on your marketing budget. WordStream acquires the latest Google search data to provide you insights on market demand, so that you can create lucrative content and advertising ideas.
You can also refine your keyword searches by Industry and Location. WordStream shows you a list of related keywords to your original keyword.You can also see their respective monthly search volumes, the low and high ranges of bid prices for ads, and a rating for competition (low/medium/high). This way, you know which are the promising keywords that you can create content and ads for, and know their expected budget estimates in advance.
5. Google Trends
Google's official answer to what the world is searching is their Trends portal. You can see the search interest for any given term on a color-coded world map. The live and daily trending topics are also listed here. Historical trends in interest over any keyword over time can be checked as well. You can do comparisons between multiple keywords, to see their search trends overlapping in the same line chart. This way, you can see how some related keywords have seen hypes, busts, or steady growth or decline over time.
You can use Google Trends to subscribe to keywords, topics and trends that are of interest to you. You will receive daily or weekly email alerts from Google Trends on your topics of interest. This helps you track a number of keywords from your email. There are also alerts for Trending Searches that Google prepares from its latest search data. You can receive updates as they happen (or daily/weekly). You can also filter whether you want to get All trending results, or only the Top ones, and narrow down to a given region.
6. Ahrefs Keyword Generator
Ahrefs has a database of 8 billion queries. From this, it can create thousands of keyword ideas for your search term. You can choose which search engine to target for your keyword research: Google, Bing, Youtube or Amazon. Region or location can be targeted as well. Ahrefs' free keyword ideas tool gives you matching phrases and questions, with their keyword difficulty and search volume.
7. Moz Keyword Explorer
Moz Keyword Explorer offers 10 free queries per month on sign up, as well as access to more free SEO tools. So although it is not available for use without signing in, trying out this tool will expose you to many useful marketing & advertising analytics terms and methods. Moz is an excellent keyword research tool with hundreds of millions of keyword suggestions and fresh ranking keywords. It covers 170 localized Google search engines. So it is a must-try option for doing in-depth keyword and SERP analysis.
8. Keyword Tools
With KeywordTools.org, you get 5 free keyword research requests without sign up. For your search keyword term, you get a multipager list of related keywords. Their search volumes, CPC, and competition percentage is shown to help you in data-driven decision making about which keywords to choose.
They also have another free page with 3 keyword research tools, each giving 3 daily checks for free. These 3 tools are related keywords, URL/domain, and competitor analysis. Using these tools you can do keyword analysis for organic search.
9. Google Keyword Planner
Google Ads platform offers the Google Keyword Planner tool to help you with paid search. It shows you the right keywords to target in your advertising copy. You can optimize your Google Ads budget by using Google Keyword Planner to create high conversion copy for online advertisements.
With its power recommendation engine, Google Keyword Planner offers new keyword suggestions based on your activity. You can do in-depth keyword research and understand the trends for a given topic. It provides you with suggested bid estimates making it simple to customize your advertising plans and organize your ad campaigns.
QuestionDB recommends using 1-3 words to describe a broad topic. And then, it can give you relevant questions being asked about this broad topic. Using this list of suggested questions, you can find untapped content ideas and create articles and sites that meet the market demand.
When you enter a keyword in QuestionDB to generate ideas, it prepares a unique report URL. You can save or bookmark this URL to find the report again, or share it with others. It shows you both interesting questions, and related keywords, giving you plenty of useful ideas to carve your content around.
11. Keyword Surfer by Surfer SEO
Surfer SEO is a premium SEO product, and it is offering a 100% free Chrome extension called Keyword Surfer. After installing this extension, SurferSEO keyword and web traffic data integrates with and displays on Google SERPs. So, when you are naturally searching for anything on Google, you will get data-rich insights about related keyword ideas, volumes, and CPC.
12. Google Search Console
Using Google Search Console (GSC), you get to know the keywords that your website is already ranking for. GSC has an URL inspection tool that gives detailed information about your web pages directly from the Google search index. It is a great tool to keep track of your website's performance in organic search.
Reddit is a very popular portal for discussions on a huge number of topics and interests. With millions of daily active users, tens of thousands of interest-based communities called subreddits, it is a great interact playground for exchanging ideas. Naturally, it can be a wonderful source for gauging trends and discovering keywords for specific categories.
Keyworddit is a keyword research tool made to mine Reddit for keyword ideas. You can first browse Reddit and search for subreddits that have lots of activity related to your keywords. Then, enter these subreddit names in the Keyworddit tool. And it will give you a list of top keywords being used in that subreddit. Since all information on Reddit is user generated, the keywords list from Keyworddit gives you a good idea of what topics are trending in online communities. You can further dig into a given keyword by clicking on the Context link next to it. This takes you to the Google SERP for that keyword, with results only from Reddit site.
14. Google Search Engine
Google is itself a great keyword research tool. Every SERP is shown with rich features and snippets like autocomplete suggestions, "People also ask" box, and "Related searches" box.
15. Keyword Sheeter
You can enter one or multiple keywords in the Keyword Sheeter tool. And it will keep generating an ever-growing list of related keywords and autocomplete terms based on those seed keywords. You can also add positive and negative filter terms to your query. With that, Keyword sheeter will include the phrases that must be present and exclude the ones that you wish to be strictly avoided.
16. Bulk Keyword Generator
As the name suggests, this tool helps you generate keywords in bulk. You must select your Industry, Business, and exact list of services that you provide. Then, you add the names of locations where your business is active. From these inputs, Bulk Keyword Generator creates a list of keyword ideas that you can then plan your website, blogs, and ads around. Thus, you can use this tool to make a big list of keyword ideas for your particular business.
WordTracker claims itself to be much more than a keyword research tool. Rather, it is a market research tool which provides PPC and SEO data, competitor analysis, and keyword ideas for organic search. Wordtracker uses Google, Bing, eBay, Amazon, and its own proprietary database to give thousands of keyword suggestions and their performance analytics. You can filter keywords by location, and provide terms to specifically include or exclude.
18. Keyword Tool
KeywordTool.io is a versatile keyword research tool because you can find keywords specific to many platforms. These include Google, Youtube, Bing, Amazon, eBay, Apple App Store, Google Play Store, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google Trends. Thus, you have databases from various search engines and social media platforms at your disposal. Using Keyword Tool, you can find trending terms, hashtags, products, searches, and apps for these above-listed platforms.
For every platform, you can also narrow down search results from a specific tab, category or department. For instance, you can target News results on Google, or Book results on Amazon. It also lets you filter by a given location and language. The free version of Keyword Tool only shows keywords ideas and related questions. For more data-driven insights, you have to choose its paid plan.
After reading this article, you are aware that you have free access to so many versatile and useful Keyword Research Tools! Some tools only give you limited results with CTAs for subscribing to their paid plans. Such tools can be used together so that you can generate enough keyword ideas in total even despite their usage limits. Other tools are completely free and unlimited, and a great way to keep track of rising trends in the market, and finding lucrative keywords and questions.
Many keyword research tools come with quantitative insights on the difficulty, cost, and volume for the different keywords. Such information is useful in prioritizing and filtering golden keywords so that your content can easily rank in organic searches. Similarly, keyword research tools for ad campaigns give you insights about bids, budget, and keyword suggestions to get optimal ROI for your paid searches.
Let us know in the comments section about your favorite keyword research and planning tools. Are there any other useful and unique tools for keyword research, content planning, and competitive analysis that you would like to recommend?