Digital Marketing, SEO

7 Free Keyword Research Tools

By Brittany Hall

Road to Keyword Discovery

If you get overwhelmed by Baskin Robbins’ 31 ice cream flavors, then you might want to sit down for this. There are hundreds of keyword research tools out there right now.

Do a quick search for “keyword research tools.” You’ll find hundreds of tools offering to help you target the right keywords for your business. Each tool is different in features, data, and even metrics. Some tools charge a monthly subscription, while others are free.

And the tools available are always changing. Ubersuggest added new features. And Keywords Everywhere has gone from free add-on extension to a pay-as-you-go system. Meanwhile, tools like BrightLocal’s Local Search Results Checker are adding features to help you level up your local SEO efforts.

We’ve broken down seven free tools to help you tackle your keyword research.

Small Marketing Free Tips

1. SEMRush

The short and sweet version is that SEMRush is considered to be one of the best free alternatives to Google’s Keyword Planner. The keyword research tool provides you with a wide range of useful information, such as:

     • Search volume
     • Organic search results
     • Related keywords
     • Cost-per-click

You can also input a competitor’s URL into SEMRush to take a look at data about the keywords they are currently ranking for, how many backlinks their site has and where they are coming from, and other information.

NOTE: The problem is that SEMRush isn’t entirely a free keyword research tool. You can search URLs around 10 times before you will need to create an account. Once you create the account, you will then have about 10 more free queries before SEMRush will require that you pay for a plan.

2. MOZ Keyword Explorer

Keyword Explorer is a tool offered by Moz that provides some extra dimensions to keyword research. Along with Keyword Difficulty and Search Volume, Moz Keyword Explorer also offers:

     • Importance: how important the keyword is to your campaign
     • Opportunity: relative CTR [click-through-rate] of the organic results on search engines
     • Potential: a combination of all keyword metrics to help you prioritize keywords

The keyword research tool also gives you a deeper understanding of why certain pages rank in SERPs based on link and social data. This information can help you with your SEO strategy beyond researching keywords for your website.

NOTE: To use Moz Keyword Explorer, you will need to create an account, which will give you 10 free queries every month.

3. BrightLocal’s Local Search Results Checker

BrightLocal’s Local Search Results Checker is a great tool to use in tandem with SEMRush or Moz.

If you Google your own business a lot, Google will place you higher in the SERPs, skewing results. Local Rank Checker show you search results from any location and what it looks like to a fresh set of eyes.

You type in your search term or keyword, add a search location and choose whether your want the Google search results or Google maps, and voilà. You get ten pages of localized search results.

4. Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest boasts that it provides you with keywords that aren’t available through Google’s Keyword Planner tool. [Keyword Planner used to be widely used for keyword research by many. While still a useful tool, recent changes have pushed many to look for alternatives.]

Simply type in a keyword into the tool and click “suggest.” This generates a list of keywords that will likely keep you busy for a while. You will also see volume, CPC data,  the competition, and even seasonal trends for each keyword.

Neil Patel has added a few more features including the ability to see the ranking keywords for specific URLs. We broke down Ubersuggest a bit more, if you want to dig into the tool a little deeper. 

5. Keyword Tool

If you’re looking for keyword data, Keyword Tool is a good place to start. This tool uses data from Google Autocomplete to generate its database of long-tail keyword suggestions. You’ll also be able to export your keyword results to CSV. One of the highlights of Keyword Tool is that it also helps you find long-tail keywords for YouTube, Bing, Amazon, and the App Store.

NOTE: Keyword Tool is free for the first 750+ keyword suggestions. You can sign up for the pro version to see data such as search volume, competition, and CPC on AdWords.

6. KWFinder

KWFinder is a long-tail keyword research tool with a great interface. It gives you data about difficulty level, cost-per-click, search volume, and trends in your results. It serves primarily as a keyword finder, but if you click on individual keywords, a second screen pops up showing its difficulty level [from one to a hundred] and the current Google search results. This information shows you what domains are targeting the keyword, their backlinks, social shares, and web traffic. KWFinder also helps you dig in to local keyword research by targeting your search results by city, state or country.

NOTE: You get five queries every 24 hours with 50 keyword suggestions per search for free, along with 100 backlinks every 24 hours. To get more, you will need to sign up for one of KWFinder’s paid plans.

7. WordStream

WordStream is a user-friendly keyword research tool. Similar to other keyword tools, you start with entering a keyword. You can also enter your industry and country. From there, the tool gives you a list of suggested keywords, including long-tail keyword variations, and the Google search volume for each one. You can also enter website URLs. You will be able to see the top 10 keywords right away. To get the full list of keywords, however, you will have to enter your email address. The full list of keywords will then be sent to your email.

Your Keyword: Success

These seven free keyword research tools will help take you one step closer from cyberspace oblivion to the first page of the search results. Each keyword tool has its own unique features and advantages, so go ahead and try out one, two, or use them all together.

And if you are ready to dig in deeper to make sure you’re keyword research is on point, and you’re tracking your work correctly, webSMART’s launchSITE is the place to be. With detailed tutorials, customized data dashboards, a network of experts at your fingertips, and much, MUCH more, you’ll be navigating cyberspace like a boss.

But if this all seems like too much and you find yourself feeling lost and overwhelmed, we can step in and help. Our digital marketing services and the team of SMARTies are standing by ready to use our years of experience to get you to keyword success.

Not sure where to start? Let’s set up some time to figure out what option makes sense for you.

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