Looking for reliable free keyword research tools that offer fairly the same value as their paid alternatives?
Want to do some in-depth keyword research but your hands are tied due to limited funds to pay for premium tools?
If that’s the case, then these free keyword research tools will come in handy. They can help you identify the best keywords to target with less competition and high monthly search volume.
Best Free Keyword Research Tools
Soovle is a simple free keyword research tool that provides autocomplete suggestions from different sources, including Google, Yahoo, Bing, YouTube, Wikipedia, and Amazon.com.
The suggestions are based on what users search for the most in each of these platforms and/or search engines.
When looking for keyword suggestions, head over to Soovle then type in your keyword. Soovle will then show you autosuggestions from the different platforms.
You can also switch from one platform to another, such as from Google to Bing to Yahoo, etc.
Although it doesn’t show you search metrics such as search volume and keyword difficulty, having raw autosuggestions is great.
Because that’s exactly what users are searching for.
2. Google Trends
If you wish to target a specific country, state, or region, then Google Trends can be an ideal free keyword research tool for you.
Getting trend data from the biggest search engine will definitely give you an edge over your competition.
The tool shows search trends and searches volumes of different search terms and you can choose your country, state, city, or location.
Let’s do a simple search and see how this works – our search term is “affiliate marketing”.
As you can see, the searches for the term have been on a steady rise for the past 12 months.
This means if you were to write a good blog post about affiliate marketing then you can have steady, growing traffic over time (with higher rankings, of course).
It also shows you which regions search for “affiliate marketing” info the most along with its Related Queries.
Some related queries include:
- Best affiliate marketing course
- How affiliate marketing works
- Affiliate marketing without a website
- Affiliate marketing platforms
You can write an in-depth guide on affiliate marketing (and make it a course). How about the best affiliate marketing platforms/networks or how to do affiliate marketing without a website?
The other great feature you can find within Google Trends is the option to compare two or more keywords or phrases, eg. Google Search Console vs Google Webmaster Tools.
This helps you to identify the ideal keyword or phrase to target based on its trend for the last year. You can easily identify which keyword has a positive search trend and which one doesn’t.
In a nutshell, the amount of information and insight you can get from this free keyword research tool is worth lots of dollars.
3. Google Search Console
It’s one of the best free keyword research tools that help you track your site’s performance in organic search.
You get to see your site’s Total Impressions, Total Clicks, Average CTR, and Average Position over a given period of time.
You can use these details to improve your organic rankings, double or even triple organic search traffic, and identify which keywords perform best or bring you the most traffic.
Let’s use this screenshot from one of my old websites. Data is from June 2019 to June 2020.
Rather than focusing on new keywords and writing new blog posts, I can choose to do a few things based on these metrics.
For example, with the keywords with a CTR of less than 10%, I can optimize my meta title and description for higher CTR improved Google rankings and more organic clicks.
For keywords with higher CTR and ranking in the top 5, I can do some on-page optimization to aim for the top spot.
The key here is to use the data already available to you to optimize your content for higher rankings and more organic traffic.
Secondly, you will identify which type of content drives the most traffic, and build a few related, unique content for interlinking purposes (better overall rankings and more sessions).
4. Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is one of the best free keyword research tools (with a paid version) that you can take advantage of.
It allows you to see which keywords or phrases advertisers are paying for, how much they are paying for them, average monthly searches, and keyword competition.
With free Google Keyword Planner, you get to see estimates of searches per month, rather than the exact search volume.
One thing you should keep in mind is that if a keyword or phrase is indicated to have a low competition in Google Keyword Planner, that doesn’t mean it’s easier to rank.
The competition metric here refers to how advertisers compete to pay for the keyword or phrase in question.
A higher competition indicates more advertisers are spending lots of money trying to rank at the top of Google, while one with low competition attracts few advertisers.
What’s the takeaway, then?
If you’re using SEO with the goal being to win organic traffic, then going for medium and high competition keywords will be great.
Because that’s where the money is…
That’s why advertisers are spending millions of dollars trying to outrank each other. So if you can be the first organic search result just after paid ads, then you will be smiling all the way to the bank.
I saved the best for last, I guess…
Google is not a typical keyword research tool, but you can use it just like you would any other tool.
There are a few ways you can do that;
First is the Google Autocomplete suggestions that allow you to know what Internet users are searching for the most.
Let’s say your search phrase is “link building”, the moment you start typing Google will give you some autocomplete suggestions based on the most common searches.
To get better results you need to add space or an asterisk before or after your search term, like this;
Or this way
The other major clue on what people often search for on Google is the “People also ask” box.
Each time you click on one of the suggestions, Google adds a few more at the bottom. This gives you more keyword ideas without having to pay even a dime.
As if that isn’t enough, Google also has a “Top stories” box that highlights the latest and best blog posts about the keyword you’re doing research on.
What happens when you click the link “More for link building” at the bottom of the box? Google takes you to the News page with tens of the best and high ranking blog posts related to the keyword.
Then you have “People also search for” box near the bottom showing some of the top-searched websites
Finally, you have the “searches related to” section which indicates related search phrases users use when searching for similar information.
Think that’s all?
Not yet, Buddy…
Google gives you somewhat of a “clue” on what to write based on what’s ranking at the top, the number of Google ads, and the content of all the boxes we just highlighted above.
Basically, there are three types of search queries, and learning how to target each one can be the backbone for your blog’s success. They include;
- Navigational search queries
- Informational search queries
- Transactional search queries
Navigational search queries are those entered with the intent of finding a specific webpage, e.g., “youtube” or “Facebook” or “Netflix”. The user will then navigate to YouTube, Facebook, or Netflix.
Informational queries are queries that indicate a user is searching for information. This means they are less likely to make a purchase or subscription. Examples include;
- Types of income statements
- How do bloggers make money
- How to write a thesis statement
Transactional queries are those likely to lead to a transaction, such as a purchase or subscription. Examples of such queries include;
- Link building services
- Email marketing tools
- iPhone 11 Pro Max
Understanding user intent will help you decide the type of content to create. If most of the top results, plus the featured snippet, are navigational content, then creating transactional content might not be right.
If you find the top-ranking content are YouTube videos or tutorials, then create better videos and tutorials to outrank them.
Besides, the written content is less likely to rank above YouTube videos if someone searched “how to rank YouTube videos”.
In a nutshell, Google gives you almost every clue you need to understand what its users want. You can easily use these raw data to claim the top spot too.
These are the best free keyword research tools that can be ideal for your SEO plans. If you do not have enough funds to pay for premium versions then these five options can do just fine.