SEO is an ever-changing landscape but there’s one thing that remains constant: the need for keyword research.
Identifying the right terms to target will bring focus to your content marketing and improve your website conversion rate.
Sometimes it can be a daunting task knowing where to begin but thankfully our handy list of the best free keyword research tools will put you on the path towards SEO success.
Best of all, the tools featured on our list will cost you nothing. This is ideal if you’re on a tight budget or just beginning your SEO journey as it means you can experiment with different options before committing to the advanced features of a paid platform.
Use SEMrush to discover which keywords your competitors are ranking for. Simply enter a URL in the search bar and you’ll be presented with your competitor’s top keywords and any paid terms they are targeting.
With the Keyword Magic Tool you will discover monthly search volumes and keyword difficulty scores for your chosen terms. The free version provides a list of up to seven keywords on a given topic so you can easily compare data to help you identify the most valuable keywords.
Best for: discovering competitor search data
Visit website: semrush.com
Answer the Public is a creative tool for generating keyword ideas. It visualises search questions and suggested autocomplete searches in the form of a spider image (see below). You can then save the image and feature it in a meeting to simply the presentation of your keyword recommendations.
Answer the Public is a useful way to find question-style keywords such as ‘what’, ‘how’, ‘why’ and ‘when’ which will create the focus for informational posts. What it doesn’t provide though is keyword search volumes so you’ll need to input your terms into another tool to discover their search data.
Best for: discovering informational search queries
Visit website: answerthepublic.com
Soovle is really easy to use and offers keyword ideas from different search engines including Google, Wikipedia, YouTube and ecommerce platforms such as Ebay and Amazon.
It’s one of the quickest research tools around and literally presents results as you type. It doesn’t provide any keyword data though so you’ll need combine it with another tool for that kind of insight.
Best for: discovering ecommerce search terms
Visit website: soovle.com
This social media analytics and content curation tool is ideal for marketers seeking inspiration for their content strategy. Enter a keyword or domain in the search bar and the tool will present a table of related web pages based on the number of social shares.
You can sort the results by platform, or review a link’s ‘evergreen’ score, in other words how popular the post has remained after it was published.
Best for: sourcing content ideas based on social media popularity
Visit website: buzzsumo.com
Google’s Keyword Planner is part of the Google Ads platform and as such is designed as a paid search tool but is nonetheless extremely useful for SEO.
You can research keyword ideas based on a phrase, landing page or product category to discover average monthly search volumes for a specific period or location.
Best for: identifying the most popular keywords on Google
Visit website: ads.google.com
WordStream’s free keyword tool works in a similar way to Google Keyword Planner. Although it was designed with Google Ads users in mind and can be linked to your PPC account, it is also useful for anyone looking to do organic keyword research.
In addition to their keyword tool, WordStream publishes useful white papers and articles on how to conduct keyword research and current best practice guidelines.
Best for: discovering niche keyword ideas
Visit website: wordstream.com/keywords
This free online research tool uses Google Autocomplete to generate hundreds of long tail keywords for any topic. The free version generates up to 750 keyword suggestions and can be used without setting up an account.
Selecting the ‘Instagram’ or ‘Twitter’ tabs will present topical hashtags to use in your social posts. You can also search for ideas from YouTube, Bing and Play Store amongst other others.
Best for: identifying popular related social media hashtags
Visit website: keywordtool.io
This clean and easy-to-use interface has been developed by Neil Patel, one of the best-known experts in the world of SEO and content marketing. From head terms to long-tail phrases, you’ll get data on search volume, competition and seasonal trends for your keywords.
In addition to keyword data, one of the best features of Ubersuggest is the SEO analysis tool. Once you register for a free account, you can conduct a site audit to discover your SEO score, organic keywords and any on-page issues which need to be fixed.
Best for: gaining additional insight into a domain’s SEO performance
Visit website: app.neilpatel.com/en/dashboard
Discover monthly search volumes, difficulty levels and organic click through rates with Moz Keyword Explorer. The SERP analysis feature takes a snapshot of first page results with a corresponding page and domain authority score for each featured website.
Depending on your keyword objectives, you can filter results to discover closely related topics and synonyms or exclude your query terms to get broader ideas.
Bear in mind the free version only allows up to 10 searches a month so use your options wisely otherwise you’ll need to upgrade to a Pro account.
Best for: discovering analytics about page one search results
Visit website: moz.com/explorer