Keyword research is critical for a content strategy that aims to succeed in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Yet, most of the tools that offer keyword research aren’t free. Even the ones that claim to be free are not true to their words. There are so many limitations these so-called free tools impose that you might want to give up the effort for the keyword research. How do you start without investing in paid tools? In this article, we discuss some of the best keyword research tools that are available for free. These tools provide useful data that you can use to target content to the right audience. You can use these tools to get search volumes, relevant keywords, and get inspired with content ideas.
But first, why keyword research matters to you and what you should be looking for when you set out to keyword research?
Why Keyword Research Matters and What to Look For
The foundations of a winning content strategy rest on keyword research. There is a reason for that. The world of the internet runs on words – words that are used to search, find, reach out to, communicate, share, and relate to. That’s why the internet is such an excellent tool for sharing and communicating. Search engines receive queries from visitors about what they are looking for. These queries can be about products, businesses, services, or simple information.
When search engines reciprocate with related businesses and products, these products or businesses are likely to register higher sales. If your content can meet the user’s search query, you have a chance to win this game. Yet, how do you understand the user’s language? Unless you do, you will not understand how to answer so that the user will find it useful. This is where keyword research comes in.
Keyword research focuses on what keywords your competitors are focusing on. Your competitors are also doing what you are doing. Therefore, you can learn from what they are doing right and replicate it to benefit your website. On the other hand, you can try to understand where they are failing and save your website from those mistakes. Keyword research will show you opportunities you can take advantage of. Thus, you will have a solid foundation from where you can confidently plan your website’s success.
Apart from the competitor analysis, you also get ideas about relevant keywords. These are the other keywords the user may be interested in. You can utilize these related keywords to create content accordingly. When your content caters to a cloud of such associated keywords, it can positively influence the visitor.
Keyword research helps you to be mindful of content ideas that have the potential for success. With proper keyword research, you will have clarity about which keywords to include in your content. This will make your content more relevant to your audience. That’s an advantage you can’t afford to lose.
Let’s get to the five best free keyword research tools.
1. Google Trends
Google Trends effectively shows you what keywords are trending around the world.
You can search for a keyword and know where it is trending and historical data for the keyword over the years. Also, you get the location data about the regions where your search term was popular.
The tool also provides related data about the keyword, such as related search queries and related trending topics.
You can also see data from Google Images, Google Shopping, and YouTube.
Go ahead and try Google Trends yourself.
Spyfu is a premium tool. The only reason we include it here is for the amount of data it gives for free.
Are you curious about how your competitor is using keywords? Just hit the competitor analysis, and Spyfu will show you all the top keywords they rank for, paid keywords, competition they face, and other essential data that can give you a bird’s eye view of what is happening with your competitor. The same goes for keyword research. Enter the keyword, and you get search volume for similar keywords.
Again, since this is a premium tool, you don’t get all the keywords for free. However, the data that you can view for free is enough to get you inspired and have a practical use for your content strategy. There is no limit to the number of keywords you can search for free.
3. Keyword Generator
Ahrefs has provided Keyword Generator – a keyword research tool that serves keyword ideas quickly and freely.
Once you enter a keyword, you get about 100-150 related keyword ideas along with volume for each keyword. For the first 10 keywords, it also shows keyword difficulty – a parameter that estimates how difficult it will be to rank for a particular keyword.
The interesting feature is that you can also find relevant questions for a particular keyword phrase. The search feature is available for each country. In addition to the Google search engine, you can get the data for YouTube, Bing, and Amazon.
This is a useful tool as you get the keyword ideas along with the search volume.
4. Keyword Surfer
Keyword Surfer is a useful Google Chrome extension that you will find useful for keyword research. There was a similar and popular Chrome extension – Keywords Everywhere – it recently became a paid tool. Keyword Surfer is free for now, and it is relevant.
You get to choose keywords for each country and see how much search volume is generated every month for a particular search query. All you have to do is to install this chrome extension and search the keyword on Google. With the search results, you will get results for keyword research on the right half of the screen. Also, when you type, you will see autosuggestions along with their search volume.
With this tool, you can effectively measure the relative importance of keywords and plan your content accordingly.
Ubersuggest is a popular keyword research tool you can use for free. This tool allows you to get insight into the strategies that are working for your competitors. It provides helpful data such as organic keywords, paid keywords, total traffic per month, paid ad cost, among others.
There is also an interesting category called ‘Top SEO Pages’. Here you will see the pages that are popular and have a significant social share. The keyword tool gives a good number of keyword suggestions.
There is quite a bit of relevant data that’s available for free. For example, you can differentiate between mobile volume and desktop volume. You can also get an idea about the searcher’s age range. Keyword ideas are presented with the cost per click along with the search volume. Added to this are content ideas that mention the number of backlinks for a particular page.
Overall, Ubersuggest is a pretty useful tool with essential keyword data.
Should I Go For A Paid Keyword Research Tool Instead?
We understand why you have this question. The free tools don’t seem to add the required value. They are too limited. We know we have not covered many featured keyword research tools but we have our reasons. Most of those tools don’t really work for free. The ones we have reviewed here work reasonably well for free, albeit in their limited capacity. They are great to get you started.
Of course, there is no comparison between premium tools and free ones. You get value for money when you buy a paid tool. A free tool cannot give you that value. Mostly the premium keyword research tools give you the depth and volume of data that is not possible to be explored with free ones. The search parameters, content insights, keywords, and competitor analysis are worth the value you pay.
Are you doomed if you don’t have a paid keyword research tool? No. You can start well without a paid tool. Money should not be a hindrance to success but a stepping stone to it. We are sure you will switch to premium keyword research tools once it becomes possible for you, and you indeed should. Till then, you can safely use the tools we have presented in this article. We hope this list inspires you to get started with keyword research for free.
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