It’s no exaggeration to say that keyword research is the foundation of search engine optimization, and the success of an SEO strategy can really depend on choosing the right words. Thanks to keyword research tools, which pull statistics on frequently-used (and otherwise recommended) words and phrases, you aren’t stuck playing a guessing game. These tools give marketers a sense of how in-demand specific keywords are, and how challenging it will be to compete for them.
The catch? Many developers charge a fee for their cutting-edge browser add-ons, plugins, and sites. The prices typically aren’t exorbitant (Keywords Everywhere, for example, used to be free but is now $2 a month), but it’s always nice to know where to locate the free options, isn’t it?
If you’re just dipping your toes into the waters of SEO, a free or low-cost option keyword research tool will be an excellent asset. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite free keyword research tools to help you get started crafting a winning strategy.
Looking to identify keyword gaps or conduct some thorough content analysis? SEMrush may be just the tool for you. SEO specialists swear by SEMRush when searching for organic keywords and improving a site’s content, creating just the competitive edge you need. And if that’s not enough, SEMrush provides detailed, data-driven insights to help you stand out from your competitors. Depending on the size of your business, you may eventually decide to opt for one of their paid plans, which removes some search limitations and offers more data.
2. Google Search Console
Like SEMRush, Google Search Console allows you to conduct organic searches and track your performance. You’ll also get tons of hard-and-fast data about which words you already rank for over specific periods. Can you think of a better way to pinpoint trends and spot patterns in when and where certain keywords rank?
If that’s not enough, Google Search Console lets you check your Average CTR (click-through rate) to see not only what words are most-searched, but which words are getting your viewers to move beyond the initial search results and click over to your site.
3. Bulk Keyword Generator
With the rise of online shopping, brick and mortar stores (especially local businesses) are struggling to stay afloat. This makes it crucial to maintain not only an optimized online presence in the general sense, but to rank even more competitively in your immediate geographic area, as well.
If you’re a local business looking to draw a new crowd to your site, we suggest Bulk Keyword Generator. This tool analyzes both your type of business and popular searches in that industry and your geographic location. You’ll be matched with, quite literally, a bulk of effective keywords that you can use to generate some serious virtual traffic. More online visibility is a catalyst for more foot traffic to your physical location—and chances are, you’ll come into contact with some really awesome local patrons in the process.
4. Keyword Surfer
Free browser extensions? Heck yeah! We’re wild about Keyword Surfer, a Chrome extension that allows you to view both global and monthly search volumes for any word, phrase, or query typed into Google.
Keyword Surfer shares a lot in common with Keywords Everywhere, minus the monthly fee. Here you can view local search volume estimates for the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and 15 additional countries. You’ll also get a glimpse of similar search queries or phrases to the ones you’ve been using that are searched more often, so you can adjust your keyword strategy as needed. For example, your search for “workout equipment” might garner more results if you modify your keyword phrase to “home fitness workout machine” or “strength training toning equipment,” depending on the results Keyword Surfer collects.
If you’re looking to appeal to a younger or more niche audience, Questiondb may be the keyword tool for you. It finds the keywords users are searching for a specific topic on Reddit, of all places, which means you’ll need a clear sense of your client demographic before taking these results as law. (Hint: only 19 percent of Reddit users are over age 65, and a combined 56 percent are in the 19-49 age range.)
Questiondb sorts user queries by either popularity or topic. Let’s say, for example, that we’re searching again for “workout equipment” by topic. Questions about workout equipment are grouped in your results. They may contain phrases like “does anyone know where to get cheap workout equipment in Minneapolis?” or “what workout equipment do you recommend?” The “show source link” option takes you to the original thread where the question was asked, so that you can gain additional insights from taking a look at how other users respond.
Snap Agency—Your Partner in Creative, Strategic Keyword Research
Keyword research is the backbone of SEO, and for that reason, it’s important to partner with a reliable, results-focused digital marketing agency with a knack for SEO best practices. That’s us. Snap Agency is a Minneapolis-based digital marketing agency dedicated to driving traffic and generating leads for our clients. Let’s connect today and perfect your keyword strategy—you’ll have that well-deserved organic traffic coming your way in no time.