Now more than ever, various niches and SERPs have become incredibly competitive. Whether the goal is to target keywords for a major pay per click campaign or improve visibility in SERPs as part of a broader SEO strategy, finding the proverbial “sweet spots” where effort, time, visibility and cost are all relatively well-balanced is a challenge.
Any marketer or SEO guru relies on a variety of tactics and utilities in order to be competitive. In particular, the utilities chosen can have a huge impact on the overall quality of any PPC or SEO-related outcome. There are hundreds of free and low-cost solutions available online, but not all are created equal.
Knowing which keyword research tools to use and which to avoid can have a dramatic effect on the efficiency of any campaign. While many premium options exist that can revolutionize marketing campaigns and organic search efforts alike, there are several free tools that provide comparable benefits. For brands just starting their marketing efforts, these are often more appealing.
As such, let’s look at seven free keyword research tools that can provide genuine benefit for any SEO or PPC endeavor.
Some keyword research tools are stand-alone pages, while others provide a constant presence as you browse the web. Wordtracker Scout is a useful utility that comes in the form of a Chrome extension. An excellent choice for extracting important keywords and suggestions from any page, many use Wordtracker Scout as a method to research competitors’ targeted keywords and phrases.
The extension also allows users to filter keywords by relevance and displays vital stats such as the number of searches performed for each keyword, its competition score and a proprietary opportunity ranking for each entry.
The data collected by Wordtracker Scout can also easily be exported into a Google Drive sheet, making it easy to take any and all keyword findings wherever you go.
Anybody who has spent time researching keywords has heard of Google Trends – and for good reason. This free utility, provided by the world’s most used search engine, gives users the option of uncovering various trends and developments for any number of keywords. Want to know if a particular niche or keyword you’re targeting is gaining or losing interest over time? Then Google Trends is a must-use solution.
Additionally, Google Trends also offers recommendations to users in the form of related queries: so even if your specific keywords are not ideal targets, you’ll have access to related queries that may prove to be better choices for both SEO and PPC-related purposes.
AdWord & SEO Keyword Permutation Generator
Determining which keywords best fit with your existing strategies – whether they be SEO or PPC-oriented – can be a challenge. Thankfully, the AdWord & SEO Keyword Permutation Generator offers a simple interface that can provide an infinite number of recommendations.
Not only can you enter single keywords for a variety of recommendations, but you can also enter separate segments of keywords to generate relevant long-tail keyword options. The more data you provide the AdWord & SEO Generator, the more options you’ll be given. This utility, in particular, can be very useful for those who lack a certain imagination when it comes to generating more complex keyword variations.
Google Keyword Planner
No list of top-tier free keyword research tools would be complete without mentioning Google Keyword Planner. Chances are that everybody has used – or at least considered using – this utility at some point during keyword research. Its sheer flexibility and direct connection to the search engine giant makes it a powerful choice for any marketing or SEO endeavor.
Unlike some of the other tools on this list, Keyword Planner offers direct PPC benefits as well, such as the average cost per click for each suggestion. Likewise, users will be able to mine data points such as the average number of monthly searches and how competitive the keyword/SERP is currently.
With dozens upon dozens of potential configurations, extracting the most valuable keyword data using this free keyword research tool can’t get any easier.
Soovle is an awesome utility that provides many of the benefits that tools like the (former) Suggestion Keyword Finder offered – but across an array of sources. Using Autocomplete data, Soovle can be used to generate keyword recommendations for multiple search engines and high-traffic marketplaces. Some examples include Google, Yahoo, Bing, YouTube, eBay, and Amazon.
Particularly useful for maximizing any SEO and PPC campaigns, Soovle provides insight into how best to target search engines, media hubs, and top-tier marketplaces. Whether you are attempting to organically reach users via Google, increase the visibility of products on Amazon or boost reach on YouTube, Soovle provides an all-in-one solution for free.
Google’s utility continues to appear on this list of top free keyword research tools – and for good reason. Obtaining keyword data straight from the biggest source of PPC and SEO campaigns is immensely valuable. Specifically, Google Correlate offers a unique way to assess the individual value of potential keywords based on your current targets.
Using Google Correlate, users can enter in one or more initial keywords. Below these entries, a list of potential keywords will be shown, with a correlation score next to each. Given that many ad campaigns and SEO efforts revolve around targeting relevant clusters of keywords rather than individual queries, this utility offers a fantastic way to determine how best to organize keywords, topic ideas, and content offerings in general.
While tools such as Google Keyword Planner provide a wealth of insight into keyword possibilities, there are other sources and variations that it doesn’t provide. This is where Ubersuggest comes in: users will find keyword recommendations that can’t be found through most other Google utilities.
Providing a virtually unlimited list of keyword possibilities from just a single entry, Ubersuggest offers customizations to generate pre-defined variations, such as recommendations based on location or brand. Ubersuggest also can break down recommendations by category, helping you to better organize the output and analyze specific variations based on your priorities.
Depending on your exact focus, multiple keyword research and planning tools may be needed. Thankfully, the seven entries on this list are excellent choices as a combined arsenal, giving you the ability to research opportunities for SEO campaigns, product sales on platforms such as Amazon, and PPC campaigns alike.