Keyword research is an important element of any successful SEO strategy or pay-per-click campaign.
The right keywords can help improve your ranking on search engine results pages (generating more organic traffic to your website) or attract the right visitors through your PPC efforts.
But what’s the best way to research keywords? Online tools, of course!
Related: be sure and check out these Chrome extensions for managing SEO.
The following are 11 free keyword research tools that you should consider trying.
Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is known as being one of the most accurate sources of keyword data since it comes directly from Google, the biggest search engine on the market.
Keyword Tool features analysis for multiple search engines, including:
- Apple App Store
The application also uses Google Autocomplete and generates up to 750 long-tail keyword suggestions for every search term.
Results can be exported to a CSV file.
Cost: Free (for the first 750 keywords)
Moz Keyword Explorer
The Moz Keyword Explorer gives easy-to-use keyword suggestions. It’s known for the uniqueness of its suggestions.
It also features an organic CTR score (shows the number of clicks you’re expected to attract on the first page of Google search results) and a priority score (mixes all the individual factors to help you select the best terms).
The priority score keeps keyword research simple and can be a helpful one-stop-shop type of metric to show you the value of a particular keyword without getting overwhelmed with lots of different metrics.
Cost: 10 free queries per month when you sign up for a free Moz account
Soovle immediately generates suggested keyword ideas from various search engines, including (but not limited to):
You’ll see them all appear on the same web page. It’s a great way to brainstorm because you can slowly start typing in your ideas and see it auto-generate its own ideas.
Google Search Console
Using the Performance Report, you can easily gather keyword research and inspiration from the Google Search Console.
The report includes a list of the web pages on your website that get the most clicks from Google, as well as the keywords that drove that traffic.
Check out our full guide to using Google Search Console.
KeywordTool provides many keyword suggestions, as well as the ability to filter and expand results to find the perfect keyword you’re looking for.
You can also use it to learn what keyword ideas generate based on the content of a competitor’s website.
Google Keyword Planner
The Google Keyword Planner is another tool from Google that can help you discover keywords. The value is there since the data again comes from Google.
With this tool, however, there is the “top of page bid,” where you can see how much advertisers are bidding on a keyword. The cost shown is cost per click.
In that sense, Google Keyword Planner is a bit more useful for PPC-campaign planning than SEO keyword research.
WordStream Keyword Tool
WordStream’s Keyword Tool works for both SEO and PPC keyword research. With it, you can target groups of related keywords that will give you more suggestions.
When searching, you also can include your industry and country for better results.
Cost: Free for the first 30 searches
Google Trends enables you to see overall search-term trends and whether a keyword is growing in popularity.
This is a great tool to use when you’re debating between two keywords. You’ll be able to see if one is rising in popularity while the other is declining in popularity.
You also can see if a keyword is growing in popularity on YouTube, the world’s second-largest search engine.
Ubersuggest will take your keyword and generate nearly unlimited alphabetized and numerical keyword variations in return. Content ideas are also generated related to your keyword.
You also can register for free for daily rank tracking and personalized SEO suggestions.
Source code exploration
This is less of an official tool and more of a free tactic.
The idea is to go to your competitor’s website, right-click somewhere on the web page and select “View Page Source.”
Within that coding, locate the keywords to see what they’re optimizing for.
Just be aware that your competitors might not be using the best keywords, or they might not have meta keywords enabled.
No matter what tool or tools you decide to use, the value of understanding the best keywords for your SEO or PPC is critical.
However, SEO does go beyond keyword research. Find out if you’re making these 13 common SEO mistakes.