Chief among them are keyword research tools, which can provide you with keyword ideas, low-competition keywords, and more. But of all the hundreds of options, which is the best free keyword research tool? We created a top-ten list so all you need to do is plug in your seed keyword.
How to find the best free keyword research tool
Even if you’re relatively new to SEO, you’ve probably heard of keyword research tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, Moz, and Ubersuggest. These are all goldmines when it comes to finding keywords that fill the three essential criteria:
- low competition
- low difficulty
- high search volume
But, unfortunately, all of them need to be paid for (though a couple do offer basic free versions – more on that later). So, if you don’t have the budget to invest in your SEO, or are just looking for some quick and simple keyword suggestions, check out one of these free tools first. The metrics they deliver may not be as good as the paid versions, but they’ll still provide plenty of inspiration.
Related: Free SEO Tools You Need To Be Using
1. Answer the Public
Plenty of SEO experts claim this is the best free keyword research tool available because it focuses on the questions people ask their search engine. This provides great topic inspiration if you need fresh blog or website content. What’s more, it helps you understand your target audience’s needs, so you can build a content strategy around answering those questions. Simply plug in a seed keyword and you’ll be given questions, related queries, and autocomplete suggestions. All results are free and available in neat graphic or list form.
2. Google Keyword Planner
The big one, though not necessarily the best. You’ll need a (free) Google AdWords account to access it and can get keyword stats like competition level, average monthly search volume, and cost per click. Keyword suggestions aren’t as exact as in other tools, but Google Keyword Planner is good for synonyms and keyword variations.
Yes, we did mention Ubersuggest as one of the paid tools, but it also has a free level available. Tap in your focus keyword and you’ll be given a long, helpfully alphabetized list of variations. You’ll need to pay to access the metrics, but for quick keyword research, this tool is very handy.
4. Google Trends
Another keyword research tool powered by Google, this search engine is great for uncovering seasonal keyword trends. You can compare multiple keywords, explore related queries, and check out the popularity of certain words across different regions or time zones. Great if you have a geographically limited target audience or want to avoid hitting up an old trend.
This keyword research tool is based on Reddit, so gives you access to a different corner of the internet. Handily, you can sort your results by topic, which is useful if you’re planning a series of posts around a theme. Keywords can be exported to CSV and you can also view them in their original Reddit threads.
6. Ahrefs Keyword Generator
Another free version of a paid tool, Ahrefs’ offering allows you to filter results by country and search engine. You’ll only get 100 keyword ideas per seed, but also 50 questions and a set of basic metrics. For a free and intuitive tool, that’s pretty good going.
7. Also Asked
Another tool that helps you get inside the minds of your target audience. You won’t get many keyword suggestions here, but you will get question-type queries asked around your seed keyword. More good inspiration for new content topics.
This free keyword tool not only generates new ideas for you, but it also shows you autocomplete results from across a range of search engines. If you don’t want to limit your keyword suggestions to Google, use this tool to get results from Yahoo, Bing, Amazon, YouTube, and more.
9. Keyword Sheeter
A relatively basic tool (no metrics), Keyword Sheeter does at least allow you to exclude certain results from your search. It also works quickly, generating around 1,000 keyword ideas per minute, and you can export the results to CSV for free. Note that data is based on Google Autocomplete.
10. People Also Ask
Not technically a keyword research tool, but one of the most overlooked methods of generating keyword suggestions. If you’re short on time, why not plug your seed keyword into Google? Not only can you check the autocomplete, but at the bottom of the results page you’ll find “people also ask.” This is a great way of understanding users’ search intent and can help you write SEO content to answer their questions.
Of course, there are many more free keyword research tools out there – not to mention the paid ones. Trial a few to find which works best for you, or better yet, use several in combination. Remember to search for keyword suggestions AND search intent, and you’ll soon have no problems writing SEO-friendly content.