5 Tools for Keyword Brainstorming

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Traditional keyword research should always include:

  • exploring keyword combinations and their potential (with tools like Google Adwords Tool);
  • learning your competitors‘ keywords;
  • tracking the keyword performance via internal analytics.

But how to brainstorm for new unique keywords in your and neighboring niches?

Recently there appeared a number of useful tools that can help you find more key terms to focus on:

1. Google Sets will tell you what Google itself considers relevant (neighboring) terms:

google sets

2. MSN clustering tool that “clusters search results into semantically related groups.” The tool groups the related terms in topics and subtopics. It also sorts results based on the main term different meanings.

MSN clustering

3. Searchradar not only displays a keyword tag cloud but also demonstrates the usage of this keyword and its synonyms in short context. It also offers a handy FireFox and Internet Explorer extensions that display relevant topics within Google search results.


4. Keyword Map is also a great fun to play with. It will show you keyword variations either in alphabetical order or on a map:

Keyword Map

5. Urban Dictionary provides a list of related slang and urban words. (Quick tip: install Urban Dictionary FireFox search plugin to search right from your browser.) The dictionary is really helpful at giving you a full picture of your main term associations as well as jargon, memes, and neologisms – the essential information to help you in even a deeper understanding of your niche.

Urban Dictionary

Apart from keyword research all these tools can be very useful in many other spheres:

  • they will help you to get new ideas for your upcoming blog posts if you are stuck for inspiration;
  • they can improve your writing style by enriching it with synonyms;
  • they will give you a deeper understanding of your niche;
  • they will show you new directions to develop outside but nearby your current niche.
Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty

Brand amd Community Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas
Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing,... Read Full Bio
Ann Smarty
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  • Mercy

    MSN Clustering and Urban Dictionary are the new find to me. Thanks Ann!!! As SE’s getting into more semantic search, such tools will help us more effiectively in keyword reasearch.

  • Dave Robinson

    You might also find this seed keywords tool useful.


  • MarketingDeviant

    I brainstorm articles from a few keywords. Those keywords will then be the highlight which I will try to optimize for seo. Those last 4 bulletpoints are great guides to why keywords are important and help improve your writing as well.

  • alan

    cool stuff we use wordtracker quite a bit and our own stat logs to see keywords. from what I see keywords evolve and change pretty fast.

  • Earn Money

    thax for the read, these are some intersting site that I haven’t come across yet

  • Lucio Ribheiro

    Ann, What a quality post here.
    I really enjoy your writing, short, efficient and easy to get.
    Thanks again

  • Deepak Bisht

    Thanks for the resources. all of them are of great help.. 🙂

  • Darby Tober

    Another great post Ann, thanks! It’s very helpful to see some possible alternatives to Wordtracker and Keyword Discovery out there.

  • SEO Mentor

    Great stuff! A couple that I have never used before. Thanks Ann, I plan on sharing this with my students.

  • marlon

    Great post Anne. I’m really trying to develop my keyword strategies for blogging and article writing.

    I have an off-topic question though – how do you get ‘buzz up’ button on your site? I just discovered buzzup yesterday and I couldn’t find the button anywhere.

  • Custom Web Site Design

    Great Post. Keep it up.

  • Shana Albert

    Awesome post, Ann. I love playing around with new tools and a couple of these tools I wasn’t aware of. Very cool.


  • Lisa R

    Most are new to me. I think I’ll use them to expand on some current campaigns. Thanks!

  • Internet Marketing Joy

    These are indeed must have tools for your keyword research and etc.

    Thanks for posting it here..I really appreciate it..^^

  • Subash

    Cool article. loved it. Thanks Ann.

  • Ram

    awesome. as a startup, we at http://www.findnearyou.com find these tips tof greatest help.thanks a ton!!

  • Scharnetzki

    Thank you for this list. These additional two sites can be also very helpfull to explore the context of keywords:



  • Federico Muñoa

    Great tools !!

  • Nick Stamoulis

    This is an excellent list for keyword brainstorming. Once you conduct the brainstorming, then we always recommend a tool such as Keyword Discovery or Wordtracker to conduct the keyword research phase.

  • Linda White

    Good artical. we at http://www.professionalav.com find these tips of greatest help. Thank you very much!!

  • Rangle Chan

    Dear Ann,

    Thanks a lot for your so useful keyword analysing tools.

    One enquiry for you: could you please inform me of the specific URL of MSN clustering tool? Cause I searched the other 4 URLs except this one.

    Thanks & Have a great day. ^_^


  • Stefanos

    I find the keyword map very useful for understanding related terms. It is good to have visual representation too. Clients also understand better the relation between related keywords.

  • lowerbackpaindr

    Ann…great info from someone learning this stuff!

  • patrick

    hey thanks for your great post. right now im using google keyword tool as you mentioned its simple to use and we gather interesting information too like the percentage of people using a particular keyword is used to classified the keyword and we understand which keyword is most popular amongst others.

  • Livy

    Thanks, some of the links to the tools aren’t working for me. 1,2 & 3 bring up errors for me. Maybe it’s something to do with my side of things. Just thought you should know. 🙂