Free Keyword Research Tools – the Ultimate Guide

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I have done many posts on keyword research at Search Engine Journal and figured it’s time to compile all the keyword research tools into one post for further reference.

1. Start with general reference sources and dictionaries.

Here are just a few of them, for more please refer to the original post: Keyword Research : Where to Start?

The free dictionaryWord definition(s), set phrases/ idioms (use them to lighten up your writing style), examples of usage. Words of the same root (inflected words and derivations), thesaurus, classic literature mentions, keyword phrases, related acronyms.
Synonym.comWord synonyms and antonyms.
Meta GlossaryWord definitions, related words and synonyms.
Reference.comYour core term synonyms and definitions.

2. Investigate your competitors’ keywords.

3. Use social media sites to analyze which words real people are using to tag your industry related content:

Features/ToolsTwitter related terms Facebook Lexicon
Data sourceTwitterDel.icio.usFacebook
How to use it.See your term in live context.See your term related tags.See how often your term is mentioned across FB walls.

Use more Twitter keyword research tools that allow to investigate hot trends and any term popularity:

  • Twit Scoop will search for any term, trend its popularity in the form of a graph and display the list of recent related discussions.
  • SiteVolume compares up to 5 terms buzz over at Twitter (and also Digg, Myspace, Youtube and Flickr) – the results are pulled from Google [site:] search.

4. Search blogs and news articles for more keyword ideas. Check out your niche meme trackers.

5. Use free keyword suggestion tools:

  • Google AdWords External Tool (that is based on Google paid search);
  • Google insights (that shows the term trends; related terms and related news stories);
  • SEObook keyword suggestion tool (that will also show you Wordtracker count and daily search volume for each term).

6. Check out keyword brainstorming tools (term clustering and related terms):

Tools/FeaturesWhat you will find there
Google SetsRelated terms (i.e. terms that are likely to appear in lists).
MSN clustering toolWord clusters (keyword phrases).
SearchradarTag clouds and keyword definitions.
Keyword MapRelated terms (synonyms and keyword phrases).
Urban DictionaryRelated terms (related synonyms and urban words).

7. Use your internal analytics reports to get an idea of your visitors’ preferences: here is a huge collection of Google Analytics advanced tips that can help you to do that.

8. More keyword related tools and resources:

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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  • Matt Longley

    Thanks for the helpful resources Ann. I can always pick your posts out of all my SEO feeds.

  • ABnCParties

    Just a wealth of information. Too much to digest in one sitting. I did test our site in SEOworkers and RankQuest with different results. Thanks again.

  • Paul

    Useful information. Appreciate the sharing.

  • Colorado Springs Vintage Homes by Kathy Torline

    Very helpful info; a couple of tools I haven’t used. Thanks

  • alex

    Hi! Nice article.
    Check out also this tool:
    Google Suggest Scraper
    I’st easy:
    – Write your query in the query box
    – Choose your language
    – Click the suggest button
    – GSS will give you a list of keyword suggested by Google with the option to download them in a CSV file
    – Click on any keyword to see other related terms

  • Arun Gangwar

    Awesome article. I like it. Ann Smarty, i have gone through many articles of your’s but this one is absolutely pretty good. Enough to get in one byte

  • visiblenet

    Great list of tools Ann. We have used quite a few of them, but there are also some hidden gems in your list. I had never heard of or used Twit Scoop before, so thanks for that gem. We developed our own keywords tool to use in-house which is now offered free on our company site. Thought your readers may be interested in trying it out. We encourage feedback so let us know if you think changes can be made. Thanks.

    (Note: the link above is reported to have viruses.)

  • John S. Britsios (aka Webnauts)

    If you liked the SEO Workers Analysis Tool, we have just published a nice Firefox Extension which you can analyze a web page with just single click

  • mike

    In addition to article, the free utility for selection keywords and as (wow!) similar keywords, just about that that you wrote.

  • Manoj

    Good information about keywords.

  • Car dealers

    Good directory for car dealers

  • Mariage Marocain

    Very good stuff 😉

  • Backlinks Software

    I am stuck on your blog with all these great tools you share here 🙂
    I have been very much involved in keyword research lately, and it’s good to know there is a great page to go to for free tools. Thanks.
    There are also some great Free Keyword Research Tools videos on Youtube.

  • Confronta ADSL

    Wow i can only say: fantastic series of tools! Thanks Ann for sharing this with us 🙂

  • diyan

    i make to seo

  • Vikash

    Thanks a lot for sharing your views… Some of the ideas is already being used by me.


  • English synonyms

    Another great resource for English synonyms. Its fast and covers words not found in other dictionaries

  • Claude Windenberger

    After finding and reading your great se0-tools post, now I am delighted with more keyword research tools also.
    I love to do keyword research, but I have some challenge in determining what keywords would be typed into Google by people who would possibly be interested in creating unconditional freedom from unwanted conditions in life, which is my passion as can be seen on my myspace page

  • mike

    I like the way you present everything. I shall keep abreast. OK!

  • Matt m

    I used the keyword analizer for my <a href=>individual health Insurance website and it helped alot with my keyword choices.

  • Sites N Stores

    Great Articles for SEO

  • Bog Ctin

    Nice one ,kip it up.

  • Bog Ctin

    Nice one ,kip it up.