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Free Keyword Research Tools – the Ultimate Guide

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Free Keyword Research Tools – the Ultimate Guide

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.

  • Check what your competitors are optimizing for: Ranks, SEOworkers and RankQuest will report on any site keywords used in title and meta tags, headings, alternative and anchor text, and overall content.
  • Check which anchor text people are using to link to your competitors. Here is the list of backlink checkers that explore backlinks anchor text: BacklinkWatch, Smart backlinks, Analyze Back Links and Link Diagnosis.
  • Learn what your competitor ranks for: Google search-based keyword tool offers limited yet free and useful information on keyword ideas based on the domain name you specify.

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:

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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 ... [Read full bio]