One of the biggest SEO mistakes you can make is neglecting keyword research in favor of producing “great content.”
That’s because you need keyword research to pinpoint where your customers are at in the customer’s journey.
In general, a person searching “How to do [something]” is seeking information, while a person who enters “[product] sale” is looking to buy the product.
Using that information, you can produce relevant content that gets customers to click through and convert.
In a nutshell, keyword research determines the keywords that matter most for the objectives of your website.
When done well, it provides direction as to what you should be optimizing for awareness, consideration, or conversion.
Due to Google’s popularity, most SEO professionals first turn to Google Keyword Planner and its related tools, which can be limiting or difficult to use.
The good news: Several free keyword research tools are available in the market.
Don’t ignore uncommon keyword research tools that are ideal for when you are in a rut and looking for additional options.
Uncommon Keyword Research Tools
- Keywords Everywhere.
- Keyword Tool Dominator.
- Google Search Data.
TagCrowd is one of the best free keyword research tools for SEO.
Its value proposition is simple: you can visualize word frequency by creating word/text/tag clouds without the hefty price tag of tools like Buzzsumo and Ahrefs Keywords Explorer.
Keyword frequency remains an important focus of on-page SEO.
If you’re targeting specific keywords but use them sparsely, you’ll have trouble ranking for those keywords. On the other hand, stuffing keywords on a page with too high a frequency might trigger a Google penalty for what’s perceived as a black hat SEO technique.
You can use TagCrowd to determine the optimum keyword frequency for a topic by checking competitor articles.
- Beginner-friendly user interface.
- Supports competitor SEO analysis.
- Multiple ways to add content:
- Upload a file.
- Enter webpage URL.
- Paste page text.
Best keyword research tool for: Visualizing keyword frequency
2. Keywords Everywhere
Keywords Everywhere is a keyword research tool that provides keyword suggestions from over 15 of the most popular keyword tools.
This free keyword research tool for SEO has Firefox and Chrome extensions that can be added to your browser.
It is brought to you by the same team behind Keyword Keg.
- Collates data from popular keyword research tools like Ubersuggest, Answer the Public, Google Search, Google Analytics, Search Console, and Moz Open Site Explorer.
- Provides basic but valuable information – keyword search volume and cost per click.
- Issues data in PDF, Excel, and CSV file formats.
Best keyword research tool for: Keyword research in browsers
Pricing: Free with limited features. The Premium version uses the pay-as-you-go model. You can buy 100,000 credits (1 credit = 1 keyword research) for as low as $10.
MerchantWords is one of the best free keyword research tools for SEO if you own an Amazon store. It collects data from over one billion Amazon searches to return a list of relevant keyword phrases.
- Actionable market insights using data from over one billion Amazon searches worldwide.
- Monthly search volume of keywords with the help of Google keyword data.
- Unlimited searches and CSV downloads.
- 24/7 customer service support.
Best keyword research tool for: Ecommerce businesses
Pricing: Free with limited features. Premium plans start at $35/month (for U.S. data only) and at $149/month (for global data).
Keysearch is a powerful free keyword research tool that helps you get organic traffic and find potential backlink opportunities.
It also features keyword research tools for YouTube and Pinterest.
- Keyword difficulty checker.
- Rank tracker.
- Backlink checker.
- Website audit analyzer.
- Competitive analysis.
Best keyword research tool for: Individuals and businesses on a budget
Pricing: Free with limited features. Premium plans start at $17/month.
Keyword.Guru is an uncommon keyword research tool that collates results from top search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing) and ecommerce sites (Amazon, eBay).
While it does not show keyword density or frequency, it returns the most common keyword search results quickly and displays real-time keyword search results.
- Analyzes search data from top search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing) and ecommerce websites (Amazon, eBay).
- Delivers real-time search results data.
- Shows the most common searches quickly.
Best keyword research tool for: Real-time keyword research
Pricing: Free with limited features. The premium plan is $5/month.
GetKeywords is a free and uncommon keyword research tool that caters to local SEO.
With filters to narrow down search results to countries, provinces, and cities and metrics that are usually unavailable in free keyword tools, GetKeywords is one of the most powerful free keyword research tools for SEO.
- Filters to narrow down keyword results for geographical locations.
- Keyword grouping according to search intent – ecommerce, video-related, and question-based searches.
- Shows the top traffic locations of each country you type, along with a breakdown of mobile and desktop traffic.
- Displays the overall bounce rate for the related SERP – so you know whether you need to consider the keyword.
Best keyword research tool for: Local SEO
Pricing: Free plan with unlimited searches. Premium plans start at $24/month when billed annually for advanced features like SEO difficulty and competitor keywords.
If you’re looking for blog topic ideas, QuestionDB is your best bet.
This free keyword research tool for SEO pulls keyword ideas from questions raised on websites such as Reddit and Quora.
- Finds relevant questions for the entered keyword from Q&A websites.
- Analyzes questions database for relevant keywords.
- Provides sources for questions to curate relevant content for blogs.
Best keyword research tool for: Creating informative blog posts
Pricing: Free with limited features. Premium plans start at $7/month when billed annually.
Soovle is a free keyword research tool for SEO that works as both a keyword tool and generator.
It helps users find keywords across multiple popular websites such as YouTube, eBay, Amazon, and Wikipedia.
As you type in a few search terms, Soovle autocompletes with phrases to help you expand your ideas.
- Generates terms according to each platform.
- Unlimited searches.
- Idea generator.
Best keyword research tool for: Ecommerce or businesses with multiple channels looking for keyword ideas.
9. Keyword Tool Dominator
Keyword Tool Dominator brings in databases from eight of the largest websites (Amazon, Bing, eBay, Etsy, Google, Google Shopping, Walmart, and YouTube) to determine the latest trending keywords.
Keyword Tool Dominator’s downsides include the lack of keyword analysis and a limit of two keywords per day in the free version.
- Unlimited real-time keyword searches (premium plans only).
- Unlimited keyword suggestions — including long-tail keywords.
- Keyword ranking.
- Export reports.
Best keyword research tool for: Multichannel marketers
Pricing: Free with limited features. Lifetime unlimited access to tools starts at $49.99.
10. Google Search DataIs this suggestion unique?
It depends on your level of awareness regarding the free keyword research tools available to you.
Many beginners forget about the wealth of keyword data available to them through Google.
- Autocomplete: Shares search suggestions that include various long-tail versions of your primary keyword based on actual user data.
- People also ask: Shares questions that searchers ask related to your keyword. People also ask provides great opportunities for subheadings and featured snippets.
- Related searches: Displays searches that don’t necessarily involve the same exact words as the primary keyword you typed in but are semantically related. These searches represent related topics that may make sense to bring up in your article based on what users are interested in learning.
Best for: All users
AlsoAsked is a freemium keyword research tool centered around Google’s People also ask data.
When you enter a seed keyword, AlsoAsked suggests relationships between topics with helpful visuals. You can download data as .CSV or .PNG files.
AlsoAsked is similar to AnswerThePublic in that both provide additional context to Google data, with AnswerThePublic focusing specifically on autocomplete data.
- Shows related keywords.
- Visualize keyword relationships.
- Export keyword data as .CSV or .PNG files.
Best for: Discovering what people are talking about and how those topics are related.
Pricing: Free with limited functionality. Starts at $49/month.
StoryBase is a premium keyword research tool that focuses on the finer details around search intent and searcher characteristics.
This is an excellent tool for brands that want to connect with their most ideal target audiences in search.
StoryBase maps various data points together to help you more quickly make sense of their relevance.
A paid plan also grants access to various useful content analysis tools, including keyword performance and heatmaps.
- Clickthrough rate (CTR) tool.
- Heat maps.
- Google Search Console integration.
- Keyword performance tools.
Best for: Brands that want to connect to their ideal target audiences.
Pricing: Starts at $49/month.
Keyworddit, a free keyword research tool built by Reddit, offers another opportunity to optimize your keyword research in terms of connecting with your target audience.
Keyworddit is a goldmine for ideas. It helps you by finding keywords based on questions often asked on Reddit.
Research subreddits (groups) that represent the characteristics of your target audience.
Then, run the subreddit names through Keyworddit to extract keywords that represent what engaged users are talking about most frequently.
Keep in mind that search volume is based on Google search data, not Reddit search data.
- Finds the most popular searches on Reddit.
- Understand the topics your audience is most interested in.
Best for: Brands that want to market on Reddit.
Keyword research is an essential component of any good SEO strategy.
As Google frequently updates its algorithm, it no longer makes sense to rely on data gleaned solely from Google’s SEO tools.
The good news?
There are plenty of paid and free keyword research tools for SEO. While the paid tools provide the most data with the easiest route to uncovering it, the free tools can still be quite insightful – without the hefty price tag.
Did we miss any unique keyword research tools that you think should be a part of this list? Tweet your thoughts at @sejournal!
Featured image: Paulo Bobita/SearchEngineJournal