Free Keyword Research Tools for SEO | How to Use Them
We’re looking at the best free keyword research tools and how to use them to power your keyword research. What’s up SEO? Oh here with Ahrefs, the SEO tool that helps you grow your search traffic, research your competitors and dominate your niche. Now, there are certain stigmas around the word “free?” And to a certain extent, they’re true. With free keyword research tools, you may not get the “top-notch” features that come with premium tools, but you can get quite a bit of So. I’m going to show you how each of these keyword research tools works and then I’ll show you how you can use them in tandem for a solid keyword research process that won’t cost you a penny. You’ll see
The first tool is Google Correlate:
Google correlate finds queries with a similar pattern to a target data series. So if I type in “lose weight,” then you can see that people are also interested in exercises, fattening, they want to lose specifically 20 lbs, build muscle, lose belly fat, and the list goes on. So the main pro with Google Correlate is that you can find subtopics, which will help Plus, you can find hidden gems in here since the results are relational and not necessarily bound by phrase match or keyword matching as many premium tools do. The two major cons of this tool are that there are no search metrics that accompany these keywords. And second, you’ll often find keywords that apparently have a high correlation like this one, but make absolutely no sense
Next is Keyword Shitter:
This tool mines Google auto-suggest keywords based on a seed keyword. So if I type in “lose weight,” then it’ll start mining data. The main pro of this tool is that you can generate thousands of related and long-tail keywords. They also have nice positive and negative filters you can use to narrow down your list. For example, if I wanted to find modifier keywords, then I could enter in best, top, and 2018, which narrows down our results quite nicely. There are a couple of major cons to this tool. First, it can take quite a long time to find keywords that are actually meaningful. And the very obvious con is that there are no search metrics that can take a while to batch process in another tool.
Keywords everywhere is a Google Chrome browser extension that adds an inline view of search metrics on popular websites. You’ll need to install the extension, sign up for a free account, and then enter your API key into the settings. Now, when you go to any of these sites, you’ll get instant keyword metrics. So if I go to Google search and type in a keyword phrase, then you’ll see the various metrics right beside your target search query as well as the autosuggestions. You’ll also see related keywords and other keywords that people search for on the right side of the search results page. The obvious pro is that you get all of the search metrics for free.
Google Keyword Planner:
Google Keyword Planner started restricting that data from users who aren’t advertising on Adwords. So that is awesome! But there is one very serious issue. As far as I know, they source their data through Google Keyword Planner alone. The thing is that Keyword Planner uses “buckets” to group keywords. Russ Jones gave a good example of this in one of his blog posts. He said: “When a keyword returns a traffic volume of 201,000, it isn’t because the keyword was actually visited that many times, but just that it was closer to 201,000 than the next biggest bucket of 246,000.”
Let me show you an example. -If you look at the keyword results for “chicken soup ingredients”, you’ll see that it has a search volume of 2,900. And if you look at the singular form of this, “chicken soup ingredient,” you’ll see that it returns the exact same result, when you and I both know that that isn’t true. Now, compare that with Ahrefs’ toolbar which shows you that the plural has around 1,000 monthly searches, while the singular has only 10 monthly searches. So that’s a major con in my books since we won’t know if we can fully trust the data that we’re getting. But in all fairness, even as an Adwords user, you would see similar results.
The next tool is search engine auto-suggest:
And no, I’m not talking about Google. There are numerous other search engines that you and I use every single day like Amazon, Pinterest, YouTube, and the list goes on. So if you’re in a niche business like making homemade cards, then you might head over to Etsy and type in something like “cards.” And as the autosuggest populates, you can see all sorts of great keyword ideas like cards box with nearly 15,000 monthly searches, cards for boyfriend with 2,900 monthly searches, and so on. But remember, these search volumes besides the keyword are based on Google searches, and not Etsy or whatever website you’re looking at. Suggestions from niche sites like this will likely produce better results than just using Google where the keyword “cards” can also be related to a game, bakeries, or even finance like credit cards.
The next tool is Google Trends:
And this is one of my favorite tools. Using Trends, you can see the past and present the popularity of a keyword or topic. For example, if I search for “selfie stick,” you’ll see that the trend seems pretty stable over the past 12 months. And Keywords Everywhere shows that it has a monthly search volume of over 200,000 monthly searches! But is that really so? Remember, search volumes from Google Keyword Planner are rounded annual averages based on those buckets of keywords. So, if we change the Trends view to the past 5 years, you’ll see that they were incredibly popular for about half a year in 2015.
And then it spiked again, and again, and again. But as each spike happened, you’ll see that they were related to seasonality since most happened around Christmas time. But after each spike, the popularity continued to decrease. And if you look at the search query in the Keywords Explorer tool, you’ll see that it has a monthly search volume of 54,000 searches, and you can see the same trend in search volume as it continues to decline. What’s even crazier is that if you scroll down to the SERP overview, you’ll see that the top pages only get around 7,000 visitors from organic search, which is around 13% of the search volume.
Thanks’ for reading my article.