Keyword research is essential for effective SEO. But if you’re a small business, one-man-band or blogger, chances are you’ll want to do it for free. The good news is, there are plenty of keyword research tools out there – some are free, and some you have to pay for. For small businesses and solo bloggers, paying for the high-end, crème-de-la-crème of keyword research tools is often out of the question simply because they are out of budget. So what are your options when looking for a free keyword research tool?
Google Search Console
Although not technically a keyword research tool, Google Search Console should be your first point of call when beginning keyword research for your site. You should have it anyway for proper indexing for your website and to track the click and impressions for your website for branded and non-branded keywords. How do you use it for keyword research? Well, under the Performance Report, you’ll find all the pages on your site that get the most clicks from Google and the keywords that users typed into Google before landing on those pages.
Not only is this list of keywords useful to see what kinds of keywords are already driving organic traffic to your site, but under the ‘Opportunity Keywords’, you’ll find all the keywords you are currently ranking in positions 8-20 on Google for. With a little SEO-tweaking, you could end up ranking in the top spots for these keywords as well. Obviously, only choose to target these opportunity keywords if they are relevant to what you do! There is no point ranking highly for search terms that are irrelevant to your service, business or blog niche.
RELATED: How To Do Keyword Research For SEO
Google Search Console + Google Analytics
If you haven’t already connected your Google Search Console account with your Google Analytics account, you need to do this ASAP. By connecting these two Google tools, you’ll be able to get a much more in-depth keyword list that if you used these two tools separately. Not only this, you’ll also be able to see what pages of your website users are arriving at through Google searches, which countries your traffic is coming from, and what devices searchers are using (desktop, mobile, tablets).
Google Trends is a great tool for discovering seasonal keywords, but you can also use it to find related keywords to any search term that you type in. It also allows you to see if a keyword if rising or declining in popularity, which can help you decide between two seemingly similar keywords, or spot trends in consumer interests.
It also allows you to see the popularity of keywords on Youtube Search. Since Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world (Google being 1st), so it’s worth seeing what the search trends are for this platform if you already use or are intending to use it for video (or should begin considering it).
Moz is one of the largest SEO and inbound marketing analytics software and has a wealth of online articles to help you learn how to do SEO effectively. Their Moz Pro subscription includes their Keyword Explorer, which allows you to discover the best keywords for your website to rank for. It also includes helpful features such as a site audit to see where you can improve your site through technical SEO changes.
Although Moz Pro isn’t free, you can set up a free trial of Moz premium for a month. This will give you access to their premium tools, including their Keyword Explorer, all for free! Just remember to cancel before the month’s end!
Ahrefs Keywords Explorer
Not only do you get all the keyword data you’d expect, such as search volumes, Ahrefs Keyword Explorer will also give you a breakdown of the first page competition, showing how many searchers actually click on a result. This is helpful to see whether a keyword is likely to bring users to your site or if searchers are more likely to browse the results without clicking a single one. Although not free, you can sign up for the 7 day trial for $7.
Keywords Everywhere is a chrome extension which gives you the monthly search volumes, cost-per-click (CPC) and competition data all in one place. Whatever keyword you search for in a search engine like Google, it gives you all the related keywords and search data on each keyword. Quite a nifty little tool!
This is one of the easiest ways to see what other search terms searchers might use to find a service or website like yours. Head over to Google, type in a search term, then go to the bottom of the page to the ‘Searches Related To …’ section. This will show you related search terms to your keyword which you might not have thought of, but users will also often type in.
Of course, there are plenty of great SEO and keyword research tools out there that go a step further, but these come at a cost. But often the initial upfront cost is worth the increases in organic traffic you get in the long run through effective keyword research and SEO implementation.
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