Free Keyword Research Tools

One reason that I am so fond of SEO – besides it general efficiency and useful properties – is the way the basics always stay the same. The niche evolves, processes change, the way we approach it differs from year to year. But the core, fundamental elements that make it SEO always remain the same. Making it a great skill to build on and update, rather than replace like so many online marketing or visibility tactics.

Keyword research is a good example. The way we utilize keywords (to discover less competitive options), include them in content and apply them to websites/blogs has changed a great deal with each new incarnation of Google. But how we find those keywords still comes down to the powerful tools we choose for the task. Thanks to high demand and the expansion of websites for the average user, there are more tools to choose from than ever before.

One thing with keyword research tools: You can never have enough of them. Each tool gives you a new insight; going from one to another lets you understand more about the content you are providing…

These are my own personal favourites, and every single one is free.

Google

Search-SpidersGoogle itself has arguably the most popular keyword research tool on the web. Considering they hold an almost global monopoly on search, this isn’t a surprise. You can do a search on one or more elements, including word/phrase, website or category. Once you have those you can choose your search parameters in the left sidebar. Those are including/excluding terms, match types (broad, exact or phrase) and saving keyword or ad group ideas.

To see trending keywords or the average Cost-Per-Click be sure to go to the show/hide columns option and select “show all”.

Bing

Bing

 

 

 

 

A lot of people rag on Bing as useless for SEO. I disagree; sure, it isn’t as much a focus as Google is. But it is still a helpful tool that can give you another angle on the same process. They have their own keyword research tool you should be sure to utilize. It gives you up to six months of data on organic searches, lets you research keyword history and allows you to sort through keyword ideas and suggestions through country/region or language.

WordStream

Wordstream

 

 

 

This is not a tool for short tail keywords. While it technically works, there are so many in this database that you will be flooded with results and it won’t be at all targeted. Instead, search for long tail keywords that are more specific in order to see how particular phrases are being used. This will be much more effective. You have thirty free searches available before it switches to paid results, so use them well.

Keyword Eye

Keyword Eye

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you like tools that help you visualize data? That is what this keyword research tool is all about. Easy to read, attractive and visually inclined, you can get a quick or extensive look on various keywords with a simple search. You can also keep an eye on your competition and avoid over-saturated keywords, and find out what keywords are being used to link to your site already. They have the free version, but their paid is only five pounds per month.

SEMrush

SEM rush

 

 

 

This tool allows you to choose between different search engine regions in order to better target your keyword search. They have Google for the US, UK, Canada, Russia, Denmark, France, Spain, Brussels, Italy and Australia. You can also search Bing for the US. Currently, they have more than 95,000,000 keywords in their database, more than 40,000,000 domains and hundreds of thousands of regular users.

Do you know of any good keyword research tools out there that are free? Let us know in the comments.

Your quick reference guide to ‘Keyword Research’

Keyword research should be a part of every site owner’s overall marketing tactics, whether they are involved in ecommerce or blogging. Likewise, SEO is an important part of increasing traffic, improving your reputation and bumping up your site’s visibility. To do that, you need to know what keywords to target, which take us right back to keyword research.

You should always have a regularly updated list of what keywords are bringing in the highest returns with your search results. Often you will find these are not the words you would have expected, mainly due to popular terms being used by so many other sites, where statistically you are less likely to be seen in the mix. Instead, you need to target those that actually give you a chanceĀ of coming up top in Google search rankings.

So how do you get this data? What do you do with it once you have it? How important are long tail keywords? Here are some things you need to know about keyword research and how it comes into play for a good SEO campaign.

Getting the Keywords

Wordtracker

Part of this process is just going to be about common sense. Let’s say you run a blog that does reviews for iPhone apps. The most obvious keyword would be ‘iPhone app’. But you can bet that a few hundred thousand other sites are going to be using that keyword. You would be better off using a long tail keyword that provides more description. For example, including a popular app you have reviewed, or the version of the iPhone currently on sale.

But the next part is calculating the returns from certain keywords. You can start out by using a keyword tool, such as on Google Adwords, Wordtracker, or SEO Book. It should give you a list to start from, which you will then need to put into Google to see how many results you get and what competing sites you will be up against. You want keywords with the least results, to give you a better chance of appearing in top ranking spots.

Establishing Valuable Keywords

Above it was mentioned that you have to take into account the competition for certain keywords. Occasionally, you will come across a keyword that has few results (or less than most). But the top ten or twenty ranking spots are taken by large sites that are well established. Having a few of these in results is perfectly normal, but too many and you will have little to no chance of breaking into the ranks.

Basically, value of a keyword is going to be judged by both the number of results it can become lost in, and the number of sites using it that can dominate your own in a search. The best keywords are those that have shown they can pass both of these measure points and so provide you with greater results in less time, with less effort.

I did a quick slideshow explaining keyword research and finding the best ones:

Conclusion

Keyword research is a little time-consuming, but it isn’t difficult. It is also entirely necessary, and the benefits far outweigh the irritation of having to conduct it on a regular basis. Just try it, and you will see it for yourself.

Image Credit: 1.