When You Need to Find a Free Keyword Research Tool
Keeping up with trending topics and popular keywords is a vital part of increasing your social media presence. But finding paid or free keyword research tools, and conducting strong keyword research, can also be difficult if you don’t have a good starting point.
The best way to win the SEO game is by producing relevant, high quality content, with the user’s search intent at the top of the list.
Do keywords still matter?
You better believe they do. What do your customers use to type in to a mobile search, or to speak into a Google voice search? They use words! Keywords for your business!
Ignore keyword research if you will, but be careful, it may be the costliest mistake you make for your small business. In my opinion, keywords are still, and always will be, the basis of search marketing.
These keywords don’t just appear out of thin air, though. From blogs to marketing promotions, using the best keyword research tool is essential to building your digital presence and getting noticed.
Use this guide to the 13 most popular keyword research tools to get started and save time that could be spent drafting great copy instead.
The Best Free Keyword Research Tools for 2016
You don’t always have to pay to conduct some really good keyword research. You can optimize your work for social media without spending anything.
There are some really great free keyword volume tools out there that can help you boost your search engine presence. But not every tool is made equal. It’s important to know which keyword research tools are the best ones to get the job done and won’t waste your time.
If you’re just dipping your toes into the water, start out with some of these great suggestions before you move on to bigger things.
Beginner Zone: Where to Start Your Keyword Research
1. Google Autocomplete:
Google autocomplete is the best tool to begin a keyword research project from scratch because it’s free, easy, and will give you a basic idea of what people are looking for to build on.
This will also give you a good idea of what Google suggests to users when they begin their search.
This is a great free keyword research tool to use as a suggestion tool when you’re trying to come up with search terms and keywords.
Type in your topic and search relevant keywords that aren’t available in Google Keywords Planner. Since these aren’t in Google, they’ll give you some fresh ideas for new terms to use.
Type your keyword in the search bar and Keyword.io will show you how it rates across different websites and search engines, including Amazon and Wikipedia.
It will also provide you with a list of suggested long tail search terms, as well as some alternative keyword options.
This tool is easy to use due to its basic layout and simple design. It’s also free when you use it at a basic level, making it a great starting point for basic keyword research.
Keywords & Trending Topics for Every Platform
4. Google Trends:
This shows you what people are searching for on Google in the most recent time frame. News, trending topics, and popular searches will give you an idea of what people are looking for right now, and you’ll also be able to see the popularity of the topic by region or country.
You can also use the search function to explore trends based on specific topics. If you already have a topic, you can figure out what people are looking for within that category.
5. Bing Trends:
This tool shows you the trends from the previous year. It’s a good place to see what was popular at what time last year.
This will also show you patterns in keyword searches from that time frame.
6. YouTube Trends:
If you’re focusing on the visual, check out what’s trending on YouTube. You can view by category, or search popular videos.
This will give you an idea of what people are spending their time watching, and what they’ll be willing to stop and look at.
YouTube trends can also be useful for writing content because it’s still a good indication of what kind of topics people enjoy. You could take ideas from popular videos and write a blog about them, or compile the best videos in a blog or post.
7. Facebook Trending Topics:
On the right side of your timeline, Facebook displays popular trending topics that users are sharing, posting about, or liking.
The list can be viewed according to category or general popularity, and it’s updated in real time so you’ll always know what’s relevant.
8. Twitter Search:
Twitter’s search function allows you to search through people, hashtags, and topics to see what people are talking about.
It will show you popular hashtags you can use to connect to your keywords and good ideas for topics that will get shares.
The Best Paid Keyword Research Tools
If you have the budget to for paid keyword research tools, you can branch out to these options. Many of the paid tools are highly effective and useful for more than just a basic keyword search.
In addition, a lot of the paid keyword research tools have larger databases that can access a larger keyword volume. They pull from more areas of the internet and can give you a better idea of how far your keywords are going to go.
Some tools are more affordable than others, so it really depends on your preference when you’re picking the right tool for your business. Get to know the paid keyword research tools and test out some using their free trials to find the one that works for you.
9. Google Adwords Keyword Planner:
Since Google is the most popular search engine, and has 1.6 billion unique visitors every month, it’s vital to account for Google when planning keywords. With this much traffic, it’s likely that the majority of your organic searches are going to come from Google.
Google’s Adwords Keyword Planner is a tool that lets you search potential keywords and check how many searches are done monthly for that term.
It will help you narrow down specific terms as well as check the competition for keywords. You can export your keywords in a plan when you’re done, keeping it handy to use as you go.
10. Bing Webmaster Keyword Research:
Bing is the second most popular search engine on the internet, with an estimated 400 million unique visitors every month.
With Bing’s Webmaster Keyword Research tool, you can use the information from Bing’s organic search database within the last 6 months. Search for popular keywords and Bing will give you suggestions based on its own search history.
You can explore regional keyword searches as well as view related keyword searches. This keyword research tool also keeps a record of your last 25 searches, so you can go back and easily do the same search or build on a previous one.
This is one of the more visually appealing keyword research tools because it’s very user-friendly, colourful, and organized.
It allows you to search through both organic and paid keywords and gives you an idea of the competition for those words on popular search engines.
SEMrush has a database of over 120 million different keywords, and offers a generous free trial version with access to 6 million of those terms. It also allows you to search terms for domains and websites, ranking your keywords and copy among competing websites.
You can also use the tool to track specific keywords and analyze their trends over time, keeping an eye on the relevant topics for your client or blog.
12. Long Tail Pro:
Long Tail Pro gives your keywords a score based on the amount of competition there is for that particular word or term. You can filter search results according to what you’re looking for and what purposes you need the keywords for.
It will also show you the top 10 competitors and links that come up when your keyword is searched in Google, giving you an idea of who your competition is.
You can use this to analyze those web pages and determine their domain rank, pagerank, number of keywords, and more.
As an added bonus, you can also add notes to each keyword. If you think of an idea for that keyword while you’re still searching, you can save them in a note with that term so that you can come back to it later and remember what you were thinking about.
This is a great last step tool when you’re getting ready to write your content. Once you’ve picked out your keywords you can enter them in BuzzSumo and it will show you what type of content has the best performance.
You can use this information to determine what type of posts you’ll make using your keywords and what content will be shared. It’s important to know what types of articles and content will do better because you want to make sure you’re engaging your audience in the best way.
Another great feature with BuzzSumo is the option to view influencers in your industry or market. You can see their following, websites, domain authority, and view their social media accounts. This is very useful if you’re looking to expand your audience and work with influencers (or become one yourself)!
14. BONUS MENTION: NinjaOutreach
An alternative to the tool mentioned above is this tool is NinjaOutreach. It allows you to perform content research and it also has a built in outreach feature enabling you to promote your content to bloggers.
Get Your Work Noticed!
Give some of these tools a shot and see what works for you. Keywords can be tricky, and some programs are more user-friendly than others.
Many of the keyword research tools listed above have free trial versions from 2 weeks to 30 days. Signing up for the free test drive is highly recommended to see which tools works best for you and your client’s business.
Start with the basic tools and work your way up to the big leagues.
If you need help with your SEO game, VPDM can get you on the right track.
Contact us today for a consultation.