For many marketers today, keyword research IS market research. It helps you find the right terms to include in your content, which ultimately helps you rank better on the SERPs. Without efficient keyword research, it would be like throwing darts in the dark. It’s hard to know whether you’re hitting the targets with your content marketing efforts. Efficient keyword research, however, requires some SEO knowledge, and most importantly, the right keyword research tools. With so many free keyword research tools (and paid ones) in the market, how do you choose the right one to boost your content SEO?
Let us make the job easier for you. In this article, we’ve listed 15 awesome free keyword research tools for you to choose from.
TL;DR here’s a quick video with the key features of the 15 keyword generator tools on our list.
Without further ado, let’s get straight to them!
- Narrato’s AI Writing and SEO Tool
- Google Keyword Planner
- Keywords Everywhere
- Ahrefs Keyword Generator
- Keyword Sheeter
- Moz Keyword Explorer
- Keyword Surfer
- SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool
- Wordstream Free Keyword Tool
- Microsoft Keyword Planner Tool
- Keyword Tool
15 Best Free Keyword Research Tools
1. Narrato’s AI Writing and SEO Tool
Narrato’s Content SEO Assistant is a keyword research tool that not only gives you keywords but a lot of SEO parameters. It allows you to generate a comprehensive SEO brief, complete with –
- List of keywords along with counts
- List of competitor links/references
- Question/topic suggestions to match the content with the audience’s search intent
- Target word count
- Ideal number of paragraphs and headings
All you have to do is enter the topic or search term, and the tool will automatically analyze the top-ranking content on the topic and generate a complete SEO brief. And all of this is done in a matter of seconds. You can always modify the brief as per need, adding some evergreen or trending keywords you want to target, but the keywords generated with this tool generally cover all the bases. The tool also makes competitor keyword research easier, since you already have a list of competitor links to start with. These features also make it a useful tool for content SEO audits.
The best thing about Narrato’s AI content optimization tool is that your SEO content brief is linked to the content task itself. This makes it easier for you to optimize your content for keywords, as you can keep track of the keyword count with dynamic updates on the side menu.
Narrato also comes with an AI writer, which can be useful for getting a headstart on your content. You can generate SEO meta descriptions, content outlines, blog post intros/conclusions, and a lot more. This tool also has Content Improver and Paragraph to Bullets options for refining your text for better readability.
Free? Narrato allows you to generate 3 SEO content briefs per month, absolutely free. After this, you can opt for pay-as-you-go with $ credits, or upgrade your plan to Premium or Professional.
If we’re talking about free keyword research tools, we have to cover Google Keyword Planner. This is one of the most widely used tools among both SEO professionals and beginners. But its capabilities are mostly limited to keyword planning and research, as is evident from the name.
Once you enter your search term or topic into the search box, this Google keyword research tool generates a list of keywords, along with relevant data about each, like –
- Competition level (low, medium or high)
- 3-day search trends
- Average monthly searches
- Year-over-year and monthly changes
This keyword suggestion tool allows you to find quality keywords for both website content and ad campaigns. You can then organize the keywords into multiple lists for different types of ad campaigns. There is also a refine keywords tool, using which you can filter the keywords based on specific keyword attributes.
The only downside with this, and most other tools on this list, is that you will have to pick your keywords and create a separate SEO brief for your content creation process. You also don’t get automatic updates on keyword usage in your content like Narrato’s tool offers.
Free? Google Keyword Planner is 100% free.
Keywords Everywhere is a free keyword research tool that works as an extension on Chrome and Firefox. It sources keyword suggestions from various APIs, and provides the following data about each of the keywords –
- Cost per click
- Monthly search volume
- Competition levels
- Monthly trend data from Google and YouTube
This tool sources data from some of the most popular keyword research tools like Answer the Public, Ubersuggest, Google Analytics, Google Search, Moz Open Site Explorer and more. Even though the keyword information provided by the tool is pretty basic, it can be certainly valuable if you’re just starting out with keyword research. The tool also issues data in Excel, CSV and PDF file formats.
Free? This free version of this tool comes with limited features. These can be unlocked in the Premium version, which has a pay-as-you-go model.
Answer the Public is not your usual keyword research tool. This tool essentially provides you raw search insights from Google and Bing, based on the questions people are asking these search engines. It provides the user with a powerful and unique way to research keyword ideas and determine what your target audience actually wants to know about.
It instantly generates a graphic display of all the potential search questions on a topic, which can be downloaded as a list or graph. The great thing about this feature is the visual organization, which makes it easier for the user to see which questions are the most valuable.
Free? Answer the Public allows you 3 searches per day as a free user. If you want advanced functionalities and unlimited searches, you can upgrade to the Pro plan.
The Ahrefs Free Keyword Generator is a great keyword research tool for identifying a wide range of keywords, including long-tail keywords and those with lower competition levels. Just enter your search term, and the tool will pull out the 100 best keyword ideas from its database, which comprises of more than 8 billion keywords from 170+ countries. You will also have to option to isolate the search using the geographic location. It displays the following data for every keyword –
- Keyword difficulty (1-100)
- Search volume
- Questions related to the search term
- How recently were the results updates
The unique aspect of Ahrefs Free Keyword Generator is that it allows you to research keywords from 9 other search engines besides Google, like –
Free? For every search term, you get 100 keywords for free. Unfortunately, for advanced features like key SEO metrics, SERP overview and saving keyword lists, you have to sign up with an Ahrefs paid plan.
The Ubersuggest Keyword Discovery Tool is another free keyword tool that is incredibly useful for several SEO purposes. Once you enter your search term, the tool provides you with a list of keyword ideas related to the search term. The tool also allows you to filter the keyword ideas on the basis of related keywords, comparison keywords, and keywords with prepositions and questions. You get a detailed overview of the entered keyword term, including its search volume, paid difficulty (estimated competition in paid search), SEO difficulty and average CPC (determines the value of the keyword). It allows you to export the data to CSV, but for that, you have to sign up.
Besides helping you with keyword research, this tool also provides suggestions for the number of backlinks you need to build if you want to rank on the first page (for that particular keyword). Another great feature is Content Ideas, which lists all the webpages performing well for that particular keyword.
Free? The free version of the Ubersuggest Keyword Discovery Tool is very limited. It lets you perform only 3 searches per day. For exporting the keyword lists too, you have to sign up for the 7-day free trial.
Question DB is an SEO tool that can help you in a couple of different ways. It works as both a blog topic generator and a keyword research tool. Once you enter your topic in the search box, it displays a list of related questions asked by the target audience on question-and-answer platforms like Quora and Reddit. You can look through these questions for inspiration for your next blog topic. As for keyword research, you have the option to toggle from questions to keywords to pull out topic-related keywords from these questions. It’s quite an easy-to-use tool, which makes it great for beginners.
Free? You can do an unlimited number of topic/keyword searches with this tool, but it limits search results to 50 for every query.
If you are looking for a keyword research tool that provides you with real-time insights about what your target audience is typing in the search engines, then Keyword Sheeter is the tool for you. Once you enter the seed keywords into the tool, it pulls out a list of keywords at the rate of 1000 ideas per minute. This means that your list of keyword ideas is not limited to 50 or 100 (as it is with many other tools we discussed above). You can research as many keywords as you want. It also comes with a positive and negative filter, which is useful for eliminating any irrelevant keywords. The only downside of this tool is that it doesn’t provide competition levels and search volume data for the keyword phrases.
Free? Keyword Sheeter is completely free and provides unlimited number of search queries. If you want to export the keyword list though, you would have to purchase the basic subscription.
Moz Keyword Explorer is a great keyword research tool for intermediate-level SEO professionals who don’t need something with a lot of bells and whistles. This well-laid-out tool provides a long list of keyword ideas for each search term, along with the relevancy and monthly search volume. Besides this basic keyword data, the tool also provides organic CTR (click-through rate), organic difficulty, and priority score. The last one (priority score) shows whether targeting the keyword is worth the effort. The tool also provides ‘My Score’, which states the relevancy of the keyword for your operation.
Besides this, Moz Keyword Explorer also provides SERP analysis for the target keyword. You can see the top 10 pages ranking for that keyword, along with their URL, title, domain authority, page authority, and the number of backlinks. All the results can be easily downloaded into a spreadsheet.
Free? Moz Keyword Explorer allows 10 searches per month for free, after which you have to move to the paid version.
Keyword Surfer is a keyword research tool that works a lot like the Keywords Everywhere tool which we discussed earlier. The free research tool can be plugged into your Chrome web browser. It delivers the keyword results in real-time as you’re using the Chrome web browser. It also displays relevant keyword data on the right side of the search results page –
- Monthly search volumes for the keywords
- CPC for every keyword
- Traffic for the top-ranking pages (1-10)
The tool displays global search volumes for 19 countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Brazil and Germany. However, the results are not true global search volumes but an aggregate of the searches from these countries available in their database. Another downside of this tool is that it doesn’t provide search volume for the keywords in bulk.
Free? Keyword Surfer is 100% free.
If you’ve been in the world of SEO for a while, you must’ve come across Semrush. Among some of the free tools provided by this SEO giant is the Semrush Keyword Magic Tool, which sources keyword data from 120+ geographical databases. With this tool, you can gain access to over 20 billion keywords, along with their –
- Monthly search volume
- Keyword difficulty
- Competitive density
Semrush Keyword Magic Tool also provides an option to see both semantically and topic-related keywords. The tool comes with some great features for organizing and sorting your keywords into subgroups (topic-specific). You can easily expand and narrow down your search with the help of smart filters, and export your results with the click of a button.
Free? Semrush Keyword Magic Tools allows you to conduct 10 free searches per day.
Wordstream’s Free Keyword Tool comes with an easy-to-use interface, which makes it a perfect tool for beginners. All you have to do is enter the URL or keyword, and the tool will generate a list of the top 25 keywords (both short and long-tail variations), along with –
- Competition levels
- Search volume
You can also get the full list of keywords through email.
The Free Keyword Tool allows for filtering your keywords by industry (24 verticals) or location (23 countries). There is also a ‘Popular Keywords’ page, where you can find the top 25 keywords in your vertical. This makes it easier to identify the seed keywords for starting off your SEO campaigns
Free? Wordstream’s Free Keyword Tool is free for the first 25 queries.
This keyword research tool is best suited for advanced research needs for cross-channel marketing campaigns. The Microsoft Keyword Planner Tool is essentially an Excel plugin that provides you with a list of keyword recommendations when you paste some seed keywords into your Excel sheet. These keywords are accompanied by important keyword data, like –
- Search volumes
- Bid estimates
- Match type
- And many other keyword metrics
The tool comes with powerful keyword list organization features –
- Traffic view, in which the list is organized according to the device type. This generates a list that is free from any duplicate keywords
- Gender and age group filters can be applied to find the keywords best suited for your target audience.
Free? If you have a Microsoft Ads account, the Microsoft Keyword Planner Tool can be used for free.
14. Keyword Tool
Keyword Tool is one of the easiest SEO tools out there for keyword research. What sets this free keyword research tool apart from the others is its ability to source keyword ranking data from a wide variety of search engines, like Google, YouTube, Amazon, eBay, Instagram, Twitter and more. It supports keyword searches in many different languages, and also comes with a negative keyword filter for excluding any unnecessary keywords from a list.
Free? The core functionality of the Keyword Tool is available to all users for free. If you want access to detailed keyword statistics, you’ll have to upgrade to the paid plan.
This is another great keyword research tool that allows you to find keywords across different platforms like eBay, Amazon, YouTube, and Wikipedia. When you type in your search term in the box, Soovle provides you with a list of the most popular keywords across the different platforms. You can also customize the search query to select the specific search engines you want to source the keyword ideas from. However, this tool does not provide useful keyword data like search volume, CPC, competition levels, etc.
Free? Soovle is a free keyword research tool through and through, with unlimited number of searches.
Keyword research is a fundamental component of every good SEO strategy. Equipped with the right keyword research tools, you can create awesome link-worthy content that will help you rank #1 on the search engines.
Before choosing the best free keyword research tool from this list, ask yourself – Which of these tools provides you the most value in terms of features? Does the tool provide any additional SEO features besides keyword research? How convenient is it to create and optimize content with the tool?
We hope this will help you find the right keyword research tool for your content marketing operation.
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