Unlocking Keyword Potential: 9 Best Free Keyword Research Tools for SEO

A digital illustration of a search bar with a "keyword" placeholder text. A large magnifying glass highlights the search bar, indicating a search action. The background features a webpage with text and cloud icons against a light blue backdrop.

Like it or not, if you like to start a blog and bring traffic from search engines (like Google & Bing), you’ll be required to research the proper keywords to attempt and rank for. The most useful keyword ideas for most bloggers will have medium search volume and low keyword problem. That’s precisely why I liked to build this free keyword research tool. To offer you those keyword recommendations for free with just a short keyword search.

What Is a Keyword?

Before diving into keyword research and the most useful tools for it, let’s comprehend what a keyword is.

A keyword is a word or phrase that users enter into a search engine to discover relevant details online. Keywords are important because search engines use them to comprehend web page content and define its relevance to search questions.

Optimizing content for relevant keywords, specifically those with noteworthy search volume is a fundamental element of SEO.

It helps enhance a website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs), pushing more traffic to your site.

Comprehending Keywords and Their Search Volumes

To ensure your page ranks high in the SERPs, you are required to take out keyword research to encounter keywords with high search volumes to mark.

Make content that’s relevant to these high search volume keywords and fits user search intent.

The search intent of a keyword guides to the reason users are exploring it.

There are four main kinds of search intent:

4 type of search intent, informational, commercial, navigational, transactional

Search intent is one of Google’s many ranking factors, so you need to pay close attention to it if you want your pages to rank.

Another crucial factor during keyword research is search volume.

Keyword search volume is the moderate number of times a keyword is analyzed during a typical period, generally calculated monthly. It delivers insight into how famous certain keywords are and how much traffic you could potentially move to your site by targeting them.

What is a Keyword Research Tool?

A keyword research tool is a tool that allows you to determine the right topics & prospects you should write about, by analyzing keywords for search engine optimization (SEO) goals. It’s the backbone of a proper keyword research method.

This free keyword research tool processes by typing in a main keyword or phrase, then it generates a list of related keywords and their search volumes, competition levels, and (soon) a rankability score. This data will assist you in determining the most useful keywords to operate in your content & guide you in optimizing your blog posts for search engines. Utilize the list of keywords to see how much calculated organic traffic you can desire to generate from relevant Google searches on the topics you plug into the tool.

An instance of a search for “California Hikes” utilizing my free keyword tool.

search for “California Hikes” utilizing my free keyword tool

The most useful keyword research tools will show you these types of metrics:

  • Keyword Difficulty: How hard will it be to rank on the first page of Google search outcomes for this keyword? This is reasonable for determining the feasibility and potential success of ranking for a keyword in search engine consequences.
  • CPC (Cost-Per-Click): Cost per click is a pricing model utilized in online advertising like Google AdSense, where the advertiser spends each time a searcher clicks on an ad (named PPC from the advertiser’s perspective). This pricing model is operated on Google’s search engine results pages and the CPC for a certain ad is specified by factors like keywords, targeting, & competition. Advertisers can use CPC data to decide the potential cost and return on investment of their ads over time.
  • Country-Specific Results: Search volume and problem for just about every keyword phrase will differ by country (where the searcher is located). By default, all outcomes from a search with this keyword tool will display US (United States) monthly search volume and keyword hardship. However, there’s a dropdown menu near the search bar, where you can choose to see country-level data for any nation in the world, to help with your local SEO process.
  • Estimated Monthly Search Volume: Calculated monthly search volume is a metric that indicates the approximate number of times a keyword or phrase is searched for on a search engine per month. This is reasonable for identifying the popularity and potential traffic of a keyword and selecting its competitiveness.

The best free keyword research tools

1. Keyword Surfer

Keyword Surfer is a unique tool that plugs right into the Chrome web browser. When it’s on, outcomes automatically show on the right side of your results page each time you enter a search term.

The data provided by Keyword Surfer includes:

  • Keyword views with their volume
  • Cost per click (CPC) for each search term
  • Traffic to pages ranked 1 through 10 for that term
  • Pages that rank for the term you entered

It’s a highly efficient keyword research tool and delivers outcomes as you use your web browser. As a new tool, there may be some waves to work out. Data delivered by the plugin can sometimes vary from data supplied by other Google search tools. However, it’s a fast and straightforward way to get content ideas.

2. Semrush

Semrush presents a paid SEO tool, but its free model offers 10 free searches per day, which can help content teams just begin their research. Semrush’s range of keyword tools delivers visibility into organic search rankings and search volume data, as well as a competitive keyword gap analysis.

Semrush also shows backlink analysis for teams that like to identify which links direct back to their sites. Users can also employ the Backlink Gap tool, which resembles an organization’s backlinks to those of its competitors. Additional elements, such as an SEO content template and topic research for content design planning, make this a feasible option for teams that like to start SEO planning and strategy but plan to eventually scale up to a subscription version.

3. Google Search Console

Content teams can operate Google Search Console to begin their keyword research and measure how well their organization’s web content performs on Google. This free tool examines the current keywords on a webpage and displays their average search engine results page (SERP) position, impressions, and clicks.

Marketing teams often utilize Google Search Console alongside other Google services for web and analytics search. Web administrators and content creators can utilize Google Search Console to learn which pages receive little traffic and demand modifications. The tool can also show which search questions bring in the most traffic so teams know which topics to cover in upcoming blog posts.

4. AnswerThePublic

AnswerThePublic is a fantastic place to see raw search insights. After you enter your search term(s), it shows the queries people are asking related to that topic. The outcomes are shown in a graphic display with all the who, when, why, what, where,  and other questions users request.

It’s a strong way to generate keyword ideas and see what your possible customers actually like to know. You can download the data as a graph or a list.

There is one con for this tool: With a limit of 3 free searches a day, you have to be considerate about each phrase you search.

5. Rank Tracker

The most useful keywords for organizations to rank for aren’t always clear. Although specific words and phrases may be specific to business products, services or industries, someone may use variations of those words and phrases to perform searches.

To discover useful keywords or phrases for search ranking viability, organizations are required to know all the possible variations of potential keywords and phrases. Rank Tracker is a free SEO keyword research tool that connects 23 keyword tools into one to give users a multitude of keyword ideas. This tool can display a keyword’s traffic potential and the SEO competition for those keywords.

Rank Tracker shows a paid version of its tool, but the free version offers sufficient data to analyze keyword traffic potential.

6. Keyworddit

Keyworddit excavates Reddit for keywords. To utilize it, enter a specific subreddit with at least 10,000 subscribers and set a timeframe. The tool searches through the titles and comments to extract up to 500 keywords with search volumes.

Due to the type of answers within each subreddit, the relevance of the results may differ. There is an option to set high relevance, which slows down the tool somewhat.

Keyworddit is not prepared to replace other keyword research tools, but it can be an impressive complement to your existing strategy. Reddit is a famous site where people with specific interests take deep dives into a topic. It may show keyword phrases and blog topics you wouldn’t find operating other search tools.

7. Google Ads Keyword Planner

For marketing teams that run pay-per-click search campaigns, the Google Ads Keyword Planner tool can enable separating a targeted keyword list between SEO and PPC targeting. This tool also offers keyword recommendations and search volumes that can drive insights for campaign planning. Additionally, it shows a breakdown of cost-per-click data, advertising competition, and seasonal traffic shifts in one place.

Teams that already do PPC advertising can help the most from this tool, as they can utilize the search volume feature for their campaigns. Yet, to access the most detailed analysis components for paid campaigns — rather than just search volume ranges — organizations must pay a certain amount of money on their paid Google Ad campaigns.

8. Keyword Sheeter

Keyword Sheeter drags autocomplete results from Google. It provides real-time data on what people are typing into the search engine.

If you like to generate a long list of keyword ideas fast, Keyword Sheeter is an ideal choice. It draws about 1,000 ideas per minute, and exporting your list is free.

It’s a straightforward and powerful resource to determine ideas for blog topics. However, the free features of Keyword Sheeter do not include search volume or data on how competitive it is to rank for a phrase.


Keyword plays an essential role in website optimization. Thus, it is very critical to insert proper keywords wherever needed. These research tools deliver the best features to make your website optimized efficiently.

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