The Best Free Keyword Research Tools in 2024

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Discovering valuable keywords involves three essential steps:

  1. Identifying popular search terms among users.
  2. Assessing their competitiveness in ranking.
  3. Strategizing the most effective approach to secure a high ranking.

This phrase is specific, likely to attract users looking for recommendations and comparisons, and aligns well with the intent of finding the most effective tools for keyword research.

In this article, I’ll introduce top-notch free tools designed for conducting comprehensive keyword research across these stages.

Keyword research is a crucial part of search engine optimization (SEO) and online marketing. It involves identifying and analyzing the search terms that people enter into search engines with the goal of using that data to inform content strategy, improve rankings, and drive organic traffic to a website. Here are the key steps involved in keyword research:

  1. Identifying Topics: Start by brainstorming broad topics relevant to your business or niche. These could be products, services, or areas of expertise that you want to rank for.
  2. Generating Keywords: Use tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Moz to generate a list of potential keywords. These tools provide data on search volume, keyword difficulty, and competition.
  3. Analyzing Competitors: Look at what keywords your competitors are ranking for. This can provide insights into which keywords might be effective for you and help you identify gaps or opportunities in your own strategy.
  4. Understanding Search Intent: Determine the intent behind the keywords. Are users looking for information, making a purchase, or seeking a specific service? Align your content to match this intent.
  5. Evaluating Keywords: Assess the value of each keyword based on factors like search volume, competition, and relevance to your business. High-volume, low-competition keywords are often ideal targets.
  6. Long-Tail Keywords: Focus on long-tail keywords, which are longer and more specific phrases. These typically have lower search volume but higher conversion rates because they target users with more specific intent.
  7. Organizing Keywords: Group related keywords into clusters that can inform your content creation. Each cluster can correspond to a specific page or section of your website.
  8. Monitoring and Updating: Continuously monitor the performance of your keywords and adjust your strategy as needed. SEO is an ongoing process, and staying up-to-date with trends and changes in search behavior is crucial.
The Best Free Keyword Research Tools in 2024

By conducting thorough keyword research, you can create targeted content that meets the needs of your audience, improve your search engine rankings, and drive more organic traffic to your website.

The Best Free Keyword Research Tools

ToolBest for
Keyword GeneratorFinding popular keyword ideas
AnswerThePublicFinding question keywords
ChatGPTFinding “seed” keywords
Ahrefs Webmaster ToolsFinding quick win keywords
Google Keyword PlannerFinding related keywords
Google Search ConsoleFinding declining keywords
Google TrendsFinding breakout new keywords
SERP CheckerFinding keyword traffic potential
Keyword Difficulty CheckerFinding keyword ranking difficulty
Google GeminiFinding search intent

1. Keyword Generator

The Keyword Generator tool provides a comprehensive list of up to 150 keyword suggestions. Simply input a broad topic, specify your target country, and click “Find keywords.” For instance, if you search for “bitcoin,” you’ll receive the top 100 most popular keywords related to that term from our extensive database of over 12 billion filtered keywords. Additionally, you’ll find a compilation of the 50 most commonly asked questions related to your search. Each keyword suggestion is accompanied by a Keyword Difficulty (KD) score, categorizing them as Easy, Medium, or Hard for your convenience.

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Keyword Calculator tools

2. Answer The Public

Answer The Public employs autocomplete functionality to uncover the most common questions users are asking. Simply input a broad topic, specify your desired country, and click “search.” For instance, if you search for “bitcoin,” you’ll be presented with 838 keyword ideas categorized into six sections. Each category, excluding alphabeticals and numbers, displays keyword ideas visually. Although it doesn’t provide specific keyword search volumes, the red circles accompanying each keyword are intended to indicate whether it receives a high, average, or low number of monthly searches.

  1. Input a Broad Topic: Start by entering a broad topic or keyword of interest.
  2. Specify Country: Choose the country for which you want to gather data, ensuring the insights are relevant to your target audience.
  3. Click “Search”: Initiate the search to see the results.

For example, if you search for “bitcoin,” the tool will generate 838 keyword ideas, organized into six sections. These sections typically include:

  • Questions: Common questions people are asking.
  • Prepositions: Phrases containing prepositions.
  • Comparisons: Comparative phrases.
  • Alphabeticals: Alphabetically organized phrases.
  • Related: Related searches.
  • Numbers: Numeric searches.

The visual representation of these keyword ideas helps users quickly grasp the most popular queries. Although Answer The Public does not provide specific keyword search volumes, it uses red circles to indicate the popularity of each keyword. The size of the circle reflects the number of monthly searches, with larger circles suggesting higher search volumes.

Keyword Research Tool

3. ChatGPT

ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, functions as a chatbot. While it may not serve as a comprehensive tool for keyword research, it proves valuable for generating initial seed keyword ideas.

For instance, when prompted for terms related to Bitcoin, ChatGPT provides a range of suggestions. While not all these suggestions may serve as effective seed keywords due to their generic nature or multiple interpretations (e.g., “wallet”), some can be quite useful.

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Consider the example of inputting a less obvious seed like “hashrate” into our free keyword generator. This reveals that many users are searching for the hashrates of various cryptocurrencies. Without deep knowledge of the crypto industry, discovering such seed keywords and related keyword ideas might prove challenging.

4. Ahrefs Webmaster Tools

Ahrefs Webmaster Tools provides a comprehensive view of all the keywords where your website currently ranks within the top 100. Accessing this information is simple; just navigate to the Organic Keywords report within the Site Explorer feature.

One effective way to leverage this report for keyword research is by identifying “low-hanging fruit” keywords – those that your site ranks for on the second page of search results (positions 11-20) and could easily be pushed to the first page. You can accomplish this by applying a filter for keywords in these positions and toggling the “Main positions only” switch.

Since very few users venture beyond the first page of search results, improving your rankings for these keywords by just a few positions can lead to a significant increase in website traffic.

For instance, consider our ranking in position 11 for the keyword “pagerank.”

google seo tools

5. Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner, primarily designed as a keyword research tool for advertisers, is also beneficial for SEO purposes. It proves especially handy for uncovering related keywords that do not include your initial seed keyword.

For instance, when searching for “crypto,” it provides suggestions like “cold wallet” and “hardware wallet.” Out of the 1,184 keyword ideas generated by Keyword Planner, 522 do not include the seed keyword “crypto.”

However, it’s worth noting that Keyword Planner only presents search volume ranges instead of exact volumes, unless you’re running search ads. To obtain a more precise estimate, you can always copy and paste the ideas into Ahrefs.

Google Keyword Planner is a free tool offered by Google Ads that assists advertisers in researching and planning their keyword strategies. It’s essential for anyone looking to optimize their search engine marketing campaigns. Here’s how it works and what it offers:

  1. Access: To use Google Keyword Planner, you need a Google Ads account. Once logged in, you can access the tool from the “Tools & Settings” menu.
  2. Keyword Research: Enter a broad topic, keyword, or URL to discover related keywords. The tool provides a list of keyword ideas, showing how often each keyword is searched and how those searches have changed over time.
  3. Search Volume: The tool provides estimated search volumes for keywords, helping you understand how popular a keyword is and how much potential traffic it could drive to your site.
  4. Competition Level: Google Keyword Planner indicates the level of competition for each keyword, categorized as low, medium, or high. This helps you gauge how difficult it might be to rank for a particular keyword.
  5. Bid Estimates: The tool offers suggested bid ranges for each keyword, giving you an idea of how much you might need to spend to achieve top ad placements.
  6. Ad Group Ideas: It helps in organizing keywords into ad groups, which is useful for structuring your Google Ads campaigns effectively.
  7. Forecasts and Trends: Google Keyword Planner provides insights into keyword trends and forecasts, allowing you to see how search volumes might change in the future.
  8. Historical Statistics: Access historical statistics to see how keywords have performed over time, which can inform your long-term strategy.

Google Keyword Planner is invaluable for anyone involved in search engine marketing, as it helps in identifying high-potential keywords, estimating costs, and planning effective ad campaigns.

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