If you want to get the job done right, you need the right tools. For example, if you want to grow your search traffic you need the right free keyword research tools. Otherwise, you will struggle to rank your site for high-converting keywords that drive customers and traffic to your site.
This topic is so important that I agreed with Matthew Woodward that we needed a separate article to the recent post I wrote called How to Use Keyword Research to grow your business. Here is the comprehensive keyword research tools list Matt put together to grow your site’s traffic.
How to Find the Right Keywords
Before you review the free keyword research tools list below, it is important to identify the primary keywords that can drive quality traffic to your site.
For example, a coworking space in London ideal keywords that best describe how their company helps others would be:
- Coworking space
- Communal desks
- Office space
Write a list for your business that highlights the top keywords for your company. The best way to do this is to take a pen and paper and start brainstorming keywords. Treat this as a free-flowing exercise where you just write keywords as fast as you can for 5-10 minutes.
Once you finish, identify the top three keywords on your list that you want to target for additional traffic to your site.
While you might not receive traffic from phrases like “coworking space”, it is possible to receive organic traffic for local phrases like “coworking spaces near me” or “coworking spaces London UK”.
These long-tail keywords are the low-hanging fruit that will help you grow your site traffic faster.
Not sure they are worth your time? Ask Neil Patel how valuable long-tail keywords are to your search strategy. His site Quick Sprout receives millions of visitors to his sites every month. 91% of his site’s search traffic comes from long-tail keywords.
The challenge is: how do we find the right tools on a budget? While there are some amazing paid solutions. The list below covers free or low-cost options.
Seven Keyword Research Tools
I have discussed the Google Keyword Planner in the past. This is Google’s keyword search tool. While the planner was created for ad campaigns, it is a great indicator of the volume of organic search traffic a site can receive as well.
I recently created a useful step-by-step video that shows you how to use the tool to find organic search terms.
Another tool you can play with is UberSuggest. While the data might not be as reliable as Google it is a great tool to help you identify new keywords based on your brainstorming session.
UberSuggest also shows you the top sites ranking for this traffic, so you can see how easy or difficult it will be to rank for this keyword.
How often do you use the Google Autocomplete feature? For example, you type in the word “grow business” and phrases like “how to grow your business” appear. It is a great way to find long-tail keywords.
Soovle goes one step further by looking at Autocomplete suggestions from Google, Bing, YouTube, Yahoo, Answers.Com, Amazon, and Wikipedia. They provide a complete picture of the keywords that can be found on each search engine, so you can find the keywords that best fit your target market.
As semantic search becomes a more integral part of search engine marketers’ traffic efforts, it is important to understand the questions and thought processes your target market uses to find your site.
In the past people used simple Google searches like “digital marketing”. However, in the next year, it is expected that 50% of all global searches will be by voice.
Such a dramatic effect on how we search will have a dramatic effect on the keywords we use. When we talk, we use longer phrases than the simple keyword searches people do when they text the answer.
The biggest change is in the use of questions. These intuitive questions require a different keyword strategy, which is exactly what Answer the Public does.
Their interactive display helps search engine marketers find the right semantic keywords in order to stay relevant to each type of search traffic.
You do not need to keep searching for new search traffic. Instead, you should also focus on the search traffic you already receive on your site. For example, below you can see impressions from some keywords for my blog. However, many of these keywords are just below the first page of Google results.
If I can improve my on-site search strategy, it could be possible to improve my ranking for these results.
The keywords in your search console might also inspire you to create additional content for your clients. Maybe you can target the long-tail keywords that are easier to rank for than the original keyword.
For example, I see that my average rank for the keyword Grammarly guide is 11th position thanks to the Grammarly article I wrote in March. However, what if I can find a long-tail keyword for a grammar tool that ranks higher? The possibilities are endless.
This cool Chrome and Firefox extension shows you related keywords as you perform searches on Google and other search engines.
The extension shows you the number of searches per month for related phrases and the paid competition for each keyword. This information is valuable to organic and paid search marketers.
Note: The day this was published, Keywords Everywhere put out a blog post stating they were switching to a paid plan to see the volume, CPC, and competition. Such is life. A good reminder to use the rest of these services before they become paid.
The final tool mines the Google Autocomplete feature we discussed earlier in Soovle. Type in your keyword, and as the name suggest it keeps “sheeting” out suggestions.
The tool will run in perpetuity as long as it can keep finding new keywords. That means you need to tell it when to stop. I have heard of search marketers who have run lists into tens of thousands of searches using this tool.
Finding the right keyword strategy is an important component to increasing your search traffic. Hopefully, the keywords tools in this article provide you with the resources to find the right keywords for your business. Let us know in the comments which keyword tool you prefer.
Author: Matthew Woodward has helped thousands of small business improve their search results through free tutorials like Free Keyword Research Tools.