Bloggers are constantly looking for new ways to improve their blog content, conversions and traffic. One of the best ways to do this is by using well-researched keywords. This article will show you some of the best free SEO tools that can help you find the best keywords for your blog content.
This is a very important step in creating successful content for your blog. You want to make sure that people can find what they’re looking for when they search Google or other search engines.
The first step is doing keyword research so that you know what people are searching for on Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines. The second step is making sure that these keywords fit into your content strategy so that the right people see it at the right time with minimum effort on their part (or yours!).
Free Seo Tools For Bloggers Keyword Research
Looking to find winning keywords to target but don’t have the budget for paid tools?
Google Keyword Planner used to be great for this. You could enter any ‘seed’ keyword and see tons of keyword suggestions, plus search volumes.
google keyword planner search volume old
But Google has since restricted these numbers to ranges.
keyword planner ranges
One solution is to use a tool like Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer that shows actual search volumes and tons of other SEO metrics.
But what if you’re starting out and can’t justify paying for any SEO tools?
Here are some free keyword tools to help kickstart your SEO with zero investment:
Answer the Public;
Google Search Console;
Bulk Keyword Generator;
Beginner’s guide to keyword research
New to keyword research? Check out our
Beginner’s guide to keyword research
Let’s delve deeper into each of these tools.
Beginner’s Guide to Keyword Research
This article is a part of the
Beginner’s Guide to Keyword Research
- Google Trends
Google Trends visualizes the relative search popularity of a keyword over time.
For example, if we look at the term “costumes” for the past five years, we see that popularity spikes every October.
costumes google trends
This is because of Halloween.
But how is this useful for keyword research?
For starters, it can help you plan your content calendar. Let’s assume you sell costumes online. Publishing or republishing a list of the “10 Scariest Halloween Costumes for 20XX” each September/October makes perfect sense.
Here’s a less obvious example:
iphone specs google trends
Interest in “iPhone specs” peaks every September when Apple launches a new iPhone.
If you run a tech blog, it would make sense to update and republish any related posts every September.
Going beyond content calendars, Trends can also help avoid targeting the wrong keywords.
Take a look at these two:
apple watch keywords
If you could only create content for one of these keywords, which would you choose? It’d be the one with the highest search volume, right?
Not so fast, because search volumes are averages taken across many months or years.
If we check data for the past 12 months only in Google Trends, we see that searches for “apple watch series 5” recently overtook those for “apple watch series 3.”
apple watch google trends
So if you were running an ecommerce store and had to prioritize one of these keywords, it would almost certainly be “apple watch series 5.”
After all, searches for the Series 3 are only going to decrease as time goes on.
How to Use Google Trends for Keyword Research: 7 Effective Ways
Why you can’t blindly trust keyword search volume for traffic estimations
Keyword Search Volume: Things you didn’t know you don’t know
- Keyword Generator
Keyword Generator finds up to 150 keyword ideas for any seed keyword.
For example, if we search for “bitcoin,” we get one hundred keyword ideas containing that word along with their estimated monthly search volumes.
Screenshot 2020 05 12 at 17 27 52
We also see a list of 50 question-type queries.
Screenshot 2020 05 12 at 17 28 27
For the first ten keywords on each list, we also show the Keyword Difficulty (KD) score. This is a number between 0-100 that estimates ranking difficulty. Generally speaking, the higher it is, the more backlinks you’ll need to rank.
SIDENOTE. Keyword Difficulty (KD) doesn’t take anything else into account besides backlinks. It’s important to take content quality, search intent, and website authority into account when assessing ranking difficulty. Learn more in this post.
Note that search volumes and KD scores are relative to the chosen country, which is the United States by default.
If you’re looking to rank elsewhere, just choose from one of the 170+ countries from the dropdown.
Screenshot 2020 05 12 at 17.29.33
You can also use the Keyword Generator to find keyword ideas for Bing, YouTube, and Amazon. Just switch the search engine at the top of the page.
Screenshot 2020 05 12 at 17 29 57
SIDENOTE.Keyword Generator is not the only free SEO tool by Ahrefs. You can find more tools here.
- Keyword Sheeter
Keyword Sheeter pulls thousands of autocomplete suggestions from Google.
To get started, enter one or more seed keywords and click “Sheet keywords.”
If you want to generate a lot of keyword ideas fast, this is the tool for you. It pulls around 1,000 ideas per minute, and you can export the results for free in one click.
The only downside to Keyword Sheeter is that it’s quite basic.
It doesn’t show search volumes or trends data, and it doesn’t group keywords as Keyword Planner does.
But it does have one other notable feature: positive and negative filters.
The easiest way to explain how this works is to show an example. So let’s add “how” to the positive filter.
keyword sheeter how
Now it only shows queries that contain the word “how”—i.e., informational keywords that might make for good blog posts.
The negative filter does the opposite and excludes queries containing certain words.
This is useful for eliminating anything irrelevant. For example, if you run a tech blog and scrape results for “apple,” then you probably only want to see keywords relating to Apple the company, not the fruit.
So you could exclude keywords like “pie,” “crumble,” “fruit,” and “cider.”
keyword sheeter negative
DO YOU WANT EVEN MORE KEYWORD IDEAS?
Try the Phrase match report in Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer.
Keywords Explorer > enter seed keyword > Phrase match
keyword ideas phrase match keywords explorer
Keywords Explorer doesn’t just pull more keyword ideas. It also shows SEO metrics like monthly search volume and Keyword Difficulty (KD).
- Answer the Public
Answer the Public finds questions, prepositions, comparisons, alphabeticals, and related searches.
Confused? Let’s tackle each of these one-by-one.
We’ll start by entering a “seed” keyword—let’s stick with “protein powder.”
answer the public
The first thing you’ll see are questions.
These are search queries containing who, what, why, where, how, which, when, are, and is.
what protein powder tastes best?
how protein powder is made
are protein powders fattening?
when does protein powder expire?
You’ll see a visualization by default, but you can switch to a regular list.
Next up, we have propositions—i.e., for, can, is, near, without, with, and to.
These are search queries that fit the [seed] [preposition] [__] format.
protein powder without carbs
protein powder for weight gain
protein powder is it safe
We then have comparisons—i.e., versus, vs, and, like, or.
Once again, the format is [seed] [comparison] [__].
protein powder versus meat
protein powder or chicken breast
protein powder like quest
And finally, we have alphabeticals and related.
Alphabeticals are Google autocomplete suggestions.
answer the public alphabeticals
And related, well, who knows?
In my experience, the number of suggestions in the related category is almost always ~20. I have no clue how it derives those keywords. But it does kick back a few gems from time to time.
But where does ATP get its data from?
As far as we’re aware, that would be Google Keyword Planner and Google autosuggest.
SIDENOTE. All data is exportable to CSV. No need to register or log in.
LOOKING FOR MORE QUESTION-TYPE SUGGESTIONS?
Answer the Public gives 160 question-type queries for the phrase “cat.”
If we plug the same seed into Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer, we get 626,768 keywords—that’s 3,900x times more.
keywords explorer questions report
Of course, we’re flexing our big data muscles here. For most people, Answer the Public has more than enough keyword suggestions. But when your site grows bigger, there’s always Keywords Explorer.
- Keyword Surfer
Keyword Surfer is a free Chrome extension that shows estimated global and monthly search volumes for any query typed into Google.
SIDENOTE. Keyword Surfer works much the same way as another popular extension called Keywords Everywhere. This tool used to be free but recently switched to a paid model. Keyword Surfer’s developers have promised to keep this tool “100% free, forever.”
Right now, Keyword Surfer shows local search volume estimates for 19 countries. These include the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, France, and Germany.
There’s also an option to turn global search volumes on or off.
keyword surfer settings
That said, these aren’t true global search volumes. It’s the total sum of searches from the 19 countries currently in their database.
Beyond this, the extension also adds search volume estimates to the autocomplete results:
autocomplete google keyword surfer
And shows 10 “similar” keywords in the search results:
surfer estimated search volumes
The only downside is that there’s no way to get search volumes in bulk.
That said, bulk research isn’t the aim of this extension. It’s more for assessing queries as you browse the web.
Keyworddit is a unique tool that pulls keyword ideas from Reddit. Enter a subreddit, and it’ll mine the titles and comments of threads to find up to 500 keywords.
This tool is a fantastic starting point if you know little or nothing about a niche.
For example, if you want to start a blog about paleo dieting but know nothing about the topic, pull ideas from /r/paleo.
This tells you that paleo dieters care about things like:
Low carb meals;
Slow cooker recipes;
It also tells you what kind of language they use to describe such things.
Beyond ideas, the tool pulls estimated US monthly search volumes for each keyword. That helps give you some idea about the popularity of each subtopic.
To learn more about a keyword, hit the “Context” link to pull up the threads in Google that the keywords were derived from.
keyworddit context results
WANT TO FIND CONTENT IDEAS FAST?
Paste interesting keywords from Keyworddit into Keyword Sheeter or Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer.
For example, if we paste “red yeast rice” into Keyword Sheeter, we see ideas like:
red yeast rice benefits
does red yeast rice lower your cholesterol
does red yeast rice thin your blood
can red yeast rice make you tired
how much red yeast rice should you take a day
These may be good ideas for individual blog posts, or even for a “complete” guide.
- Google Search Console
Google Search Console helps you track your website’s performance in organic search. This means it shows a lot of data about the keywords that you already rank for.
For example, take a look at the “Search results” report from our account. It shows the keywords that have sent the most traffic to the Ahrefs Blog over the past three months.
ahrefs search console
Let’s also toggle the “Average position” and “Average CTR” columns. These show each keyword’s average ranking position and click-through rate.
search console ctr position
You can get a lot of useful insights from this report.
For instance, let’s say that you’re getting a lot of traffic from a keyword despite ranking in position 3-10. You may want to focus on ranking higher for that instead of targeting new keywords.
keyword research search console
If your CTR is low despite ranking high, your page may be less than enticing in the search results. You can often fix this by improving your title tag or meta description.
But what about finding new keywords?
Sort the report by CTR from low to high. This often uncovers keywords that you’re ranking for but never targeted. If any of these have lots of impressions and a low click-through rate, it could be worth targeting that keyword with a new page.
For example, we rank in position 8 for “most searched person on Google.”
most searched person on google
The page that ranks for this keyword is our list of the top 100 Google searches.
most searched person on google serp
This is only a semi-relevant result for this keyword. We may rank higher with a blog post about the most Googled people, not things.
Recommended reading: How to Use Google Search Console to Improve SEO (Beginner’s Guide)
Questiondb finds the questions people are asking about a specific topic. It pulls these from a database of 48M questions sourced from Reddit.
SIDENOTE. There are plans to expand data sources in the future.
Questions are sorted by popularity, but you can also sort by topic. This is a super useful feature because it also groups questions together.
For instance, let’s search for “protein powder” and sort by topic. All questions about vegan protein powder are now grouped together.
vegan protein powder group
Same goes for those about keto protein powders:
This is useful when writing blog posts, as it helps you understand which questions to answer.
Speaking of answers, if you check the box to “Show source link,” a clickable link appears next to each question. This takes you to the thread itself.
source link questiondb
If you browse the comments, you can often find answers fast, which speeds up content research.
All questions are exportable to CSV at the touch of a button.
- Bulk Keyword Generator
Bulk Keyword Generator is a keyword research tool for local SEO. It generates keywords based on industry type.
To start, follow step 1 and choose a business type from the dropdown.
business type bulk keyword generator
You will then see a list of keywords relevant to the services or products you offer.
For example, let’s set “plumber” as the business type. We see queries like hot water installation, gas installation, drain cleaning, and drain relining.
Now, most businesses that offer these services will mention so on their website. But many fail to create or optimize individual pages for these service-type queries.
To illustrate, take a look at this plumbing company’s homepage:
plumber drain relining
It states that they offer drain relining services, yet they don’t have a page about this service. As a result, they’re outranked by those that do.
drain relining serp
In step 2, the tool appends the chosen services with locations (e.g., London).
However, this isn’t particularly useful because it doesn’t reflect the way people actually search.
For instance, most Londoners wouldn’t search for “drain relining services in London.” They’d search for “drain relining” or “drain relining services.” Google serves local results either way, and the latter is quicker.
drain relining nottingham
This is also why there’s often little or no volume for such terms in tools like Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer.
drain relining nottingham keywords explorer
So here’s a smarter idea:
Copy a handful of service-type keywords from the tool that apply to your business;
Paste the raw list into Google Keyword Planner;
Set the location to a relevant city or area.
For example, let’s type “drain relining” into Keyword Planner and set the location to Nottingham. There are 10-100 monthly searches.
keyword planner location
Google is perhaps the most powerful keyword research tool on the planet.
There’s the autocomplete feature for generating an almost infinite number of keyword ideas. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using Google for keyword research.
For starters, take notice of the “People also ask” box that shows up for some searches.
people also ask google
These are questions that Google knows searchers are asking and want to know the answers to.
And here’s a quick trick:
Click on any of these questions, and Google will load more.
people also ask more
Keep doing this, and you can generate an almost infinite list of questions people are asking.
But Google’s use as a keyword research tool doesn’t end there.
Let’s say that there’s a keyword you want to rank for. There are a lot of factors at play when it comes to SEO, but one thing is certain:
If you want to rank, then your content needs to align with search intent.
In other words, don’t try to rank a gym homepage for a query like, “how to lose weight?”
People who perform that search aren’t in buying mode. They’re in learning mode.
Google is your best friend when it comes to understanding search intent. Just look at the search results and the presence of SERP features.
For example, imagine that we’re an email marketing tool and want to rank for “email marketing.”
Looking at the search results for that query, we notice two things:
First, there’s a featured snippet.
email marketing featured snippet
This is almost always a sign of informational intent. Searchers are in learning mode and want to see blog posts and guides, not product pages.
Second, there are quite a few beginner’s guides.
email marketing beginner guide 1
email marketing beginner guide 3email marketing beginner guide 2
That tells us that most searchers are email marketing noobs who want to learn the absolute basics of email marketing.
So, that’s what we should create if we want to rank for this keyword.
Now, if we search for something totally different like “dress,” we see the opposite:
Screenshot 2019 03 29 at 19.27.51
All the results are ecommerce product or category pages, and Google even shows shopping ads.
This tells us the searcher is in buying mode.
Bottom line? Don’t overlook Google as a keyword research tool. Keyword research is about more than just finding keywords. It’s about understanding who is searching for them and what they want to see.
Free vs. paid keyword tools: how do they compare?
It’s simple: free keyword tools are limited compared to paid tools.
That’s not to say that free tools don’t have their uses. But the number of keyword ideas and data they give access to will always pale in comparison to paid tools.
Because of this, paid tools allow you to go way deeper and do more advanced marketing research.
To illustrate, here’s what happens if we type “protein powder” into Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer:
protein powder keywords explorer
123,000+ “phrase match” suggestions from our database of 9.9 billion keywords.
No free keyword tool runs on a database that large.
We also show tons of data points, including:
Estimated monthly search volume;
Keyword Difficulty (KD);
And everything is searchable, filterable, and returned in seconds.
SIDENOTE. We add new keywords to our database and refresh search volumes every month.
Doing this with free keyword tools would be next to impossible.
Plus, to make any real decisions on the competitiveness of a keyword, you should analyze the top 10 ranking pages.
To an extent, you can do that using Google. But in Keywords Explorer, we show backlink data and traffic stats for each of the top 10 results.
Just scroll down to the SERP Overview.
protein powder serp overview
FYI: As far as we’re aware, no other keyword tool, free, or paid, can do this.
Don’t get me wrong; you can find some good keywords with free keyword tools.
But doing so can be very time-consuming. And time is money.
The reality is that time spent mining Google autocomplete for queries is time wasted. The same is true of merging data from multiple free keyword tools in spreadsheets. You should aim to use that time for more important stuff, like creating content or link building.
Furthermore, paid keyword tools—like Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer—run on huge amounts of data. That makes them much more efficient at finding low-competition keywords.
Bottom line: free keyword tools are good when you’re starting out, but as you grow your site, you’ll need paid tools to keep up with the competition.
Did we miss any good free keyword research tools? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter.
best free keyword research tool
If you want to perform effective keyword research, find the best keywords, and improve your site’s SEO, you need to use the best tools. But with new tools, new algorithms, and new competition introduced every day, how do you know which ones are right for you?
Below, we’ll explore 12 keyword research tools you can use to empower your content and speak to your audience:
- Semrush Keyword Magic Tool
- Semrush Keyword Gap Tool
- Semrush Position Tracking Tool
- Google Trends
- Keyword Tool
- Sellzone Keyword Wizard Tool
- Google Ads
12 best keyword research tools
- Semrush Keyword Magic Tool
Keyword Magic Tool homepage
What it is: The Keyword Magic Tool offers an international database of more than 20 billion keywords. It has a robust filtering system that can group keywords by topic, search intent, question type, SERP features, and more. It also includes keyword difficulty and competition metrics.
Not to mention, Semrush rolled out a major search volume algorithm update in March 2022, which helps you keep your SEO strategy on track.
Why we like it: You can accomplish everything from content ideation to optimization. With its vast keyword database and semantic filters, the Keyword Magic Tool is perfect for exploring niche topics.
Use filters to uncover new opportunities and arm your content team with the SEO insights they need to create content that rocks the SERPs.
Where the data comes from: Semrush has the largest keyword database on the market. This includes more than 20 billion keywords in more than 140 international databases, sparking unlimited ideas.
How it works: Like most keyword research tools, the Keyword Magic Tool starts with a seed keyword. A seed keyword is a word or short phrase representing your main topic.
Let’s say you’re running a travel agency, and you want to write about tropical vacations.
All you have to do is enter “tropical vacations” into the search bar and select your preferred database to generate thousands of suggestions. In this example, we used the United States.
Keyword Magic Tool results
Want to narrow down your search? No problem. You can filter by the following:
Broad, Exact, Phrase Match, and Related Match Keywords
Keyword Magic Tool filters
Select the options you’re interested in, and your search will automatically narrow according to your new criteria. You can even narrow your results by including popular or high-volume words and phrases.
If you want to learn more about a keyword, click on the “carrot” drop-down next to it. You’ll see a quick but comprehensive Keyword Overview tool snapshot containing global search volume, related questions and terms, and even your competition:
Keyword Magic Tool keyword information
How much it costs: If you use the free version, you can make 10 queries per day, including Domain and Keyword analytics queries.
If you upgrade to a Pro account for $119.95 per month, you can search 100 times per hour and run 3,000 reports every day.
You can find a breakdown of all the subscription levels on our Semrush pricing page.
Get Keyword Suggestions
with the Keyword Magic Tool, the biggest keyword database on the market
Try for Free →
- Semrush Keyword Gap Tool
What it is: The Keyword Gap Tool is an SEO competitor analysis tool offering side-by-side comparisons of keywords. Find out how many keywords you share with your rivals, as well as keywords they rank for that you’re missing out on.
Why we like it: The Keyword Gap Tool allows you to benchmark yourself against the competition, identify gaps in your strategy, and build a more competitive SEO plan. This tool includes organic, paid, and Product Listing Ads (PLA) keywords, so its competitive insights support any keyword strategy.
How it works: First, enter your domain and up to four others. Then select the type of keyword you want to analyze (organic, paid, or PLA) and click compare.
Then it will automatically compile a report comparing your domain with your selected rivals. The Top Opportunities widget highlights “missing” and weak” keywords.
To the right, the Keyword Overlap section shows you the relative size of each of your keyword profiles and how much they overlap with one another.
Keyword Gap tool results
Finally, you can analyze a comprehensive report of your current keyword profile versus the competition. View all shared, missing, weak, strong, untapped, or unique keywords to generate new ideas or shore up your keyword strategy.
Keyword Gap tool keyword information
At a glance, you can identify which competitor ranks the highest and how competitive each keyword might be to win. If you find keywords you like, click on them to learn more about them or send them to your Keyword Manager list for reference later.
How much it costs: You can access the Keyword Gap Tool with the same subscription you use for the Keyword Magic Tool (Pro subscription for $119.95 per month allows you to make 3,000 queries.).
With a Guru or Business account, you can make even more, plus access historical data and compare subdomains and subfolders.
You can perform 10 queries a day with a free account, including both your Keyword Gap and Keyword Magic Tool searches. However, you can’t compare subfolders or subdomains, use the mini keyword overview feature, or export your data.
Check out our pricing page for a complete breakdown of Semrush account types.
Compare Your Keywords with Competitors’
with the Keyword Gap Tool
Try for Free →
- Semrush Position Tracking Tool
What it is: The Position Tracking tool monitors your domain’s position compared to your competitors’ domains based on a custom set of keywords. It can also track your position relative to a particular location or device type.
Why we like it: It’s crucial to monitor and report on your domain’s progress on your SEO goals vs. the competition. You can also use these insights to tailor your SEO strategy moving forward by deciding which pages to optimize.
Where the data comes from: Position Tracking uses unbiased Google search results, meaning it’s not influenced by things like previous searches, browsing history, and language preferences.
As a result, depending on your location, history, and browser settings, you might see slightly different results if you test a search yourself.
How it works: The Position Tracking Landscape report provides a high-level snapshot of your campaign’s progress. Here, you can find your overall rankings distribution for your tracked keywords, your overall visibility, traffic, and more.
Position Tracking tool overview
Each subsequent report explores a specific aspect of your progress in more detail.
For example, the Pages report shows you your top-performing pages. You can view the number and intent of keywords pages rank for and their average positions, traffic, and volume.
Position Tracking Pages report
In addition to showing you the featured snippets your page already has, it also provides opportunities for getting more.
Featured Snippets report
The data uncovered in the Position Tracking tool can help you monitor your progress over time on the keywords most valuable to your strategy. From there, you can discover new opportunities.
How much it costs: While you can use Position Tracking on a free account, you’ll have access to more features on a paid subscription. Here’s how it breaks down:
Free: Create one project in Position Tracking and track up to 10 keywords
Pro: Create five projects and track up to 500 keywords
Guru: Create 15 projects and track up to 1,500 keywords. Gain access to Multitargeting in addition to Cannibalization, Devices, and Locations reports.
Business: Create 40 projects and track 4,000 keywords. Gain access to Multitargeting in addition to Cannibalization, Devices, Locations reports. Get the ability to schedule CSV and Excel exports.
Track Your Ranking with Ease
with the Position Tracking Tool
Try for Free →
- Google Trends
What it is: Google Trends is a free data exploration tool you can use to explore and analyze real-time and historical search trends. You can see what’s trending in regions across the globe based on sampled data and search queries from Google.
Why we like it: Content ideation and planning, audience insights, building ad seasonal ad campaigns, and more. Google Trends can also help you spot new trends and know when interest in them is waning.
Where the data comes from: Google Trends uses primarily unfiltered samples of actual Google search data. This data is anonymized, categorized, and grouped by topic, region, and time period to enable you to analyze relevant data more accurately.
How it works: You can use Google Trends to search for specific data you want or to explore more general topics and get new ideas.
Some examples of their topical reports include the 2021 Year in Search, Shopping Trends 2022, and Holiday Season 2021. Each collects and analyzes data relevant to a specific topic or time period.
Google Trends Year in Search report
To get an idea of the topics people are currently searching, check out Recently trending:
Google Trends recently trending list
If you have a more specific topic to research, enter it into the search bar and start researching.
Click “+ Compare” to view multiple related keywords simultaneously. This can help you analyze audience interests in related topics and how those interests vary over time in different regions. You can use this data to decide what to focus on in your content and even for competitive analysis.
Google Trends comparison example
With Related Queries, you can generate new ideas related to your target keywords relevant to the region you want to target. This can generate new ideas for your content and marketing plan and help provide direction for your keyword research.
Google Trends related queries
You can also analyze and compare interest in a topic by country. You could use this to find new audiences worldwide or make sure you’re creating content relevant to your target region.
Google Trends breakdown by region
How much it costs: Google Trends is completely free, making it a great supplementary resource for research or brainstorming.
What it is: Rather than focusing on keywords, QuestionDB shows you the questions people ask on websites and forums.
Why we like it: This tool is helpful for content ideation. Its huge database of questions gives you more specific insight into what your audience really wants to know. You can use this insight to create more useful content that answers those questions.
Where the data comes from: QuestionDB finds its questions on forums like Reddit and StackExchange and will also include Quora soon.
How it works: As the name implies, QuestionDB focuses on user questions rather than keywords. This can provide important context regarding how your target audience interacts with your selected keywords and the types of things they want to learn about them.
First, come up with a list of related seed keywords you want to target. Then enter one of them into QuestionDB. Ensure keywords are pretty broad because the tool will return a list of more specific questions related to that overall topic.
For example, hare a few results for the seed keyword “BBQ”:
best bbq in Vancouver search
Repeat this process for the rest of your list to generate even more content ideas for your blog. If you want to learn more about a question, you can click through to the source to read the original conversation, potentially generating even more ideas.
You can also see related topics at the top before your results:
How much it costs: Free users can view the first 50 results for their searches. This plan is ideal for casual users who want to understand their audience or develop ideas sporadically.
The Pro plan is $15 per month and offers unlimited searches with unlimited results. It’s ideal for users who will perform deep dives into their targeted topics or rely on QuestionDB for ongoing content ideation.
What it is: AnswerThePublic is a keyword research tool that aggregates Google autocomplete suggestions and helps you find long-tail keywords related to a topic. It does this by creating word clouds that visually group related queries.
Why we like it: AnswerThePublic is excellent for content ideation. Its word clouds help you anticipate more specific questions and search phrases your audience might use, which you might otherwise have missed. You can use it to generate ideas for more relevant content.
Where the data comes from: This tool uses autocomplete data gathered from Google and Bing from 191 countries.
How it works: Start by entering a seed keyword for the topic you want to write about and select your preferred database. By default, the tool will show UK data. In this example, we’ll use “chocolate” and look at search data from the United States.
Then, AnswerThePublic will show us all the queries it finds related to “chocolate,” grouped into thematic word clouds. For example, here’s the word cloud for questions about chocolate.
AnswerThePublic mind map for “chocolate”
Because this cloud depicts questions, the search terms are grouped by question words and sorted by popularity. The search terms with a darker shade were more popular when the report was run. However, this doesn’t always reflect higher search volume or more results overall. Clicking on any search term will direct you to the live search results for that term on Google.
If you prefer to view the information in another format, you can also view the same data laid out in lists:
AnswerThePublic data list
In addition to questions, you can also find:
Search phrases by preposition (e.g., chocolate for dipping)
Comparisons (e.g., chocolate vs. vanilla ice cream)
Alphabeticals (keywords sorted alphabetically by the word following “chocolate.” For example, “chocolate advent calendar” would be grouped under “A.”)
If you have a paid Pro plan, you also get access to weekly Search Listening Alerts delivered to your email. This enables you to track a keyword over time and spot new questions, topics, and search phrases.
How much it costs: You can use AnswerThePublic for free, but the amount of searches you can run is limited based on the traffic its domain receives. If you want unlimited searches, you’ll need one of their Pro plans.
All of their Pro plans start at $79 per month and offer:
Data comparison over time
Hide branches and suggestions
Priority Customer Support
Education packages (contents vary by plan)
With the Monthly subscription, at $99 per month, you also get up to three users and five Search Listening Alerts. These are weekly reports sent to your email, which provide updates on a keyword you’ve chosen to monitor.
The Annual subscription ($79 per month billed annually) allows up to five users and five Search Listening Alerts.
The Expert subscription ($199 per month) offers unlimited users and up to 20 Search Listening Alerts.
What it is: TubeBuddy is a browser extension that helps YouTube creators optimize, publish, promote, and grow their channels. They can even A/B test their videos. Their suite of tools includes Keyword Explorer, which helps creators find long-tail keywords and trending tags.
Why we like it: You can perform YouTube-specific keyword research via Keyword Explorer. Beyond that, you can use their templates, split testing, and other tools to help you test and apply your new keywords to your channel.
Where the data comes from: Keyword Explorer includes keyword data from both YouTube and Google Trends.
How it works: TubeBuddy Keyword Explorer can be found within the browser extension and app once you’ve granted it access to your YouTube channel. To use it, enter a keyword or topic you’re interested in, and click “Explore.”
TubeBuddy Keyword Explorer
On the Summary tab, you can find a score for that keyword. This score considers the amount of competition you have and how well-optimized the top-ranking videos are.
You can also access weighted scores specific to your channel with a paid account.
Here you’ll also find a breakdown of interest over time in that topic on YouTube and Google, as well as related video topics and tags.
interest over time in TubeBuddy
The Results tab provides a snapshot of the current YouTube results for that keyword, including the top-ranking videos and channel. You could use this for competitive research.
If you click through to watch one of those videos, you’ll find a Videolytics panel. Here you’ll find performance data, SEO, best practices, and even video tags:
Videolytics panel in TubeBuddy
Finally, the Map tab shows you where the most interest is for this topic geographically. Find the best time to post based on your audience or plan content that speaks directly to viewers in those regions.
Map tab in TubeBuddy
How much it costs: On a free account, you can access the top 3 results per search in Keyword Explorer and perform 25 searches per day. Additionally, you won’t have access to some channel-specific data like weighted keyword scores.
To use Keyword Explorer without limits, you’ll need to upgrade to a Pro account or higher:
Pro: $9 per month
Star: $19 per month
Legend: $49 per month
Check out our blog post to learn about even more tools to optimize your YouTube SEO.
- Keyword Tool
What it is: Keyword Tool uses autocomplete data from a variety of search engines—including Google, Bing, YouTube, Amazon, Instagram, eBay, and the Play Store—to help you find and target long-tail keywords, products, and hashtags.
Why we like it: Keyword Tool focuses on long-tail keywords not visible in Google’s Keyword Planner. Because of this, Keyword Tool is most effective for organic search, content marketing, and SEO.
Where the data comes from: Autocomplete and other search data is from Google, Bing, Youtube, Amazon, Instagram, eBay, and the Play Store.
How it works: First, select the search engine and country you want to view data from. Then enter your seed keyword. The Keyword Tool will generate a list of autocomplete suggestions, questions, and prepositions from your selected search engine.
Keyword Tool homepage
Select all the keywords you want to target and click “Export” to download them to a CSV or Excel file.
How much it costs: You can use the free version of Keyword Tool without even creating an account. The free tool generates up to 750 suggestions for each seed keyword searched.
With a Pro account, you can also access:
Google Ads search volume data
Twice as many keywords
Competitor keyword analysis
Bulk search volume analysis
Pro accounts start at $69 per month.
What it is: AlsoAsked is a tool that aggregates Google’s People Also Ask data so that you can analyze it to inform your strategy. As any digital marketer knows, the People Also Ask (PAA) box is a gold mine for related topics and questions surrounding your keyword of choice.
Why we like it: You can easily generate new content ideas that target PAA questions.
Where the data comes from: AlsoAsked collects and organizes data from Google’s People Also Ask results, which is compiled of searches users also make when searching for your initial query. As a result, AlsoAsked will only return results for queries that returned a PAA box.
How it works: AlsoAsked shows you the PAA questions sparked by your seed keyword and displays them on a branching diagram that illustrates the relationship between these related questions.
For example, here are the questions AlsoAsked finds if you search “SEO” in the United States:
AlsoAsked question example
Searching for “SEO” generates four primary questions:
What SEO means?
What is SEO and how does it work?
How do you do SEO marketing?
What is SEO and examples?
However, these questions also spark their own PAA results. These new questions are displayed on additional branches. If you click on one of them, you can view a new diagram starting from that point.
This doesn’t just show you many different topics you could cover; it also shows you the relationships between these questions, which can help you structure your articles. This way, you’re covering all the most important questions in the order they’re likely to be asked.
You can also export this data as a CSV or image to use in analysis or presentations.
How much it costs: Because AlsoAsked is currently in beta, all free users have access to a Bulk account (the highest level of paid account options) as of this writing.
Outside of the beta, a typical free account would allow you to perform 10 searches every month, export images, and access your search history.
Paid accounts will allow you to use more searches each month, export CSV and unbranded images, and bulk upload the keywords you want to research. At this time, there’s no information on pricing on AlsoAsked’s site.
What it is: Soovle is a free, customizable search engine aggregator that collects search suggestions across up to 15 different engines, including Google, Bing, Wikipedia, Amazon, eBay, Youtube, and more.
Why we like it: You can quickly compare related search suggestions across many different search platforms and find new long-tail keywords to target.
Where the data comes from: Soovle returns search suggestions from whichever engines you choose to include.
How it works: Soovle displays the top suggested searches related to your seed keyword across each search platform. Use the search bar in the center of the screen to enter your seed keyword, and the suggestions will automatically populate over their respective search engine logos.
You can use your left and right arrow keys to toggle through each search engine and click on any suggestion to view its live search results page. To save a suggestion for reference later, drag it to the book icon in the top left corner.
How much it costs: Soovle is completely free.
- Sellzone Keyword Wizard Tool
What it is: Keyword Wizard is an Amazon SEO tool with a database of over 200 million keywords, with data backed by Semrush. Keyword Wizard helps Amazon sellers optimize their product listings to rank better in Amazon’s on-site search.
Why we like it: Users can optimize Amazon product listings to improve visibility.
How it works: Keyword Wizard is simple to use. First, enter a seed keyword representing the type of product you’re selling (e.g., “towels”). Keyword Wizard will return all relevant keywords it can find, including broad match, phrase match, exact match, and related keywords.
Sellzone Amazon keyword tool
You can narrow your scope using the search filters. For example, you can focus only on keywords with a certain number of competitors, include or exclude certain words, or filter by phrase length.
Once you find keywords you like, you can export your selections to a CSV file for reference later and use them to optimize your product listings.
exporting Keyword Wizard keywords
How much it costs: You can use the Sellzone Keyword Wizard for free. However, free accounts may only search for three seed keywords per day, with 100 results per search. Additionally, you won’t have access to smart filters, sorting, or exporting.
For full access and unlimited searches, you’ll need to upgrade to a Growth account at $50 per month.
For more information, see the Sellzone Pricing page.
- Google Ads
What it is: Google Ads is an online advertising platform. Its tool, Keyword Planner, enables users to research keywords and place bids on them to show ads in search results, mobile apps, websites, and online videos.
Why we like it: Because it’s primarily an ad platform, Keyword Planner focuses more on pay-per-click (PPC) data than organic search data. So while it’s useful for any digital marketer or SEO specialist, the tool is most valuable for those involved with paid advertising.
Where the data comes from: Google uses its own historical search data to forecast what you could expect when targeting each set of keywords. However, your actual results might vary depending on what you’re targeting and how you choose to do it.
How it works: To access Keyword Planner, you’ll first need a Google Ads account. If you’re not sure how to set that up, you can find instructions in our blog post on using Google Keyword Planner.
You can use Keyword Planner to do two things: to find new keywords and to find historical data around keywords you already know about.
To find new keywords, click “Discover New Keywords.” Then either enter a seed keyword or select “Start With A Website” and enter your domain or a competitor’s.
Discover new keywords in Keyword Planner
Then refine your results by including or excluding branded keywords or broaden your search using Keyword Planner’s suggestions. You can also filter by competition, ad or organic impression share, top-of-page bid, and more.
Then, add your selected keywords to a new or existing ad campaign, or export your keyword ideas to a CSV file or Google Sheets.
To find search volume data for a list of keywords, you can first click Get Search Volume and Forecasts. Then either type, copy and paste, or upload your list of keywords.
Find search volume data in Keyword Planner
Here, you’ll find historical and forecast data for your batch of keywords. You can use this to track keywords you’re already targeting and pivot your strategy accordingly.
How much it costs: While Keyword Planner is technically free, you can only access it via a Google Ads account (which asks for billing information). It’s best to access this tool using an account that spends money on Google Ads, as this can help you access better data.
Ultimately, you know your content better than anyone. Great keyword research ensures that content gets in front of the right people when they need it most.
Arming yourself with the best tools is an important step, but it’s not the only one. Keep yourself (and your strategy) sharp by continuing to challenge yourself through education, thought leadership, and grit.
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.