Best FREE SEO Keyword Research Tools & Strategies Today


As any professional SEO or digital marketer with some experience will tell you today, at the heart of any successful digital strategy is content. It all starts and ends with content period. Right?

Whether you are setting up a Facebook campaign, launching a new service or adding a new e-commerce page to your site; it’s all about the content. Now a critical step in your content marketing strategy of course rests in the content or keywords you select. You want to be strategic in selecting which keywords and keyword phrases you want to promote. If you choose to compete in a highly competitive industry like say auto insurance, then you will want to promote more long tail keywords since most of the generic keywords like “cheap auto insurance” will take forever to rank for unless you have millions in your marketing budget.

Keyword research is the best friend of any real SEO and content marketer today. It’s a skill that takes a little practice, but really not that long to excel at. It’s really more about knowing the right process and tools to utilize. Hence, this post will provide you with a little overview of how a professional SEO does it and some of the best tools and tips out there today.


1. Google Keyword Planner – This tool should serve as your foundation for your keyword research and is the best place to start. Google’s Keyword Planner will give you a plethora of insight on any keyword phrase that you type in it which is wonderful. The downside to this tool is that everyone else uses it, so to take your research to the next level we recommend that you start here and then proceed to use some of the other tools below for some advanced keyword research strategies to find some longtail keywords.

The pros of using Google’s Keyword Planner are that it will give you historical search data on the keyword phrase that you type in. For example, it will provide you with monthly search volume data for the past year which gives you an indication of how many people are searching for your keyword phrase. You can even select the geography if you want to hone in on a particular location to learn more about how many people search for your particular keyword say in your location. This is great for local businesses! Then of course if your business is national or even global, you can set the location for the United States or for the overseas countries you need. That said, I am a big fan of doing more and more research to refine your results so that you have more precise geographic search volume data. For example, if you have an e-commerce company that sells its products throughout the United States, you can use Google’s Keyword Planner to understand other locations where there is high or low search volume for your keyword phrases (products). Obviously, having this data will help you assess strategic decisions and give you more clarity into your markets.


2. Google Suggest & Related Search Terms- If you are not familiar with this, well you have actually been using it for years. This is not so much a tool, but more of a trick. For example, watch what happens when you type your search term phrase into Google’s search box. Google will automatically autopopulate more relevant search terms to help you with your search. For a little background on this, see Google Auto-suggest. The search phrases that Google will suggest are derived from popular searches as well as relevant ones, so this is a way for you to potentially gain some additional relevant keyword phrases that perhaps you might have missed or didn’t think about. It’s also a quick way to check to see if your search term is accurate and recognized by Google.



3. Wikipedia – Well, Wikipedia is not just wonderful as a mix of  a dictionary and encyclopedia of knowledge, but it is always a great free tool you can use for some additional keywords. How? If you take one of your keyword phrases and and look it up in Wikipedia you will most likely find a page about your keyword as well as a list of Contents that are displayed similar to a list of chapters in a book. This list will provide you with a bunch of similar and related keyword phrases associated with your keyword. Here’s an example: view keyword research in Wikipedia. See the list of Contents? In the paragraphs below the list of content lie some additional terms that you would want to incorporate if you wanted to establish some authority around the keyword phrase keyword research. Remember: if you want to build authority around your keyword phrase, it’s vital that you not only provide information on your keyword phrase, but you should also include info on many affiliated terms. This will not only provide more context around your keyword phrase for your visitors, but will also increase your authority and search rank.


4. Google Ads – Like the aforementioned example, Wikipedia, Google Ads provide additional keyword phrase ideas for you. Here’s how and why. If you were to type into Google your top keyword phrase or one that’s related, on the search results pages if your keyword phrase is competitive will be some ads at the top. These ads can be used to gain some relevant keyword phrases. Why should you try this? Well, Google Adwords will show the best ads on top and they will only show ads that their algorithm approves and is proven to work well (be well received). Hence, these ads give you keyword phrases in your market that are proven to be effective. Give it a try with a bunch of your top keywords and you will attain some insight on what phrases work well in your market.


5. Bing Keyword Tool – Surprising how many marketers and even SEO’s simple either forget to use this one or just overlook it. Don’t! Just because Bing is not used as much as Google doesn’t mean that their search engine isn’t that good or even that their keyword tool isn’t either. It’s actually pretty decent and you should definitely use it to get some insight for your top keyword phrases. It’s very easy to use like Google’s and provides similar data (monthly search volume & related keyword phrases).


6. BuzzSumo This is a great tool that is very popular among content marketers for a lot of reasons since it show which posts net the highest number of shares in various markets. What makes this tool or service great is that you can search using your top keywords and it will provide you with the posts that have received the most social shares with those keywords in the title. Of course, Google searches will provide you with some similar data, but BuzzSumo provides you with social share data which is very helpful. After all, if you want to increase your authority in your space, you will need to create some quality content incorporating your top keywords and attain social shares. Give this one a try. It’s one of my favs and go to’s.


7. Linkio This is a somewhat newer tool that is currently free while it is in beta. Basically, it is a tool that helps you with your link building program by helping to automate a lot of the very boring and arduous parts of this tactic, the looking and searching! For most of us SEO’s, locating the links that you want is definitely half the battle. This link building management platform really also helps SEO’s to use data to plan their strategy and provides workflow management for monthly activities. Users can enter the brands they manage into the system, import previous backlinks and Linkio provides a roadmap of what the next set of anchor text should be. This roadmap can then be split up into monthly orders for the delivery team to work on. It provides an intuitive way for subject matter experts to plan out months worth of SEO and it allows project managers and junior members of a team an easy way to know exactly what needs to be done in the current time period. Linkio automatically figures out your backlink anchor text percentages and can help you widely for your better online ranking. So this tool can really help you figure out what areas in your market category you need to develop. This tool is actually somewhat similar to MarketMuse which is very robust at this and man i wish was free ha, ha. Anyway, give Linkio a whirl and it will help you better understand the depth of your content and you can even use it to do some research on your competitors by putting in their URL.