10 Best Free Keyword Research Tools to Kickstart Your SEO Strategy

HomeSEOBlog
Free Keyword Research Tools
Grow Hack Scale has partnered with some of the software companies featured in this article. We sometimes earn referral fees from these partners when a reader buys their products and services. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

Top Free Keyword Research Tools

Whether you’re looking to launch a new site or want to boost your rankings on existing webpages, free keyword research tools often form an essential part of an SEO strategy designed to increase your site’s organic traffic. 

While it’s tempting to jump straight in with pricey monthly subscriptions to powerful SEO tools,  it’s usually better to try out a few free tools first and then see if you want to upgrade your digital marketing tools. 

The key to successful keyword research is to use a variety of different tools and harness each of their strengths to help boost traffic to your site. 

Here are 10 of the best free keyword research tools that provide plenty of bang for your buck.

1. Keyword Generator

Ahrefs Keyword Generator - Best Free Keyword Research Tools

One of SEO’s biggest names, Ahrefs, developed Keyword Generator to offer a data-driven and user-friendly program that combines thorough keyword research and user-generated questions, making it far easier to effectively streamline and plan your site’s content. 

Begin by entering a seed keyword and the platform will generate up to 150 related keywords as well as 50 question-related searches. 

Next to the first 10 keywords, see a keyword difficulty metric that estimates ranking difficulty on a scale of 1-100. The higher the number, the more backlinks you’ll need to rank highly on Google. 

Pros: 

  • Discover keyword suggestions for Google, Bing, Amazon, and YouTube. 
  • View keywords relative to 170+ different countries - keep in mind the U.S. is the default option. 
  • Search volume and keyword difficulty metrics are included for each keyword. 
  • Access a database with over 8 billion queries
  • Create lists of your best keywords.

Cons: 

  • Viewing all keyword suggestions requires a pricey monthly subscription to Ahrefs. 
  • Access to filters isn’t available for free users. 
  • Competitor analysis of keywords isn’t included in the free version.
  • Dashboard doesn’t always feel very user friendly.
  • Free version of the tool feels like an intro to paying for a full version of Ahrefs. 

Best for: Businesses and agencies considering paying for a monthly plan with Ahrefs who want to test out the Keyword Generator Tool first. 

2. Soovle 


A long time favorite of marketers using free keyword research tools, Soovle is very easy to use and provides instant results. 

Soovle is a great tool for not only uncovering keywords most relevant to Google but also other search engines. 

Use the platform for going beyond average keyword research and pinpointing the exact keywords you need for driving traffic to your blog posts or site. Soovle can also find you those prized long-tail keywords to weave throughout your content. 

Pros: 

  • View autocomplete suggestions from several different search engines including Amazon, Google, Wikipedia, and Yahoo! 
  • Perform unlimited searches for free. 
  • Keyword searches load quickly and efficiently. 
  • View a user-friendly interface with a search box and multiple search engine options, making it easy to conduct research. 
  • Save and download your searches for future use. 

Cons: 

  • No metrics like keyword difficulty or search volume - it’s up to you to decide which will likely be the most effective keywords. 
  • No other SEO features. 
  • No explanations or help resources provided - you’ll need a bit of prior SEO knowledge to help you leverage results from the platform.
  • The layout and appearance of the tool are very basic and look dated, which might put some users off. 
  • No guidance on how to properly implement the keywords into your content. 

Best for: Businesses looking for a quick and effective research tool that will help them find less obvious long-tail keywords to make their content stand out. 

3. Answer The Public


Answer The Public offers a hard to resist prospect - knowledge of what topics and questions users are actually plugging into Google and Bing. 

Start by entering a keyword, click get questions, and receive a free report on what keywords people are searching for which can help you decide what topics to include and which questions to answer in your content.  

With unlimited ideas on producing relevant and helpful content, Answer The Public should be a key component of your marketing toolkit. 

Pros: 

  • East to use format. 
  • Up to 150 keyword suggestions with just one search
  • Keyword suggestions are presented as a visual search cloud, similar to a mind map display. 
  • Optimize for long-tail key phrases - once you know what questions your audience is asking you can include them in your content as subheadings. 
  • Conduct up to 3 searches a day using the free version. 

Cons: 

  • Search volume metrics aren’t displayed. 
  • Can feel more like a consumer insight tool as opposed to pure keyword research. 
  • Focuses more on performing search queries as opposed to specific keywords or keyword rankings. 
  • Doesn’t account for other search engines that aren’t Google or Bing. 
  • Unlimited searches and data are only available with a $99 monthly pro package. 

Best for: Small businesses with limited budget and time for performing keyword research who want to quickly know which keywords and topics are most relevant to their users. 

4. Questiondb

Questiondb is another keyword tool that identifies the questions real users are asking search engines about specific topics. Currently, the platform uses Reddit to source these questions. 

Filter questions by popularity or topic which groups them together, streamlining your keyword research efforts. 

Analyzing what users are asking Reddit is particularly useful if you want to write blog posts since you can gear each piece of content to answer users’ requests and questions with each piece of content you publish. 

Pros: 

  • Easily export the data as CSV so you can upload to content calendars etc. 
  • Make your content ultra-relevant to your target audience by knowing what questions they want answers to. 
  • Access a database of over 48 million questions
  • Discover unique angles to your content and long-tail keywords by not sourcing data from Google or other popular search engines. 
  • View an intuitive and clear interface with features easily clickable. 

Cons: 

  • Data source is limited to Reddit and doesn’t pull data from other sources. 
  • More of a topic finder as opposed to a pure keyword research tool. 
  • Suggestions for some more niche topics can be limited. 
  • Free version is limited to 10 results per search - access to unlimited search results is $10/month.
  • Limited dataset makes Questiondb not optimal for thorough keyword research - you’ll probably find you want to use it in combination with other tools. 

Best for: Bloggers or businesses looking to fill in content gaps on their site and create relevant content that users will find interesting and useful. 

5. Bulk Keyword Generator

Bulk Keyword Generator is best used for local geographical SEO, it focuses on generating keywords based on your industry type. 

First, select your industry as well as your exact location and the platform will generate a list of local keywords related to the services or products your industry deals with.

If you’re unsure about how to properly optimize your business’s site, this is a great tool to help you pick out the finer details of each individual page.

Use Bulk Keyword Generator to ensure you’re consistently using the correct keywords to describe your products/services throughout your site and not damaging your SEO efforts with inconsistency. 

Pros: 

  • Export keywords as a CSV document so you include it in reports or a content calendar. 
  • Beat local competitors with locally optimized keywords. 
  • Rank higher for local search results and rank higher in Google’s local search results. 
  • Create unlimited lists of keywords. 
  • Rapidly pulls long lists of keywords making it quicker and easier to find results.

Cons: 

  • Designed for local businesses, so won’t really work for larger or online businesses. 
  • No other SEO features included within the platform. 
  • User interface is very simplistic. 
  • Keyword lists can be quite limited for each business type.
  • Doesn’t provide other metrics like keyword difficulty or search volume. 

Best for: Small businesses with localized services like personal training or plumbing companies for example. 

6. Google Keyword Planner

A list of the best free keyword research tools probably wouldn’t be complete without the biggest powerhouse of them all - Google Keyword Planner

Part of the Adwords PPC platform, although Google Keyword Planner can be used to identify keywords for paid campaigns it’s also a great allrounder option for optimizing your organic search results. 

Totally free to use, it’s a pioneer in keyword research and has been around for the last twenty years. 

Pros: 

  • Data is 100% accurate since it’s all pulled from Google’s own servers with no interfering third party algorithms. 
  • View a clean layout that’s easy to read and interpret. 
  • Download and export your keyword results as a CSV. 
  • Perform unlimited searches.
  • See metrics like number of average monthly searches and competition for ranking. 

Cons: 

  • Only pulls its data from Google’s servers doesn’t consider other search engines at all. 
  • Fewer suggestions for keywords than some other platforms - around 300 per seed keyword. 
  • Fewer keyword filters than other tools makes it harder to focus on the right specific keywords. 
  • Only enter three keywords when searching for other suggestions - some platforms will allow you to enter more keywords at the beginning. 
  • Doesn’t provide a negative keyword list.

Best for: Any business looking to perform highly accurate and totally free keyword research to boost their rankings in Google. 

7. Ubersuggest

Like many keyword research tools on this list, Ubersuggest involves you entering a seed keyword, hitting enter, and viewing a ton of keyword suggestions along with search volume and SEO difficulty stats

Ubersuggest packs a punch when it comes to keywords and has several features to make your life that much easier when it comes to figuring out a solid SEO and content strategy. 

A comparison tab is ideal if you often write reviews as it shows you what versus articles you can write. The related keywords tab shows you demonstrated uses of your chosen keyword to help you identify keywords with less competition.  

It’s also beautifully packaged in an intuitive easy to use dashboard. What’s not to love? 

Pros: 

  • Discover keywords that aren’t available through the Google Keyword Planner. 
  • Uses location-based data which is helpful if you have a local business. 
  • Search Images, Shopping, News, and YouTube as well as using a regular web search. 
  • Clear user interface with a word cloud helping you visualize keyword options. 
  • Find out key SEO stats like your organic monthly traffic, backlinks, and top SEO pages. 

Cons: 

  • Uses Google Suggests for keyword research so you could essentially find the same keyword suggestions elsewhere just in a different layout. 
  • Pay for a pro version at $29/month to access features like filters for keyword suggestions.
  • Lists of keyword suggestions tend to be quite short and probably won’t be enough for bigger sites. 
  • Difficult to find keyword results for some niche markets. 
  • No mobile app for finding keywords while you’re on the go. 

Best for: Businesses looking to start detailed keyword research as well as use other technical SEO tools included by Ubersuggest. 

8. WordStream


WordStream's powerful keyword research tools have access to an eye-wateringly huge database of 1 trillion keywords

Despite pulling information from overwhelmingly large sources, WordStream manages to keep things simple and digestible for the user, presenting keywords in a clear visual format.

Sound too good to be true for a free keyword research tool? It’s not!

For a free platform, WordStream goes above and beyond to provide users with not one but four different tools. 

Pros: 

  • The Keyword Discovery Tool gives your keyword database access to instantly updated keywords from Google Analytics.  
  • Download their Create SEO Content extension to your web browser and receive automatic suggestions for variations to your target keyword
  • Access support materials like PPC tips, articles on digital marketing, and webinars to boost your knowledge beyond keyword research.
  • Discover lesser-known keywords with lower competition levels with the Niche Finder Tool. 
  • Filter relevant keywords by industry and location.

Cons: 

  • Have to provide email address for the full list of keywords otherwise just receive 25. 
  • Few additional SEO features that other platforms may have like a site auditor, or competitor analysis.
  • Smaller or newer websites may find that they don’t have enough content for the keyword research tool to work effectively. 
  • No keyword research for video, shopping, or app ads.
  • System can run and load slowly, particularly on the dashboard.

Best for: Businesses who already have an established web page with a substantial amount of content will benefit the most from WordStream’s free keyword research tools. 

9. Keyword Tool Dominator  

Instead of focusing on just search engines like Google, Keyword Tool Dominator quickly identifies the top 10 searched for keywords on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Google, Walmart, and YouTube.

The platform is ideal for writing fully optimized product descriptions for your e-commerce site, blog, or videos. Trusted by 300,000 users, it’s a great option for gaining a competitive edge.

Discover what your target audience is actually searching for and, implement it into your SEO and content strategy. 

Keyword Tool Dominator helps you identify newly trending keywords before the competition starts incorporating them into their content. 

Pros: 

  • Identify long-tail keywords by using Keyword Tool Dominator to leverage the autocomplete databases from search engines allowing you to find hundreds of long-tail keyword phrases from just one search term. 
  • Generate an up to date relevant product keyword list by searching for keywords across 16 different Amazon marketplaces. 
  • Easy and useful for anyone to use - both seasoned SEO pros and beginners. 
  • Reflects what users are searching for, making keywords highly relevant for your target audience.
  • Works with the most updated data from each marketplace in real-time. 

Cons: 

  • Free users are limited to 2 daily keyword searches per keyword tool without an upgrade to a premium paid for subscription. 
  • Website’s appearance could do with an improvement for a clearer layout. 
  • If opting for a paid version of the tool there are no monthly payment plans only lifetime subscriptions. 
  • Browser extension plug-in is just limited to Google Chrome. You have to install the browser for it to work.
  • Search volume metrics for the keywords aren’t included. 

Best for: Businesses looking for ultra specific keyword searches based on each different search engine to help build effective product descriptions or optimize a blog or web page. 

10. Wordtracker Scout

Sometimes the best way to work out what you’re missing in your keyword strategy is to take a look at what your top competitors are getting right.

Enter Wordtracker Scout - a platform that promises to show you how the competition can provide you with the best keyword data. 

You can of course always scroll through your competitors’ blogs and sites to get a better idea of what keywords they’re successfully implementing but this is generally a time consuming and tedious task. 

The beauty of Wordtracker Scout is that it functions as a Google Chrome extension so when you’re next on a competing webpage, hover over the content and click the W button which generates a cloud summary of the page’s keywords and insights. 

Pros: 

  • Easy to use, even with limited SEO knowledge the keyword data is easy to understand.
  • Attract your target audience through sourcing the keywords they’re already searching for.
  • View solid performance metrics to narrow down your keyword research.
  • Analyze your competitors’ sites for keywords.
  • Simple extension download to Chrome.  

Cons: 

  • Only available for Google Chrome - if you use another browser, you’d have to install Google Chrome to access the extension. 
  • Focus is on keywords used by competitors, no original keyword searches provided. 
  • Doesn’t generate lists of possibly high ranking keywords.
  • High performing keywords used by competitors are likely to be difficult for your site to rank for. 
  • Aside from Wordtracker Scout competitor analysis, other keyword research tools provided by Wordtracker come with a monthly subscription. 

Best for: Businesses launching a new website and wanting to figure out what the competitors have got right to achieve high rankings.

Summary of Best Free Keyword Research Tools

Organic traffic still forms a vital portion of nearly every business’s sources of traffic.

Topping page 1 is key to putting your site in the right position to answer users’ questions and provide them with the useful and relevant content they’re looking for. 

Keyword research is always going to play a part in a thorough SEO strategy and is an ongoing process that never really ends.

While you’re probably not going to use all 10 of these tools simultaneously, it’s definitely worth trying out each one. 

Once you find out which features are most relevant to your own keyword research you can use them to build a comprehensive content strategy that will increase traffic and boost your rankings.

About
Holly Stanley
Holly's love for travel and Latin America led her to working in luxury travel, creating content for an award-winning agency. When not working she's usually found in one of the city’s buzziest bars and restaurants or out in countryside riding and playing polo.