Let’s continue embarking on our journey of simplifying SEO. If search engine optimization (SEO) is new to you, then start with our first blog post: SEO for beginners. Here, we spell out exactly what SEO is, how search engines work, why you should care and finally what SEO keywords are. Once you understand what SEO keywords are you are ready to dive into the meat of this blog post. Now, you might be wondering, how do I go about choosing the right SEO keywords for my website, course landing page, blog post, Pinterest posts, etc.? Great question! Let’s dive into four free SEO keyword research tools that you can use to find relevant, long-tail keywords for your content.
Four SEO Keyword Research Tools
1. Google Keyword Planner
Let’s start with the platform that understands keywords the best, our friend Google. Google has an SEO Keyword Research Tool called Google Keyword Planner. This tool is completely free, but the sign up process turns a lot of people away because it appears that you need to run an ad campaign first. Don’t worry, we will walk you through how to access this tool in a few quick and easy steps. Simply start by going to Keyword Planner and logging in with the appropriate Google account. Then follow the steps noted in the images below.
- You’ll see a page asking you for your main advertising goal. At the bottom there is a section that asks if you are an “expert”… guess what, today you are! Click that button
- On the next page you will see a prompt that says “create an account without a campaign”
- Congratulations! You’ve done it.
- You are now within the tool and can start researching your keywords
In order to start researching, you’ll go up to the settings and tools icon in the upper right hand corner and click “keyword planner”. From here you can discover new keywords or research search volumes and forecasts. We use this tool quite often when trying to determine various keywords for our website, blog, sales pages, etc. Simply type in the keyword you want to write about and see how often it’s searched for along with other keyword ideas. Let’s use the example “brand photography” in the screenshot below.
Google Keyword Planner tells us it’s searched on average between 1k-10k times per month. Now, we understand this is a little vague. Unfortunately, this is all you’ll get access to until you’ve run a campaign. After that, you are promised more insights. However, one of the reasons this is our favorite SEO keyword research tool is because it will automatically populate other keyword ideas like “personal branding photography”. Oftentimes we start here, ideate a few long-tail keywords and then head over to another tool in order to explore further.
The keyword ideas you find here on Google are guaranteed to be an accurate representation of what’s happening on the platform regardless of how deep the free insights go. When starting with Google, you wont need to worry about the validity of a keyword.
Did you know Pinterest is a search engine? That’s right, just like Google! Soon-to-be brides come to Pinterest to start planning their weddings. Those looking to create a healthier lifestyle might be searching for new diets or recipes. New homeowners may be searching for inspiration for their next house project. The list goes on and on. The one thing all these searchers have in common is that they are craving education and ready to learn. Not to mention, it’s the only search engine that is visually appealing. This is where us creative folks can really stand out!
So how do you use Pinterest as a tool to find keywords? More specifically, long-tail keywords? It’s pretty simple. Type in the topic you want to start creating content on and simply watch Pinterest populate the long-tail keyword based on what people are searching for most. See the image below to see how this works.
Next, we turn to one of the SEO experts, Niel Patel. His website, Ubersuggest is definitely one of our favorite free SEO keyword research tools. It provides similar results to Google’s Keyword Planner, but is a little more user friendly. Plus, you get exact search volumes. Oftentimes we use Keyword Planner to find a handful of keywords we like and then bounce over to Ubersuggest to verify the search volumes.
Some of our other favorite keyword tools on Ubersuggest are:
- Google SERP (search engine result pages): you can easily see which websites are currently ranking for this keyword without having to hop on Google and research yourself.
- Volume by Month: this is amazing if you have a seasonal business or product. It allows you to understand when your audience might be searching for certain topics.
- Content Ideas: not only can you see what some popular headlines are for this specific keyword, but you can also see the number of links on Facebook & Pinterest.
Some of these tools mentioned above are brand new to the free plan as a response to help support small businesses during the 2020 pandemic. So be sure to soak them up while you can!
4. Keywords Everywhere Plugin
Finally, the last SEO keyword research tool we have for you is a simple Chrome and Firefox plugin called Keywords Everywhere. What’s amazing about this tool is that it simply allows you to see related keywords as you browse Google for different topics. The free model of this tool only allows you to see “related keywords” and “people also searched for”, not actual keyword search volumes unless you pay for a bundle of credits. We suggest you start your keyword research here, write down a handful of keywords you like and then check out the actual search volumes on another tool like Ubersuggest.
What we love most about this tool is that it can be running in the background allowing us to continue being in an SEO-mindset as both a user and a marketer. If you are new to SEO, this is a perfect way to start thinking about how SEO works in your own life in order to leverage it for your small business.
There you have it, four SEO keyword research tools you can use that are completely free!
There are so many different tools out there, but these four have been some of our favorites. They are also user-friendly, and easy to understand when thinking about SEO for beginners. Finding free resources you actually enjoy using, feels like hitting the jackpot for any entrepreneur or small business owner. Each tool we noted above won’t give you everything in one spot unless you paid for a plan. But leveraging two of these tools when researching keywords will help paint a bigger picture. We truly do love all of these tools and bounce in and out of each of them when we are researching for our own content calendar.
Our final tip for you in keyword researching is to batch work this content. For example, outline the next 5-10 blog posts you plan to write. Open up each of these tools in a new tab and get to work. You’ll find that once you’ve identified all your keywords in advance, the content building becomes a lot easier!
Happy keyword hunting! And, don’t forget to sign up for our free SEO Keyword Guide. You already got an extra tool and some insider secrets right here in this blog, but what’s great about this resource is that you’ll also get a worksheet and four ways to implement SEO in your business today.
If you are looking to take things to the next level, then we have just the course for you; SEO on Tap. An online, learn-as-you-go SEO course built for small businesses and entrepreneurs, just like you, who are ready to learn how to optimize your website, build a blog and out rank your competition. Plus, if you are a copywriter or a web designer, we have something extra special just for you. Check it out here!