When selecting the best free keyword search and research tools, you’ll need to do you’re homework… find one that works best for you.
There are several free “try before you buy” offers to weed through…but I’d like to determine who truly has the best of all the free keyword search tools out there. Yes, some of the tools are totally and completely free, others only give you a free trial and can cost you a pocketful of change after the trial period has expired. Knowing which software or service gives you the most bang without your buck can help in the decision-making process. But in the end, it all comes down to performance, usability and user preference.
Sometime or another, you’ll likely consider purchasing a reliable, high end keyword tool that performs all of the analysis required to know the actual value of a keyword. In this article I’ll be covering the basic features found in what I consider to be a few of the best free keyword search tools on the internet today and how they could be of value to you in your research.
Don’t Google and Bing have their own free Keyword Search Tools?
Of course, starting your keyword research will usually begin with a free tool that is right there at your fingertips. Probably the most widely used of all is the Google Search Engine and it’s “instant search” feature. I’ve already covered ways to do this in my post on Free Google Keyword Searches – The Alphabet Soup Method. so there’s no need to go into detail here. In that article and accompanying video, I show the most proficient way to use it and I also mention a couple of free online services that I will cover later in this article.
Google also has the Google Keyword Planner that is tied to an Adwords account. Bing has a comparable tool as well which is tied to a Microsoft account. Both of these are at your disposal, but I feel these are best utilized for PPC advertising, not quick and dirty keyword discovery. YouTube has since removed it’s keyword tool all together, but you can still utilize it’s instant search feature which is a living, breathing twin of Google’s instant search. Wonder why that is? 😉
Why would you want to use a free keyword search tool?
For keyword discovery. One tool I like to use is called ubersuggest.org, another is keywordtool.io. They are both similar in style and function, though each has it’s own way of displaying the data it retrieves. Keywordtool.io also allows you to select your preferred search engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing, Appstore). Both tools automate the “alphabet soup” method and are considered keyword generators or suggestion tools. These tools are used to discover and organize keywords. There are no metrics relating to search volume or competition available inside these tools.
Oddly enough, I came across a third online keyword generator while putting this article together. It’s a totally free site that really sparked my interest. That site is called keyword.io. I found myself over there while trying to get over to keywordtool.io, I just happened to type in the wrong address! And I’m kinda glad I did!
I would dare to say that all three of these tools should be part of anyone’s keyword research arsenal. They are quick and handy ways of drumming up huge lists of relevant keywords based on any seed word or keyword string. The first two tools only offer suggestions, which are based on real-time search and vertical criteria from several sources (shopping, news and video sites), but they do give a great starting point when building your keyword lists.
However, keyword.io definitely stood out among the three. Keyword.io is a totally free, ad-driven service being developed by Robert Jung in Hamburg, Germany. You must open a free account to use all of it’s features, but from what I’ve seen so far, Robert is providing a good, reliable service for those that spend time with keyword research. It looks as though he intends on building up the service as time goes on. Keyword terms are downloadable in a .csv format and the software is also capable of generating a list of 100 related keywords that are scored by their TF•IDF , TEXTRANK value and on how many of the analyzed pages they appear on. I highly recommend checking this one out!
Are all free keyword tools really free?
As I mentioned in the beginning, one of the first things you’ll realize is there are several keyword generators (used for discovery) that are completely free for life and usable at any time, so long as you have an internet connection. The other thing you’ll find is many of the paid services and keyword research software packages will provide either a “full-featured” or “limited access” keyword tool for a short period of time or certain number of searches. Most of these particular kind of tools are in someway tied into Google Adwords API and/or SEOmoz API (now simply moz). Some are not.
Good examples of these are Market Samurai and one I recently reviewed called Longtail Keyword Pro v. 3. The original version of Longtail Keyword Pro had a 10 day free trial, but version 3.0 seems to have strayed from the “try before you buy” strategy. I will spend some time in future reviews covering some of the better so-called “free trial” software packages.
As for downloadable software packages, I did manage to locate what I consider to be the best free keyword search tool in that category. The software runs on both a PC and a Mac. The software interface does contain advertising, but I found the install to be clean, with no malware. It works pretty well for a free tool. There is an original Adobe Air version that was produced, so avoid this one, but since then the software has been upgraded by the owner. It is now compatible with Windows 8, but I’m not sure what will happen with this one once Windows 10 goes live tomorrow.
This is a totally free download, you just have to register with the developer (Dave Guindon) for a free software license key in order to run it. Click on the image below to be taken to the download page for Keyword Optimizer Pro v. 2 Dave has also produced several how-to videos for this software to get you up and running right away. This is NOT an affiliate link, just a pretty decent desktop keyword search tool, that’s free to use. I’ll cover all the really cool features about this tool in another post before the summer is over!
Well, that’s about all I have for you this time around. I will be working on more reviews of keyword research tools as the summer rolls on. I wanted to be sure you got a glimpse of the a few of the truly free products so you can begin tinkering around with your keyword research without spending a bunch of money to do so. I would have included SEOBook in this review, but they are currently restructuring their site and I would rather have an in-depth review of everything they offer , since they are some tremendous players in the industry. That way I will not have to redo the content of my article after their new site goes live.
Until then, search on!