5 Free Keyword Research Tools

Digging into some keyword research? These six tools will help you stay on top of the competition and make sure your site is getting as much traffic as possible. We’re looking at a lot of Google-based tools here, but if you’re using any other helpful tools we didn’t list, let us know in the comments.


Google Analytics:

Although Google Analytics is an ever-evolving tool that provides an extremely wide range of services for tracking web traffic, it’s especially useful for those diving into SEO and researching keywords.


Google Insights for Search:

Originally intended to assist in pay-per-click advertising campaigns, Google Insights for Search has evolved to meet other needs of keyword researchers. This tool tracks the volume of specific keywords and offers a tremendous volume of suggested keywords. Google Insights for Search is thus a good tool if you have time to manually sift through many keywords and apply them to your own site.

Google AdWords:

This tool gives you a list of suggested keywords based on an initial list that you construct. It also how competitive particular keywords are and the number of Google searches it receives every month. What sets Google AdWords apart is that is has three distinct “match types” for keywords: phrase matches, exact matches and broad matches.

A phrase match will match similar phrases to a given search, for example, the phrase “shop for cheap winter jackets” would be a match for the phrase “winter jackets.”   A broad match retrieves synonyms for a given phrase. For example, a broad match for the phrase “winter jackets” would be matched with the phrase “winter coats.” An exact match (as it sounds) only returns matches to the exact phrase “winter coats.”

Google Trends for Websites:

Google Trends for Websites is a rather simple tool that allows you to track the traffic of your website over time. This, however, can be a powerful resource for generating more traffic on your website in that Google Trends gives you keywords your visitors searched for, their geographical locations, and other sites that they visited. This tool can also track seasonal trends if your site is sensitive to fluctuations in seasonal-related traffic.


Alexa is a great resource for people using keyword research to optimize their website. The site allows you to access data about your own website and your competitors’ sites through traffic statistics and search analytics. The site also gives information on the demographics of people visiting the site, with breakdowns for age, education, gender, location, and more. Alexa also features a “Reviews” page that lets Alexa users comment on particular sites.