Top 9 Free Keyword Tools for Small Business in 2022

These great keyword research tools are all free. Use it to discover and rank keywords, and even access related keyword metrics.

If you are in any doubt about search engine marketing, ask Twitter. It’s possible that SEO and Twitter have evolved on a continuum of timespace around the same trend in the day. And perhaps the fact that tweets were once indexed by Google made Twitter the SEO social network of choice. So, I asked Twitter for the best free keyword research tool, and they gave me some suggestions we haven’t already reviewed for our list of free tools.

Screenshot of a Tweet asking the search marketing community for suggestions for free keyword tools.

The search marketing community on Twitter is great. It is a fast, public and interactive social network, and information can be checked and shared more quickly. Image source: the author

Here are the top free keyword tools for your SEO campaign:

  • Keyword Surfer: Free Chrome Extension for Keyword Search
  • Ubersuggest: Free Keyword Suggestion Tool
  • Moz: Free Domain Analysis Feature
  • KWFinder: Free limited keyword search
  • SEMrush: Free Domain Searches With Keyword Details
  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Audience Answer: Free Topic Search Tool
  • Another free topical search tool
  • SpyFu: Free Limited Keyword Search

What to look for in a great free keyword tool

In keyword research, you go through the stages of understanding what keyword searches your audience is doing and how they are used. Keyword tools will be helpful in discovering, ranking and building your keyword list. Let’s look at some of the things we look for in a great keyword analysis tool.

1. Discovery

Keyword research requires you to take a step back and think. It is not only about data, but also about imagination. Some tools help you gain perspective by adding some layers of data and questions you might not have thought about.

2. Metrics

In keyword research, you need to understand not only what the right keywords are, but their frequency, the traffic they drive, how hard they are to rank for, and the cost of buying ads to appear on them. These free tools sometimes impose restrictions and keep this data for the paid versions.

3. Difficulty of keywords

How difficult it is for any keyword to rank depends on the cost-per-click (CPC) of paid search and on a number of SEO factors, such as the number of sites ranking, the strength of backlink cookies, and the strength of domains. Tools that report difficulty ranking in SEO provide added value because they allow you to choose easier winnings.

4. Diversity and geography

It is much easier for the tool to provide the best English language keywords for the US market via Google and Bing than to provide these keywords across multiple markets and languages ​​from sources outside of traditional search. Some of the tools go into sources like Amazon, YouTube, and international search engines like Yandex and Baidu.

Top 9 Picks for the Best Free Keyword Tools

Before jumping into these, we have a little bonus suggestion. Go straight to Soovle, a free, fast, and unique tool that shows keyword variations from multiple sources as you type. This should get you started and motivated to discover more tools that you can use in your keyword research as you work your way through the list below.

1. Best for active surfing: Keyword Surfer

Keyword Surfer is a free Chrome extension that pulls relevant keyword metrics in your browser as an overlay when using Google. You can toggle it on and off, and it’s a useful tool for your keyword discovery phase, as you try to understand where and how to focus your efforts.

Screenshot of Google search using Chrome showing Keyword Surfer data overlay.

The Keyword Surfer Chrome extension overlays information as you search, allowing you to see all the useful keyword metrics and trend information needed to rate a keyword. Image source: the author

2. Best for free entry: Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest started as a simple Google Suggest scraper, collecting and aggregating data from keywords suggested in the search bar for keyword suggestions. It has evolved into a complete SEO tool and is still free, and provides keyword metrics including keyword difficulty scores.

Screenshot from Ubersuggest showing keyword suggestions for a query

Ubersuggest offers Google Suggest keywords ranked by interest and with additional metrics such as trends, search volume, estimated CPC, and keyword difficulty. Image source: the author

3. Best for Domain Searches:

Moz Pro is a complete suite of SEO tools that provide site crawling, keyword tracking, backlink analysis, and domain searches. It’s a paid tool, but it provides free access to domain searches where you can get exposure to competitors, top keywords, and even frequently asked questions about the site. Great place to go for a quick field search.

Screenshot of Moz's domain search for

Moz’s Free Domain Search provides a great first overview of the SEO characteristics of the domain and keywords. Image source: the author

Read the full Moz Pro review of The Ascent

4. Best for List Building: KWFinder

KWFinder is easy to use for creating keyword lists. The free version gives you a limited number of keyword searches per day, and the results pages will give you all the relevant metrics for your keywords.

Screenshot of KWFinder's keyword search results page.

KWFinder offers an easy-to-use keyword search that provides all the metrics you need to rate a keyword. Image source: the author

Read the full KWFinder review of The Ascent

5. Best for Paid Search: SEMrush

SEMrush is a paid tool that offers a full suite of SEO and paid search features. It offers a free domain search feature, giving you instant access to a comprehensive view of domain activity in both organic and paid searches. Explains paid search strategies at a glance.

Screenshot of domain search for

In this domain research, the trend of organic versus paid search is clear, and SEMrush provides a quick strategic insight. Image source: the author

Read The Ascent’s full review of SEMrush

6. Best Reliability: Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is a source for many free tools. It’s free within Google Ads, which provides access to keyword research and metrics. You can use it as a domain research tool and as a list generator of raw keywords. Provides approximate measures of volumes and CPCs. It is intended to create paid search campaigns but anyone with a Google account can access and use the tool.

Screenshot from a Google Ads account showing the Tools menu and Keyword Planner item.

You can do a lot of keyword research with the free Google Keyword Planner tool. All you need is a Google account. Image source: the author

7. Best for Discovery: AnswerThePublic

AnswerThePublic is a great tool. Its homepage is well worth a visit whether you are searching for keywords or not, simply to experiment. The tool analyzes related search queries when a keyword is entered and displays it in relationship charts. This allows you to understand semantic relationships and identify categories of keywords and related questions to which your content should provide answers.

Screenshot of a keyword search using AnswerThePublic.

AnswerThePublic is a great keyword research tool because it helps you ask questions and categorize topics and keywords. Image source: the author

8. Best for identifying questions: also should be inspired by AnswerThePublic. He takes the concept of questions a step further, searches for additional inquiries, and finds more questions. It is in itself a ranking tool that brings out a number of questions that can guide your content strategy.

Screenshot of results page for query

When querying for “Amazon Marketing,” the tool provides several iterations of questions categorized around various concepts such as “Amazon does marketing for itself,” “What do you need to do to market your company on Amazon,” and more. Image source: the author

9. Best for Competitive Research: SpyFu

Initially a competitive keyword research tool for paid and membership search, SpyFu has evolved into a platform that offers a wide range of features, including search data, backlink analysis, and rank tracking.

Screenshot from the competition section of SpyFu's search for

SpyFu will identify your competitors and look at keyword overlap sections where you can find your strengths and weaknesses and of course identify opportunities and priorities for your organic and paid search. Image source: the author

Read the full SpyFu review of The Ascent

Search for your keywords now, while these tools are free

Obviously great tools shouldn’t be free, especially when they provide as much value as the ones mentioned above. If your keyword research task is a one-time task, feel free to take advantage of that, and remember to provide great reviews and ratings in exchange for the free service.

If you are building an SEO ability or practice, use the free offers to find out which SEO tool is best for you before subscribing to a paid version. You won’t regret it – and the paid versions are even better.

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