Choosing the right keywords is crucial when you’re playing the SEO-optimization game.
Keywords can be the difference between ranking on Page One of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)… or being relegated to a quiet corner of the Web, where no one will find you.
In October, we talked about how to understand a user’s search intent when researching keywords and why search intent is so important. Search intent helps you find suitable keywords, based on where the user is in the buying cycle.
Then last time, we discovered how to use keywords to generate content ideas.
But how do we find these keywords in the first place?
Before you can understand search intent or use a keyword to generate content ideas, you need keyword ideas in the first place.
Keyword research tools can help streamline finding keywords people are actually searching for.
If you’re starting out or you write only occasional articles, then you might not be too keen on paying for a keyword tool. So we’ve found six free keyword research tools to help you out.
What should you consider when choosing a keyword research tool? There are a few important factors to keep in mind.
Why You Need Keyword Tools
You might be familiar with an industry or niche and feel confident you know what information users are searching for. After all, you know the industry… right?
Not necessarily. What you think users are typing into search engines and what they actually type don’t always match.
A keyword tool bridges this gap. When you enter a seed keyword (the keyword you thought of) into a keyword tool, it will show you search terms real people use. Sometimes your seed keyword will be on the list… and sometimes not.
Keyword tools use your seed keyword to generate a list of relevant keywords. This allows you to find keywords most suited to your topic.
For illustration purposes, we’re going to use the seed keyword “dress patterns” as we investigate our six free keyword tools. This is a good example of a keyword with two meanings…
- Are you searching for patterns so you can sew a new dress?
- Or are you looking to see which types of printed patterns are on this season’s dresses?
See how easily you can end up with the wrong search intent?
A good keyword tool gives you context. It helps answer the question — do people use the term “dress patterns” to find sewing patterns, or to find the latest styles and colors? A useful keyword tool also provides a wide range of information… monthly search volume, how competitive the term is, and so on.
We’ve chosen keyword research tools which are truly free… that means you don’t have to sign up for a free trial period to use them. Some require an email address, but that’s okay. After all, they’re giving you a whole lot of useful information in exchange for you joining their list.
Avoid those which ask for credit cards details. They usually offer a free trial, then automatically bill your credit card when the trial period ends.
These are listed here in no particular order. We’ll start with two useful Chrome extensions.
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