6 (mostly) free keyword planners to try

Your do-it-yourself toolkit

When creating a search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy, keyword planning is one of the most important steps. This post is designed to direct you to six free keyword planners that can help you with this.

Keywords are the terms that your customers use to search for your products or services online.

You need to get your keywords correct or else you’ll start ranking for terms that your customers and clients aren’t searching with, and don’t use. Which means that you’ll have a useless SEO strategy that doesn’t result in more clients for your business.

As you start to narrow down who your audience is, you’ll be able to determine which keywords will be the most effective for your business.

Editor’s note: Think you might have bitten off more than you can chew? Ask the experts at GoDaddy to help you optimise your website for search engines.

6 keyword planners that won’t cost you a dime (well, 5 won’t)

Whether you are a content marketer, startup or small business, keyword research is essential for getting noticed online. Here’s your toolbox.

  1. Google Trends.

  2. Keyword Shitter.

  3. AdWord and SEO Keyword Permutation Generator.

  4. Answer the Public.

  5. Keywords Everywhere.

  6. Google Search Console.

In this article, we will look at six tools you can use to find the right keywords for your business website or blog. All of them except Answer the Public are free.

1. Google Trends

Keyword Planner Google Trends

This free keyword planning tool from Google allows you to visualize the change in search trends over time. It’s extremely helpful because you can graph out the trends in keyword use, and also look closer at spikes throughout the year.

It also gives you the option to look into related queries to the keywords that you’re analyzing.

Pros

  • Clean, easy-to-use dashboard.
  • Provides insights into old trends, as well as the latest trends.

Cons

  • Google Trends provides no insights into the actual search volume of specific search terms.

2. Keyword Shitter

Keyword Planner Keyword Shitter]

Keyword Shitter is a simple tool you can use for basic keyword research. This tool is easy-to-use and can be figured out in a matter of seconds by just about anyone.

It’s perfect for anyone who would also like suggestions for long tail keywords, as it gives you keywords related to the “seed” keyword that you entered. This tool isn’t the best for those looking to do advanced keyword planning.

Pros

  • Easy-to-use.
  • Makes it easy to create long tail keywords.
  • Generates thousands of keywords in a short period of time.

Cons

  • There’s no data attached to the keywords, so you are unable to see search volume or which keywords are the most useful to target.

3. AdWord and SEO Keyword Permutation Generator

Keyword Planner Adword SEO Permutation Generator

AdWord and SEO Keyword Permutation Generator is a great tool for discovering keywords that are creative and relevant. It features an easy-to-use dashboard with three entry boxes that you can fill out with keywords. The keyword generator then produces various combinations of those keywords.

With this keyword planner, the more entries you provide, the more accurate your results will be.

You will have to keep an eye on the keywords it produces, because not all of them make sense — or would even be used by a real human to look for something on the web. They are simply random combinations of the words you provide.

Pros

  • Great tool for basic keyword planning.
  • Creative way to find different keyword alternatives.

Cons

  • Some of the keywords make little sense, so you will have to discover some of the suggestions.

4. Answer the Public

Keyword Planner Answer the Public

Answer the Public is a keyword planner that can be used by content marketers who want a unique way to generate topics or content ideas.

It will provide you with a detailed list of keyword suggestions, as well as popular questions and prepositions. It takes questions such as “Who, what, what, where, when, how and why” for prepositions. It can then generate ideas and keyword ideas that you might have never thought of otherwise.

Pros

  • Easy-to-use.
  • Great interface.
  • Good tool to combine with Google Trends.

Cons

  • It provides no search volume data for the suggested keywords and phrases.

One other drawback to Answer the Public is that the free version only provides UK-based data. To get data for Canada, you’ll need to pay for a Pro account.

5. Keywords Everywhere

Keyword Planner Keywords Everywhere

Keywords Everywhere gives you search volume, cost-per-click (CPC) and competition data when you are searching on Google. It’s an extension that’s easy to add to Chrome and works on both Mac OSX and Windows.

The data this tool provides is directly pulled from Google Ads Keyword Planner, so it’s safe to say the data is accurate.

Pros

  • Easy to use.
  • The extension has great support and is updated monthly with new results for search terms.

Cons

  • The results aren’t as in-depth as the paid version of Keywords Everywhere.

6. Google Search Console

Keyword Planner Google Search Console

Most of the keyword planners that we have discussed are made for finding new keywords to target, but Google search console is equally good at allowing you to track the keywords you are already ranking for.

It’s perfect for anyone wanting to track keyword positions, impressions, clicks and their website’s click-through rate (CTR). All the data presented is pulled straight from Google, so you know it’s accurate.

Pros

  • Provides data on keyword positions, impressions and the number of clicks on your website.
  • The ability to compare keywords against each other.

Cons

  • Search analytics only allow you to see so far into the past.
  • You can only see search terms your website is ranking for.
  • No way to add keywords to a group and compare that group against all the others at one given time.

Pick your favourite keyword planner

There isn’t a right or wrong way when it comes to keyword research. But it would be smart to take advantage of all these free keyword planners and see which ones work best for your particular need.

By figuring out which tools work for your business, you’ll get a head start on choosing the right keywords to target for your website. This in turn will guide your content strategy, improve your ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs) and push you ever closer to online success.

Image by: Estée Janssens on Unsplash

Leighton Burley
Leighton Burley is the founder of ARTIISEO, digital marketing agency in Winnipeg, Canada. With over 10 years of experience in digital marketing, Leighton has worked with some of the top agencies in North America and possesses a deep knowledge of the industry. He also writes extensively about marketing, entrepreneurialism and business in general. Find him on Twitter.