Expand Your Keyword List For Free: 6 Keyword Tools You Should Be Using (but probably aren’t).

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As part 2 of our keyword research blog series, I’d like to dive right into the topic of free keyword research tools. One of the first things I think of when someone says keyword research is all the free keyword research tools that are available. From the number of searches, to the number of potential clicks per month, clicks per day, to average cost-per-click and ad position, and demographics, keyword research tools can give you a plethora of information concerning a particular keyword or set of keywords you’re researching. These tools are very helpful when beginning a search marketing campaign because they can give you an estimate of how much traffic you’re going to receive from these keywords, therefore allowing you to pick the keywords that will drive the most targeted/qualified traffic to your site. In other words, they help you get more bang for your buck! In the pay-per-click world, they are a must!

Below are the 6 most helpful free keyword research tools I could find. I’ve described what information each tool provides.

  1. Word Tracker

word tracker

With Wordtracker you type in one keyword and can get up to 100 top keyword variations and approximately how many searches each one receives. They also have an ‘adult filter’ you can use to eliminate any adult orientated search terms that might be related to your keyword.

  1. Google Adwords Keyword Tool


The Google Adwords keyword tool is great! You can type in as many keywords as you like to start with, and Google will literally give you hundreds of keywords to choose from including different variations of your keyword to misspellings. They also give you much more information than just keyword variations. They can show you advertiser competition, search volume per month, average search volume total, average CPC , ad position and much more.

  1. SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool

seo book

The SEO Book Keyword Research Tool is very cool for many reasons. Mainly, it shows the estimated number of daily searches for each Google, Yahoo and MSN. They’ve also recently added an export to CSV feature, so you can now export the entire list of keywords into a spreadsheet to share with others or to use for future references.

  1. Keyword Discovery

kw discovery

The free Keyword Discovery tool is great for giving many different variations of keywords and their estimated number of searches performed. The great thing about Keyword Discovery is thatthey collect data from all major search engines. I do feel however that on some keywords they estimate a very low number of searches .

  1. SpyFu

spy fu

Spyfu is pretty cool in the fact that they give you more than just variations of keywords you are searching for. Spyfu gives you such information like, an average cost-per- click, cost/day, clicks/day, the number of advertisers also bidding on a particular keyword and the number of search results listed. In addition, they will list out top related terms, related concepts and keywords that competitors bought. What’s even more cool, they will also list out the top 5 (although you can view more) advertisers who are advertising for this keyword, their domain and ad text, both in paid search and organic. Now that’s a lot of info!

  1. MSN Keyword Forecast Tool


This tool doesn’t necessarily give you variations of a keyword you type in, but it gives you traffic forecasting information as well as demographic information. For Example, for the keyword ‘catheter’ I found that that majority of people tying in this keyword are women ages 50+. This will help me understand my target audience better as well as allow me to set up correct demographic settings within my accounts. It also gives me an estimate of when searches on this keyword are highest and lowest so I know when to expect more traffic and when to expect a drop in traffic.

So there you have it! 6 incredibly helpful keyword research tools that are completely free. Now you won’t have an excuse next time to not perform your keyword research. Remember, the more research you can do in the beginning, the better off your results can be in the end!

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16 thoughts on “Expand Your Keyword List For Free: 6 Keyword Tools You Should Be Using (but probably aren’t).

  1. SEO Firm

    Great post… It is a good idea to use a host of resources for your PPC and SEO research and campaigns as it allows you to locate low hanging keyword fruit.

    Here is a new keyword tool I just stumbled across over the weekend. You can get a free trial of the
    keyword research tool by visiting the link.

    I also recommend setting up a web analytics program through Google Analytics or choose one offered by your hosting company. Depending on your hosting company, you can set one of them up for free or for a few dollars a month.

    I have had clients base their entire success of their SEO campaign around 5 to 10 keyword phrases, but after looking at their traffic stats it turned out that their site was found on hundreds of different keyword phrases.

  2. Amber

    Hi, thanks for reading and thanks for the additional keyword research tool. I’ll be sure to check it out. Yes, it’s very important to have an analytics program so you can find what keywords people are actually typing in. I think the point is that people think things are working well in their accounts, but they may not realize just how much better they could be doing with a little more research and digging around!

  3. Paul Burani, Clicksharp Marketing

    This is an excellent list, though if I had to eliminate one, I would say its WordTracker. WT’s method is to extract rich data on search queries from two *very* small search engines, whose combined share of total is 0.6%, and then mathematically inflate the numbers to index to 100. You don’t need to be a stats guru to understand how high the margin of error would be here. In fact, a few projects which I’ve run in which WT was one of the key inputs, they tend to veer off target from time to time — and now I can guess why…

  4. Amber

    Hey Paul, thanks for the tip! There are definitely some keyword research tools I prefer over others. I think you’re right about word tracker. It seems to be the least versatile, but none the less it still gives you some great keyword ideas. Thanks for reading!!

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  6. SMDnc

    Greetings guys, thanks for the blog. I apprecaite all the valuable info you share.
    I have a Question, that I cannot find the answer to… I hope you may offer an answer.
    In terms of Keywords and KW Performance… does it matter what keywords are in an adgroup overall? We have some groups with 50 terms and some with 1000+, does the overall group perform differently based on the other terms in the group, and their individual performance, or are they measured individually based on QS?
    hope that makes sense.

  7. Derek

    You know, I prefer using semrush, strange you haven’t included it to your list. It is good on all parametres, cheap enough by the way 🙂

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