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How to do Keyword Research (For Free)

When it comes to keyword research, there are many paid tools, but that doesn’t mean you cannot have a successful keyword research strategy without shelling out cash. There are free keyword research tools and some of them are even easier to use than the paid ones.

The main difference between the paid tools and free tools are that paid tools such as Ahrefs and SEMRush are typically going to be a little more precise than the free tools.

However, the free tools can still give you very helpful information and guidance on what keywords to use.

Why is Keyword Research so Important?

If you want to get your blog posts or website pages seen by other people, the keywords you choose to write your content around are going to be the first most important thing to consider. Keyword usage can play a huge role in how well your content ranks in the search engines.

It is important to write your pages copy with relevant keywords and when you are blogging you write about topics that people actually care about and want to read about.

If there is no demand for the topic you are writing about, then nobody will search for and find your content.

Blogging is often a balance between producing unique content, but also providing content that many people are looking for.

Best Free Keyword Research Tools


Ubersuggest is a tool that was created by Neil Patel. It is very similar to some of the paid tools like Ahrefs and SEMRush. This tool can do a lot more than help with keyword research, but I am going to stick to how it can benefit you with keyword research.

With Ubersuggest, you can type in a keyword and it will give you all the most important metrics to look at when analyzing keywords. I have found this tool to be helpful and relatively accurate when searching for information about keywords.

Google Keyword Planner

The Google Keyword Planner is my favorite free tool to use because not only does it give you information about keywords, it also suggests other keywords for you.

It works similarly to Ubersuggest, where you type in a keyword and it will give you information about the search volume, competition, and some other useful information. As I mentioned, the nice thing about this tool is that it also shows you suggestions similar to the keyword you entered underneath.

Google search

This isn’t necessarily a tool, but it can be used as one. I am just referring to using Google to do a real search for specific keywords.

I like to do this after I have determined keywords that should be beneficial for me to target on my website. This allows me to see which websites are currently ranking for that keyword to see how attainable it will be for me to rank for that keyword.

Important Keyword Metrics

It can be overwhelming to start keyword research without knowing what is important. It is common for businesses to have no idea where to start, what to look for, and what really matters when doing keyword research.

Search volume is probably the most obvious metric to consider when doing keyword research. Most people believe that more volume the better, but this isn’t always true. While more search volume is great, it is often harder to rank for. That is why taking keyword difficulty and competition into consideration along with search volume is important.

That brings me to the next important metric which is keyword difficulty/competition. This is measured differently with different tools. For example, Ubersuggest will give you a number between 1-100 on how difficult it is to rank for that keyword, while the Google Keyword Planner will just tell you Low, Medium, or High competition.

The next important metric is one that many people do not consider, but I think it’s arguably the most important one to look at. That is cost per click or CPC. This is referring to how much money advertisers on Google are spending for each click for that keyword. This is a sign that shows how valuable that keyword is to rank for. If there is a high CPC that typically means visitors searching that keyword often convert into sales.

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Where To Start

It can be difficult to know where to start, but the nice thing about these keyword research tools is that they can help give you some ideas of other keywords that could be beneficial for you.

One place to start is to come up with a list of keywords that you think would benefit you to rank for. These keywords should be based around your niche or industry. For example, if you are implementing SEO for a chiropractic, you could start with (your city) + chiropractic. These topics/keywords will provide a good starting point to test and find variations that might work.

Another place to start is to look at your competitors’ content and see what keywords they are targeting. You can do this by entering a website into Ubersuggest and it will tell you the keywords that website ranks for.

My Start to Finish Process

  1. I will start by brainstorming some topics/keywords and looking at what keywords my competitors rank for.
  2. I will build a list of about 20 topics/keywords that I think would be good keywords to target.
  3. After that, I will plug them into the Google keyword planner.
  4. This will give me all the important metrics on those keywords.
  5. I can then evaluate the metrics and see if the keyword would be worth targeting.
  6. The Google keyword planner will also give you recommendations of variations of that keyword that get searched often.
  7. I will do this until I build out another list of about 20 topics that all have favorable metrics.
  8. After that, I will take these keywords and plug them into Ubersuggest to see if that tool as matching or conflicting information.
  9. After I have determined that the information matches, that means there is a pretty good chance these will be good keywords to target.
  10. I like to do a real Google search for those keywords/topics and see which websites show up on the first page.
  11. If all the websites on the first page are well-known, high authority websites. Unless you have a decent sized budget, I usually rule that keyword out, since it would be very hard for me to outrank those authoritative websites.
  12. If I do not recognise many of the sites on the first page, that will confirm for me that this keyword should be attainable to rank for.

How to be Efficient with Keyword Research

The best way to be efficient with keyword research is to try to build a good number of topics every time you go through the process. It can take some time to go through the process I outlined, so if you are only doing on topic at a time, this will be very time consuming.

It’s helpful to have a bank of topics/keywords to write about so that you do not have to continuously go through the process of keyword research.

Wrapping Up

Although there are some great paid keyword research tools, you can get important information from free keyword research tools out there.

Important keyword metrics are search volume, keyword difficulty, and cost per click. It can be helpful to cross-check these metrics across multiple keyword research tools to be sure they are accurate.

I would recommend using this process to find batches of keywords a time so that you don’t have to go through the entire process every time you need a topic to write about.


If you would like more information, feel free to contact us, we would love to help you get more from your online presence. If you don’t have a website but know your business needs one, get in touch and we’ll help guide you along the best path to online success!

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Cheers, Kim

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