Knowing how to search for keywords is an essential part of any search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. With the right terms, you can increase your search visibility and drive more traffic from your intended audience.
Despite being a critical component of SEO and content marketing, keyword research can be time consuming and often expensive. Luckily, there are several free keyword research tools out there to help make your work more fruitful, without blowing your budget.
We’ve rounded up six free keyword research tools you can use to find SEO keywords for your website. As a bonus, we’ll also show you a cost-effective way to expand your keyword research using Alexa.
How to Search for Keywords with 6 Free Tools
1. Google Related Searches
When looking for a free keyword search solution, Google related searches are a great place to start. Enter a keyword or phrase into the search engine and scroll to the bottom of the page. There you’ll see searches that Google has determined are closely associated with your target term.
This is a simple and free way to find related keywords to incorporate into your content, which can strengthen the signals you send search engines and improve your SEO.
2. Google Related Questions
When you perform a search on Google, you might also see a box that features the top questions related to your target term. These related questions expand to show answers, other search phrases, and even more related questions.
With the rise of natural language and semantic search, long-tail phrases and questions have become more integrated into search results. These questions are a great way to find long tail keywords that you can target in evergreen content on your website. And because long-tail keywords are very specific in nature, they are valuable for capturing the attention of your most qualified audience.
3. Answer the Public
Another way to find long tail SEO keywords is by using the free keyword finder Answer the Public. Enter a target term, and the tool shows a huge selection of related phrases that include that keyword.
This is another great way to find dozens and dozens of themes and topics for your content. You can even sort the results by whether they are questions (ex. how to, which are), if they include prepositions (ex. for, can, with), and more.
4. LSI Graph Keyword Generator
When you learn how to search for keywords, you should also learn how to find LSI keywords.
Enter your target term, and the tool creates a list of semantically related phrases.
Use this keyword explorer to find terms for semantic SEO. Semantic SEO is the process of using a target keyword as well as related keywords on a page of content to appeal to semantic search and boost search rankings.
5. Wordtracker Scout
If you want to know how to search for keywords on a webpage, use Wordtracker Scout. Wordtracker Scout shows you what keywords are on an existing page of content. Add the Chrome extension to your browser, and click to scan the web page you’re on. The tool creates a word cloud with the page’s most relevant keywords.
Use this free keyword tool to analyze sites that attract your intended audience and uncover popular terms that can also drive traffic to your site.
6. Alexa’s Free Site Overview Tool
To perform a keyword analysis on an entire website, use Alexa’s Site Overview tool. It shows a website’s:
- Top keywords: keywords that are driving the most traffic to the site
- Keyword gaps: keywords that are driving traffic to the site’s competitors but not the target site
- Easy-to-rank keywords: relevant, popular keywords that are within the site’s ranking ability
- Buyer keywords: popular keywords that have a high purchase intent
The keyword opportunities portion of the Site Overview tool is incredibly versatile.
You could analyze your own site to find untapped keyword opportunities you should target.
Or you could search for a competitor’s site and conduct a website keyword analysis to find out what terms are performing best for them.
Lastly, you could analyze potential guest blogging sites to identify topics that would be appealing to them and relevant for their publication. Use the Site Overview tool to pinpoint keyword gaps for that site that you could fill by guest posting for them.
Bonus: Expand Your Search with More Keyword Research Tools
Free keyword research tools can give you a broad look at potential site keywords, related keywords, and competitor keywords. But if you want to create a strategic keyword plan, you need to know how to search for keywords effectively and how to evaluate keyword data that informs your strategy.
To get that high-level information, try the full version of Alexa. The Advanced plan includes an upgraded version of the Site Overview tool as well as robust keyword research tools like the Competitive Keyword Matrix and Keyword Difficulty tool.
1. Alexa’s Full Site Overview Tool
In the paid version of the Site Overview tool, you can access the complete list of keyword opportunities (not just the top four available on the free version) and open full reports on keyword gaps, easy-to-rank keywords, and buyer keywords.
Use the paid version to go deeper into your keyword research and uncover opportunities for both on-site and off-site SEO strategies.
2. Alexa’s Competitive Keyword Matrix
With the paid version of Alexa, you also get access other powerful keyword research tools, like the Competitive Keyword Matrix. This tool scans your site along with up to nine of your competitors to create a graph showing the top organic and paid keywords driving traffic to the sites in the set.
From this report, you can see which keywords the top competitors have in common. You can also identify keyword gaps. Keyword gaps present opportunities for your brand. You can become more competitive with others in your industry by creating content for relevant keywords other sites get traffic for but you don’t.
Keyword gaps present opportunities for your brand. Become more competitive with others in your industry by creating content for relevant keywords other sites get traffic for but you don’t. Click To Tweet
To easily identify keyword gaps, add a filter to your search.
The report highlights the keywords driving traffic to your competitors but not to your site, making it easy to find new and valuable terms to target.
Using the Site Overview tool, you can quickly create a keyword gaps report in the Competitive Keyword Matrix. In the keyword gaps section, click to “View all Keywords”. The tool automatically adds a few of your top competitors and a keyword gap filter to create a report showing your site’s top keyword opportunities.
Additional filters make the Competitive Matrix even more useful. Add a filter for buyer keywords to only show keywords that have high purchase intent.
Buying keywords are bottom-of-the funnel keywords that are likely to convert. As you refine your keyword research process, seek out these terms, as they appeal to audiences near the end of the purchase funnel who are ready to buy.
You can also access this report directly from the Site Overview tool. In the buyer keywords section, click to “View all Keywords”.
The tool automatically factors your competitors into the analysis filtering for buyer keywords and keyword gaps, making it even easier to identify high-converting keyword opportunities.
3. Alexa’s Keyword Difficulty Tool
Another keyword explorer within Alexa is the Keyword Difficulty tool. This tool allows you to search for keywords in two ways.
1. Enter a website to see keywords that are relevant to the existing site content. This helps you find terms that are relevant to your website’s content and products or services. The report includes a popularity score (that indicates how frequently the phrase is searched for) and a competition score (that shows how difficult it is to rank for the term).
Access this information via Site Overview by clicking “View all Keywords” on the easy-to-rank keyword report.
The report automatically adds filters to hide terms that are already driving traffic to your site and also those that exceed your ranking abilities.
To determine what keywords are within your ranking abilities, Alexa assigns a competitive power score to your site. If a keyword’s competition score is beyond your site’s competitive power, it will be difficult to rank for and therefore may not be the best keyword to target.
The report helps you find popular, low-competition keywords that would be relevant for your site, interesting to your intended audience, and within your ranking ability.
2. Another way to use the Keyword Difficulty tool is by searching for a target phrase (instead of a target website). When you enter a target phrase, the keyword finder provides a list of related keywords.
With the list of keywords, you can identify relevant terms to target on your site. To drill down into the information even more, add filters. Filters can set competition, relevance, and popularity ranges as well as filter out any keywords that already drive traffic to your site, allowing you to quickly find the best keywords to target in your content and SEO strategy.
How to Search for Keywords: Fine Tune Your Research Strategy
Now you know how to search for keywords using six free tools, and you’ve seen how to use Alexa’s keyword research tools to expand your search even more. Get unlimited access to these tools with a free trial of Alexa’s Advanced plan. Then fine tune your keyword research strategy to attract your ideal audience, increase search visibility, and drive more traffic.
Ready to learn more? Read: How to Do Keyword Research: A Comprehensive Guide
Google and the Google logo are registered trademarks of Google LLC, used with permission.