Many clients and employers ask content writers to do more things than their job titles. And one of them is keyword research. But premium SEO tools are expensive. So, they use the best free keyword research tools available.
Now, countless pages provide a list of the best keyword research tools. So, there is no point in creating yet another one. Instead, it is better to show you how I find topics and do keyword research using free tools.
Keyword research is essential to creating content. Usually, clients (companies or agencies) provide the content brief. But some of them provide only the title or none at all.
Freelance writers are under no obligation to pay for premium SEO tools. For one thing, they are expensive. Furthermore, most clients do not care and will not pay more. So, the only choice is to use free keyword research tools for SEO.
Keyword research can comprise two parts.
- Find primary and other keywords
- Content ideation
Only after this process can freelance writers move on to creating the title. Contrary to what most clients assume, creating a title does not take only a minute. In some cases, it might even take 1 to 2 hours.
Free Keyword Research Tools for Finding Keywords
As you might surmise, I started with the term “keyword research” to come up with the topic of this article. Honestly, though, I did not know what to write about this subject. And that is why keyword research is a must-do.
1. Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner helps advertisers find keywords they can use for ads. As for freelance writers, it is one of the best ways to find keywords.
Here are the results for the term “keyword research.”
While going through the results, I noticed that these terms have 1K to 10K monthly searches.
- Keyword research tool
- Best keyword research tool
- SEO keyword research tool
I know all freelance writers know keywords are essential. But not all of them know how to research keywords for SEO.
And that got me thinking.
Can writing about keyword research tools be useful for content writers?
And so, I proceeded to do another search, this time for “keyword research tool.”
Finally, I found my primary keyword, “free keyword research tool.” It makes sense. For this article, the target audience is freelance content writers. And the tools they use or can use are the free SEO tools.
2. Semrush Keyword Magic Tool
Even though I used a free account, Semrush Keyword Magic Tool provides a wealth of valuable data.
I searched for the term “free keyword research tools” and here are the results.
Should I use “free keyword research tools?”
In content strategy, one of the goals is to identify as many relevant keywords as possible. And based on the initial list, narrow it down to less competitive keywords. In this regard, Google Keyword Planner is not helpful because it shows competition as difficulty competing for ad placements. Semrush Keyword Magic Tool, on the other hand, rates keyword difficulty in terms of competing with other pages.
The competition for “free keyword research tools” is very hard. As such, most SEO specialists would tell me to choose another keyword. But there are other factors to consider. In this case, this topic is necessary, even if it is unlikely to rank high.
Continuing, other free features that Semrush provides (but with limitations) I like are:
- Keyword Variations
- Related Keywords
Freelance writers can do two things with Keyword Variations and Related Keywords.
- Check and see if they can use other terms as their primary keyword.
- Use them as secondary keywords, inserting them as they see fit in their article.
As for question-based keywords, I don’t pick them as primary keywords. Instead, I use them as questions to answer in an article. So, I copied those that I might be able to use.
- What is the best free keyword research tool?
- Are there any free keyword research tools?
- What is the best free keyword research tool for SEO?
By the way, I also intend to make them appear in Google’s People Also Ask rich snippets in search results pages.
3. Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest
As if two are not enough, the third SEO tool I use is Ubersuggest. Compared to the data provided by Semrush, I do not think it is superior.
At any rate, here is the result for the same term I used in the other free SEO tools.
Google Keyword Planner, Semrush Keyword Magic Tool, and Ubersuggest differ in search volume. Nonetheless, it is safe to assume that the target keyword receives thousands of queries monthly.
Also, there is any doubt about the difficulty of competing with top-ranking pages. According to Ubersuggest, the average number of backlinks on the top 10 pages is 292,486. Furthermore, their average domain authority score is 71.
Ubersuggest also generates keyword ideas grouped into five categories. By default, it shows Suggestions.
Here, I want to emphasize the value of using a third SEO tool for keyword research. Under Suggestions, I picked up a keyword variation – “best free keyword research tools” – that might be useful.
Free Keyword Research Tools for Content Ideation
In content marketing, ideation is the process of sourcing and creating topics. Usually, this is the first thing content planners or managers do. After identifying a subject matter, the next step is to identify the primary keyword.
But for this article, I already knew from the onset that “keyword research” is the subject matter. So, I still go through this process for two reasons.
- Yes, I now have a primary keyword. But what am I writing about keyword research tools?
- Internal link building is a non-negotiable task in SEO. During this process, I can find related topics to write about in the future. And that would allow me to build meaningful internal links.
One of the best tools for topic ideas has to be AnswerThePublic. In essence, it aggregates autocomplete suggestions from search engines. Then, it presents the data as word clouds or lists in five categories.
Here is the visualization of questions based on “free keyword research tools.”
Some people may find it difficult to read the text on word clouds. If such is the case, freelance writers can display the results as lists, such as this one.
Looking at the data provided, one that stood out was “free keyword research tools for bloggers.” And that gave me an idea. Instead of bloggers, I can write this article for freelance writers.
Like AnswerThePublic, AlsoAsked presents results as questions. But it differs by gathering data from Google’s People Also Ask (PAA) data.
Here is the result when I searched for “free keyword research tools.”
Like AnswerThePublic, the results are an excellent source of topics. Apart from the provided by Semrush, I can copy these questions too.
- Is there a free keyword research tool?
- What is the best tool for keyword research?
- Is Google Keyword Planner free?
- Is the Keyword Magic Tool free?
- Is Semrush free?
- What is the best paid keyword research tool for SEO?
Besides creating new content, how else do I use the questions?
- Incorporate answers in the article.
- Use the questions as topics of individual sections.
- Use the questions as FAQs.
Here’s a little tip for freelance content writers. Answering questions in an article is one of the ways to get featured on PAA. Also, you don’t have to write down the questions. Google auto-generates them.
Why is it important to answer questions that people ask?
Google’s PAA snippet appears on the first page. And when featured, it results in a higher share of organic traffic.
I wrote about freelance writing rates for Filipinos in late 2021. Because a part of its content appears in Google PAA, it has become one of the most read content in this blog.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best free keyword research tool for SEO?
No free keyword research tool is a cut above the rest and that is why people use several tools. But among free and freemium tools, Semrush Keyword Magic Tool provides the most data. For content creators and writers, and especially freelancers, that may be enough. SEO specialists, meanwhile, will need premium features.
What is the best paid keyword research tool for SEO?
Among premium SEO tools, there are only a few standouts and these are Semrush, Ahrefs, and Moz. To say one is better than others comes down to balancing cost against needed features. While they all provide extensive SEO needs, Semrush has better content marketing features.
Is Google Keyword Planner free?
Google Keyword Planner is free, and there is a reason for that. They provide this tool to help advertisers find keywords for ad placements. As such, content writers and SEO specialists can only use this tool for keyword ideas. For detailed keyword analysis, they would need to use other SEO tools.
Is Semrush Keyword Magic Tool free?
Semrush Keyword Magic Tools is free with limited features. Users can try premium features for 7 days. After the trial period, they can choose between three tiers ranging from $99.95 to $374.95 per month if billed annually.
Semrush Plans and Pricing
|Monthly Cost (if paid annually)|
Click here for more information on Semrush plans.
Is Ubersuggest free?
Like Semrush, Ubersuggest uses the freemium model. To use its full features, users can sign up for a 7-day free trial. Premium features are available in three tiers ranging from $12 to $40 per month.
Ubersuggest Plans and Pricing
|Lifetime (no monthly fees)|
Click here for more information on Ubersuggest plans.
Is AnswerThePublic free?
AnswerThePublic is free but limited to only three searches per day. To unlock its pro features, users can choose between three tiers that cost $99 to $199 per month.
AnswerThePublic Plans and Pricing
Click here for more information on AnswerThePublic plans.
Is AlsoAsked free?
AlsoAsked is free but limited to only three searches per day. To unlock its premium features, users can choose between three tiers that cost $15to $59 per month.
AlsoAsked Plans and Pricing
Click here for more information on AlsoAsked plans.
Free SEO Keyword Research Tools Are Enough for Freelance Writers
“SEO article writing” is creating content that incorporates best SEO practices. There is no need for premium tools that are too technical, even for some SEO specialists. For freelance content writers, there are plenty of free keyword research tools.
There is no point in debating which one is the best. All the free SEO tools have limited features. Because of that, freelance writers need to use separate tools to find topics and keywords.
Although I used only these five tools, there are still plenty of others. My advice to people is to check as many of them as possible. And then pick the ones that are most useful to them.
Are you using other free SEO tools? Please share them in the comments.