Best free SEO keyword research tool of 2024

The best free SEO keyword research tools make it simple and easy to develop your website to be more search engine friendly.

Best free SEO keyword research tool of 2024: quick menu

SEO professionals and agencies already use SEO keyword research tools to find the best keywords for their content, advertising campaigns, and search engine optimization. However, anyone can use these, and even better, the best SEO keyword research tools don’t necessarily require payment. There are many free SEO keyword research tools available that are worth taking your time to check out. 

These freebies are packed with amazing features to help you improve your company’s SEO footprint. In doing so, you can better optimize your websites, content, and overall online presence. 

Below we list what we think are the best free SEO keyword research tools currently available.

You might also be interested in the best SEO tools and best online marketing services.

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Best overall

(Image credit: Google)

Ideal for new bloggers and website owners

Reasons to buy

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Free to use

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Offers useful demographics tools. 

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The search console identifies keywords relevant to your website

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Extremely easy to use with customizable data displays

Reasons to avoid

Interface is sometimes confusing

It’s Google, which means your data is used to make it more profitable, perhaps in ways you don’t want

There wouldn’t be SEO without Google, so it makes sense the company’s free SEO tools make our list. They are ideally suited for website owners and SEO professionals looking to improve their website’s performance and search engine rankings. Some of the more popular free Google free SEO keyword research tools include: 

Google Analytics: This free web analytics tool helps you to track website traffic, user behavior, and other metrics. It provides insights into your website’s traffic, visitor interaction, and how different pages perform.

Google Ads Keyword Planner: With this excellent tool, you can identify the best keywords to target for your website. You can access information on search volume, competition, metrics for similar words, and more. 

As noted previously, a word of caution about the Google Ads Keyword Planner is that the numbers provided are approximations, not exact figures. Nonetheless, there’s plenty of information here to give a guide to popularity. 

Google Optimize: For A/B testing purposes, you’ll want to check out Google Optimize. The free tool helps you to personalize website content based on user behavior and data. Use the tool to create and run experiments to test different variations of your website pages to see which one performs better regarding conversions, engagement, and other metrics. 

Google Search Console (GSC): When monitoring a site’s performance in Google search results, nothing is easier than the free Google Search Console. The tool offers search queries, click-through rates, and other data. It also alerts you of any website errors, including security flaws and crawl errors. 

Formerly called Webmaster Central, GSC is ideally suited for anyone new to SEO. For assistance, Google offers the Webmasters Help Community, where you can connect and share troubleshooting and performance tips. 

Best browser plug-in

(Image credit: SEOQuake)

2. SEOquake

Popular SEO toolbar extension

Reasons to buy

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Ease of use

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Lots of data accessible quickly

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One-stop shop to find website improvements suggestions

Reasons to avoid

Dated design

Small texts in spots

The first plug-in on the list, SEOquake, is a browser extension that provides SEO analysis for websites. Designed for website owners, digital marketers, and SEO professionals, the slick tool makes it relatively easy to access a website’s performance and gain insights into its SEO potential. 

SEOquake provides various metrics and data points about a website at the push of a button through a Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, or Microsoft Edge browser. It’s also available for iPhone and iPad. Information given includes the site’s Alex rank, Google Index status, and the number of backlinks. 

You can also use SEOQuake to compare your website’s performance with others and track keyword ranking. The tool also includes a SERP overlay with an analysis you can quickly export in CSV format. 

One drawback of SEOQuake is the small print, which is even worst on smaller displays. Perhaps this will be fixed later. 

Best for ease-of-use

(Image credit: Moz)

User-friendly SEO tool

Reasons to buy

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Strong range of features

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Informative SEO and site metrics

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Vast resources for customer support

Reasons to avoid

No mobile app

Premium versions are expensive

Moz Keyword Explorer provides valuable insights to content creators, website owners, and SEO professionals. Much more limited in its scope than the well-reviewed Moz Pro, Moz Keyword Explorer is just one of the company’s free offerings. 

With Moz Keyword Explorer, you can search for keywords and get valuable insights using an intuitive web interface. Among the features is the ability to get a keyword’s estimated monthly search volume, its difficulty in ranking, and whether there’s an opportunity to rank. Moz Keyword Explorer also offers a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) analysis that shows a keyword’s top-ranking pages, including its domain authority, page authority, and other factors. 

With Moz Keyword Explorer, you can generate and save keyword lists, export your data for external use, target long-tail keywords with high relevance, sort by predictive keyword metrics, and more. 

Moz Keyword Explorer isn’t the only freebie offered by Moz. A built-in free competitive research tool lists your website’s top SERP competitors. This free tool helps you discover keyword and content opportunities. Likewise, with Link Explorer, you can uncover content and link-building opportunities — and, once again, compare to competitors for intelligent link-building. 

Moz also provides the MozBar, which lets you examine and analyze worthwhile search, social, and page metrics via a Chrome browser, My Online Presence, which shows you how your location appears on local search engines and directories; and a free domain analysis tool, which gives you SEO metrics, including top pages, ranking keywords, and more. Finally, there’s MozCast, which reports on “weather patterns” of the Google algorithm to help you track day-to-day changes. 

One crucial negative is there’s no Moz Keyword Explorer app for Android or Apple devices. 

Read our full Moz Pro review.

Free … but only for a limited time

Free trials remain popular in many technology circles, although I’d argue consumers don’t necessarily like them. With a free trial, you can sign up for a service for free. Then, you have full access to the entire product for a limited time. Before the trial ends, you must go back to the website and cancel your account or see it automatically shift to a paid version. Depending on whether you gave the company your banking card information (a requirement for most companies), your first payment will get charged automatically. 

Many SEO keyword search tool providers use the free trial approach to attract new customers. Of these, few are slicker than others on the market. A few of these are included below. 

Best free trial

(Image credit: Semrush)

Excellent SEO tool for small and midsized businesses

Reasons to buy

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Analyze competitors’ metrics

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Informative robust dashboard

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Comprehensive toolset

Reasons to avoid

Some complicated terminology

Powerful in its design, Semrush is a great all-in-one digital market tool. Besides SEO, it offers tools for PPC, social media, content marketing, and competitive research. Together, these tools will help your business to increase a website’s online visibility, attract more traffic, and increase revenue. 

Using Semrush, tracking your website’s rankings, monitoring backlinks, conducting keyword research, and analyzing competitor strategies are possible. With the PPC analysis, you can research and monitor competitors’ advertising campaigns and optimize your own. You can also use Semrush’s content marketing suite to create, optimize, and distribute content across different channels. 

Finally, the social media management features allow you to schedule and publish content, engage with your audience, and monitor your brand’s reputation on social media.

You can access all of Semrush’s tools for free. However, you’ll be limited to 10 searches a day by having a freebie account. Then, starting at $100 monthly, you can do up to 3,000 daily searches. 

Overall, Semrush is a popular solution that gets the job done. However, expect a possible learning curve as some of its terminologies might take a while to comprehend, as some are different from those with other solutions. 

Read our full Semrush review.

Best simple

(Image credit: Wordtracker Scout)

5. Wordtracker Scout

Best simple-to-use

Reasons to buy

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Prices of premium packages are reasonable

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Easy to use

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Live chat customer service

Reasons to avoid

Website reports take a few minutes to process

Learning curve to learn how the site works

Wordtracker Scout is a simple-to-use free SEO Keyword research tool. It allows you to find high-traffic, low-competition keywords in just a few steps. Like other solutions on the list, Wordtracker Scout is accessible through a Google Chrome or Firefox extension. 

With Wordtracker Scout, you can find search volume, potential profitability, and competition. It also shows you recommended related words. You can do 12 searches per day for free using the Wordtracker website. You can sign up for a 7-day free trial and check out all the premium features. After the trial period, packages start at $27 monthly for 1,000 searches. 

Best interface

(Image credit: Serpstat)

Best interface

Reasons to buy

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Terrific user interface

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Keyword ranking includes day-by-day positioning table

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Keyword analysis lets you see what visitors are searching for

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Cheaper prices than many others

Reasons to avoid

No data drawn from social media

Limited daily searches for free version

This brings us to Serpstat, a search analytics tool for SEO and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns. With Serpstat, you can find familiar data and insights about a website, such as keywords, competitor analysis, site audit, backlink analysis, and rank tracking.

Using Serpstat, you can quickly find profitable keywords and analyze your competitors’ strategies. In doing so, you can optimize your website’s content and structure for higher search engine rankings. There’s also a PPC analysis tool to monitor your competitors’ advertising campaigns. You can use this information to optimize your campaigns for better performance. 

As a non-registered Serpstat user, you can perform 10 free daily searches. Registered users are allowed to do up to 30 daily searches for free. You can increase these numbers significantly by purchasing a premium plan. For as little as $69/month, you can do up to 4,000 queries in a day. 

Read our full Serpstat review.

We’ve also listed the best content marketing tools.

FAQs

There are essential points to consider when looking for a free SEO keyword research tool. There are hundreds of these available online, but only a few are the best. Points to consider include: 

Required information: This sounds like a no-brainer, but the best free SEO keyword research tools all have one thing in common: these give you all the necessary information for your situation. The best options offer at least keyword difficulty, traffic information, and competitive SERP analysis. 

Trust. Google Analytics, or the Google Search Console, is the backbone of every recommended free SEO keyword research tool. These tools are free of errors and provide no biased. 

Ease of use. Keyword search tools shouldn’t be difficult to use; the best ones are useable by novices and experts alike. This means offering an interface that does require an advanced degree to read. 

Suggestions and difficulty scores. The best free services also offer relevant keyword suggestions that match your audience. This information should be accessible very quickly on the site’s front page. It is also essential to see how hard it would be for a keyword to rank. You need this information to make informed keyword decisions. 

(Image credit: kalhh from Pixabay)

Is “free” really free? There’s a huge difference between free SEO keyword research tools and trials. The former always offers specific analytics, and no payment is required. The latter includes everything a company offers, free for a limited time. After that, you must pay a monthly fee or lose access to all the available data. Some of those are included below. 

Integration. Ideally, you should find a free SEO keyword research tool that works with other SEO tools. In doing so, you’ll be able to put together a website performance report that’s much more comprehensive.

Support. Finally, the best free SEO keyboard research tools provide responsive and reliable customer support. Having this access makes it quicker to resolve problems.

How we test

To test for the best SEO keyword research tools we first set up an account with the relevant software platform, then we tested the service to see how the software could be used for different purposes and in different situations. The aim was to push each keyword research tool to see how useful its basic features were and also how easy it was to get to grips with any more advanced SEO options.

Read more on how we test, rate, and review products on TechRadar.

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About the Author: Rayne Chancer