Free Keyword Research Tools (and Their Subscription Benefits)

May 22, 2020  |   Digital Marketing, SEO

Chances are, SEO is no longer a foreign term to your ears, keyword research is an essential part of content marketing and SEO and is the foundation on which your SEO campaign should be based - even if you are not managing your own SEO campaign, having a good understanding of the keywords your target audience are using to find you is critical to building content for your website and ensuring that you are using the right words and language to attract your users. Many great keyword research tools like Ahrefs and Keywords Everywhere are locked behind a paywall. 

Only large companies and agencies like Island Media Management can afford to go all-in on keyword research tools (it’s what keeps us going). However, this doesn’t mean there aren’t free keyword research tools that you can use to your benefit.

In this short guide, we’ll review three of the most popular keyword research tools that are free with subscription options.

MOZ keyword research tool

If you talk to any SEO specialist, they’ll know MOZ as one of the pioneers of SEO tools. Their Mozbar (a browser toolbar) is especially useful for organic content creators because they give insights to the domain authority and page authority (shortened, DA/PA) to help measure the competitiveness of the content arena. 

MOZ also provides a few free tools including the keyword research tool. After signing up, you can enter a keyword or domain to analyze. Immediately, you’ll be able to see the search engine page analysis (SERP analysis) for that specific keyword, with every domain’s DA/PA. 

The main interface includes the standard organic CTR statistic and the difficulty score for the particular keyword. However, the search volume is presented as a range – referring to not only the keyword input but also its suggestions.

Looking at the Keyword Suggestions tab, you can find all the suggestions to your original keyword input and their exact search volumes. Keyword suggestions are based on relevance or how well-connected they are to your original input, in terms of lexical similarity.  

Unfortunately, you are limited to see up to 10 positions in the SERP analysis, and you can’t directly compare the search difficulty (competitiveness) of each keyword suggestion. You are also limited to 10 queries per month, which doesn’t help to solve the problem. 

However, subscribing to MOZ grants you the ability to track your rankings, crawl and audit your site, as well as to audit your content for on-page optimization – not to mention the unlocking of the many limitations mentioned above.

Ubersuggest keyword research tool

A proud creation of Neil Patel, Ubersuggest is known for Patel's free Youtube content that teaches keyword research. While Ahrefs also covers the same topic in similar depth, Ubersuggest is free to use with a single, no-fuss subscription option.

With no log-in required, you can use Ubersuggest many times. You may need to be patient with the load speed since the data that is gathered from their index is pretty rich for a free-to-use keyword research tool. 

On the Keyword Ideas overview tab, you can find the estimated search volume of not only your original input keyword but also its suggestions. The estimated numbers can still be useful, particularly because the keyword difficulty scores for all the suggestions are shown side-by-side with the search volume, as well as the cost per click (CPC) and search ads difficulty.

Their Content Suggestion tab is rather unique. While MOZ displays a more traditional and technical side to link-building (i.e. using DA/PA and link quality data), Ubersuggest compares site visits of a select few popular contents with social shares on Facebook and Pinterest. 

We’re not sure why they chose only these two social media platforms, given that Twitter and Youtube are two of the most influential platforms in recent times.

The downside of the free version is that the SERP analysis is limited to 10 positions. The subscription allows you to gather technical insights on backlinks and site audits with weekly crawling.

KWFinder keyword research tool

This beautifully designed and highly intuitive SEO tool offers everything that the free versions of MOZ and Ubersuggest may not offer. The caveat is that there is a 10-day trial and a search limit of about 100 queries throughout the trial period.

KWFinder is an excellent keyword research tool for those looking to gain experience in keyword research. The simple, single-page analysis report displays the essentials – exact search volume, search difficulty, trends, a SERP overview with data DA/PA on every domain listed, ‘trust flow’ metrics, backlinks, and monthly site visit.

Apart from that, a list of related keywords (or keyword suggestions) are included, with their respective trend, exact search volumes, CPC, paid search difficulty, and keyword difficulty. You can also access keywords derived from autocomplete (search engine autosuggestions) and even questions to inspire you on your next content creation.  

You might wonder whether this single-page overview contains enough data to make a sound SEO strategy. KWFinder is one part of a package that is offered by Mangools. 

Other offers include a more complete SERPWatcher, a historic ranking tracker that is useful to observe your changing rank position relative to your competitors, to look out for an emerging competition ahead of time, and to check whether any search engine updates have shaken the ranks of both you and your competitors.

We use a bit of everything

We recognize that each keyword research tool has their own strengths and drawbacks, even with a subscription option. This is why we use a bit of everything to ensure that our SEO service in Bali and Jakarta is optimal, from keyword research to content creation. 

Feel free to drop a message at Island Media Management to talk with our experts.

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