5 Great, Free Keyword Research Tools

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Keyword research is vital to any successful online marketing plan. Literally every business that has an online presence requires skillful keyword use to become more competitive, increase its visibility to search engines, and attract clients. No business is immune to this requirement. Whether large or small, B2B- or B2C-focused, whether it exists exclusively online or includes a brick-and-mortar element, each enterprise requires good keyword research.

The following are five free keyword research tools that can help your company enter the competitive keyword research arena with minimal confusion. These helpful tools will provide an excellent jumping-off point for new or experienced entrepreneurs who are eager to begin the exciting odyssey to effective search engine optimization. Later, when you're ready to take your business to the next level, you may decide to invest in one of the paid keyword research tools, several of which I will cover in my next post. In the meantime, the following tools will allow you to begin learning the ropes for free:

1. Google Insights for Search is a keyword research tool that uses filters to compare search volume patterns based on such factors as region, category, season, and properties. Filters may be used in various combinations to customize your research, and data is displayed in an easy-to-read graphical format. The post, Google Insights for Search, at SEO Book, offers a few of its own insights on the tool, and Jeffrey Mireault believes that Google Insight is an Underestimated Tool. In this post, Mireault explains how to use Google Insights effectively.

2. The WordTracker Free Keyword Suggestion Tool has been around a long time, and this popular SEO tool is still going strong. While there are always limits to what any free software version will do, this tool has stood the test of time and offers an excellent starting point for those new to SEO. Generating up to 100 keywords for a given term, the tool will help you begin developing the skill of keyword analysis and optimization. Firefox bloggers will also love SEO Blogger, a free WordTracker tool that optimizes your posts as you write. (Now, that's easy SEO!)

3. The Wordpot Keyword Finder provides specific settings which let you access a variety of helpful keyword-related information, including definitions, synonyms, related words, and associated words. Though the free version limits the number of searches to 25 per day, highlights of the tool are "lightning-fast searches" and a simple user interface. The Wordpot How To: Find Keywords Using Wordpot page, gives a great rundown on the tool's features and advantages, along with a clear explanation of precisely how it works. The Wordpot Keyword Tool Review, at Keyword Research Services, also discusses some of the features that make this tool stand out from the crowd.

4. The SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool is powered by Wordtracker's API and provides a solid set of basic research capabilities that can send you on your way to more complex keyword research software and methods whenever you're ready for an upgrade. To learn more about the tool, visit How Does the SEO Book Keyword Tool Work?

5. The WordStream Free Keyword Suggestion Tool "aggregates over 1 billion unique keywords and hundreds of millions of related terms from diverse sources." Information on using the free tool is displayed on the lower half of the webpage, including a brief video tutorial. To complement the keyword suggestion tool, Wordstream also offers an entire suite of free keyword tools, including the Free Keyword Niche Finder, the Free Keyword Grouper, and the Free Keyword Tool API (for those who might have the inclination to build their own keyword tool).

Good keyword research can mean the difference between mediocre results and a substantial return on investment of time, energy, creativity, or money. The free tools discussed above – along with various others that are available online – offer a no-risk method for making your site more visible to search engines. If you aren't already using a similar keyword tool, give one of these a try – or better yet, try more than one. Only you can determine which tool offers the precise combination of features that best addresses your unique business needs, and experimentation is the best way to make that determination. So, take a look at the free tools that are available to simplify your keyword research. You certainly have nothing to lose, and you might be surprised at just how much you gain.

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