Top Ten Free Keyword Tools for SEO

Keywords are the foundation of good – no, great – SEO. You gotta know your keywords – from which ones are “educational” vs. “transactional,” to which ones have high volume vs. high values. And, don’t forget your branded and reputational keywords. As I am working on my 2016 edition of the SEO Fitness Workbook, I’ve researched my TOP TEN FREE KEYWORD tools for SEO (and really, also, for social media marketing). Here they are. Got a tool suggestion? Send me an email. Want to receive alerts on more cool, free stuff? Sign up here.


Google Keyword Planner

Top Ten Free Keyword Tools for SEOThis is Google’s keyword planner. It has now become the primary Google-based tool for keyword research. Be sure to watch Jason’s YouTube video on how to use it, as the user interface leaves much to be desired! Still, it is the best tool for researching keyword volume vs. value (CPC) data.

Rating: 5 Stars | Category: tool


Bing Webmaster Tools

Interested in Bing? This is the Bing Webmaster Tools home page. Similar to the Google suite. Includes a WONDERFUL link explorer tool and has some new features that are radically improving this tool from Bing. Includes a good keyword discovery tool.

Rating: 5 Stars | Category: tool



KeywordSpy currently operates in USA, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. Through this keyword tool and keyword software, you can perform advanced keyword research and keyword tracking to study what your competitors have been advertising in their AdWords campaigns and other PPC campaigns. You can get complete in-depth analysis, stats, budget, affiliates & ad copies of your competitors.

Rating: 5 Stars | Category: tool



Do you love Google suggest (the drop-down suggestions displayed when you type into Google)? It’s great for keyword discovery. Ubersuggest is even better – it does a variety of things to provide all sorts of keyword suggestions. So it’s a wonderful keyword discovery tool!

Rating: 5 Stars | Category: tool


Google Global Market Finder

This is a new and different spin on the Google keywords tool. You can use it to browse keyword trends by countries, and you can drill down into synonyms based on the primary Google keyword tool. In some ways it’s just a cooler, faster way to generate a list of keyword synonyms even if you aren’t really interested in geography. Check it out, it’s a COOL TOOL.

Rating: 5 Stars | Category: tool



Yet another amazing and fun tool based on Google suggest / suggested searches. Enter your keyword and brainstorm keyword ideas. Allows you to select Google top level domain (e.g.,, for non-US search suggestions.

Rating: 5 Stars | Category: tool



SpyFu will track your ads and competitors ads. Similar to KeywordSpy but not as good. Nonetheless, input a competitor’s domain and you can see their ads and some basic information on their keywords and bids.

Rating: 5 Stars | Category: tool


SEOCentro Keyword Density Tool

One element critical to SEO success is having good keyword density. A page that has good keyword density – such as three to seven percent of content – will outrank a page with lower density, all things considered. However, you also don’t want to go overboard and have too many keywords. Input a web URL into this tool and it generates a cool ‘keyword cloud’ as well as helping you see the density.

Rating: 4 Stars | Category: tool


Google Suggest and Google Related Searches

From the Google home page, enter a target keyword phrase such as ‘flower shop’. First, notice the keywords ‘suggested’ in the drop-down list – this is called Google Suggest, and can be very useful. Second, do an actual search, then scroll down to the VERY bottom, and look for ‘Searches related to flower shop’ to see searches related to your search term. Fantastic ways to identify potential target keywords and key phrases!

Rating: 4 Stars | Category: tool


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About Jason McDonald

Jason McDonald is a top-rated San Francisco SEO Consultant. His consulting services include search engine optimization consulting, social media marketing consulting, and Google AdWords consulting. Jason's motto as a consultant is that he doesn't do SEO 'for you' but rather he does SEO 'with you.' That goes as well for his social media marketing consultant activities and Google AdWords consultant services. Besides serving clients in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jason consults with clients in Silicon Valley (San Jose), Oakland and other cities throughout the Bay Area. Beyond the Bay Area, Jason is available as an SEO consultant, Social Media Consultant, and as an expert witness in litigation involving social media marketing, search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising.