9 Free Keyword Research Tools from Google

One of the first rules for keyword research is use more than one tool. Lucky for us, Google’s got a whole suite of tools – and better yet – they’re completely free!

1. Keyword Synonyms

I quite honestly don’t use the Google Synonym Tool as often as I probably should, but it will give you some great ideas when you start your keyword research.

2. Google Insights and 3. Google Trends

Google Insights will give you a good idea of what is popular right now (including similar “hot” keywords and phrases); while Google Trends gives a better indicator of how a keyword performs over time (Google has data as far back as 2004).

4. Google Analytics

You didn’t realize your Analytics could give you insight to what people are searching for?! Sure! Look no further than the keyword section. The bottom of the list will more than likely be rich with long tail searches. Maybe you could do a better job optimizing for those keywords, or maybe they’ll give you ideas for even more keyword research.

Another great place to look for keyword inspiration in Analytics is within your site search keywords. What were people looking for that they couldn’t find on their own? You might find some opportunity there.

5. Search-based Keyword Tool

Google’s Search-based Keyword Tool is based on AdWords bidding prices and competition, but you can get a great idea of search volume using it. It’s important to remember that this tool uses keywords in conjunction with existing websites. (So, if you don’t have a website yet, pop in one of your competitors’ sites!)

6. Google AdWords Keyword Tool

To date, Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool has been one of my favorite research tools. Again, based on AdWords competition, you’ll get the added benefit of global and local monthly search volume statistics.

7. (The New) AdWords Keyword Tool

I couldn’t be more excited for this new addition to the keyword research toolbox from Google: the new AdWords Keyword Tool. That much more robust, this tool adds a new column: local search trends. Even in a few short days of using it, I’ve found that, while you have to sort through the irrelevant keywords a bit more, you’ll get a ton of helpful synonyms and related search terms.

8. Google Sets

Ironically, I saw that Kasi Gajtkowski from Hall Web Services just put up a new blogpost about Google Sets – a new keyword research tool from Google. This tool will give you more loosely related (but still relevant) keywords related to the search terms you enter. That way, you’ll really be able to expand your keyword research and get some ideas you’d never thought of!

9. Google Suggest

While it’s not traditionally a keyword research tool, Google Suggest is an out-of-the-box way to get keyword ideas.

With so many free tools to choose from, you’re bound to be a keyword pro in no time. Which is your favorite to use?

Nicki Hicks
Google Tool Savant

3 Responses to “9 Free Keyword Research Tools from Google”

  1. Jonathan

    Great Post! And good idea on using the long tail phrases as those are the best to target unless your Amazon…. You can also search in Google using Allintitle: to further analyze the competition, by looking at how many websites have the key phases you are looking to target in their title.

    If your seeking more information about analyzing potential competition by using our website analyzer tool.


  2. Dan Safkow

    Perfect! I was looking to expand my keywords from “custom iPods” to some 3, 4 and 5 word long tail phrases that I can optimize. Thanks for sharing this. I now have some great ideas.

  3. Nicki


    I’m glad these tools will help. The fact that they’re free doesn’t hurt either 🙂