how to do keyword research for free

How can you make a website rank higher?

It starts with developing a killer keyword strategy!

If you are planning to make money from your blog, knowing how to do keyword research for free is essential.

You can have the most brilliant idea or an innovative product, but it is useless if you are ranking for the wrong keywords.

This is why, in this post, I am going to teach you how to do keyword research for free and like a pro.

We’re going to discuss the importance of this practice and I will teach you how to execute your keyword research step by step.

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Why is keyword research so important?

A keyword is a term you enter into a search engine to find information about a specific thing.

By definition, keyword research is the activity through which you create an extensive list of keywords you would like to rank for.

Keyword research can help you understand what your audience wants and what specific terms it uses to look that information up.

Ranking for the right keywords will not only boost your website’s traffic and conversion rate, but it will make the optimization efforts worthwhile.

Learning how to do keyword research for free can help your business differentiate from others who offer a product or service similar to yours.

For example, there are countless companies that sell jewleries, but maybe yours are one of a kind, crafted by people from different corners of the world.

This is the trait you should put an emphasis on.

How to do keyword research for free & like a pro

how to do keyword research - young girl doing keyword research

Click to Tweet: “How to Do Keyword Research For Free? An Easy Step-by-Step Guide”

Most marketers agree that there are 5 steps to keyword research:

• Understand what it is that makes your business unique;

• Make a list of potential keywords;

• Check for both head and long-tail keywords;

• Use tools to research keywords and others search related terms;

• See how competitors rank on these keywords.

1. Understand what makes your business unique

I know it sounds absurd, but most business owners have no idea what their business is about.

They didn’t spend time to define the company’s mission or to analyze their consumer’s profile and to build a brand identity that matches it.

In order to learn how to do keyword research for free, you first need to define your brand’s mission.

Think about questions like:

• what is the purpose of your brand?

• What does it offer that makes it different from others?

• What do you promise to offer?

It may seem simple, but finding an answer for these questions is often more complicated than you would imagine.

Once you find out what your brand stands for, you can start thinking about keywords.

Keep in mind the fact that they should reflect your unique selling proposition (the promise that makes your brand different and, why not, better than others).

2. Make a list of potential keywords

how to do keyword research for free - computer
Now that you defined your mission, it’s time to identify some potential keywords. For this step you will need to get into the heads of your potential customers and try thinking like them.

Ask yourself what kind of specific search terms they would type into search engines. Try to imagine their daily routines and how your service/product fits into their lives.

For instance, let’s imagine you have a food blog. There are countless food blogs out there in cyberspace, but yours is focused on restaurant reviews. So, this is the aspect that makes your blog different.

After brainstorming, you come up with a list of keywords you think people would type in that are related to this topic.

Your list includes:

• best restaurant reviews;

• food reviews;

• (insert city name) restaurant reviews;

• food review blog.

After you have a comprehensive list, you can use a keyword research tool to get valuable insights about how well your keywords will perform.

Click to Tweet: “How to Do Keyword Research For Free? An Easy Step-by-Step Guide”

3. Check for both head and long-tail keywords

If you don’t know the difference between head keywords and long-tail keywords, let me explain.

Head keywords are typically just one to three words long and are very generic (example: “event planner”).

Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, are made up of 3 to 5 words or longer and are more specific (example: “cheap event planner in London”).

As a result, long-tails aren’t very competitive, but they can rank higher than head terms.

It is important to have a balanced keywords strategy, so you should check for both head terms and long-tail terms.

Even though long-tail keywords are less competitive, and can boost your conversion rate, head terms can help you achieve your traffic goals.

4. Use tools to research keywords and other search related terms

You have your list of potential keywords. How can you cut down your list and decide what keywords you should focus on?

There are a number of tools you can use to make keyword research easier:

  • Google AdWords Keyword Planner will help you find new and related keywords to your search topic.This tool helps you determine search volume and traffic estimates for the keywords you are considering.You will need to set up an AdWords account to use it, but it’s free and it doesn’t force you to create an ad campaign.

  • Google Trends allows you to compare traffic results for different sets of keywords. You can also see the difference for numerous geographical regions. Google Trends also offers a list of related search terms.


  • Your website’s internal search data can be a valuable tool that can teach you how to do keyword research for free.Often, by looking at your data you can see what your customers were looking for, if they found it or if they were expecting to find something, but didn’t.

5. See how competitors rank on these keywords

Once you’ve found your list of keywords, you should also know how your competitors are ranking on these search terms.

This type of analysis will give you an idea of how competitive the market is, and will help you evaluate your strategy.

If your competitor is ranking for certain keywords that are on your list, will definitely a good idea to tweak and improve that.

Moreover, if your competitor is ignoring certain keywords, this could be a great opportunity for you to rank higher in search engine results page.

=> Rule of thumb: adapt your strategy constantly

Now that you know how to do keyword research for free, there’s one more lesson you need to learn.

The digital space is extremely competitive and changes almost every other fortnight. In order to keep up with the latest trends, you need to adapt.

Your keywords strategy should grow and adapt to reflect the changes in your company.

If, for example, you added more products to your catalog, you should extend your keywords list.

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Elmar Sandyck
Elmar Sandyck

2 thoughts on “How to Do Keyword Research For Free? An Easy Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Great article, Elmar! Thanks for sharing. I use Google Keyword Planner, but I feel the information I get is not always 100% relevant. Can you recommend other methods or other tools that can help with keyword research?

  2. Hi Violeta,

    Thanks for stopping by!

    I use Google Keyword Planner too, and in addition to it I use Niche Genetics.

    The great thing about this tool is that it gives information on Monthly searches, CPC, Competition (Broad & Quotes & Allin Title) PA, DA, TF, Backlinks, related Keywords, LSI (semantic) keywords, competitors, etc…

    This tool provides so much information, and all in one single place.

    By using this is save lots of time cause otherwise I have to gather all this information on a dozen of different places!
    You can find more about it on my “Trusted Products” page.

    All the best,

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