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Free Keyword Suggestion Tools

search_magnifying_glass Getting people to your website is often the first step in the challenge to create a sale.  In this post, I look at some free keyword search tools for use in search engine optimization and PPC (pay per click) advertising.

I want to share with you the following free keyword research tools that I found to be helpful in developing keyword lists.

  • iSpionage – gives you 25 free keyword results than asks you to sign up for a 7 day trial for $1 to view more.  After the 7 days, they ask for $49-$199 per month depending on the maximum daily query.  This one gave me some good suggestions to add to my blog.
  • PPC Web Spy – download this Firefox add-on and then do a keyword search in Google.  In the bottom right corner of your screen there will now be the words PPC Web Spy, which you can toggle on and off.  When toggled on, all sponsored/paid search engine results will now have the button underneath “View Keywords,” which will allow you to see which terms that site is bidding on, the position of the ad on the keyword (the ad with the highest Ad Rank appears in the first position), average and maximum CPC (cost per click), which is helpful if you are doing PPC, clicks on that keyword per day and cost per day.  The limitation is 10 keywords before they want you to pay for the tool, but still it’s pretty insightful.
    • Note when downloading the free tool, it asks two or three times if you want to accept a discount  now to upgrade to the full version.  At the bottom of the pages you can bypass this.
  • SEM Rush – Once registered, you can search on a domain or keyword to get a list of 11 results before they ask you to upgrade.  It provides Volume (average number of queries of this keyword in a month), CPC, Competition (competition of advertisers in AdWords for that term, the higher the number the higher the competition), and Results (The number of pages in search results for this query).  To view more results they want $20-$500 per month depending on the maximum daily query.
  • SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool – Simply enter a keyword in their search bar after you register to  get a list of keywords terms, powered by Wordtracker, being searched on in Google, MSN and Yahoo and their daily estimates of traffic.  The keyword terms in the results are live, meaning you can click on those you feel are appropriate to delve further into those terms.  I like this tool and have used it quite a bit, but a couple of drawbacks: after a certain number of searches it will ask you to answer really simple questions (they give you the answers) in order to make sure you’re not a “bot,” and their “sign up for blog updates” thing keeps jumping from the bottom to the middle of the page.  You can scroll to get it back down at the bottom but it’s annoying.
  • Google AdWords Keyword Tool – Of course Google has their own keyword tool, which provides comprehensive results for a domain or keyword term.  It gives you Competition (shaded green bar as a general guide to help you determine how competitive ad placement is for a particular keyword), Local Search and Global Search Volume (searches per month – currently October – specific to your targeted country and language as well as your selection from the Match Type menu – broad, exact, etc.).  You can also choose to add a few columns such as Estimated Ad Position and CPC, but when I tried to add one it crashed Firefox.  Lastly, from here you can also add the resulting terms directly into your AdWords account if you want to bid on them.

A final comment that I’d like to make is to be sure to consider negative keywords, those you want to exclude from results.  From Negative Keywords are Vital for High Search Marketing ROI, it says “From a pay-per-click perspective, negative keywords are terms that might match your ad but which you don’t want to bid on. For example, if you’re running a PPC campaign for a stationery store, you might have an ad group for the keyword ‘notebooks.’ If you’re using the broad match option to catch long-tail variations like ‘bulk reporter’s notebooks’ and ‘back to school sale notebook paper,’ you run the risk of matching for unrelated search queries like ‘notebook computers.’  To ensure that your ad doesn’t display for such irrelevant searches, you need to designate ‘computer’ as a negative keyword in addition to ‘laptop,’ ‘PC’ and other computer-related terms.”

I hope this post was helpful in developing or reworking your keyword lists.  Next week I will be talking about developing landing pages for when you use your terms for PPC advertising.

  1. December 7th, 2009 at 12:04 | #1

    Hey, we also have a great (and FREE) keyword tool on our home page – http://www.wordstream.com

  2. December 9th, 2009 at 11:56 | #2

    Hi, Jeff.

    Sorry I did not include Wordstream. I did not see on your homepage where you offer a free option, but see it now that you’ve pointed it out! I did include your article Negative Keywords are Vital for High Search Marketing ROI.


  3. June 1st, 2011 at 23:42 | #3

    In Google adword tool Start your research with more general terms. Let’s say your website is about PPC Services. Type in “PPC Services” in to keyword suggestion box and study the results. Write down all results that are somehow relevant for your website and look at the density and search volume of the keword and select the keyword related to your site which has high search volume.

  1. December 28th, 2009 at 11:42 | #1

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