9 Best Free Keyword Research Tools for SEO on a Budget

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Searching for the best free keyword research tools?

Keyword research is an important part of any SEO strategy, but not everyone has the budget to start off with a paid keyword research tool, as most premium tools can be pretty pricey.

To help, we’ve collected nine tools that all help you find keywords for free. Let’s dig in…

Nine best free keyword research tools

1. Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner

If you’ve heard about any one tool on this list before, it’s probably Google Keyword Planner. There’s a good reason for that: this tool makes it easy for you to find quality keywords to build both website content and advertising campaigns around. Bring a short list of keywords with you to discover how many people are searching for those keywords, what level of competition there is for advertising with those keywords, and alternative keywords that might be more useful in your marketing.

Standout features

  • Access real-time, accurate data directly from Google search
  • Organize keywords into lists based on different campaigns, commercial potential, and more
  • Enjoy easy integration with Google Ads


100% free.

Google Trends

Google Trends allows you to see what topics are trending in various regions around the world. You can use Google Trends to get an overview of recently trending topics, explore search trends related to your industry, or to find out how trendy a specific subject is.

Standout features

  • Trend maps with real-time data directly from Google
  • Search options to see data from Google Images, Google Shopping, and YouTube
  • Category breakdown allowing you to search for mentions of specific keywords on certain types of websites


100% free.

👉 Read also: Best SEO Web Hosting Providers for Top-Notch Search Rankings

3. AdWord & SEO Keyword Permutation Generator

AdWord & SEO Keyword Permutation Generator

The AdWord & SEO Keyword Permutation Generator is a tool designed to help you find variations on keywords. You can plug in up to three lists of keywords and the generator will combine the keywords you’ve listed in as many different ways as possible to give you a range of permutations to choose from.

This is one of the simplest tools on this list, but it’s also one of the most powerful, allowing you to create permutations for hundreds of keywords at a time.

Standout features

  • Three spaces for keyword lists
  • Instant permutation generation for hundreds of keywords
  • Multiple choices for how to display keyword permutations


100% free.

4. Wordtracker Scout

Free keyword research tools: Wordtracker

Wordtracker Scout is a free browser extension that transforms every webpage you visit into a treasure trove of keyword ideas. All you need to do is click on the Wordtracker logo beside your search bar, and you’ll gain a variety of insights into the SEO for that page and keywords you can use in your own marketing.

Standout features

  • Near-instant assessment of any website that provides insights on basic page info and keywords contained in page content
  • Ability to view results for different locations
  • Copy function allowing all results to be easily moved
  • Full integration with the Wordtracker tool


Wordtracker Scout is 100% free, but you can use it in conjunction with the premium Wordtracker tool for greater effect.

  • Bronze – $27/month for 1,000 keyword results.
  • Silver – $69/month for 5,000 keyword results.
  • Gold – $99/month for 10,000 keyword results.

5. Keyword Tool

Keyword Tool

Keyword Tool is a freemium tool that automatically generates suggestions for long-tail keywords. What makes this tool one of the best free keyword research tools around is the ability to run searches for how keywords rank on a variety of search engines including Google, Amazon, YouTube, and eBay. This allows you to optimize your presence on each of these websites based on their unique parameters.

Standout features

  • Separate keyword search functions for Google, YouTube, Bing, Amazon, eBay, Play Store, Instagram, and Twitter
  • Search capabilities in a wide variety of languages
  • Negative keywords box for excluding keywords that contain unwanted terms


The primary function of the Keyword Tool is free. To access detailed statistics for all keyword options, you can buy Keyword Tool Pro.

  • Pro Basic – $69/month for 7,000 keywords per day.
  • Pro Plus – $79/month for 35,000 keywords per day.
  • Pro Business – $159/month for 70,000 per day.

6. Answer the Public

Keyword Research Tools: Answer the Public

Answer the Public is a unique tool that generates a visual representation of potential search questions based on autocomplete data from Google and Bing.

Standout features

  • Instant generation of dozens of potential search questions
  • Visual organization tools to help teams assess the most valuable potential search questions
  • Multiple options for copying the data to your own machine

Cost and limits

You can run a limited number of daily searches as a free user. The Pro plan costs $99/month for unlimited searches and advanced functionality.

7. SEMrush


SEMrush is a powerful suite of tools that allows you to analyze the SEO of your website, research keywords, plan effective content, and write properly optimized content with ease. They offer several integrations with Google to give you the most comprehensive site diagnostics available.

Standout features

  • Detailed analysis related to individual keywords based on live data, including ranking difficulty and average cost per click (CPC)
  • Comprehensive listings of related keywords based on live data
  • Access to all the SEMRush tools, including comprehensive site diagnostics

Cost and limits

SEMrush allows you to use all of their tools for free, but you can only make ten requests per day. You are also only allowed to create an SEO dashboard for one website.

To create multiple projects for different websites, perform unlimited tasks each day, and monitor up to 500 keywords, you need to invest in one of their premium plans.

  • Pro plan – $99.95/month for 3,000 daily searches.
  • Guru plan – $199.95/month for 5,000 daily searches.
  • Business plan – $399.95/month for 10,000 daily searches.

8. Serpstat

Keyword Research Tools: Serpstat

Serpstat offers instant, detailed analysis of keywords. Their easy-to-read reports show search volume, keyword difficulty, ranking pages for that keyword, and more. Graphs and other visual tools make this data easy to digest. Serpstat comes with specialized tools for different types of research.

Standout features

  • Content marketing tool that generates potential search questions
  • Ad research tool that allows you to browse relevant ad examples
  • Access to Serpstat’s suite of website analytics tools

Cost and limits

Non-registered users can do up to ten free daily searches with Serpstat. Registered users can do up to 30 daily searches for free.

They also offer premium plans which allow you to conduct thousands of daily searches, view more detailed URL analytics reports, and more.

  • Lite plan – $69/month for 4,000 queries per day.
  • Standard plan – $149/month for 5,000 queries per day.
  • Advanced plan – $299/month for 8,000 queries per day.
  • Enterprise plan – $499/month for 12,000 queries per day.

9. SpyFu


SpyFu analyzes your competitors’ websites and advertising campaigns to show you how they’re performing, what keywords they rank for, and more. If you want to go beyond the information displayed in their online dashboard you can request a comprehensive .PDF report.

Standout features

  • Listing of organic and paid keywords your competitor’s site ranks well for
  • Graphs displaying organic and paid competition based on shared keywords
  • Export all results to CSV or request a detailed .PDF report

Cost and limits

The free version of the SpyFu tool allows unlimited searches but offers limited data.

For access to complete lists of competitor keywords and all of the other data SpyFu connects, you’ll need to upgrade to one of the premium plans (all prices are based on an annual payment plan).

  • Basic plan – $33/month for 5,000 tracked keywords.
  • Professional plan – $58/month for 15,000 tracked keywords.
  • Team plan – $199/month for 40,000 tracked keywords.

Get started with keyword research today

All of these tools help you discover keywords for free. They also do it in different ways, so it’s worth using multiple tools to get different perspectives.

All of these tools help you discover keywords for free. They also do it in different ways, so it’s worth using multiple tools to get different perspectives.

For example, Answer the Public can help you find the questions that people are asking, while Serpstat is more of a straight keyword research tool that can give you estimated search volumes.

To learn more about how to find keywords, check out our guide to keyword research.

Of course, all of these tools have some type of limitation – that’s just the nature of free tools. Once your site starts growing, you might want to consider upgrading to one of the overall best keyword research tools so that you can generate even deeper insights.

Do you have any questions about using the best free keyword research tools? Ask us in the comments!

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