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Episode 6 – Part 2: Free keyword planning tools to find great long-tail keywords for blogs, websites and Etsy shops
I guess you came here straight from our ‘Part 1 of Keyword planning: What is Google keyword ranking and how to find keywords with low competition‘. If not, I’d recommend reading Part 1 first so you understand why Google keyword search volume, search ranking and competition are such important factors when it comes to blogging, and how to check the Google ranking for your website before diving into Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner and many other free keyword planning tools.
Free Google keyword research tools
There are quite a few free keyword research tools out there that are worth checking out to kickstart the SEO of your blog.
Two of the most obvious and well-known keyword research services are Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends.
Both tools are very reliable because the data comes from Google itself. To use any of those free tools you will just need a Google account, if you don’t have one you can sign up here to your free Google account.
How to use Google Keyword Planner
To use Google Keyword Planner you will need to set up an AdSense campaign first, however, you don’t have to actually run and therefore pay for the campaign, but you do have to create the account and a campaign.
It’s therefore a bit more time consuming to get started with, and since they removed the exact monthly search volumes, and only show an approximate average search volume such as 1K-10K or 10K-100K, many people don’t find it overly helpful. Here you can read more about how to find growing search volume and how seasonality can influence searches.
You will have to start and pay for an ad campaign to see the exact search volume. However, the Google Keyword Planner is a great tool to get started with and it will give you some keyword ideas you might not find anywhere else.
How to use Google Trends for keyword planning
I personally like Google Trends a lot, because it’s really easy to use and it gives good insights into what people search for while comparing different search terms.
It will not give you any indication of how many people searched for a specific term, instead it compares two or more search terms and shows you which one(s) are more popular keywords and which ones have increased in popularity over the last few months. These search terms can be the best keywords to target to increase your Google ranking, especially if you’re ahead of the curve and there is not much content online about the subject yet, but more about that later.
Let’s say we would like to start a blog with recipes, this is obviously a very broad topic so let’s narrow it down a bit: Dinner recipes, Baking recipes and Banana bread recipes – it seems like nobody is interested in baking.
But then add Banana bread and Pancake to it, et voila, this is what people searched for in the last few months! Google Trends does not tell you how many people searched for a specific term, but compares different search terms with each other. As you can see above the blue graph for Dinner recipes is suddenly much lower in the screenshot below compared to Banana bread and Pancakes.
And now when you check those two search phrases in Google Keyword Planner you will see that their competition is actually quite low, with loads more long-tail keyword ideas further down. Now, this is very basic keyword planning, but it’s a great and easy start to get an idea of what your audience is interested in.
Google Keyword Planner also offers to present data for most countries and any time frame. You can get search data for the last week, the last month or year, or decide on any customised time frame such as the last 4 years etc.
WordStream Free Keyword Planning Tool
Then there is also WordStream Free Keyword Planning Tool which is quite straightforward and results include Search volume and Keyword difficulty under Competition. However, the keyword difficulty is quite broad, using low, medium and high as indicators instead of precise percentages. Nevertheless, it’s not bad for a free tool.
WordStream Keyword Planner is very easy to use and there is no need to register an account first. You can also email all keywords to yourself.
Etsy SEO Keyword Tool
If you’re using Etsy to sell your products you should check out eRank – a free Etsy Seo keyword research tool. This Etsy keyword tool specialises in Etsy listings, it gives you a good insight into competitors listings and which keywords and tags are popular and most searched for on the platform. It gives you a good analysis of the top 100 listings in your category on Etsy.
The Etsy keyword tool eRank is quite easy to use. Simply type the search term you would like to be found under into the keyword box on top of the screen and eRank will show you how many times people have used this search term per month, the number of clicks and click-through rates (CTR), and also the estimated Etsy competition for your keyword. So it’s very similar to other keyword planners but all data is specific to the Etsy platform.
It also offers another great feature for Etsy sellers, it shows you a table with the most popular related tags and long-tail keywords for the search term you’re trying to rank for. You can also filter keywords, sort the columns easily by clicking its header and download the full list with one click. It’s an Etsy keyword tool but also offers Google search volume, basic Google competition indication, Google CPC (cost-per-click) and Google trends all in one table.
eRank will show you the top 100 listings for your keyword so you can check them out and use what’s working for them in your own listings.
You can sign up for a free eRank account and use their Etsy keyword tool for up to 50 keywords per day, analyse 100 active listings, and you also get 10 daily rank-checker lookups and can use the keyword explorer to find seasonal keyword trends up to 5 times per day – and all that for free, so check it out! They also offer paid plans, but eRank’s free Etsy keyword plan offers a lot, especially if you’re just getting started with Etsy and would like to improve your Etsy SEO.
Answer the Public – A different type of keyword research
Answer the Public is a bit of a different tool, it does not give you any keyword difficulty or search volume but it’s a really cool tool if you’re looking for ideas of what to write about.
Answer the Public finds questions, prepositions, comparisons, alphabeticals, and related searches. You can type in any keyword and will be presented with a massive visualisation of all sorts of different questions. You can also click on ‘Data’ and all information will be displayed in columns, and click the different options on top to view prepositions, comparisons, alphabeticals, and related searches.
Answer the Public is really cool to get fresh ideas, once you find a few interesting ones you can write them down or you can download the full list. Then type them into Google keyword planner or Google trends or any other keyword research tool I mention below and see how popular they are. It’s a great tool for brainstorming at the beginning of any keyword planning.
Soovle – get keyword ideas from Google and Co.
Another very similar tool is Soovle. It’s very similar to Answer the Public with keyword ideas from Wikipedia, Google, Amazon, Answers, YouTube, Bing and Yahoo. No keyword difficulty or search volume but lots of ideas.
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Google – your biggest keyword research service itself
And then there is Google itself. The search engine actually gives you lots of useful information for keyword planning.
First of all, there is ‘Autocomplete‘. Simply type your keyword into the search bar and see what Google offers in its auto-complete function. These search suggestions are based on current search popularity, here you can see what people are asking Google about – use it!
Then there is the ‘People also ask’ box in the top third of search results. The best thing about these Google questions is that when you open one of the questions, Google will offer you a few more related questions and that way you can create a really long list with related questions.
These questions are the popular questions asked by readers on Google, so they can be really valuable for your blog site, as you can use people’s questions in your titles and headings.
If your site gives answers to questions people are interested in, then it will be much easier for Google to rank your site well.
Free keyword planning tools conclusion
So as you can see, there are lots of free keyword research tools out there and they can give you a lot of blogging ideas, however, they are also somehow limited in what they offer, which is fine as they’re free. They are a great starting point for any blogger. However, you want to make sure that you get the keyword planning basics to find low competition long-tail keywords right, which is all covered in Part 3 of Keyword Planning – How to find long-tail keywords to kickstart your traffic.
You might also be interested in what paid keyword research tools can do for you, especially if you’re interested in accurate search volumes, keyword difficulty, Google ranking and keyword tracking software to generate more traffic.
Check out Part 4 of Keyword Planning: Long Tail Pro vs. KWFinder – all pros, cons and how to bag the greatest discount. This 4 part series on Keyword Planning is part of our WordPress tutorial series ‘How to start a blog in 2021‘.
What about you, which of the free keyword research tools do you use?
Please let me know in a comment below – I’d love to hear from you!
You might also be interested in How to find your niche before you start blogging. Or perhaps ‘Where to find the best and fastest WordPress themes‘ and ‘How to deal with website maintenance and save loads of time‘ so you can spend more time blogging and creating content knowing your site is secure.
Check them both out or click the button below for the full index of the How to start a blog in 2021 Index- step-by-step WordPress tutorials so far and I’ll keep updating this index as the guide develops.