Keyword tools can aid in ensuring that the right keyword choices are made and help streamline the keyword process. There are many free keyword tools available for use that can be easily accessed by anyone. Here are some of my favourite free tools and tricks that I use to determine what keywords are best to focus my SEO efforts on.

  1. Use Google to your advantage. When typing into the Google search box, Google will suggest different phrases attached to your particular keyword. Explore some different phrases and keyword ideas. Also, search for your ideal main keyword and scroll down to the bottom of your search results page — Google will suggest alternative keywords related to that keyword.
    Google Trends also gives you the opportunity to compare keywords against each other to determine which keyword is more popular, allowing you to make decisions on what to focus your efforts on.
  1. Utilize the Google Keyword Planner. This tool will generate keyword suggestions and traffic volumes for a particular keyword group. Although this tool is designed for Search Engine Marketing (SEM), it can provide valuable insight regarding similar keywords that may be useful in optimization of your website.
  1. Third-party companies can provide some great keyword tools for free use without signing up for a subscription: will help determine relevant long-tail keywords which can be very valuable as the more descriptive the keyword, the further down their buying cycle. provides a simple list of related keyword ideas to help evaluate keywords you may not have previously thought about. This tool also enables other search engines to be utilized, not just Google.
  1. Use your website’s Google Analytics to better understand your user’s behavior. Analyze and examine your analytics to gain knowledge of what your readers are searching for. If your website has a search bar (and it should) start by looking at those results. Also look at the pages and articles that your readers are going to, and ask yourself what keyword is associated with that page.

After taking all these tools into account, you can refine your keyword strategy and proceed with your SEO tactic. Next we will look at your website’s on-page factors and how to align the chosen keywords with these elements.