I know. Everyone wants to use a keyword tool for free, but the Google Adwords Tool is SO unreliable you can’t use it for SEO anymore, and here’s why:
- It was never built for organic search, so it will limit the data you see.
- Some words/phrases will not show initially because the tool is for paid advertising. If you’re running discovery-focused searches in AdWords you will not see all of the valuable/high-volume keyword phrases connected to a word/phrase.
- Some words/phrases are grouped together (though Google won’t tell you which).
- All metrics are broad match (So your search volume number for “pools” might include searches for things such as “swimming pools,””pool tables,” and “car pools”).
- This means that the broad match volume numbers will include: Misspelled terms, acronyms, singular and plural versions, and synonyms. Additionally, Google may look at auction records to see what queries have been returned based upon keywords that people have bid upon and will include those queries as well if they think they will fit the broad match of a particular keyword.
- If you’re not running a large ad campaign it now only shows you HUGE ranges.
- A full list of limitations is here: https://moz.com/blog/google-keyword-planner-dirty-secrets
Here are your options:
Your Google Search Console data
You can see what terms are currently driving traffic to your own site and how well you’re ranking and performing.
Bing’s Keyword Tool
Bing has a keyword tool that only pulls keyword data from Bing, but they’ve been clear that it was built for SEO. I’ve noticed that it’s been having issues working recently.
Using Google’s “searches related to” feature
Any keyword that Google provides at the bottom of the search engine result pages are keywords with *some* volume. The trick is you don’t know how much.
Wordstream’s Free Keyword Tool
It’s from a company that runs PPC and runs off of Adwords, so I would take the data with a grain of salt, but it might be worth checking out: http://www.wordstream.com/free-keyword-tools
Keywords Everywhere Chrome Plugin.
You can get the Chrome plugin here. As you use the Google search box, it will show volume for the keywords that you are using.
It will also show Google Adwords data (via API) as an overlay on a host of other sites, and in Google Analytics reports.
Where does it get its data?
From the Google Keyword Planner API.
Keywords Everywhere Bulk Upload Feature
More from them about how this tool works:
“Recently, Google Keyword Planner only showcases ranges for the search volume and not exact value. Well unless you have an active campaign with a high daily spend, you would be able to access such data.
With Keywords Everywhere’s Bulk Upload Tool (which is free) you can now get the same data for an unlimited number of keywords by using the “Bulk upload keywords” tool. Up to 10,000 keywords can be uploaded at once for as many times as you like.”
Here’s how to use the tool:
Hopefully, these tools are enough to get you started on your keyword research journey even if you don’t have the budget for a keyword tool (yet).
But keep in mind that you still need to judge (manually) the organic opportunity for each keyword phrase, and check the searcher’s intent to make sure the keyword makes sense for you to add to your optimization list.
Want to learn more about how to do keyword research and implement a keyword research process at your workplace?
Confused about how to start conducting keyword research? Sign up for my SEO Bootcamp class where I’ll walk you through the process of finding the perfect keyword for you.
Thanks for reading!
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