Keyword research is one of the most important things you can do to help get your site ranked search engines. However, spending hundreds a month on the most robust keyword tools out there isn't always feasible. That's why we wanted to tell you all about the Keyword Shitter (yes, that's real) and other free keyword research tools so you can get the job done at no cost.

9 of Our Favorite Free Keyword Research Tools That You Can Use for Your Clients Sites

Without further ado and in no particular order, here are some great free resources for your keyword research journey.

Wordstream Keyword Tool

This one works well, and it allows you to target specific niches, grouping them into bunches of related keywords. It also then gives you further suggestions that you can develop a common theme around. The one drawback of the Wordstream tool (aside from the fact it's not called keyword shitter) is that you only get 30 searches before they want you to start ponying up the dough. Make those 30 searches count and you won't be disappointed.

Google Trends

While the Google Keyword Planner has some restrictions that aren't fun, Google Trends can give you some good insight into how search trends that are happening and how they change over time. Pop in your desired keyword, and you'll get the overall popularity of that keyword over the past year. In internet years, that's like 15 years worth of data.

The neatest thing about Google Trends is that you can get related queries from it. Therefore, once you have your seed word and you see all your trends for whatever 12 month period you want, you can then explore related searches, which can open your eyes to things you'd never think of. Sometimes, people search for some weird shit. Let's make that weird shit work for you!

Answer the Public

keyword shitter

Aside from the fact that their homepage video is creepy as heck, this is a robust tool. Think about it- how many times have you asked Google a specific question? For example, one I used just the other day was, "What is the best cat toy in the world?" I actually got answers! (For the record, my cat hated it, but whatever) The point is, a lot of your potential customers are asking common questions, looking for comparisons, and using similar searches.

When you enter a seed word (the word you are trying to rank), you'll get some questions that people ask about that keyword. You can then switch to propositions -- 'the best cat toy without feathers,' for example. This tool also does comparisons -- the best cat or dog toy on the market".

Finally, Answer the Public offers up alphabetical suggestions -- more Google autocomplete suggestions -- and related searches.

Keywords Everywhere

OMG! They're EVERYWHERE! No, literally. This tool is a Chrome extension that gives you the data as you go through your regular day. I don't know about you, but here at Alyky, we do thousands of searches every day. This nifty little extension adds Cost Per Click search volume and competition data to all your favorite, most often used websites.

Essentially, you're turning your everyday browsing into research without any additional effort. One important thing to consider is that the search volume data will not be as accurate as the data you're going to get from a paid search, but it will definitely give you jumping-off points. (If you use this and Keyword Shitter together, you'll get the search volume of all that autocomplete data. Nifty, huh?)

Wordtracker Scout

Here's another cool Chrome extension that creates a pretty word cloud of the results. Tap that extension on any page, and it will pull all the relevant keywords out of the copy. You can play around with other insights for keywords, including opportunity, searches, and competition. There are a few other data points in there too if you dig deeper. One of the best parts about this tool is that you can paste the data very neatly into a Google Sheet.

Google

OK, so this might sound like we're being condescending, but Google really is one of the best keyword research tools out there. Their autosuggest feature generates a bazillion number of keyword ideas. The "People also Ask" box is a goldmine.

All of those questions are ones that Google already knows people are asking. Your customers are actively looking for answers to these questions. The best part is, if you click on any one of those questions, you'll get a whole bunch more. You can keep doing this forever and ever, and you'll have an infinite list of the kinds of things that people are searching for.

Ubersuggest

keyword shitter

This one is a bit like those guys at the gym -- the ones who grunt and call attention to themselves every time they lift something heavy. Ubersuggest takes any keyword you want to give it and spits out a big, giant, unlimited list of alphabetized variations of your desired word. If you add a "+a" to it, you'll end up with just the keywords beginning with the letter A. We're still not 100% sure why you'd want to do that, but suppose that it could be used to help geotarget your keywords.

Google Keyword Planner

OK, so even though we shit on this one (see what we did there?) initially, it does still have a place in the keyword research game. You're going to need an AdWords account to use it, but that doesn't mean you need to pay for a damn thing to use it.

Despite the restrictions -- crappy accuracy, lack of actual keyword suggestions -- Google Keyword Planner does show you a bunch of really cool stats. Some of the things you can find include competition level (how others are using the word), the average number of monthly searches, the average cost per click, and a whole lot more. Synonyms and variations of the same make this a fun tool to play with.

Keyword Shitter

Last on our list and certainly not least. Yep, that's a real thing. We are not shitting you. (OK, we can admit it. This discovery has made us giggle for hours on end). While the actual name seems to be "keyword sheeter" we prefer what most people seem to call it, "keyword shitter."

This tool is probably our favorite one. It works by mining Google Autocomplete information, and it can literally shit out more than 30,000 keyword options after 30 minutes. Because it uses the autocomplete data, it does mean that this site does not offer in-depth analysis, trends, or give you any groupings. However, if you're looking for some immediate suggestions, this is one of our favorites.

Another thing we appreciate about keyword shitter is that there are no frills. When we're doing the mining of keyword research, we don't want a ton of ads, promos, or pop-ups. We want to get to work and look at data. Keyword shitter does this beautifully.

Bonus suggestion: Competitor Source Code

OK, so this one is not the most prolific keyword research tool, but it does let you see what high-level keywords your competition is using as they try (hopefully in vain) to rank organically. Install this as an extension in Chrome and then right-click on the site and View Page Source. Et voila.

The only thing to be aware of here is that your competition is (hopefully) not using the best keywords, and they might not have meta keywords enabled, which means that Google won't see them. This tool is a little hit and miss but can give you some good insight if you're willing to do some digging.

Don't Want To Bother With Keyword Research?

We don't blame you. Using these tools, especially our favorite "keyword shitter" will help you to see what you can find out about the words you need to use to level up in your SEO rankings. However, if you find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information you will discover, drop us a line.  This is a cakewalk for us and we dare to say we enjoy it.

Google recently announced a significant core algorithm update that they are referring to as, "BERT" and here at ALYKY, we're giving a bunch of high-fives. Why the high-fives? Because we've been writing content the way BERT says we're supposed to for years. And that means, as long we're your content firm, you're in a good spot. So what is Bert all about? Let's dive in.

BERT is a Big Deal

"Keyword Shitter" and 9 Other Free Keyword Research Tools 1

 

While Google updates its algorithms many times throughout the year- most of those updates are small. We watch them all, of course, and will save announcing them for updates just like BERT, PANDA, or MEDIC (that one hurt the medical community especially hard).

The BERT update will have the biggest effect of search queries where context matters. Here's what Google said,

"These improvements are oriented around improving language understanding, particularly for more natural language/conversational queries, as BERT can help Search better understand the nuance and context of words in Searches and better match those queries with helpful results.

Particularly for longer, more conversational queries, or searches where prepositions like "for" and "to" matter a lot to the meaning, Search will be able to understand the context of the words in your query. You can search in a way that feels natural for you."

What Exactly Does BERT Do To SEO?

In geek speak, BERT stands for, "Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers." In ordinary people speak, BERT is a processing algorithm that helps with deep and contextual learning. It helps a machine take context into account when people are putting in their search queries.

Previously, Google would take the keyword from a search query and put those words in a virtual "bag" of sorts and pick out what it deemed as the most important words.

One example from Google's announcement: Say you enter the search phrase, "can you get medicine for someone pharmacy?"

The old algorithm picked out "medicine" and "pharmacy" and returned local results under the assumption you are looking for a nearby drugstore.

Google's new algorithm notices "for someone" and determines you're looking for information about whether you're allowed to pick up someone else's prescription for them.

Much better, yes?

How Will BERT Affect Your Online Presence?

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From Googles Dawn Anderson, "it won't help websites that are poorly written." If you haven't updated the content of your website or if it's poorly written, you're going to drop in rankings and lose traffic.

Again, Dawn from Google emphasized that this update is colossal when she said, "Huge… It's like a quantum leap huge."

How To Protect Your Website From BERT

If you have always followed these practices, well done. You're safe. However, if you haven't, here are a few things you can do (immediately too):

  1. Check the targeted keywords each page is trying to rank for and make that a complete sentence.
  2. Add that context back in (don't overdo it).
  3. Rewrite the content for that page around the new key phrase.
  4. Check all pages for grammatical errors, typos, and syntax issues.

Don't forget; we offer full website audits and services (white label too!) to fix any issues we see. If you read this blog and decide you need a website audit- mention this blog for 10% off any new order. 

To order your audit please email us at beth@alyky.com.

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