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Search engines like Google are born to provide answers on topics of any kind. Users raise their own queries through a specific form, and platforms try to return outputs that are consistent with the requests received through the generation of SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) containing links to the Web pages that could meet those requests. Queries can include a single word, a short, meaningful sentence, or a sequence of terms. The task of the search engine is to identify the keywords of a query, in order to propose results that are as relevant as possible to the information that users need, or to the topic they want to delve into. For this reason, keywords play a fundamental role in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) because it is thanks to them that a website can attract traffic, and possibly customers, gain greater visibility and strengthen its authority on the Web. The identification of the best performing keywords for a company's online activity is being studied through an SEO strategy which takes its name of Keyword Research. Let's analyze its features and try to understand which are the most suitable tools to obtain concrete results, in terms of visitors and visits.

Keyword Study: why is it important?

There are several methods to generate traffic to a website, such as investing in advertising, focusing on your presence on social networks, launching Content Marketing campaigns, or entrusting your sponsored content to an Influencer. All previously mentioned solutions could prove to be valid, but when it comes to search engines and SEO, the so-called organic traffic becomes the main goal. In fact, this definition refers to the traffic that is produced through searches, without the support of advertisements. Keyword Research, therefore, represents a necessary strategy to create content with which to generate organic traffic. Given a website, a specific Internet page or a product, it must be used to understand which keywords are most suitable for the target audience, and the sector you are in. We must therefore:
  1. identify the characteristics of the target users;
  2. create a keyword list that could be used by the latter;
  3. select those able to ensure higher performance.
The first stage can be addressed with reference to the content, product or service that you want to propose, and what problems it could overcome. Who are the people looking for a solution to such problems? What are the keywords they would use for internet searches? This last question leads us to the second stage, choosing whether to carry out:
  • broad-spectrum research: concerning high-traffic keywords on all topics related to and specific to your business activities;
  • editorial research: for the identification of keywords to be used in information content;
  • targeted research: related to a specific category.
Keyword Research strategies may concern all these types of research with the aim of identifying both generic keywords, which could attract higher traffic, and long-tail keywords that are more suitable for reaching public niches potentially very interested in the proposed offer. The selection of keywords obviously depends on the expected traffic, but it is not certain that the terms chosen first are also the most effective. For this reason, Keyword Research is a process that can always be improved that requires continuous experimentation, updates and additions also in consideration of the possible changes that could involve the target audience.

5 free keyword planning tools

Keyword Research involves an articulated analysis path to address that needs tools to make keyword planning easier and more productive. Some of them, such as Semrush and Ahrefs, are accessible for a fee. However, there are some very good free alternatives that are worth a try. Here is a selection of the 5 best free keyword analysis tools currently available online.

Google Keyword Planner

Google, the most used search engine in the world, offers a Keyword Planner particularly useful to estimate the performance of keywords to be used for SEO. In fact, it is a real "assistant" for searching for keywords, and choosing the right terms to use with the aim of maximizing Internet traffic. from: Google.com The information provided by this tool is directly made available by Big G, and for each keyword it is possible to obtain data regarding search volume on a monthly basis and the potential CPC (Cost Per Click), useful in case you intend to conduct a campaign based on Search Advertising. Particularly recommended for creating keywords lists that can be shared within a team, the use of Keyword Planner only requires the activation of an account on the Google Ads platform (formerly AdWords).

Google Trends

In addition to the Keyword Planner, the Mountain View’s company offers the free Google Trends platform which, as its name suggests, provides useful data on trends involving searches, starting with the most used keywords by users. from: Google.com Trends prove to be indispensable in Keyword Research strategies because it allows you to determine the frequency with which a specific term (or phrase) is involved in the formulation of queries. For each search, it is possible to set both the country and the reference language, and the outputs are associated with graphs that facilitate the reading of the results and summarize the trends of the various keywords over time. You can carry out searches related to those previously run, and all data obtained can be exported for further analysis or processing.

Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is a tool that includes paid plans, but provides some interesting features completely free of charge, such as the ability to consult data relating to the popularity of a keyword over the last 12 months, including traffic estimates. from: neilpatel.com This service can be tested right away by using the internal search engine that allows you to type a keyword and access suggestions on various aspects of SEO, such as related keywords, the level of difficulty in terms of ranking and the writing of content optimized for search engines. By activating the 7-day free trial, you can also analyze competitor’s strategies related to SEO, Content Marketing and Social Media Marketing. In the same way, you can view reports with which to find out which web pages of competing companies rank better, based on long-tail keywords, and which ones are most popular on social networks.

Semrush Keyword Magic Tool

As we anticipated, Semrush is a paid service, but its Keyword Magic Tool can be used for free upon registration. The service’s database is constantly updated, and it currently contains almost 21 billion keywords, 120 geo databases and 14 million ideas per keyword. from: semrush.com Keyword Magic Tool is basically an internal search engine that allows you to type a keyword and select the country of reference. Once the query has been run, useful information can be obtained such as those relating to traffic volumes, related keywords, trends of popularity and the KD (Keyword Difficulty) value which returns a measure of the ranking difficulty for the analyzed keyword. Free accounts have limitations, hence part of the results provided by the system are obscured and are only available to users who have activated one of the paid subscriptions of the service.

Keyword Tool Dominator

Keyword Tool Dominator is a keyword planning tool that does not have just Google as its reference for searches. In fact, it tries to offer an overview on other platforms such as Bing, eBay, Etsy, Google Shopping, Walmart and YouTube, also providing information on the e-commerce and audio/video streaming markets. from: keywordtooldominator.com To use it, simply select the Keyword Tool you want, for example Google Keyword Tool or Bing Keyword Tool, enter the term or phrase in the search form, then select the country and language. The service also outputs a list of keywords related to the research object. The free version without subscription allows you to perform 2 searches per day. For each keyword shown in the list, you can also view a score, with a maximum value of 100, which can be used as a metric to evaluate its effectiveness, in terms of traffic volumes and ranking.

Conclusion

Choosing the correct keywords from an SEO point of view allows you to produce optimized content for search engines. It also generates a greater amount of organic traffic to a website, guarantees a constant flow of visitors over time and facilitates the growth of loyal users and the sale of products and services. To obtain these results, however, a careful Keyword Research strategy is required, supported by the use of the most suited keywords planning tools.
Article updated on: 09 August 2023
Talent Garden
Written by
Talent Garden, Digital Skills Academy

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