SEO Keyword Research Guide: Compile a Killer List of Keywords for Free

Don’t rely on just one tool for keyword research.

You want to approach keyword research from many angles. To get a full list of killer keywords for SEO, use several sources. Every tool works differently. The more keywords you uncover the better your SEO will be.

But all these tools…how about the cost?

We got you.

All four tools we cover in this tutorial are 100% free to use. And we’ll even get you keyword volume, typically reserved for paid tools.

In this keyword research tutorial, we will show you how to get a diverse list of keywords, including latent semantic keywords, along with search volume and CPC information for free.

Let’s commence.

We have two paths you could follow: quick & dirty and comprehensive.

Quick & Dirty Keyword Research:

Fire up tool #3 Ubersuggest (now that it has monthly search volume for free). While this is quick, your keyword list won't be as diverse since it's pulling from only one source.

Comprehensive Keyword Research:

If writing cornerstone content or devising a full SEO strategy, I highly recommend using all five tools together which holistically build on each other for a luxe list of keywords. The extra time isn’t that much.

Tool #1 Keyword Tool

The first tool we are going to use is Keyword Tool (


Keyword Tool (

Keyword Tool is not the most creative name but provides great keyword suggestions and for free. It finds keywords by scraping the autocomplete results of Google.

Keyword Tool actually provides some results that are not shown in Google Keyword Planner.


Google Keyword Planner (part of AdWords) may not show keywords that are not commercially relevant as ads are the main use case for it. But you still may want to see these hidden keywords for content and SEO purposes.

A valuable aspect of Keyword Tool is that it taps several different sources of keywords.

Besides the traditional source of Google, you can also get keywords from YouTube, Bing, Amazon, eBay, and the App store.


Keywords Everywhere isn't limited to Google...also has keywords from YouTube, Bing, Amazon, and more

For our example throughout this guide, we’ll do keyword research on The Beatles.

If we search “Beatles” using the main Google tab, it provides us with 694 unique keywords. Not bad!


Keyword Tool provides 694 keyword suggestions for free but we need to go elsewhere for free volume stats

Keyword Tool has a great filter feature. This allows you to only include results containing a specific word like “songs” for example.


Keyword Tool lets you filter out any unnecessary results via the negative keyword feature

Alternatively, you can employ negative keywords which filter out results with a certain keyword. Say you don’t want anything with “love” in the keyword phrase. Enter “love” as a negative keyword and then any results with “love” are removed from the list.

For our project, we’re going to keep everything as is.

While Keyword Tool provides great keywords free, you’ll notice that search volume, CPC, and AdWords competition are all grayed out.

You could get these stats from Keyword Tool if you upgrade to a $88 per month plan.

But have no fear, we are going to show you a way to get this info for free.

Here’s how.

First, grab all the keywords it provided.

I find it easiest to copy them all to the clipboard so we can paste them into the next tool that we’re going to use, a great Chrome extension called Keywords Everywhere.

You can export to a csv or just paste into a spreadsheet which are great options too.

Tool #2 Keywords Everywhere

One of my favorite tools, Keywords Everywhere provides free-of-charge keyword volume, CPC, and AdWords Competition information for our list of keyword suggestions.

Keywords Everywhere is pretty easy to install. It’s found in the Chrome Store so install it like any other Chrome extension. There is one additional step: you’ll need to enter in a free API key which they email you to get full access. They provide clear instructions.

If you want, you can set it up so keyword data appears in Google search results. It will show you the monthly search volume and CPC right in the search engine results page. You can turn it off as well, of course.


A useful feature of Keywords Everywhere is it can overlay useful keyword data on every Google search if you'd like

Keywords Everywhere actually integrates with Google analytics and Google Search Console also! It is very useful to see the keyword volume overlaid in these tools to get a sense of how large the SEO opportunity is.

It integrates with several other tools including the next keyword tool.

The main feature of Keywords Everywhere we are going to use is the bulk upload feature.


The Keywords Everywhere "Bulk Upload" features large in our keyword research method as it is the central holding place for keywords we find in ALL 4 tools

The way we use it is we paste all the keywords from into the bulk keywords section of Keywords Everywhere.

This bulk keywords section will be our central holding place for all keywords we will find using various sources.


More important than it looks: the bulk upload box of Keywords Everywhere

Now you could just go to one source like Keyword Tool and have those be the entirety of your keyword pool. Totally fine, especially for a less important blog post.

But we’re going to use three more sources to round out our keyword pool so we have a larger and more diverse set of keywords.

But first, I’d also like to throw in the question keywords from Keyword Tool. These are simply keyword phrases in the form of a question. These are great for a couple of reasons.


Don't forget the Questions tab of Keywords Everywhere for more suggestions

First, these could be good phrases for your focus keyword.

Second, question keywords are also useful to look through for any good questions that you can potentially write an article around.

You might find a gem of a question that you know people are asking about so it might be a good topic for a future article

We now have our keyword suggestions from Keyword Tool and if we simply wanted to get it from one source we’re basically done.

Click “Get Search Volume and CPC,” in Keywords Everywhere to get the search volume, CPC (cost-per-click), AdWords competition (for both global and national regions).


For example, “a beatles story” is searched 70 times a month and it has a $0 CPC amount because it’s not a very commercial term so people don’t bid on it for ads. Similarly, the competition level is a 0 on a scale 0 – 1.


The keyword "a beatles story" has no commercial value so might not show up in Google's Keyword Planner which is primarily for AdWords

On the other hand, “1 Beatles DVD” gets searched 10 times a month and has a CPC of $0.26 because it is actually something people may want to bid on and buy ads for because it could lead to a sale of the DVD. Therefore, the competition level from is much higher at .71.


The keyword "1 beatles dvd" has a modest commercial value as illustrated by the $0.26 CPC

I mostly just use search volume in keyword analysis but we may look at CPC and competition from time to time so it’s good to know where to get it from.

Note: This is competition level from a paid search (ads) viewpoint. Competition to rank organically requires an important metric called “Keyword Difficulty”, which is different.

As you see, Keywords Everywhere returns results very quickly.

You can sort the columns by clicking on the column headers.

You can even add keywords to a favorites list by clicking the star. This builds a favorites in Keywords Everywhere with your most important saved keywords.


The "My favorite keywords" feature of Keywords Everywhere holds all the keywords you 'star'

As I mentioned, you could stop here but we’re going to check out a few more sources to broaden our group of keywords.

The next tool we are going to use is Ubersuggest.

Tool #3 Ubersuggest

Using Uber Suggest is very similar to Keyword Tool.


The difference is Ubersuggest sources keywords in a slightly different way than Keyword Tool.

Instead of autocomplete, Uber Suggest uses the keyword suggestions from Google.

For that reason, every keyword it provides starts with Beatles, similar to how you’ll see the auto suggestions in Google based on your starting word.

Otherwise, Uber Suggest is very similar to Keyword Tool.

Similar to keyword tool, is it gives us a lot of free keywords but restricts search volume and CPC to paying customers.

Update: Neil Patel recently acquired Ubersuggest and now it provides search volume and CPC for free! Also the URL is now:


Ubersuggest provides keywords for free and used to charge extra for monthly volume but now it's free!

But by now we know this wouldn't stop us anyhow. We can simply copy and paste these into Keywords Everywhere to get search volume data with the rest!

One cool thing is Keywords Everywhere actually integrates with Ubersuggest. If you are signed into Keywords Everywhere when you do a query you will see monthly search volume, CPC, and competition right on the page.


A cool thing is that Keyword Everywhere can overlay the extra data like CPC and volume right into the Ubersuggest screen!

So really this could be a one-step option for getting keyword information.


But we are simply going to copy and paste those into the Keywords Everywhere bulk upload box anyway, since it’s our central holding place. This will then add these to those keywords we got from Keyword Tool.

Now our keyword pool is starting to get deeper. We have a growing list of keywords from multiple tools that use different methodologies.

Ubersuggest has a couple of other nice features.

Ubersuggest has a word cloud feature which can be a nice visualization tool in certain cases.


While the Word Cloud may look a little hokey, it can actually be a useful visualization

Ubersuggest also has the option to check the seasonality trends using Google Trends.


In theory, Ubersuggest can hook up with Google Trends but it didn't work for us.

Tool #4 LSI Graph


LSI stands for latent semantic indexing. This sounds like a very complex technical term but is actually quite straightforward.

Essentially, a latent semantic keyword is a related keyword or synonym. For any query, LSI Graph provides many words and phrases which are semantically linked. This means they are often found together in text so they are probably related even if they don’t share a common word (unlike other tools).

Semantic keywords further flesh out your keyword pool.

For example, if you enter in “baseball” it may also return bat or World Series which are phrases that don’t contain “baseball” necessarily but are semantically related.

This is important for a couple different reasons:

One, Google checks for this to see if your article is in naturally-written style. Why? Because when normally writing about a topic, you naturally use synonyms and different related phrases. On the other hand, an article that uses the poor practice of keyword stuffing to game SEO would have the same focus keyword over and over.

Second, it’s going to expand your keyword pool. It results in a broader variety of keywords instead of just one focus keyword which potentially increases the keywords that your article can rank for.

That’s the theory of LSI. In reality, I find this tool to be more interesting than particularly helpful in uncovering great alternative keywords.

So the Beatles isn’t a great example to use for this. “The Beatles” doesn’t have too many synonyms being a proper noun.

It’s be really nice if something like the Fab Four came up.

Maybe it doesn’t list that because this moniker doesn’t come up in articles enough to be considered semantically linked. But I think the more plausible reason is this tool is not sophisticated enough at this point.


LSI Graph provides some useful results but also misses some key ones

Let’s try a different keyword: coffee.

Enter in coffee in the search box and don’t forget to click the “not a robot” captcha first.

Unlike with the other tools we used, LSI graph’s results don’t necessarily have the keyword (coffee in this case) in the results.

That doesn’t necessary need to be the case or should be the case.

While most of these results have coffee, others like “why is caffeine bad for you?” importantly do not.


Latent Semantic keywords are sophisticated enough to include results without the seed keyword

It is sophisticated enough to know that this phrase about caffeine is related to coffee without having coffee in the actual phrase! So that’s how Latent semantic keywords and indexing work and why Google uses them.

So while this tool is still in the early stages, it’s definitely worth using as part of a comprehensive keyword research project.

Tool #5 SEOquake (+ Wikipedia)

The final tool we are going to mine keywords with is called SEOquake. This is a great Chrome extension that we use in many different aspects of SEO.


For this method, first visit an authoritative article on your topic whether it be a home page or a Wikipedia article. You are looking for a page that is has a lot of in-depth information about a topic and therefore rich for keyword mining.

So in our case we will first visit the Wikipedia page of the Beatles.


Rich, authoritative, and lengthy articles like Wikipedia posts are great to uncover additional keywords.

This page has a wealth of Beatles-related phrases like “Lennon and McCartney” and “Beatlemania” which are not returned in traditional keyword tools when searching The Beatles. This method can result in a lot interesting keywords that other tools won’t identify.

Now it would be tedious to go through the entire page to find good keywords.

That’s where SEOquake helps.

Go to SEOquake in your toolbar and proceed to the density tab.


Find Density by clicking into the SEOquake Chrome icon then "Density" in the navigation menu

This provides a table of the most frequently used words and phrases in the article. Its organized into how many words are in the phrase: one, two, three and four-word keyword phrases.


SEOquake's density table shows the frequency of the most used words and phrases which is a great source of potential keywords

Now instead of going through the whole article, you can go through these tables and see if there are any phrases that might be good to round out our keyword list that we haven’t seen elsewhere.

“Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” is a phrase which might be interesting to include in an article about the Beatles to expand our subject reach.

Another example is “Cavern Club” which is one of the first places the Beatles played in when they were coming up.

Take “Fab Four” for example, an iconic Beatles phrase that didn’t show up in any of the keyword tools.


While the Wikipedia x SEOquake method is the most time-consuming, you will get many gems not found elsewhere

“Fab Four” would be a great keyword to add to our article and one that has not shown up thus far in other sources. Let’s in fact consider Cavern Club as one of our potential keywords also.

So this Wikipedia + SEOquake technique is great to get more unique keywords and phrases.

We now have a great selection of different keywords. Let’s go ahead now and do a final pull for search volume and CPC.

Back to Keywords Everywhere to come Full Circle

In the bulk section of Keywords Everywhere, you should now have keywords sourced from Keyword Tool, Ubersuggest, LSI Graph, and Wikipedia.

Another great feature of Keywords Everywhere is that it also dedupes the list. Pulling from many different sources, you will have several duplicates.

We don’t have to worry about this because Keywords Everywhere dedupes the list in the bulk tool automatically.

Again simply click “Get Search Volume and CPC” and you’ll quickly get the keyword volume, CPC, and other information from


The harvest is in! All of the keywords we found with monthly volume data, CPC, and more

To do further analysis, often you’ll want to export the information to a csv or spreadsheet. Keywords Everywhere makes this easy (unlike some free SEO tools which don’t allow exporting).

But instead of exporting we are simply going to copy all this information to the clipboard and paste into a Google spreadsheet.

To go ahead with the free theme, we are using Google sheets which is a great spreadsheet program.


SEO Tools are all well and good but it's not real until you can get it into a spreadsheet!

This is as far we’ll go with this article. The next step of a keyword research project is choosing the target keyword out of this massive list of keywords based on Keyword Difficulty score and a competitive analysis of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). These are outside of the scope here but you can learn about those topics with our course:

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