6 Free Keyword Research Tools for SEO (and How to Use Them)

July 30, 2018 by 31 Comments


In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to use 6 powerful free keyword research tools individually and together in your keyword research process. Plus Ahrefs’ first YouTube contest.

A keyword research tool on its own is very limited. You might find that one tool offers search volumes, while the next SEO tool offers something completely different.

But when you combine them together in a systematic process, you can perform effective SEO without spending a penny.

The 6 tools that are covered in this video are:

1. Google Correlate
2. Keyword Sh*tter
3. Keywords Everywhere
4. Search engine auto suggest (not just Google)
5. Google Trends
6. Answer the Public

You’ll learn the pros and cons of each tool, how to use them, and we’ll finish off this section with a step-by-step tutorial on how to use them together.

You’ll then see how these tools and processes compare against Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer.

Here’s a link to our full series on how to do keyword research with Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer:


0:58 Google Correlate
1:44 Keyword Shitter
2:24 Keywords Everywhere
4:11 Search Engine Autosuggest
5:00 Google Trends
6:46 Answer the Public
7:54 Use a simple workflow for keyword research
10:07 Use Ahrefs Keywords Explorer for in-depth analysis

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31 Replies to “6 Free Keyword Research Tools for SEO (and How to Use Them)”

  1. Ahrefs says:

    Hey marketers! Here are the full contest details.

    We will be giving away Ahrefs’ Standard Accounts to 3 of our awesome subscribers for 30 days ($179 value per account).

    1. Subscribe to our channel and like this video.
    2. Leave a comment and tell us which feature in Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer you love or would love to use the most.

    If you want to dig deep into Keywords Explorer, we have a very thorough guide on how to do keyword research here (plus some of the other tools): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zLBu_NfOaQ&index=2&list=PLvJ_dXFSpd2vX2RVxjEjBmYoeX6LmJFGP

    We will stop taking entries on Sunday, August 5, 2018 and will select 3 winners on Monday, August 6, 2018 and reply to their comment with details to claim their prize.

    We will also announce the winners on our Community Page the same week: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWquNQV8Y0_defMKnGKrFOQ/community

    Rules and Restrictions:
    1. If you are already an Ahrefs customer and are selected as one of the winners, we will extend your Ahrefs account by one month.
    2. Leaving multiple comments or using multiple accounts will not increase your chances of winning. Only one (1) qualifier or winner per family/household per Ahrefs’ Standard Account.
    3. Winners will have 30 days to claim their prize from the time we announce it under your YouTube comment. Unclaimed prizes will be forfeited.
    4. All prizes must be accepted as awarded, are non-transferable, non-exchangeable and have no cash value.

    Good luck to all!

    1. zarghamsajjad says:

      @Hussain Irtiza do u know about seo

    2. Hussain Irtiza says:

      zarghamsajjad yes and alhamdullah my 2 sites are well ranked

    3. zarghamsajjad says:

      Sorry its 332 in the end

    4. Hussain Irtiza says:

      zarghamsajjad not a prob it’s okay I already have my account 🙏

    5. Hustle With Joe says:

      I will like to win …i love the keyword phrase section

  2. irfan sayyed says:

    if different SEO tools shows different keyword volume, How to decide which is correct SEO tool?
    e.g. If Ahref shows 100 volume for a particular keyword, Semrush shows 1000 keyword volume for the same keyword, and Ubbersuggest shows 1000 volume for same keyword. How to decide which is correct?

    1. Ahrefs says:

      One reason for the discrepancy is because Google Keyword Planner and other keyword tools that take their data from GKP groups similar keywords together (e.g. SEO, search engine optimisation, search engine optimization, etc.) This can inflate search volume numbers.

      At Ahrefs, we show search volumes for each individual keyword without grouping them together.

      This blog post explains more: https://ahrefs.com/blog/keyword-search-volume/
      – SQ

    2. irfan sayyed says:

      @Ahrefs in website monthly pricing is 100Dollar. Do you have lowest price of your Ahrefs monthly plan than 100 dollar? Do you have different pricing rates for Ahrefs monthly plans for different countries? Because people of some countries can not afford payment in Dollars. They can pay in their currency rates like Rupees. (1 dollar = 73 Rupees approximate)

  3. Joshua Wash says:

    Your videos are helpful but please Can you make a course where you will show step by step SEO

    1. Ahrefs says:

      It’s coming 🙂

  4. Sadaf Khan says:

    Great Tutor.


    How do I get an API key?
    Please, someone help!

    1. Ahrefs says:

      For Ahrefs? You can sign up here: https://ahrefs.com/api
      – SQ

  6. Scott Jones says:

    Very respectable. You own the best keyword research tool available, but still, you promote other tools. This shows that you care more about your audience. I only wish your prices were more affordable 🙁

  7. Scott Jones says:

    Google trends is great, but a big downside is the lack of results for long-tail keywords.

    1. Ahrefs says:

      That’s why it’s not used as a main tool, but as a supplement 🙂
      – SQ

  8. Fahad Ali KHAN says:

    You are always selling.

  9. Rezo TheRockLuvr says:

    Google Correlate isn’t a thing anymore it shut down in 2019. And Ahrefs is not free. You may want to update this post as I will stop watching now because the material is out of date. Your welcome.

    1. Ahrefs says:

      Most of the tools are still relevant, besides Google Correlate 🙂
      – SQ

    2. Rezo TheRockLuvr says:

      @Ahrefs None of them are free. How is it relevant if it’s a free keywords program post?

  10. J Henter says:

    I’m learning a lot from your page and videos, and as fairly new to this, I need it too. 🙂 I don’t suppose your contest may still be active, but here is my answer non the less. I don’t need convincing on subscribing to Ahrefs, but a 30-day free trial could definitely help me while I’m learning the basics, to then be able to take full benefit of its awesome features when I start my subscription. In case the contest is still on, here are my action & answer: 1). I have subscribed to your YouTube channel (and set notifications to ON / all); 2). From what I’ve learned so far, I liked the Keyword Difficulty function, as I will need to go for the “low hanging fruits” first, so I need to know which ones these are + the Phrase Match repost adding further relevant keywords to the Include sections also seems to be a top function/help I will be using a lot, as I will be needing a lot of on-point content ideas, especially as a beginner. With or without the contest – a huge Thank You for both this great tool and the very clear and useful videos, these are definitely of key help to those just starting out on this journey. THANK YOU so much!

  11. Blasé says:

    do you guys still giveaway accounts?

    1. Ahrefs says:

      Nope 🙂
      – SQ

    2. Blasé says:

      @Ahrefs thanks 🙂

  12. Timothy Maggenti says:

    I would love to use the part where you can set the competition to 0 (ZERO) that is awesome, (AWESOME!) After searching and searching yours seems to be the best tool for SEO hands down. But your price is very hard to swallow for the beginner. It would be great if you would come up with a plan that included all the cool tools but only allow us to search a small amount per day. Think about it, the little guy is not going to use it as much as the experts are so you are not losing bandwidth or anything. In fact, you will pick up more revenue by adding the little guy payments, like $29.95 a month until we grow and can actually afford to spend the $100 bucks a month like the experts. Just a thought, hope you will read and actually entertain this idea. Thanks for the data either way.

    1. Ahrefs says:

      We have a suite of free tools: https://ahrefs.com/free-seo-tools
      – SQ

  13. Shafi Ullah Khan says:

    Phrase Match

  14. Joan Caroleen Ga says:

    sad to say Google Correlate was deactivated way back 2019 due to low usage 🙁

    1. Ahrefs says:

      We know. Pretty unfortunate tbh.
      – SQ

  15. John Ruddell says:

    I liked the fact that you take the time to explain the different uses for the different keyword platforms. It was also a good idea to show how you can use them in sync with one another.