Alternative Keyword Research Tools

In case you missed it – Google is shutting down free access to Keyword Planner.

Which I’ll admit is kind of crappy, but there are plenty of alternative keyword tools out there.

So if you’re looking for free alternatives to keyword planner, I’ve pulled together a list of other keyword tools that fit into 3 categories.

Free with Account  |  Free without Account  |  Paid Tools

In addition, I’ll share an exciting development I discovered; a workaround to still use Keyword Planner like you used to.

Keyword Planner Workaround

This workaround will allow you to still use Keyword Planner without having to run an AdWords campaign (yes, you read that correctly – there’s a workaround that let’s you still use Keyword planner without inputting any billing information).

This was shared with me by one of my master keyword research customers, Andrew McWhaw.

But – since SEO’s can’t have nice things, and I would like for this to continue to work – I’m not going to share it publicly.

UPDATE: Reports are that the workaround has already been shutdown by Google.

Onto the other alternative tools you can use.

Free Keyword Tools (with account)

The following keyword tools are free to use, and deliver some real value – though some advanced features may require a paid account.

SERPWoo Keyword Finder

One of my favorite keyword tools out there, Jason and CCarter understand search and data analysis and put a lot of time into building a truly powerful keyword suite with some robust scoring.


Keyword Discovery

Not only will you need to create a free account to get any of the keyword data with this tool, but to unlock the real power here you’ll have to also verify your account either by phone or SMS (both automated) – but it’s still free. From there it may take 1 business day for them to manually verify your account – but again, it’s not that bad for free data.

Once in you’re limited to 10 results per query and 50 queries per month.


SEOBook Keyword Tool

One of my favorite features of this tool is that it only grabs very closely related permutations of the query you enter and it shows you daily volume as well as Google Trends data graphs.


Free Keyword Tools (no account)

The following list of tools you can use right away without the need to create an account. Keyword Tool

A free keyword idea generator that includes functionality for positive and negative filtering as well as an option to download essentially unlimited results. I also published a guide on how I’m going to rank for keyword tool.


Wonderful (pun intended) tool that scrapes Google for people also ask and people asl search for results, and then pulls back the average monthly search volume, average cost per click, and ad competitiveness, all of which can be selected as you desire and quickly (almost instantly) downloaded into a CSV.

Keywords Everywhere

This tool is SLICK!

It’s as free Chrome Extension that adds keyword search volume and CPC data right on the screen for other tools including Google Search Results pages, Google Analytics, UberSuggest, Soovle, Answer the Public, Keyword Shitter, Majestic anchors and MOZ’s Open Site Explorer.

Update: Now also available for FireFox.


Easily one of my favorite features of this tool is the list builder. This is functionality that TermExplorer’s latest version also has (but is paid only) and I find really useful for building targeted term and topic lists quickly.

Just an FYI – you’ll get a modal window asking you to create an account (still free) but you can close it by clicking the “no thank you” gray linked text at the bottom.


SERPS Keyword Tool

Another decent tool that you can dive right into, like it also lets you build a list of saved keywords and export to CSV – my only gripe is the dataset is very limited – likely due to either 1) an smaller index overall or 2) a limited index for free users.

Paid Keyword Tools

The following keyword tools provide results in some limited form without payment, but provide pretty much no useful data for free. With that said, I’ve paid for each of these tools at some point in the past and did find them each to offer their own unique value.

What initially caught my attention about this tool was the individual scraped indexes from both YouTube, Amazon, and the AppStore – and while other tools now boast similar data, this is still my go to source for AppStore keyword research.

In addition, it has a built-in “questions” feature that’s wonderful for digging into TOFU topic content.



Wordtracker definitely has some cool features, my favorite of which is probably KEI. The only issue I have with the tool is the data seems to be sort of stale.. maybe it’s daily data they’re reporting on which is why all the volume estimates always seem low; but it’s not clear.. which is my only gripe.



So WordStream seems to scrape a crap ton of data resources which is cool, and I like that they include their own tracked keyword search volume against Google’s stated volume.


Honorable Mention

SE Ranking has some slick functionality to extend keyword research as well.

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  1. When Google is shutting it down.. is there a payed version to have access to the google keyword planner ? Or what’s their plan ? How could you use that tool it in future ?

    Thank you !

    1. Hey Bernhard – It’s already happened. To still use the tool you will just need to have an active AdWords account with an active spend, I don’t think there’s a real minimum so could be as little as $20/month.

    2. Not sure how you deal with news. But I found an alternative for keyword research for $1 a month at . Can’t beat that!

  2. Great list, Nick. I use KW Finder, it’s a good tool with comparatively better data set. My only gripe is number of analysis for free users is limited. You can check it out.

    1. I set up an account today and created a campaign and put it on pause and can access the keyword planner,

  3. Super useful list! I’ve been toying with a couple keyword solutions in anticipation of the Google Keyword limitation (I haven’t spent anything on AdWords in about five years so I’ve been looking to see what makes the most sense in terms of $$$ spent to the power of the feature set offered.)

    Love reading your stuff, man!

  4. Great list! I’m particularly fond of list style articles because they’re so much easy to digest and they look well-organized. I love free stuffs.

  5. Thanks and Great list, Nick. I never heard a SERPSWoo.

    I would like to add up here two more tools, which might help other users.

    I personally tried those tools but when its come to search volume it was not close enough what google adwords showing.

    Whats your thoughts?..

  6. Thanks for the update about Keyword Planner and for sharing this Keyword Planner tools! Google shouldn’t remove the free access, it’s very helpful especially to digital marketers.

  7. I agree with you that keyword analyze is very important for us and also being a part of our search engine optimization ( SEO ) process. But Recently the Google Keyword Planner is not shows the exact search volume anymore (they give us a range number as the result), what I want to ask here is : Do you know some other tools or websites to give us the exact search volume?

  8. Thanks, Nick! Great overview with important details. What do you think about also free keyword research tool as

    Our team has developed it for own needs. But our colleagues have loved it in one day. So, we are happy to share it with everyone seo master. I’ll be happy to see your conclusion about our tool.

  9. Geez. This is a interesting informative list on current keyword tools. However, the old time premier tool which has now moved to cloud version, doesn’t seem to even get a mention here. I still use Long Tail Pro in its new Platinum Cloud version. It still has the” keyword competition” data which seems to be a good guide. I do get a discount as a long time customer and feel the tool is worth what I pay for sure. I do also kinda compare results with KWFinder. Just not sure why Long Tail Pro never got a mention here.Their customer support has improved significantly recently! They seem to be catching up on the changeover issues that occurred to the cloud version

    1. Thanks for reading and for the feedback, Dan. We plan to update this post with more tools in the near future.

  10. Really great list, Nick! Thanks for that. I think you have a big experience and understanding in the keyword research tools. Can you share your opinion about our internal similar long tail tool? –
    I hope you’ll find some really unique functions in usability for yourself.

  11. Really useful overview, Nick! Thanks for that. I think you have a big experience and understanding in the keyword research tools. Can you share your opinion about our internal similar long tail tool? –
    I hope you’ll find some really unique functions in usability for yourself.

  12. Hi Nick,

    Indeed, your post is of great value for a newcomer in SEO like me. However, I am just wondering whether or not there is any tool that could suggest relevant keywords (be it long tail or short tail) by just entering URL? This may sound crazy to some of you. Did I mention I am a newcomer in SEO industry?


  13. great article with great list really helpfull……and detail article nice one thanks to you to share this article………

  14. Nice post . Great list of Keyword Research tools. Really helpful this article. I am using google keyword research tools it perfectly work for me. Thank you for this article.

  15. Great list! But I did a comparison between Answer the Public and its alternative tool Kparser – and what do you think? I’ll never recommend you Answer the Public, because in comparison of what suggested Kparser, it were poor results. Kparser definitely has more sources for keyword search! I also prefer to filter results with advanced filters Kparser have. I’m amazed of this tool! Highly recommend!

  16. Thank you for your article and that you taking the time and effort to write it.
    I really like your division into Free with Account, Free without Account and Paid Tools, had never seen such an approach before.
    I would recommend adding one another K-meta tool to the list of Free with Account keywords research tools. Because with its help you receive tons of keywords with the important SEO metrics.
    It includes many features for keywords research like Phrase match with a huge keywords database, SE Suggestion to find Google autocomplete, Related keywords. + all this data can be downloaded in CSV format. I think many people will find this tool useful for their work. Recommend to try! And thank you for your work!

  17. Keyword analysis is the process of analyzing the keywords to find the top searched keywords those can bring visitors to your website through organic search. Keyword analysis is very much important for search engine optimization (SEO). This analysis provides insight of keywords for SEO. keyword analysis is very much important before starting any SEO activity. Read full article->

  18. Great article! Here is another great free alternative, LiveKeyword –

    Just like keywords everywhere – it provides important keyword information like search volume, related keywords, and related searches. All this data can be downloaded easily in CSV format too. Worth to check it out.

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