Keyword Research Simplified: Free Tools to Jumpstart the Process


I’m sure at some point you’ve struggled your way through a task and realized the problem is you don’t have the right tools to get the job done.

It could be anything. Maybe you’re trying to grate a lemon without a zester. Maybe you’re trying to make straight cuts in wood with a handsaw.

The essential problem is the same: wrong tool = compromised results.

Without a doubt, the same challenge applies to optimizing a web page for search. As with just about any task, knowledge, skill and experience looms large, but if you don’t have the right tools, you’re bound to either accomplish the mission slower or mess-up along the way.

The idea of using the right tools has become a bit of an obsession here at ToTheWeb. And so we’re on a relentless quest to identify the tools we need, develop, test, use and offer them to you.

It’s enormously satisfying when clients tell us they find great value in our free SEO tools.

So here and now I’ll uncover a handful of the power tools we’ve developed and tell you how they’re used.

Let’s begin with a new addition to our online toolbox…

Introducing… “Find Keywords and Topics on Any Page”

Perhaps the tool’s name won’t make the hall of fame. But I know you’ll find it valuable.

What’s this tool do?

Simple. It quickly and thoroughly scans a web page and returns keyword data in the form of a tag cloud, like so:

I pasted a URL from a recent post on the Unbounce blog into the top field but left the defaults as is (though you can easily change them).

The question I wanted the answer to: What’s this page about?

Or a variation of that question might be, “Which keywords are used most on this page?” Obviously, the answer suggests the page’s overall theme and how its publisher may have attempted to optimize it for search.

The SIZE of the words indicates the usage of them on the page, but this tool gets numerical too. You simply mouse-over the word in question…

The tool reveals “conversion” occurs up 44 times on the page. The word “optimization” also occurs 44 times, as does “test.”

The takeaway becomes quickly obvious. This page is about conversion optimization—and tests—and it offers tips. Mission accomplished. I wanted a tool that answers questions such as:

  • What’s the central idea or main topic of this page? (Often there is none.)
  • Is this page optimized for anything? (Many are not.)
  • What keywords is this page optimized for? (Or was it?)

I call this a web page “gut check” and I believe a tool such as this steers clear of technical gook and quickly produces the answers. Like all my tools, I found it useful for my work and then refined it to be of value to you.

TRY THE TOOL NOW

But identifying keyword usage, lack thereof, or optimization flaws that jump off of low performing pages is just one step in the process. So I invite you to help yourself with…

Introducing more tricks of the trade… “Find Keywords and Topics on Any Page” Click To Tweet

More Free Tools in the ToTheWeb Learning Center

This section of our site, Tools for Search Marketers, has continued to expand.

Note the tool in the grid’s top left.

You see the tool described as “Test Title & Meta Description Visibility in Google.” This tool enables you to preview titles and meta descriptions in your code. You can evaluate the length and keyword usage for your pages and examine how you might edit them.

Or, you can enter any URL and instantly discover titles and the meta description in the code.

A sample of the results you’ll get looks like this:

Refer again to the image that shows the tools we offer, this time, the bottom left: Search engine simulator.

This simple but useful tool responds to whatever URL is entered by revealing how the Google indexing bot sees a page. It returns a number of details as structured data including (but not limited to): word count, keyword phrases (by count and density), headings and links.

Applying These Simple Keyword Tools (and Then Some)

So do these free tools make the keyword selection process a slam dunk? Hardly.

These simple keyword tools cut through the technology clutter a bit and help jumpstart the process of keyword selection and web page optimization.

I offer much more about the keyword selection process here as well as some of the additional free and paid tools that help bring clarity to the process.

My plan of attack almost always includes:
Google Keyword Planner

Though the free tool is provided mostly for brands planning to run Google Ads, the tool is extremely useful for providing search volume data ranges and additional keyword ideas.

Google Search Console

The tool focuses on what has happened, that is, you get data insights about keyword and page performance, so it’s useful for benchmarking a brand’s current position and assessing progress.

Ahrefs Keywords Explorer

This tool isn’t free, but it’s golden for a number of critical keyword research tactics, including gathering SEO-related data about competitors. Easily conduct a competitor review, check backlinks and effortlessly audit your site for search problems. Worth the price.

To conclude, I want to reiterate the keyword selection process is meticulous. Our aim to bring forth the tools that make it less mysterious.
 

→ Select the right keywords to drive high-value prospects
 

That said, I welcome you to use our tools, but also encourage you to contact us to explore ways to make your website your best sales tool