If you’re a beginner affiliate marketer, or simply on a budget, you may not have the finances available right now to invest in top-tier marketing tools. If you are a beginner, it is possible you are dubious about the whole affiliate marketing thing, and don’t want to drop serious cash to find it’s not for you – and that’s understandable.
So to kick this blog off, I’ve decided to begin with what I think are some of the best free keyword research tools available, some have even expanded beyond keyword research purposes and contain a fully fledge suite of SEO tools.
Even if you are working with a sizeable enough budget, it is worth reading the below list of free tools – as there are some hidden gems you may not have found otherwise.
Answer the Public
Answer the Public is a tremendous tool that allows to user to quickly gain insight into any niche.
Using your desired keyword to scrape search queries from both Google and Bing; Answer the Public delivers longtails results based on questions, prepositions, and comparisons all containing your primary keyword.
The advantage of doing this is you can then take each term, or at least the ones that interest you, and run them through tools like ahrefs or SEMrush for monthly search volume, and keyword difficulty metrics.
Doing this allows you to develop a content strategy for single blog posts, or all-encompassing ultimate guides that make use of long-tail keywords as subheadings. Very useful for compiling FAQ’s to cement yourself as an authority within a niche.
Google AdWords: Keyword Planner
Google AdWords Keyword Planner (GKP) is a favorite among many affiliate marketers when entering into a new niche, the primary benefit of using GKP is that all the data comes straight from big G themselves, so you know there is a high degree of accuracy.
Entering your primary keyword will provide you with a list of related terms, including average monthly search volume, a simple competition score (low, medium, or high) and a list of bid prices indicating the average amount, per click, advertisers are spending.
Compared to other keyword research tools GKP doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of other keyword research tools but the information is accurate and for those just getting started, or on a budget, this is a tool that should serve you well.
PRO TIP: For a great keyword research experience without spending a dime, use GKP in conjunction with Ubersuggest.
With Google Trends, affiliate marketers can gain valuable insight on keyword popularity over time.
For example, if we look at the graph below we can see a clear trend for this search term in July every year.
The search term is ‘fireworks’ and this trend is undoubtedly linked to Independence Day.
How is this useful?
Well, it would make sense that if you sell fireworks that you would start publishing ‘the 10 best fireworks for the 4th of July’ or similar in mid-June as interest starts growing for this keyword.
In its basic form, this is what is known as a content calendar, a list of dates that see annual interest in your niche. ‘Costumes’ at Halloween, or ‘wrapping paper’ during Christmas are other examples.
The trick is to find regular trends in your niche and plan content creation around them, the less obvious to your competitors the better.
Ubersuggest is more than just a keyword research tool, it is a fully comprehensive SEO tool from Neil Patel and is absolutely free. Ubersuggest can be used for competitor analysis, allowing you to view your competitions backlink profile, see what’s being shared on social platforms and what keywords they are currently ranking for.
Ubersuggest will also run a full site audit for you, providing key data on what’s needed to bring your technical SEO up to par.
As a keyword research tool, Ubersuggest is great for discovering keywords with a high buyer intent. Buyer keywords are keywords that suggest the user is close to the end of the buying cycle, formulas of keywords with high buyer intent may be:
- ‘’Best x under $100’’
- ‘’Best x for y’’
- ‘’Where to buy x’’
For example, if I type ‘best laptop for’ into Ubersuggest, I get these suggestions:
With a little more research into each keyword to determine keyword difficulty and the level of competitiveness, I can put together a content plan that gives me the highest likelihood of competing in the SERPS.
Keyword Surfer is a handy free chrome extension that provides you with data on estimated global monthly search volume for any keyword entered into Google. Some of you may be aware of another extension called Keywords Everywhere which recently moved to a paid model.
Keyword Surfer works much in the same way, but the developers have pledged to keep the tool free forever.
One downside is there is no ability to do search keywords in bulk, however I’m not sure that is the aim of this tool. It’s more likely you will have it turned on constantly, assessing search queries as you browse.
Keyworddit is a tool that scrapes Reddit thread titles and comments for keywords. Simply type the name of a subreddit into the box, ‘seo’ for example, and Keyworddit will scrape the seo subreddit bringing back up to 500 keywords.
Clicking the ‘context’ button will bring up the threads that have been scraped for keywords, providing you with relevance.
This is a great way to find out what people are really talking about in your niche.
PROTIP: used Keyworddit in conjunction with a keyword suggestion tool such as Ahrefs or Ubersuggest to find almost limitless content ideas, i.e.
After searching for seo in Keyworddit I can see that it has pulled back ‘long tail keywords’ as a keyword, using the keyword ideas function in Ahref’s brings me back a list of potential content ideas:
QuestionDB works similar to Keyworddit in that it scrapes Reddit to deliver keywords back to the user. However, where Keyworddit scrapes through a chosen subreddit, QuestionDB will bring back all question-based keywords.
QuestionDB is also a good alternative to Answer the Public to find relevant question terms, also allowing you to rank them by popularity quickly finding popular questions for guide posts or FAQ’s.
Google – Auto Suggest, People Also Ask
While this is a relatively simple idea, many people forget about the power of Google auto suggest. Simply typing a search query into googles search bar will bring up a list of similar terms people are searching for.
While not the most exhaustive list available to affiliate marketers, the source is trustworthy and it can be an easy, quick, way to come up with content ideas.
As an added bonus, many searches in google with bring up a ‘People Also Ask’ box, with commonly asked questions relating to your keyword. Clicking any question will cause Google to load up several more, leading to an almost infinite amount of question generation.
Using both these methods is a great way to quickly outline content creation for an FAQ or search subheading for an ultimate guide style post.
Rank Tracker (Freemium version, premium paid version also available)
Rank Tracker, like many tools on this list, is more than just a keyword research tool. Instead it is a fully comprehensive SEO tool for keyword research, competitor analysis, rank tracking and more.
Featuring Google Search Console and Google Ads Keyword Planner integration, Rank Tracker scrapes Google, Bing, Amazon and Yahoo for keywords. Providing a list of keywords competitors are currently ranking for, as well as question focused keywords, long-tails, and common misspellings.
One you have you database of keywords, you can use Rank Tracker to determine the potential traffic of each keyword, as well as the keyword difficulty; allowing you to develop a content plan that will bring the most traffic for the least amount of competition.
When used correctly, Rank Tracker should guide you on your way up the SERPS.
For experienced affiliate marketers, SEO’s, or newbies working with a budget we finally get to the big boys.
Some of these paid keyword research tools can set you back a decent amount of cash each month, but the information and insight you can potentially gain is invaluable.
If you’re serious about keyword research, and you should be, these tools are the end goal for your affiliate marketing journey.
If you are involved in affiliate marketing, you will undoubtedly have heard seen Ahrefs mentioned before, it is one of the best tools not only for keyword research but competitor analysis and SEO in general.
A favorite of industry leader’s such as Matt Diggity and the guys over at Authority Hacker, Ahrefs has built a reputation as one of the most important tools for affiliate marketers in recent years.
PROTIP: when doing keyword research with Ahrefs, many affiliate marketers stick with what they know. Using the keywords ideas panel to build a list of potential keywords and content creation ideas.
This is fine, and what everyone should be doing, however, there is a little trick you can use to find content ideas you might have otherwise overlooked.
Instead, if you enter a competitor’s URL into site explorer and go into the ‘Top Pages’ section, you can see which of their pages gets the most traffic. Not the most organic traffic but the most traffic overall.
Doing this lets you analyse a competitors website more thoroughly, giving you content ideas that you have otherwise overlooked in the process.
SEMRush is a tool that allows you to quickly find the keywords that you competitors are currently ranking for. Instead of searching for a keyword and have a list of suggestions pulled back based off of that keyword, you enter a competitor’s domain for a list of keywords they rank for.
Doing this allows you to find keywords you will otherwise have missed (similar to the top pages method in Ahrefs). For anyone doing SEO outside of the US, SEMrush allows you to choose your base country, providing information on your competitor in that particular market.
Moz Keyword Explorer
Moz’s Keyword Explorer is part of their suit of full SEO tools, and unfortunately doesn’t come as a standalone tool. Moz can be used to find imaginative keywords, like other keyword research tools Moz will pull back a list of related keywords that contain a phrase match.
However, it will also bring back a list of search queries that are associated with the initial keyword and are niche relevant.
Moz also provides you with ‘Organic CTR(click through rate)’ as a percentage, this is estimated as the amount of clicks you can expect to get if you rank on page 1. Taking into account PPC ads, and news snippets to make a judgment for you.
Next to Organic CTR is ‘Priority’ which effectively rates the keyword difficulty for that term, taking into account Organic CTR, search volume etc. Instantly letting you know if a keyword is worth pursuing with a simple easy to understand metric.
Buzzsumo allows affiliate marketers and bloggers keep their finger on the pulse of trending topics within their niche. Users can track trending topics and social shares to keep up with the ever-growing demand for current and relatable topics.
Competitors sites can be broken down by performance, providing an endless stream of content ideas you may have otherwise missed. There is even an option to link in with influencers and content creators within your niche, taking the strain out of networking and content creation.
Long Tail Pro
I hope you have managed to gain some value from this article, with so many tools available on the market this is by no means a finite list; searching for the best keyword research tool could become a full-time occupation in its own right.
Do you currently use any of the tools on this list? Or is there a keyword research tool I’ve missed that I should include? Let me know if the comments below.
At Affiliate Ghost I am always looking to provide the most relevant actionable tips and information for affiliate marketers, if there is anything you are struggling with, or topics you would like covered please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Share the Love
If you found this post useful, please let others know about it by sharing it.