1. What people are looking for
  2. BuzzSumo
  3. SEMrush
  4. Reply to the public
  5. Facebook
  6. Twitter
  7. Youtube
  8. Pinterest
  9. Ubersuggest
  10. Screaming frog
  11. Ahrefs
  12. Yoast
  13. GTMetrix
  14. Keywords everywhere
  15. SEO Search Simulator from Nightwatch
  16. Mozbar
  17. TF * IDF tool from Seobility
  18. SERP simulator
  19. Check out my links
  20. 19-31. Other social news sites
  21. Google autocomplete
  22. Google people ask too
  23. Google searches related to
  24. Google news
  25. Google Alerts + IFTTT
  26. Google Search Console
  27. Google Keyword Planner
  28. Google Data Studio
  29. Google Trends
  30. Google Sheets
  31. Google Analytics
  32. Page speed insights
  33. lighthouse
  34. Trending topics

As thought-provoking and fun as keyword research can be, it's just as complicated and mind-boggling when you're a beginner just about to actually get it.

Sure, you've looked through Google's Keyword Planner and tinkered with Google's auto-complete. But honestly, keyword research is intimidating when you're just starting out.

Getting started with keyword research doesn't just happen overnight. You need to know how people search and what they are looking for before you can even think about mapping your keywords.

And with more than 6 billion searches a day worldwide, how do you know where to start?

It's about finding the deepest, darkest, and most secret corners of the user's search intent to find "the right stuff" in a bowl full of "meh".

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This is where this article comes in. I spill my top tool tips on those looking to improve their SEO repertoire.

If you're starting from scratch and don't want to look like you stumbled upon keyword stuffing in 1997, keep reading.

What people are looking for

Where do you look for news or trending topics?

There are so many great tools out there that SEO marketers can use to understand what and why people are looking for.

They can help answer questions like:

  • When should I write an article?
  • Would this article do well?
  • Who would read this article?

How do I find these answers?

With some amazingly great free tools.

Here are 45 of my favorite tools that newbies (or anyone really) can use to find out what and why people are looking for.

1. BuzzSumo

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

BuzzSumo is one of my favorite tools because of its content discovery solution. You can search for topics that are trending now.

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You can filter by 1 hour, 3 hours, 6 hours, 12 hours and 24 hours. You can also filter by topic.

So if you don't want to tie your keyword research tool to the usual government hoopla, just filter it out.

Or you can use BuzzSumo, as Kelsey Jones, editor-in-chief at Neil Patel who uses BuzzSumo says:

“I love using Buzzsumo because it not only shows me what type of content is popular on social media, but also what publishers and my clients' competitors are writing. The UI is really usable too, and I like being able to sort by date and number of social shares. To me, BuzzSumo is well worth the cost of content marketing and keyword research. "

While BuzzSumo offers a free version, you can upgrade for $ 99 per month if you want to receive notifications on specific topics and all other merchandise Jones mentions.

2. SEMrush

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

Just type in your keyword or phrase and watch the magic happen to find out what people are looking for on a particular topic.

SEMrush retrieves phrase match keywords, related keywords, and organic search results.

Hung Nguyen, Marketing Manager at SmallPDF, shares:

“My preferred free SEO tool is SEMrush – specifically the Organic Research Tool. As a standard SEO tool, you can quickly enter a URL and SEMrush will display all of the keywords that rank for that one page. What makes it unique, however, is the "SERP" option (on the "Positions" tab) that is available for each individual keyword. This option displays a "snapshot" of the SERP page for that keyword under a specific country. It is important to not only track the rankings of your keywords, but also to analyze how Google is displaying your page on SERPs. For example, you might have a recommended snippet, but the attached image shows a competitor. You might be in the top 10, but Google only shows the first eight results. Sometimes frequently asked questions can drag your page down even further. Google also tests how pages are displayed, e.g. B. with our unbranded logos. And that's why this tool is so great – you can then go back to the drawing board and re-prioritize corrections for your SEO cleanup. "

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Call Outdoors Founder Laurie Wilkins shares:

“With the Keyword Gap Tool, I can see how my website is doing compared to other competitors targeting the same keywords. That way, I can see keywords that they are ranking for and I can't focus my efforts on trying to do the same. This information is extremely useful in creating campaigns and content strategies to help my website rank higher in SERPs.

In addition, I can use the keyword gap to determine which keywords are ranking the top competitors high, but with little advertising competition. I can take advantage of this by creating an ad campaign to get more traffic for myself. One thing I love about the tool is that it shows keyword results for both mobile and desktop. As we try to rank more for mobile users, we can shift our focus to that information for better rankings. "

Paid users have more features, and the Pro version starts at $ 99 a month. However, you can still use the tool for free if you're looking for ideas.

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3. Answer the public

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

Answer The Public is another favorite of mine and is relatively new to the scene compared to other tools. It uses search queries from Google and Microsoft Bing and has an extensive database that can predict which searchers will ask.

The user interface makes this tool one of my favorites. While it is a keyword research tool, it shows a nice visualization of data.

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I had the chance to speak to Casie Gillette, Senior Director of Digital Marketing at KoMarketing, about what kind of content people are looking for and why. She said:

“We spend a lot of time researching search results, studying the types of content and what search engines are doing. Without this information, it's difficult to understand intent and identify trends. I also spend a lot of time with SEMrush and some question-based tools (e.g. Bloomberry or Answer the Public). I like the question-based tools because they search places where certain topics are discussed. They give you real insight into a niche and I always find something new. "

Sean Oldfield, Surple's chief marketing officer, shares:

“My favorite free SEO tool is Answer the Public. You just enter a topic of your choice and the tool returns hundreds of great keyword ideas based on what people are looking for. This is especially useful if you're struggling to find long-tail keyword ideas to write about on your blog. "

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Answer the Public is free and you can export the data to a CVS or Excel file.

4. Facebook

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

Facebook is one of the most accessible free tools for discovered relevant topics.

Also, many people get their messages from Facebook.

Facebook itself is its search engine. In early 2013, Facebook expanded its graph search to improve keyword research.

5. Twitter

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

Twitter is another free tool that I love to use before creating any content.

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Twitter's browse section uses an algorithm to push trends based on where you are and who you are following.

You can turn this off by choosing a trending location in two steps:

  • Click Change in your trend box.
  • Select Change to add a different location.

Changing your location is very helpful when your focus is on local SEO.

Ashley Ward, SEMrush's corporate spokesperson, has an interesting way of using Twitter to find trends. She says:

"When there's a trending conversation, it's attached a hashtag that is easy to find on social networks like Twitter and Instagram. Half the time, I just go to Twitter and Instagram and research the top performing hashtags of the day to see what it's all about the hype and then listen to the conversation. This type of method is great for blog post topics and is incredibly useful for content marketing. "

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6. YouTube

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

YouTube is best known for its cooking videos and workout videos, but it also has a trending video section where you can see what's popular on YouTube right now.

You can also read the YouTube Trends blog. It shows trends on YouTube and the developments in the world around us, such as tracking the solar eclipse.

Now that you've identified the trends on YouTube, you can compare the topics with your YouTube analytics.

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If you can link the trending videos to your niche, then you have the option of adding a video with strong ranking potential on YouTube.

7. Pinterest

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

In November 2016, Pinterest Explore started as a feature for pinners to find out what's popular on Pinterest.

It uses an algorithm to create this day's personalized Pins based on search trends. You can also search up to 30 different topics.

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Pinterest created this to give advertisers more organic options. However, it is a great tool for brainstorming ideas for content.

8. Ubersuggest

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

Ubersuggest is Neil Patel's new freemium SEO tool that a lot of people are talking about.

Andrew Cunliffe, co-founder of Second Fiddle, shares:

“Ubersuggest is by far one of our most popular SEO tools. The easy-to-use Chrome extension gives you insight into keywords being used in your specific market to customize and improve them while gaining a competitive advantage. Ultimately, this helps us increase our customers' visibility and drive traffic to their website. Even better, by reverse engineering competitor SEO and content marketing strategy, we're spending significantly less time curating content that people can't access or even read. Ubersuggest is super easy to use, you just enter a domain or keyword to get started, and it gives you everything you need to know to win the SEO game. "

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And Money Done Right's Tess Robison uses Ubersuggest because:

“Ubersuggest has a free version and a paid version, but the free version works just fine for almost anything you would have to do. You can search for tons of keywords that will show you the difficulty of the keywords and who are the best competitors for those words. It also has suggestions for related keywords related to the ones you want to target. The whole platform is very helpful for SEO and marketing purposes and is my favorite tool. "

9. Screaming frog

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

Screaming Frog has been my go-to for technical SEO audits and on-page optimization for the past ten years.

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It's a free tool that is very insightful as it searches the entire website looking for any gaps in your SEO strategy.

And I am not alone.

Cameron Dunn, Director of Paid Search at SQRD Media, shares:

“Screaming Frog is the basis for all SEO work. With Screaming Frog, I can get a detailed understanding of the "nuts and bolts" of any site in minutes. I can view all metadata that search engines collect. I can quickly see what is working, but more importantly, what needs improvement to make sure the website is search engine optimized. "

Nick Farnborough, Co-Founder of Clavis Social, says:

“With SEO becoming increasingly important for small business owners, finding great free tools is becoming a higher priority every day. Screaming Frog delves into the technical side of SEO with its free SEO crawler. The SEO Spider tool can be used to find and fix all kinds of technical SEO errors, including broken links, audit redirects, sitemaps, site architecture, and more. The free plan is more than enough for most people, starting with search engine optimization, and it's simple enough to manage after watching their tutorial videos. "

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10. Ahrefs

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

Much like SEMrush, Ahrefs is an all-in-one SEO tool that will walk you through a site audit, monitor your competitors, do your keyword research, identify the best performing content, and much more.

Bruce Harpham, SaaS marketing consultant, admits that Ahrefs is his free SEO tool of choice.

“This free tool provides a snapshot of several key website metrics, including domain rating, number of backlinks, number of link domains, and follow-versus-no-follow patterns. I use this free tool several times a week to review different websites from a regulatory and SEO perspective. It's just a look at the data you expect when you sign up for a full Ahrefs account. "

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And Katie Fellenz, Marketing Director at Trust and Will, shares:

“This is most likely one of the most highly recommended tools, but I seriously couldn't live without Ahrefs. It has so many features and useful features that other all-in-one SEO tools may not have (although others have features that Ahrefs doesn't). It's also very simply built and easy to navigate compared to other similar tools. Most of all, I find it most useful for backlink analysis, estimated traffic value, and researching competitors and our website. "

11. Yoast

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

Yoast SEO is probably the most widely used SEO plugin for WordPress users. It doesn't make the technical side of on-page SEO that technical.

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Yoast SEO guides you through writing meta titles and meta descriptions, but also allows users to choose the canonical tags, create sitemaps, and much more.

Madeleine Seah, SEO specialist at New Age Polish, shares:

“The Yoast WordPress Plugin is a free SEO tool that you can use to optimize your website and blog posts. This feature can help you improve rankings on search engine results pages and increase traffic to your website. One of the best features is the XML sitemap generator. This feature allows you to create a sitemap for your website and automatically update it when a new page is added to your website. This saves you time as no manual updates are required. "

12. GTMetrix

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

GTMetrix is ​​a free online SEO tool that analyzes your page speed performance.

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Since website speed has been a top priority for SEOs for the past few years, knowing where your website is doing is important.

But the key to running multiple tests and experimenting with different pages of your site. Your performance changes over the course of the day depending on the number of visitors. So be sure to test them.

13. Keywords everywhere

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

Keywords Everywhere have become one of my favorites in the past year or so. With Keywords Everywhere, the keyword research can be displayed directly in the search results as below.

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

William Chin, a web consultant at PickFu.com, agrees. He says:

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"It's a free browser extension that appends keyword search volume to every query you run (which is great). This has saved me a lot of time as I do keyword research on a regular basis. It always runs in the background, so no configuration is required! "

And Didier Bizimungu, Digital Marketing Director at Webtivity Marketing & Design, shares the following:

"It doesn't get any better than Keywords Everywhere. Since it's a browser add-on, I don't have to visit a specific website for it to work. It works right on my Google results. It includes keyword volume data as well as a Estimated cost-per-click estimate. It's robust, and I like the range of offers for some obscure keywords too. "

14. SEO Search Simulator from Nightwatch

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

Nightwatch's SEO Search Simulator simplifies the job for SEOs to see where you rank locally or globally.

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Nebojsa Radakovic, Marketing Manager for Bejamas, uses it to review several location rankings and says:

“When I need to check keyword results in various local Google search properties, I use the Nightwatch Search Simulator, which the Chrome Extension is free to use. It simulates search engine queries from any location in Google properties. Let's say you ranked well on Google FR, but what about Google Belgium? The Nightwatch Search Simulator helps with this. "

15. Mozbar

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

MozBar's Chrome extension, MozBar, is a free, all-in-one SEO toolbar that you can use to view that page or SERP metrics.

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Kelly O’Hara, founder of Copy Goals, uses the Mozbar every day and shares:

“MozBar is a free Chrome extension that you can use to quickly check domain and page authority. This comes in handy when you're doing link building or guest posting to determine the quality and authority of prospects. "

Carol Archebelle, digital marketing manager at the Foundations Wellness Center, also uses the Moz term:

“The ChromeBar Chrome extension is a must. There are both free and premium versions, but the free version gives you a lot to start with. This extension allows you to view the domain permission, page permission, spam rating, link metrics, and page load times (to name a few) of each page viewed. My favorite function is how it works on SERPs. The metrics of the individual results pages can be displayed directly from the SERP itself. This will give you an idea of ​​what you need to do to rank on page 1 for a particular keyword. "

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16. Seobility's TF * IDF tool

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

Seobility's TF * IDF tool gives insights into the text by identifying highly relevant keywords that you can use to rate your content and compare it to the competition. You will receive three free checks a day.

Anastasiia Khlystova, Content Marketing Manager at HelpCrunch, uses this free tool for content creation.

“Now that you've gathered all the keywords for the new text, figure out what other contextual words you should use to make a big piece in the eyes of Google. You can do this with the help of Seobility. The tool allows you to research three keywords per day for free. It scratches the top 10 results for your keywords and shows which words are used the most. These words must appear in your future article for Google to consider them complete and comprehensive. "

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17. SERP simulator

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

Mangools' Google SERP Simulator is a great free SEO tool that allows you to preview your meta title and description in a SERP snippet. This is how you can see if your metadata is being cut off.

Chris Fernandez, CEO of Women’s Health Interactive, has an equal love for this tool. He says:

“My favorite SEO tool is a visual title and description. SERP length simulator (Search Engine Results Page). It allows my writing team and I to test titles and descriptions of articles as they work, and test SERP length on all screen sizes. For example, if your title and description don't appear on a mobile device, you are losing valuable click-through rates! It's a simple, clean, effective, and convenient tool that should be part of EVERY marketer's toolkit! "

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18. Check my links

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

Check My Links is another Chrome extension that I've hidden in my SEO arsenal. I use this to determine where the broken links are on a page. Then you can start building a broken link.

Dolce Lindsey, Digital Marketing Specialist at The Childress Agency, shares the same love. She says:

If you are a SEO specialist, the Check My Link Chrome extension is required to effectively implement broken link building strategies. By installing this extension, you can crawl through any webpage and find broken links with automation and ease. This is one of my favorite free SEO tools as it allows users to identify 404 pages without clicking through multiple links and suggesting that your web pages replace the broken link, it's a great way to get more backlinks, and best of all the thing about it is that you don't have to give anything back. "

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19-31. Other social news sites

19th Digg

20. Reddit

21. Hacker News

22. Product search

23. Growth hackers

24. Instagram's Explore

25. Discover Snapchat

26. Flickr

27. Quora

28. Wikipedia

29. Medium

30. Joy of life

31. Bag

If you want to learn more about using social media for keyword research, you might like this SEO and content strategy guide.

32. Google Autocomplete

Now I want to give in to some google-related tools. Google did a good job giving you little clues of what people are looking for.

I spoke to George Freitag, the SEO Growth Manager at Indeed.com, and he explained:

“Some of the best tools for researching SEO topics come from Google. With the Google Seach Console you can find out which topics are already being searched for when they arrive on your website. In contrast, Google Trends, AdWords, and even their related topics and autocomplete searches found right on Google search pages can give you a glimpse into what other people are looking for on the web. "

So let's take a look at some of the free tools available from Google.

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

First, google autocomplete. Google Autocomplete is a great tool for finding the best variations on your primary keyword phrase.

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Just enter the google search box and the associated terms will appear in a drop-down list.

You can then manually select the long-tail keyword phrase you want to use or choose a combination of phrases.

33. Google people ask too

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

The People Also Ask section is another free tool to use when starting your keyword research.

After entering your keyword phrase in the Google search box, scroll down to see different variations of your keyword phrase.

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You can select the drop down feature to expand the content. I often use these sentences as headings in my copy of text. This is useful when you want to achieve "Recommended Snippet" status.

34. Google related searches

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

Google also offers a section at the bottom of Google search results called "Google Search".

If you scroll down to the bottom of the search results, you will get up to 8 suggestions that are ideal for keyword variations in your content and keyword research.

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35. Google News

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

Google News makes headlines on news sites around the world and displays content that, like many other search engines, is tailored to your interests.

I like using Google News because it presents local interests and global news in one easy-to-use interface. Just click on the heading and go straight to the website the story was published on.

36. Google Alerts + IFTTT

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

Google Alerts is similar to Buzzsumo, except that you can get unlimited notifications for free. If you're looking for a specific topic or competitor, you can set up Google Alerts to hit your inbox once a day or once a week.

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I want to link my Google Alerts to IFTTT recipes. I use this recipe to add my google alerts to a spreadsheet. And this to send Google Alerts to Slack.

37. Google Search Console

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

If you're lucky enough to have access to the Google Search Console, there are tons of ideas for keyword research and content marketing here.

To see what type of keywords people are looking for to find your website, go to Google Search Console> Search Traffic> Search Analytics. Once you're here, you'll be presented with a list of keywords that are getting some traction.

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Borislav Yordanov Ivanov, Senior Technical SEO at Best Response Media, uses Google Search Console because “it provides information straight from the source (Google) for the most important aspects of a project: current penalties, page speed, mobile adaptability, inaccessible pages and resources and many more."

Do you want to dig a little deeper? You can read my Google Search Console guide.

38. Google Keyword Planner

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

I love to use this tool when I start keyword mapping, but some marketers want to brainstorm with Google's Keyword Planner.

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Like Katy Katz, Director of Account Strategy at Marketing Fresh. She says:

“I use a combination of tools to find popular, relevant content search terms. There are so many great now that it is impossible to choose one! I still like to start with the Keyword Planner to get an idea of ​​the search frequency. Once I have that, I dig into how people use these terms and work to identify related opportunities. "

Whenever you decide that Google's Keyword Planner is best for you, it can help clarify which keywords are achievable. You want to find the sweet spot with high search volume and low competition.

39. Google Data Studio

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

Google Data Studio is a reporting tool that connects to Google Analytics, the Google Search Console, and other resources like SEMrush.

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Casey Dawson, Content Specialist at Online Optimism, shares:

“Google Data Studio is one of the best free SEO tools out there. With Data Studio, you can create a fully interactive SEO dashboard to track organic traffic and search trends in real time and make more accurate forecasts for your business or customers. You can also upload information and files from over 200 data sources (including various Google platforms and partner connectors like Moz) to easily compare data from different sources. If you're not sure how to get started with Data Studio, there are also free templates made specifically for tracking SEO using this tool. "

40. Google Trends

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

You can use Google Trends to quickly view top stories or charts.

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You can find and compare specific keywords in three quick steps:

  • Enter your keyword in the search box above.
  • Click on "Compare" and enter your second keyword.
  • Adjust the data if necessary.

You can also use Google Trends to find country data and related queries to help you with your keyword strategy.

Aimclear's Dan Morrison says:

“I turn to Google Trends a lot to learn more about the changing landscape of search behavior. Google Trends provides real-time data to help marketers understand keyword trends and also serves as a place to source related keywords and concepts for deeper content development. In addition, Google Trends offers a historical view for the analysis of dips and valleys of interest, filters by location and compares different terms and concepts. "

And Adam Lumb, Site Manager at Cashcow, shares:

"My favorite free SEO tool is Google Trends because it gives you insights that most other SEO apps don't. Instead of focusing on search volume, Google Trends shows when a keyword is popular during the year. This is great for finding keywords people are looking for then and there (e.g. viral content), but it's also useful for finding seasonal keywords that other SEO tools are struggling with. Thanks to this one Insights, I make sure that Google Trends is used as part of my keyword research strategy. "

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41. Google Sheets

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

Google Sheets is my favorite tool for SEO audits. The best part? It integrates with add-ons such as Search Analytics for Sheets.

Steven Jaenke, Founder and CEO of Digimark Australia, shares:

“While I'm not an SEO tool, Google Sheets is my favorite tool for SEO. Most search engine optimization is about execution, and it's important to keep track of that execution – right where Google Sheets comes in. We record the technical problems and mark them as soon as they are fixed. We capture on-page problems and market them as well. We record every link we create and save details of the URL, anchor text and focus keywords. It's so versatile that we can shape it into anything we need. "

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42. Google Analytics

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

Google Analytics is one of the most valuable elements that can help you find out what people are looking for on your website. Google Analytics has a website search function that you can use to keep track of which users are typing into your website search.

Caitlin Pyle, owner and founder of Proofread Anywhere, loves Google Analytics:

"Of course, I love that it's completely free! I also love that it's very user-friendly and I can view the data in a variety of forms that I can easily understand. The detailed, customizable reporting tools help me with that too to recognize what is going well and where I need to improve. "

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John Howard, CEO at Coupon Lawn, agrees with Caitlin, stating:

“My favorite free SEO tool is Google Analytics. The reason why Google Analytics is my favorite is because this SEO tool enables me to know how my website visitors found my website and which pages and links are available to those who visit my website. Knowing this information can help me improve my strategies to increase traffic to my website.

If you want to learn more, check out my guide to Google Analytics.

43. Page speed insights

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

Google has done a lot to improve page speed insights. In 2018, they integrated Lighthouse with Page Speed ​​Insights data to add more performance metrics. It's THE choice for my page speed and mobile optimization insights.

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44. Lighthouse

44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Are Looking For

Lighthouse is free to use when you use Chrome and Chrome's DevTools. It is an open source automation tool that allows you to view the performance, quality, and correctness of your website. It's ideal for speed checks on mobile websites.

As a beginner, you'll also want to stay up to date on the latest trending keywords. So, I've compiled a list of the best articles on top searches.

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Selected image source: Paulo Bobita

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