Free Keyword Research – Without the Ripoff Tools

Free Keyword Research – Without the Ripoff Tools

by on 15/08/2013

How to keyword research

Here’s how you can get free keyword research – ignoring the paid for KW research tools which are, in the main, a waste of money.

Have you ever bought keyword research software and then gone round and round in circles wondering exactly what to do with it?

I have.

My Keyword Search Journey – Free Keyword Research is Best!

In fact, I’ve paid for just about every keyword research tool going. Keyword Discovery, Majestic SEO, NicheBot, Keyword Blueprint, Market Samurai, Micro Niche Finder and others.

Then, finally, I “got it”. And I realised that I didn’t need to pay any more.

I realised that every keyword search tool was trying to do a job which couldn’t be done by a machine. A human brain is required 😉  In other word: it needs judgement.

So I thought I’d create a training about my free keyword research method.

There are just three steps to my free keyword research approach. Watch the video and then you will be able to do it too.

I have edited the video really “tightly” – taking out the “umms” and pauses. So it is 100% keyword research content. Enjoy it, and do let me know what you think in the comments. Add in there any keyword  research ideas of your own.

And never expect to use a keyword search tool again!

I’ve really enjoyed making this video – even though it took me a whole week! So if you like it then please, please share with your friends. Thanks.


Google Keyword Planner

Google Sets

Access this from Google Docs – by creating a spreadsheet. Google Sets works from any Google Docs spreadsheet.

Google Trends

Keyword Research Template

Here’s the keyword research spreadsheet I show in the training. Download it and use it as a starting point for you own keyword research.

  • Nathan Love

    As awkward as this sounds, I’m tempted to kiss you. You have shown me exactly what I’ve been fumbling around attempting to learn how to do. Do you have a donation jar, or some other way to financially compensate you for this fantastic methodology?

    • Haha! Don’t worry Nathan – knowing it has helped you so much is enough reward. 🙂 Good luck with everything.


  • Caron Mooney

    I’m not sure how old this is, its great. Thank you.
    I did find that hidemyass is no longer free, but is quite cheap. Also found
    Ever considered writing an app to do exactly this and no more?
    Thanks Again

    • Hi Caron – HMA has never been free! I didn’t mean to suggest that.

      Yes, I got an app coded to do this and it was much quicker! However, this was a couple of years ago and I don’t really do IM now – it’s too tricky and changes too fast for me. I focus on time management now.

  • Anne

    Thanks again Malc, this list is extremely comprehensive. Could be a free or low cost item for listbuilding on Warrior Forum.

    • Hi Anne – that’s an interesting thought: hadn’t considered that. Thanks for the idea.


  • Hi Reginald thanks for your comment. Sure, I go to Google keyword planner a lot when I’m doing keyword research; but it does have its deficiencies, as I’m sure you know. For a start, it edits out many of the results – in my testing, it missed out, I think it was, 95% of results. But it still can be helpful. For example, for suggesting similar niches to look into.

    Have you looked into Super Suggester? I mention this at the bottom of the post and are described that tool in full on this page:

    Basically, this is a “suggest scraper”. In other words, it puts in your keyword phrase plus one letter or number, and then copies the 10 suggestions Google, or other search engine, gives. Then it compiles these in a list.

    Then you go back to GKP (or, better, Market Samurai, if you’ve got over 200 to do) to get the search volume. Sort by search volume and bingo – your most viable keyword phrases are at the top!

    See that post I have just link to for further information.

    And hope to talk to you again!

    Cheers, Malc

  • Malcom,

    Seriously, this is great man. Personally, I use some SEO tools for keyword research. Trust me, most of the time, I just jump back to GKP. It is way faster than any other tool especially when you are rushing, lack of time and need instant results.

    Great … GREAT write. Thanks for sharing!

  • Marc

    Excellent post! I was just about to buy some big-gun keyword tool but your post changed my mind. I am also grateful for all the ‘little’ tips on the side like the browser addons and shortcut-organizer. And, being based in the UK myself but having most of my sites target the US I love the ‘Hide my Ass’ software. So – I learnt a lot – thank you very much for the time creating this video. Well worth watching!!!

  • ModernDomains

    After some initially testing I am not sure that this works at all. If a keyword term has very few sites showing up with the allin searches then there is definitely a better chance of overlap. And if there are very few other sites using the keyword in the anchor text or the page title then that would indicate very little real competition, no? So wouldnt this method actually turn you away from some easy keywords? Just trying to understand this fully.

    • I’m not exactly sure what you are getting at here… if you mean there might be very, very few sites coming up in these searches, then I suppose that’s a problem because they probably won’t be getting much traffic in this situation.

      Actually, in practice, as the number of results diminishes you tend to get overlap from sites such as forums and YouTube. You might even get 3 YouTube videos in the top 10.

      In this case you have to use a bit of extra judgement.

      If each of the two searches has 3 YouTube videos in it then, obviously, if you record a YouTube video yourself and optimise it better than the 3 videos in the top 10 your YouTube video is going to rank.

      So in that case you can ignore the fact that may be 5 or 6 results overlap. The same applies with forum posts – again, it may well be that you could put a post on forum which is ranking, optimise it better and therefore rank ahead of a forum post in the top 10.

      I didn’t want to overcomplicate the video by including all this information in it but as you use the method I think this will become clear.

      Does that answer your question?

      • ModernDomains

        Yes, thanks for your detailed response.

        So do you think a keyword term is easier to rank for if it has several youtube listings in the top ten?

        What if you see non-targeted links from Wikipedia, Amazon, Walmart, other big brand websites?


        • Hi Modern – if Google is putting 2 or 3 results from YouTube in the top 10 it’s obviously having to hunt around to find relevant content. So that makes it easy to rank for for a start. Secondly, if you think about it, all you have to do is make a video which is better optimised and you should be easily be to jump into the top 10 yourself – ahead of those of the results. So that’s the 2nd reason it’s good to see 2 or 3 YouTube videos in the top 10.

          As for the other big brands, in the searches I have done I haven’t often seen merchants in both of the top tens; but then I don’t do a lot of keyword research on product names. Because these sites have authority than you are going to find it difficult to push them out if there is duplication in the to search results. The same with Wikipedia – if it appears in both.

          If you see this, you’re going to have to go for a longer tailed keyword.

          Best, Malc

  • ModernDomains

    Are u checking allinurl or allinanchor? I am guessing allinanchor but you have allinurl mentioned after your “practical results” subheading.

    • Sorry – yes, it’s allinanchor. My head scrambles those two up sometimes. I’ll go and correct that. Thx.

  • Sarah

    As usual another great post with so much information. I am already doing keyword research this way to find my nugget keywords. Thank you again Malc.

    • Great Sarah – let me know how it goes, and any questions.

      Cheers, Malc 🙂

  • Bev

    Thanks for a great post. I have learnt so much about the research using xls. Sadly, I am unable to download the template you have provided. My PC says the file could be corrupted or in an older version than mine! Hope you can help.

    • Hi Bev – the file is fine. I uploaded it in Excel 2003-2007 format (.xls), rather than 2010 (.xlsx) for the benefit of people with the older version of Excel. But just save the file, open it, and save it as xlsx and you will have the xlsx version 🙂

      Let me know how the keyword research goes.


    • Bev – I replied once to this: goodness knows where it went!

      Anyway, just download the file and it will open with Office 2007 or 2010. I only uploaded it as xls for the benefit of those running 2003. But it will open with yours, I promise.