Google Keyword Planner Tool
I have been receiving questions on what the best alternatives are to Google Keyword Planner Tool. The reason being, Google has now restricted its tool and the data it provides to free users.
Here are some of the restrictions and how to get around them, including two alternative keyword research tools.


Average Search Volume Shows a Range

If you do not have a Google AdWords account with an active campaign, when you use the Google Keyword Planner tool for keyword research you may see a range for average search volume rather than a more accurate number. This makes it difficult to ascertain how much traffic you can actually receive and whether or not a keyword has enough search volume to pursue.
Google Keyword Planner Tool

Restricted data based on low ad spend

Let’s say that you do have an active Google AdWords account. The data may be restricted due to low ad-spend. This means that in order to see more accurate data you need to spend some money on Google AdWords. My guess is at least $100.00 – $200.00 per month minimum. According to Google’s AdWords Community Manager, “these changes are to ensure that Google AdWords advertisers get the data they need.”

Too many search requests may restrict the data

This is what Cassie, Google AdWords Community Manager, had to say, “In addition, other advertisers may trigger the limited data view by reaching a limit on the number of searches for search volume data.” However, she hasn’t stated what that limit may be.  In other words, if you overuse the tool on a single day you may hit a limit. This is very common for free tools.

How to get around it

Google AdWords is still one of the best and most accurate keyword planner tools out there. The best way to get around it is to create an AdWords account and an active campaign with a monthly budget of at least $100.00. This is a great way to test your keywords to see whether they convert the type of leads or sales that you desire.

Another Change: Singular, Plural and Synonyms Bundled

Another change that you may be seeing in the Google Keyword Planner Tool is that the search volume data for Singular, Plural and Synonyms may be the same. This can also affect your SEO campaign with inaccurate search volume.
Google Keyword Planner Tool Screenshot
One way to get around this is by running an AdWords campaign to see what the actual search volume is.  Using Pay Per Click in keyword research for SEO has long been used as a strategy. It helps you to determine whether it is worth pursuing a keyword based on the results you see with PPC before you spend too much time and resources on that keyword.
In the Search Analytics section of Google Search Console Google provides a look into search volume based on the impression that a keyword receives if you’re already ranking for it. Just be sure to check the Clicks, Impressions and CTR boxes under Search Analytics. There is also a box for Position but I find it to be very inaccurate.

Free Alternatives to Google Keyword Planner Tool

If you decide that you would like an alternative to the Google Keyword Planner Tool, here are two more options:

SEM Rush

SEM Rush is a widely used keyword research tool that offers an entire suite of additional features and benefits including competitive research and the ability to check your rankings and your backlinks.
The free version shows up to 10 results, however if you sort both chronologically and reverse you will get 10 more ideas giving you up to 20 at a time.
I also love that it shows the pages ranking for those keywords all in one spot, as well as the related keywords which is very useful when building out a keyword list.

SERPS Keyword Research Tool

SERPS, another SEO tool that includes a wide range of features has a free keyword research tool. I love that it provides search volumes and I find it to be pretty accurate. It also provides you with a long list of keyword ideas. Another plus is that you don’t need to login to access the data.
A very useful feature is it allows you to track your keywords ranking on multiple search engines, which is a very important task when monitoring the success of your SEO campaign.

What FREE SEO Tools are you using? Share below in the comments.

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