If your company can give people what they’re looking for, then you already have a significant part of a winning formula. With this in mind, it makes a lot of sense if you can find out what people want. We obviously can’t read minds, and market research can be pricey, but there is another affordable and very effective way – Google.

So many of Google’s users do so with the intention of telling the platform what they’re looking for, and tools are available that report back on keywords and search terms people are using. Armed with this information, you can attract the right people to your site, give them the content that answers their questions, and of course offer products that will fly off the shelves.

If you’re looking for keywords for SEO purposes, remember that keywords only make up a small part of your strategy. Quality, original content is also essential, and grammar checker tools will help you craft error-free content. Onsite and offsite SEO is also necessary, and there are numerous tools that will help you in that regard.

Google Keyword Planner

The first option that a lot of people will turn to is Google Keyword Planner. The Keyword Planner is part of the Google Ads platform, which is designed with pay-per-click (PPC) marketing in mind, but the Keyword Planner is still useful for other keyword research.

Using Google Keyword Planner is as simple as typing in a search term. The platform will then give you numerous related keyword suggestions and valuable metrics, such as how many people search for specific keywords and how competitive each one is.

Some online marketers might prefer to use other platforms that give more information on each search term, but Google Keyword Planner is still a handy tool. It is also completely free to use.

Google Trends

Google Trends is a platform that provides useful metrics on specific search terms. For example, the platform can give you information on trends, giving you an idea of peaks and troughs of interest in certain topics over time and in specific regions.

One thing that makes Google Trends popular is that it provides visuals that help make it easy to spot trends and other insights useful to businesses and marketers.

Google Trends is not so much a keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner, but more a tool that tells you about trending topics. Armed with this information, companies and online marketers can ensure they get the timing right with certain products and create content that grabs people’s attention.

As with Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends is also completely free to use.


Ahrefs is one of the biggest SEO platforms there is, offering a wide range of tools that help people list their website high up in the SERPS. One of these is a comprehensive keyword research tool that gives you information on just about every metric that you could need.

For starters, Ahrefs can give you thousands of keyword suggestions from other search engines in addition to Google. Other metrics include a keyword difficulty score, which as the name suggests lets you know how hard it will be to rank for a particular keyword.

The tools also provide accurate search volume results and information on how many people are likely to click on a specific keyword.

Ahrefs has a free trial but not a free plan, but it’s a very powerful tool for people serious about understanding what people are looking for on Google.


SEMrush is a platform that offers a range of helpful SEO tools – including keyword research. Although SEMrush doesn’t directly tell you what people are looking for, it does tell you which keywords your competitors are targeting. This will allow you to tap into the resources of larger competitors and use their strategy to guide your own.

SEMrush also provides tools that will help you to build your own white label link building strategy.

Remember to use this information in conjunction with other tools. For example, a larger competitor may have no difficulty targeting high-competition keywords, but you might struggle to rank for those keywords.

Use different platforms to give you the information you need to target the keywords your competitors are targeting – but focus on those that are reasonably achievable.


BuzzSumo is a tool that’s a godsend to many content creators. The tool gives you information on what content is currently trending, what people are reading, and what your competitors are talking about.

It helps content marketers create content on popular topics, helping them to attract plenty of traffic to their websites.

BuzzSumo offers a free version, but many people opt for the upgraded version for the additional features. Such features include the ability to get alerts on topics of your choosing so you don’t miss out on new developments.


Ubersuggest is an SEO tool owned by online marketing guru Neil Patel. It is much like Google Keyword Planner in that it gives you keyword suggestions on the topic you request. However, Ubersuggest provides more information on those keywords than Keyword Planner does.

For example, Ubersuggest will tell you which of your competitors are ranking for a particular keyword. At the same time, you can also type in a competitor’s domain to get insight into their keyword strategy.

The paid version of Ubersuggest gives you some very powerful tools, while the free version is also very useful.

Answer the Public

Answer the Public is a great tool that tells you which questions people ask about a particular topic. One thing that makes Answer the Public popular is the way the results are displayed, with questions radiating out from the centre in branches.

Clicking on one of the questions will take you directly to the Google search result page for that question.

A free version of Answer the Public is available, albeit with limited searches. Paid versions allow unlimited searches and give access to Search Listening Alerts that keep you informed on questions regarding topics of your choice.

Keywords Everywhere

Keywords Everywhere is a browser extension, meaning it’s readily available whenever you need it. You simply enter any search term into the Google search bar as you usually would, and the plugin shows numerous metrics on the search results page.

You can get details like search volume for specific search terms in easy-to-digest graphs without opening a separate platform.

The convenience and time-saving that Keywords Everywhere offers make it a popular choice, while it also provides keyword suggestions. Keywords Everywhere is also completely free to use.

Competitor’s FAQ Sections

If you’re a relatively small company, you can take advantage of the marketing machines the big players have at their disposal. In a sense, they openly reveal some of their insights on their website for all to see – including you.

FAQ sections are created specifically to help attract the right people and, of course, to answer their questions. With that in mind, they’re going to ensure that their FAQ sections reflect what people are asking about their products, meaning that their FAQs give you direct insight into your competitor’s research.

You can use these questions for your own FAQ section or help direct your content strategy guide, SEO, or similar. Remember to take inspiration only and not copy directly, and make sure any questions you borrow from are directly related to your company.

The bottom line

These are just a small sample of the tools that will tell you what people are searching for online. Some of the tools are quite basic in what they provide, while others give in-depth details that will make it easier for you to guide your strategy.

Some of the platforms mentioned will also offer other tools that will help with SEO and online marketing.

Which option is best for you depends on a number of factors, such as what your needs are and your budget. When you find the right tool that gives you the information you need, you are better placed to take your organisation forward.