ALK Digital Marketing Solutions

Free SEO Keyword Tool for Keyword Refining

User searches on Mac desktop for an SEO keyword tool to refine keywords
User searches on Mac desktop for an SEO keyword tool to refine keywords

If you are using Google Ads' free Keyword Planner and you are overwhelmed by the amount of keyword suggestions provided, our free tool will help you narrow it down to the top 10 best options.

Please read instructions below before use for optimal results.

FREE SEO Keyword Research Tool

FREE SEO Keyword Research Tool

Top 10 Keywords to Target:

Effective keyword research can be an incredibly lengthy process, but it’s a cornerstone of any successful SEO strategy. Keyword research usually starts with brainstorming what you think users might be searching to discover your business. But a good SEO will take it one step further by identifying all possible search variations and which are best to target for the unique needs of an individual business. Comprehensive keyword research involves evaluating various factors, including search volume, competition level, and relevance. 

Why Use Our Keyword Research Tool?
Our SEO Keyword Research Tool is designed to streamline this essential process, saving you time and effort. Manually sorting through thousands of keyword variation suggestions can be tedious and overwhelming, especially when trying to balance multiple factors like search volume and competition. This tool automates these steps, allowing you to quickly filter out high-competition keywords and sort the remaining ones by their potential value. It mimics the detailed analysis that a professional SEO expert would perform, ensuring you get the most relevant and high-impact keywords for your strategy.

By using our tool, you can focus on the most promising keywords without spending hours crunching numbers and sorting data. Whether you’re a business owner, a marketing professional, or a content creator, this tool empowers you to make informed decisions about which keywords to target, helping you achieve better SEO results more efficiently. Embrace the power of smart keyword research and give your SEO efforts the boost they need with our intuitive and effective tool.

How to Use the SEO Keyword Tool for Keyword Refining

Step 1: Prepare Your Keyword Data on Google Ads (Free)

  1. Create a Google Ads Account for Free: If you do not already have a Google Ads account, you will need to create one. Visit Google Ads and click “Start Now”. Google Ads will try to prompt you to start a campaign, but just click “Skip Campaign Creation”. Submit the required account settings (country, time zone and currency) and then click “Go to Account”. 
  2. Go to Google Ads Keyword Planner: Log in to your Google Ads account and navigate to the Keyword Planner tool, located under the “Planning” submenu of the “Tools” menu. Select your account and click “Discover New Keywords”.

    Why Google Ads Keyword Planner?

    Whether you plan on running paid Google Ads in the future or not, the Google Ads keyword planner is the best free tool for keyword research out there. Other free tools limit the number of keywords you can submit or the number of keyword suggestions you can receive.

    If you use a CSV file from a different source, this tool may not work to refine it, as the rows and columns will not match.

  3. Enter Relevant Keywords: Input 5 to 10 keywords that are relevant to your business or website. These should be terms you think your target audience might use to find your products or services.
  4. Export the Results: The Keyword Planner will then output a number of keyword suggestions based on your inputted keywords. Depending on how niche or broad your keywords are, it could be a handful of suggestions or thousands. After generating keyword ideas, click the download button in the top right of the dashboard to export the results as a CSV file.
  5. Clean the Data: If there are many keyword suggestions, you may want to open the CSV file and delete any rows that contain irrelevant keyword suggestions. Ensure your data is focused and relevant to your niche. Afterwards, re-save the document as a CSV file.

Step 2: Use the Keyword Research Tool

  1. Upload the CSV File: Go to the Keyword Research Tool on this page. Click the “Choose File” button and select the CSV file from Step 1. You will know it has uploaded if you see data populate in the text box on the form.
  2. Submit the Data: Click the “Submit” button to process your data.

Step 3: Review Your Results

  1. Top 10 Keywords: After submitting, the tool will process your data and display the top 10 keywords for you to target. These keywords are selected based on their search volume, competition level, and relevance to your initial input.
  2. Refine Your SEO Strategy: Use these top 10 keywords to inform your content creation, on-page SEO, and overall digital marketing strategy. Focusing on these keywords will help improve your search engine rankings and attract more relevant traffic to your site.

Step 4: Implement and Monitor

  1. Incorporate Keywords: Integrate the identified keywords into your website content, meta descriptions, headers, and other SEO elements.
  2. Monitor Performance: Keep track of your website’s performance in search engines using tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Adjust your strategy as needed based on the results.

By following these steps, you can efficiently conduct keyword research and enhance your SEO efforts, ensuring your website is optimized for the right audience.

* PLEASE NOTE: This tool is built for business owners or marketers who are trying to identify the best keywords to target in organic search ranking efforts. It does not take into account cost per click, so it would not be an effective tool for determining which keywords to bid for in paid ads

ALK Digital Marketing recommends working with an expert both to implement organic SEO with the keywords selected, AND to identify keywords for paid SEM efforts, which are more complex. 

Allison Kronberg, owner of ALK Digital Marketing

If you want to optimize your business' presence online, ALK Digital Marketing can help.

Reach out to day to schedule a complimentary discovery session.

Search vs Performance Max Campaigns for Google Ads

Graphic Design: Search vs Performance Max Campaigns
Graphic Design: Search vs Performance Max Campaigns

When I first began managing Google Ads campaigns for clients, it was pretty straightforward. I would perform keyword research, write effective search ads, consider targeting and display expansion and then move onto optimization. 

However, Google Ads has evolved dramatically in recent years, leading users and managers to reconsider the balance between manual control and algorithmic management. 

One of the most significant shifts is evident when comparing traditional search ads to the innovative AI-driven Performance Max campaigns. 

While Google Ads reports that accounts with Performance Max campaigns boast an average 13% increase in total incremental conversions, the question remains: are they always the best choice? 

In this article, we’ll delve into the distinctions between Google Ads Search vs Performance Max campaigns and provide insights into when to leverage each. 

A Brief History

Google’s roots lie in search, with users typing keywords like “Plumber Services” and Google presenting relevant results on its Search Engine Results Pages (SERP), known as organic listings. 


However, achieving visibility in organic listings was time-consuming, leading to the inception of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) in 2000, a cornerstone of Google Ads (then AdWords). 


Search Ads empowered businesses to secure better search result visibility through sponsored listings. Then Google gamified the ad-building process, assessing everything from keyword relevance to landing page quality to ensure a positive user experience.


Understanding Search Ads

Search Ads Example

Search ads are primarily text-based and target users searching for relevant keywords. They comprise headlines, descriptions, and various extensions (such as phone numbers or website links). 


Goals for search ads range from driving website traffic to increasing sales, with targeting options including keywords, geolocation, and audience lists. Google has advanced search ads over time, introducing features like algorithmic image generation and Responsive Search Ads.


And while Google’s Display Ads also offered advertising on the Google Display Network with graphic design or video ads, there wasn’t yet any campaign type that could do it all. 


Introducing Performance Max


Launched in 2021, Performance Max campaigns represent the evolution of Google Ads, offering a comprehensive approach across multiple platforms. 


They had all of the same assets that Search Ads had, plus new videos (including new template videos), logos, and various dimensions of images. Instead of needing a graphic designer to put together a display ad, the algorithm would simply combine all the assets provided into a preset design structure made for various placement options.


Placement options extended beyond traditional SERP or display network placements, encompassing all of Google’s diverse network, including Search, Gmail, YouTube, Google Search Partners, and Google Maps.


Similar to Search campaigns, Performance Max campaigns offer robust targeting options, encompassing keywords, geolocation and audience lists. But Performance Max campaigns also leveraged powerful, algorithm-driven audience signals to enhance targeting precision.


Case Studies

In late 2023 I began working with a regional travel industry client that had been running smart campaigns (simplistic, fully-automated campaigns) for about a year. As with many companies running only simple campaign structures, their returns were barely positive.

When I learned that they had an untapped budget to make use of on Google Ads, I recommended a multi-stage shift to Performance Max campaigns. From Q3 2023 to Q1 2024, the account has seen 4 times revenue increases and 6 times the return on ad spend with the addition of Performance Max.

Performance Max performed well because the account had previously established clean revenue and conversion reporting and quality media to work with. 

On the other hand, I once inherited an account with Performance Max campaigns that were not performing well. The company struggled with underperforming Performance Max campaigns due to suboptimal asset utilization, budget constraints, and messy conversion setups.

It’s important to be aware that Performance Max is driven by artificial intelligence. And artificial intelligence is only as good as the data we feed it. If you have a broken system to start, it will stay broken when you introduce Performance Max.

Summary: Search vs. Performance Max Campaigns

In summary, here are some considerations for when you should work with Search vs. Performance Max campaigns on Google Ads:


Performance Max Campaigns:

  • Particularly effective for visually oriented products or brands.

  • Suited for businesses with compelling image and video assets.

  • Requires a longer timeframe to establish historical data but can yield significant results with medium to high budgets.

  • Best for accounts with a well-optimized existing account and previously established conversion reporting that meets the company’s goals.

Search Campaigns:

  • Are ideally run before Performance Max campaigns in order to determine which keywords are most effective for use in Performance Max ‘Audience Signals’.

  • Best suited for companies with smaller budgets.

  • Best suited for accounts with specific keyword targets, conversion actions, and keyword-optimized landing pages.

  • Best suited for less companies and products that are less visual.

Why You Should Work With a Paid Ads Manager

Effective campaign management requires technical expertise, particularly in conversion reporting and budget planning. Professionals often yield superior results, leveraging experience and access to specialized tools and support.

In conclusion, understanding the nuances between search and Performance Max campaigns is crucial for devising a robust Google Ads strategy. By leveraging the unique features, targeting options, and asset capabilities of each campaign type, digital marketers can optimize their advertising efforts and drive tangible business outcomes.

Aggregate Review Prediction Calculator

How many new reviews at 5 stars do I need to increase my average star rating to [Desired new average review score]?
How many new reviews at 5 stars do I need to increase my average star rating to [Desired new average review score]?

How many new 5-star reviews do I need to increase my average star rating to X?

Review Calculator

Review Calculator

For restaurants, hotels, tour operators, service providers, and others, maintaining a positive review score can be a crucial aspect of a successful digital marketing strategy.

If you are aiming to improve your business’s online reputation, our Aggregate Review Score Calculator is here to help you determine the number of positive reviews needed to reach your desired rating on popular review platforms like Google My Business, TripAdvisor or Yelp.

Why Use It

Research proves that customers are more likely to purchase a product when its aggregate rating surpasses 3 stars. So increasing your score isn’t just about keeping customers happy – it’s about your bottom line.

This calculator is an invaluable tool for businesses seeking to enhance their online presence. It takes the guesswork out of achieving your goal.

How to Use the Online Review Calculator

Input Existing Reviews:
Enter the total number of reviews your business currently has on the platform (e.g., 1,921 reviews). 

Existing Aggregate Review Score:
Provide the average rating of your existing reviews (e.g., 3.9 stars).

Desired Aggregate Review Score:
Specify the rating you aspire to achieve (e.g., 4 stars).

Click Calculate:
Hit the “Calculate” button, and the calculator will automatically process the data.

Get Your Result:
The calculator will display the approximate number of additional 5-star reviews needed to attain your desired rating.

Remember, this tool is meant to provide an estimate. Also, expect to wait about 2 weeks for the latest reviews to influence the aggregate rating score.

Many unpredictabilities, such as platform changes or new reviews of lower scores, may influence the actual results.

Allison Kronberg, owner of ALK Digital Marketing

If you want to optimize your business' presence online, ALK Digital Marketing can help.

Reach out to day to schedule a complimentary discovery session.