Our 2021 Free Keyword Research Guide

One of the  first questions you likely have when you’re learning to optimize your private practice website is where to search for keywords. It’s hard to know what people are actually looking for. After a quick Google search, you have probably realized that are TONS of keyword tools out there. But, you’re not ready to pay for them, so now you need to know what free options are out there. We get it! After all, that’s where we were at the beginning of our SEO journey too. So, today we will discuss some great free keyword research tools and give you some helpful hints on where to begin when searching for keywords that fit your practice.

Why do Keyword Research:

photo of an ambiguous women doing a google search on her laptop and phone. This represents the power of keyword research and working on your private practice website SEO

If you’re new to SEO keyword research may be intimidating and time-consuming. So you may be wondering, why bother? Well simply put, SEO tells you what words, phrases, and questions people are searching for on Google. So this tells you what to target on your page. We infuse keyword research into all parts of our work including meta descriptions, alt text, photo titles, the copy, page title, subheadings, and more. Basically, keyword research provides us a foundation for our work as SEO specialists.

Free Keyword Research Options:

Look at Your Intake Paperwork

If you’re just getting started, the best place to begin is your intake paperwork. Look at the issues your clients are presenting with. Note the language they’re using. What pain points are they writing down. Anxiety? Depression? Sadness? Stress? Make a list of these terms… they will come in handy later, I promise.

Use Google’s “People Also Ask:” Feature

infographic that says #keywords and the words concept, seo, web, sem, words, and content. Work with an SEO specialist at Simplified SEO ConsultingNext, do a quick Google search for the terms your clients are using. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, there you’ll notice Google has provided you with a list of other related searches, these are keywords. Write those down too!

As an example, I searched for “free keyword research tools.” At the bottom of Google, they gave me a list under the heading “people also asked” where they listed related terms that include “best keyword tool, keyword planner, and SEO keywords.”

Google Adwords Planner

If you’ve read our blogs, you likely know there’s a distinct difference between SEO or SEM (like Google AdWords). So, while we do not personally use this tool as SEO consultants, we do recognize its value when choosing keywords to optimize for. Specifically, the thing we’d suggest paying most attention to is the search volume in your area.

Click here to access the Keyword Planner

Google Trends

Google trends is a super cool tool that shows you what keywords people are searching for in your area. You can use google trends to compare keywords and see how keywords change based on major events in the area you’re searching for (like coronavirus for example).  This is especially helpful if you’re writing timely blogs about things that are currently in the news and want to see what terms people are using right now.

Click here to visit Google Trends


We love Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest free (as of June 2021) keyword tool! This tool will give you a few crucial pieces of SEO information. It provides a domain overview, other top SEO pages, keyword suggestions, content suggestions, and backlink information. It’s a wonderful place to begin your keyword research.

Click to visit Ubersuggest


Semrish’s free keyword magic tool. This tool is a simple yet detailed way to search for keywords. The free version (there’s a paid one too) gives you twelve searches per day. You can see how your intended keyword performs as well as related keywords you may want to consider tracking.

Click here for Semrush


The free version of Moz is very similar to Semrush and Ubersuggest. Here you can search for an intended keyword and get suggestions and understand the search volume and keyword difficulty. Another cool feature, they give you a “priority score ranking between 1-100 so you can see how important this term is to target.

Click for the Moz keyword tool


Wordstream offers a free search option. One cool factor that we like about this tool is it allows you to search by location so you can see how keywords are performing state by state. You can also enter websites’ URLs to compare how they perform SEO/SEM wise in a side-by-side comparison.

Click here to visit Wordstream

Answer the Public

Want to know what phrases your ideal clients are searching for? Well, look no further than answer the public. This website will also you to type in a phrase or word like search engine optimization for example and it will spit out a list of search queries relating to that term.

But beware, the free version only allows you to do two searches per day. Also, don’t try using your phone on WiFi to search, it won’t let you… we’ve tried.

Click here to use Answer the Public

YouTube Autocomplete

On YouTube, you can begin to type in a word or phrase and see what pops up as a suggestion. For example, go to YouTube and type in counseling, do you see what it suggests? Those are things you may want to consider targeting or at least blogging or vlogging on.

Want more help? We’ve got you covered!

Feeling perplexed about keyword research and don’t know where to begin? Don’t have the time to invest in this endeavor?

We get it. It can feel like a lot. But, we’re here to help. As skilled SEO specialists, we’ve done a lot of keyword research. Plus, we all have a background in mental health to draw upon. So, this translates into choosing great keywords to target on your private practice website. If you’re ready to begin optimizing your website and getting to the top of Google, we would love to speak with you.

photo of a keyword and blocks with the letters SEO on them. Work with an SEO consultant at Simplified SEO who Google search | keyword research | get to the top of google | SEO for therapists | SEO for mental health professionals | SEO specialists | Simplified SEO Consulting in SEO for therapists

To begin optimizing your therapy website follow these steps:

  1. Make an appointment for a free 30-minute consultation with a member of the Simplified SEO Consulting team
  2. Learn more about our packages and training opportunities
  3. Start optimizing your webpage and watch your site rank better on Google!

About the Author:

Cory Moss is a Simplified SEO specialist based in Kansas City. She specializes in working on readability for therapist websites. She really enjoys helping her clients get to the top of Google and attract their ideal clients.

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