If you are a low spender on AdWords, Google Keyword Planner now shows only very broad traffic ranges for suggested search terms.

This is inconvenient for the many writers out there who like to use this tool to plan their content.

Here's a really quick roundup of five genuinely useful and fun alternatives if you are looking for content ideas.

They don't all show traffic figures either, but are easy to use and will hopefully provide inspiration.

NB click on the images to visit each of the sites.

1. KW Finder

A very impressive tool that gives a wide range of data, including estimated search traffic, cost-per-clicks, most trafficked URLs and traffic over the past 12 months.

Yes, it's a tool with a pricing plan, but what's great is that the casual user is allowed five uses of the tool every day for free (with a maximum of 25 keywords provided per search).

kw finder

2. Answer The Public

This is the most eye-catching site I've seen for creating content ideas, even if the results are nowhere near as good as KW Finder.

Ask 'the seeker' (a designer/fisherman looking bloke acting strangely in a video background) about a phrase and he'll provide you with a visualisation of 30 questions.

They don't all help, but there's often the kernel of a good idea on one of the branches.

answer the public

answer the public

3. 'site:quora.com' or faq fox

Using the 'site:' modifier query in Google search allows you to cleverly mine FAQ sites such as Quora, Ask Metafilter or Yahoo! Answers.

These sites are great resources for finding tangential questions on a particular subject.

So, for example, I just searched for 'site:quora.com seo tools' and the results can be seen below, giving me some new ideas.

 site modifier

There's a somewhat slicker way of doing this, which lessens the workload.

It's a tool called faqfox, and one can simply add a keyphrase and the url of an FAQ site, and the tool will spit out a long list of questions.

faq fox 

4. Portent's Content Idea Generator

This is probably my favourite, perhaps because it is the most silly. The tool doesn't give you suggestions for tangential content, rather it simply reframes the word or phrase that you enter.

Essentially, it's a headline writer. And given headline writing is an art that takes a while to master, this tool can give you a headstart.

content generator

5. WordNet

WordNet is a lexical database of English created at Princeton.

It can be used handily as a thesaurus, providing plenty of examples of usage which are a real help when writing.


For extensive advice on organic search, see the Econsultancy SEO Best Practice Guide.

Ben Davis

Published 23 August, 2016 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is Editor at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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Comments (2)


Nadia K, Student at Student

Google keyword tool has been severely restricted without the volume data. I've been using the beta of PAgezii. They have a snapshot free creator to get a sense of how it can give you some keyword, social and blog (content ideas) - give it a shot at https://pagezii.com/snapshot

almost 2 years ago


Simon Riksma, Online Marketer at Personal

Personally I can vouch for KW Finder. After Google made the keyword planner unusable with only displaying estimate results I looked for a perfect alternative. Luckily I found KW Finder. A great tool. I made a video explaining how to tool works and what you can do with it : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRgrTRIHMEE

ps: It's better than the Google Keyword Planner

over 1 year ago

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