You can always find someone willing to sell you a solution for boosting your keyword effectiveness. But in a recent blog post, search marketer PotPieGirl offered her favorite free keyword research tools:

Your brain. We were all consumers before we were marketers, she reminds us. So ask yourself, "If I was looking for this product or information about this topic online, what would I type into the search field?" Then brainstorm a list of words.

Google Keyword Tool. Type in a seed word and Google will give you tons of related phrases and synonyms. Or put the URL of your page into the tool, and let Google tell you what the page is about.

SEOBook Keyword Tool. This tool, driven by Wordtracker, will tell you how many people are searching for a particular phrase each day. "This is a cool little add-on for those that use FireFox," says PotPieGirl. Once this is installed, you can instantly find out what keywords each PPC/AdWords advertiser is using.

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