Keyword Research Tool

How to solve the dilemma of finding the perfect keyword research tool?  As you probably already know, finding the best keyword research tools is essential for marketing growth and development, but with literally dozens of tools making all the same claims and promises to boost your SEO, which ones will actually deliver?  Through extensive research and testing, I’ve come up with the top 15 keyword tools for SEOs, and am excited to share them with you.

It might be beneficial to elucidate what exactly what keyword research tools do.  Keyword research tools generally come as a piece of software or a service off the internet that aid you in fulfilling two important goals:

  • Creating a list of keywords that originates from a “seed” keyword
  • Determines just how widely used the keyword is

Pick your favorite keyword tool and type your keyword into the search bar.  A list of keywords garnered from various sources, most of them search engines, will appear with other pertinent information like how much the keyword is trending, how many searches it’s getting, etc.

This information might not seem like it’s worth much—why can’t you just use any word of choice and build content around that?  However, studies and experience have shown that the amount of work and time put into creating content without first having the right keyword attached will ultimately be a wasted effort.

But you already know that.  That’s why you’re reading this article.  So without further ado, here are the top results for both paid and free keyword research tools.  They’ll not only increase your traffic, but they will make your life a little easier.

First, a look at the free options that are actually worth a try:

Soolve

Soolve gathers keyword ideas from multiple data sources to one place.  Now you can see keywords that competitors cannot.  It’s like an all-seeing eye, a keyword search engine.  Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube, Google, Bing are some of the many sources.

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What I like about Soolve is that it’s very easy to save the keyword suggestion you really like.  The little book icon on the top left corner of the screen is the “saved suggestion” list you create by just clicking, dragging  and dropping on whichever keyword you want to save.

It’s simple, easy, and for a free keyword research tool, it does a good job. 

Google Search Console

Google Search Console made this list despite the fact that in reality it isn’t a keyword research tool.  However, according to Google, out of the trillions of searches they process every year, 15% are new searches.  That means new key wording that has never been used before.  Mind blown?  So what does Google Search Console offer?  Well, it makes finding new keywords a snap through a handy feature called “The Performance Report.”  Using the Performance Report will tell you which pages of your website get the most clicks from Google, and what keywords they used to get there.

So know that you which words to use, you can add them to your website or actually create new content around the keywords, getting you a big boost in hit rankings.

google search console

Many want to write off Search Console because it is a free offering from Google.  But you are kidding yourself if you think that it is in any inferior to most research tools.  You can see what keywords working and not working for your website and give you an inside look to your screen game, for free!

What I like best about Google Search Console: You can link you Search Console with Google Analytics and get amazingly detailed information for your site.

Google Keyword Planner

If you’re serious into your SEO game, you might be thinking “Google Keyword Planner, seriously?”  And that is a legitimate response.  But before you blow it off, let me tell you:

Google Keyword Planner has some serious street cred.  Yes, the original in keyword research, Keyword Planner will help you research related keywords, the competitiveness of your keyword (whether it’s high, medium or low) the monthly searches made for your keyword and the value.

google keyword planner

Now, would I build my website content solely around GKP?  Nope!  It is mostly used as an advertising tool.  But, you know that the information on search volume you’re getting is straight from Google, and therefore completely trustworthy, and useful in planning out your SEO strategy.

Google Trends

Google trends is both simple to understand and lives up to its name: exactly how keywords are currently trending, and how they’ve done so in the past. This is a great tool to give explicit data on keyword usage and whether its popularity is trending upwards, or whether it’s falling out of favor.  This is good to know before you start writing all your content.  Many things can be flushed out of the data, (totally legit because it’s Google!) that will help you target the audience you want to attract.

google trends

Answer the Public

Answer the Public is a keyword tool that is deceptively simple.  I say deceptively because what it does is simple: it creates lists of keywords and queries and maps them out in a visual format that is both unique and something a little outside the box.  But the data gathered is especially valuable when creating content.  It automatically harvests long-tail keywords and presents the information in forms of alphabetical lists, questions, and prepositions related to your keyword search.

Answer the Public will use modifiers to enhance your keyword.  In the form of questions, adding modifiers such as “who,” “what,” “when,” “how,” etc.  And in the form of prepositions, adding modifiers such as “for,” “like,” “without,” “versus,” etc.

answer the public

Not all of the modifiers or lists will be relevant.  Keeping your target audience in mind will help with some of the confusion or ambiguity of all the data generated.  Answer the Public isn’t the only tool you should be using.  But it’s a great companion to keywords analysis tools such as Google Keywords Planner or SEM Rush.  Answer the Public will help you find your niche and then create specialized content.

Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest was once a bare bones keyword search tool that has recently been overhauled to become a suite of keyword research tools. You can now use its analytical features as well as get some much needed data on trending keywords and keyword suggestions.

Ubersuggest is very simple to use, especially with those who aren’t professional webmasters, but are doing things like blogging. Ubersuggest can tell you keywords that are trending and their seasonal ups and downs. It can all give you lists of LSI words (latent semantic indexing) which are basically synonyms for your keyword. This allows search engines to still understand what you are talking about without “keyword stuffing” your content.

ubersuggest

An added bonus of using Ubersuggest: seeing all the weird, wild and wonderful things people have searched for on the internet!

ubersuggest 2

BuzzSumo (limited free plan or an upgraded paid plan)

BuzzSumo is yet another keyword research tool that gives important backlink data, trending keyword history and niche market analysis.  But the cool thing about BuzzSumo that is a little different from other keyword research tools is its ties to social media.  Enter any word and Buzzsumo will break it down into how much it’s shared in multiple social media outlets.

You can see how you compete on different domains, check your evergreen scores, and access Facebook data much easier than you can on Facebook.  It’s a simple, fun way to see how people are interacting with your products and content and and discover new content and nichesto explore.

Keywords Everywhere

This is a very cool web browser extension that you can install with Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.  Type in a search query on the search bar and and an extension will pop down with a list of other related keywords.  It will show what other people have searched for, and it also shows the CPC data, search volume, and competition related to each keyword so you can get a good idea of how that keyword is performing.

What’s nice about this feature is that because it links into your browser you don’t have to do any copying and pasting in Google Keyword Planner, or open any other application—all the information is instantly accessible with your search results.  Keywords Everywhere also has a button that will automatically export data to a spreadsheet.

There are ten websites that work with Keywords everywhere, including Amazon, Ebay and Google.  The take away: if you are serious about SEO and keyword research, this free add-on is a no brainer that is ridiculously easy to use.

keywords everywhere

The only disadvantage to Keywords Everywhere is that you are relying solely on data Google is willing to dish out, and they don’t want to share everything—why should they?  Still, the ease and simplicity of it alone is enough to make it a handy tool in your SEO tool belt.

The Best Paid Keyword Research Tools

There are so many other free keyword research tools out there, and there will be many others suggesting other tools.  This list is just a sample of the many, many other research tools, but the ones I feel are the most beneficial, especially for the price. But to truly optimize your SEO efforts and keyword research, a paid subscription from a prime research company is night and day difference in the keyword research world. The last half of my list are all tools that will significantly enhance your efforts in keyword research.

SEMRush

For hip new marketers, SEMRush might look and feel a little dated, and that is probably because they have been in the game a long time. But that experience also created a fabulous tool they call the Keyword Magic Tool.

sem rush

Why is this tool so great? Because it filters keyword suggestions from a list of over 800 million terms in its extensive database. And within this Magic tool, there is a SERP feature filter that will help you find keywords with zero SERP results. This means finding real hidden treasure when it comes to obtaining new, high-ranking keywords. The Magic tool will also give you all the important analytics in one place, which makes it easy to have an overall view of the keyword research.

SECockpit

This isn’t your grandma’s keyword research tool. SEO is big. It is not intuitive. It has an incredible amount of features. Unless you are one of those who eat, sleep and breathe SEO, this tool might be overwhelming. It really is meant for those working on a professional level. If that’s the case, however, SECockpit will give a lot of in-depth data for keywords. Give SECockpit your keyword, and on the dashboard you can run a traditional seed keyword search, or start multiple projects revolving around your keyword.

After entering your seed word into the search field (which you can also add synonym searches from Google, Amazon and Youtube to increase your results), a screen with a long list of resulting keywords and attached data, such as CPC, niche and monthly usage.

SEOcockpit

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Clicking on the keywords will get even more detailed metrics on each keyword, especially how the competition is using it.  This is a fantastic way to see just how the keyword is being deployed without having to look up each word, one at a time.  Domain authority, backlinks, all the stuff you need to know in order to get your content and keyword just right.

There are also more than 100 different filters to choose from, which give almost unlimited information in the exact specificity you desire.  Want to know the number of searches per month? Monthly visitors vs. top competition?  It’s all there in its metric glory for you to sift through and put to work.

KWFinder

Perhaps the most intuitive of all the research tools reviews here, KWFinder does some fine work with, well, finding keywords.  And a low price point, it’s exceptional quality tools for a quarter of the cost of a tool such as Ahrefs.

The interface of KWFinder is particularly pleasant, giving you a cohesive view of all your data without having to open a different tab each time you want to see your SERP metrics, organic traffic, etc.  KWFinder also gives a “keyword difficulty” score next to each keyword, quickly giving you an idea of how hard it will be to rank that keyword

KWfinder

Serpstat

Okay, so technically Serpstat is not a keyword research tool. You’d use Serpstat for building links, creating content, things of that nature. But, it does have a keyword research tool and it is a good one. The volume of related keywords was impressive. But the best feature of Serpstat’s keyword research tool is its Competitor’s graph. It allows you to view the interest of competitor’s sites in your keyword. The bigger the bubble on the graph, the more quickly you should find a new keyword. That simple.

There is also a metric called “Social Domains” in which you can see if big social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and others make an appearance in the top search results for your particular keyword.

Serpstat can serve up an impressively accurate level of keyword difficulty, and has a good array of professional tools; and for such a low price you can afford the fact Serpstat isn’t the best out there, but just might be good enough.

serpstat

Keyword tool.io

Let’s just get it out there: this is the most boring interface imaginable.  But looks aren’t everything.  Keyword Tool is perfect for the longtail variants of keywords.  It also does a fantastic job of gathering large quantities of new, relevant keywords.  This tool could seem like just another Ubersuggest on the surface, but it delivers much higher numbers of keywords that you can group into content.

Another nice thing about Keyword Tool is that it balances out any of the suggestions from Google keyword research tools.  Many professionals find that Keyword Tool has more keyword

volume (though maybe not the most accurate) and better longtail suggestions than any of its competitors.  It’s definitely worth trying out.

Ahrefs Keywords Explorer

Ahrefs is considered one of the preeminent keyword research tools available.  That being said, it also has a hefty price tag.  But most professional keyword experts will agree that Ahrefs is the one to beat.  Ahrefs provides all the typical metrics you’d expect—analytics, traffic, search volume, LSI keywords, etc—but its Keyword Explorer is where it really shines.

While some research tools are too overwhelming in their mode of displaying data, Ahrefs Keywords Explorer has a beautiful and functional interface that makes visual data easy to understand.

When it comes to keyword suggestions, Ahrefs wins hands down by just the sheer numbers of suggestions.  Authority Hacker tried searching “dog harnesses” and received over 32,000 keyword ideas.

ahrefs

And that’s just the tip of the Ahrefs iceberg.  Newly discovered “root” topics are also listed, which can give you a wide range of seed keywords that you might never have thought of using.  This can lead to unique niche topics and more content to create.

The information garnered from Ahrefs is much more detailed and in-depth than any of the free keyword research tools.  Not only will Ahrefs tell you a vague difficulty level of the keyword, such as “easy” or “medium,” it will tell you the exact number of backlinks you’ll need to end up on the first page of a SERP.

Overall you’ll receive much more than just a keywords research tool in Ahrefs.  Mainly is it used for backlink work.  However, its Keyword Explorer is killer if you want to be serious in your SEO work.

Moz Keyword Explorer

I think it only fair that I put a disclaimer on this one: Moz doesn’t do anything unique compared to the other research tools discussed in this article. However, it does do something extremely well. For one thing, they don’t solely rely on data offered by Google. They use a myriad of sources such as search engines, data mining tools, mobile apps, etc. to complete their search results.

Another thing that Moz does well is finding very similar keyword replacements that aren’t typical, thus expanding your keyword relevancy in ways you hadn’t yet thought. Moz is very intuitive. It also has a nice interface with easy to understand graphics and high visual appeal.

moz

Moz can also tell you the projection for your organic CTR if you use a particular keyword, and where.  It will give you a “score” of what percentage you can expect for CTRs.  Overall, Moz is a great compliment to an SEO research tool repertoire, but for the price is probably best left for SEO professionals.

Conclusion

Of course there are many other keyword research tools out there; maybe some that you like to use yourself that didn’t get mentioned.  This list tried to gather the most important and functional ones specifically for keyword research.

There are a lot of great free tools out there, especially when they are complimented with some of the paid tools.  But it is plain to see that the research tools which must be purchased will ultimately give you much more in-depth, detailed metrics and analysis, information that you will need to know to create the best traffic for your content.