A digital marketeer without relevant tools is like a soldier without weapons. No matter how skillful the soldier is, there is no chance he can overcome his enemy, who is equipped with heavy ammunition.
Similarly, you cannot rank a website/blog without a good keyword research tool.
Luckily there are more than a dozen tools available in the market, both paid and free. While this is a good thing as it gives you a variety to choose from, it might confuse some people, especially beginners.
Therefore, I have created a comprehensive guide of the best keyword research tools in the market. The list includes both paid and free tools so that you can choose according to your budget.
So let’s dive straight in
Free Keyword Research Tool
Keyword research doesn’t always have to be a costly endeavor. That is why we begin our guide with a list of free tools.
Free doesn’t mean they are substandard. Just read out the features of the tools as you will go by me that they are worth using.
So let’s get started
Many free keyword research tools are limited to one channel. As such, if you want to do research for multiple channels, e.g., Google, Bing, YouTube, etc., you either require going for a paid tool or have to access multiple free keyword research tools.
With Soovle, that is not the case at all. It allows you to search for multiple platforms, including eBay and Amazon.
Soovle provides data such as search volume, competition (whether it is high or low), and Cost Per Click (among other useful metrics)
Apart from finding the difficulty of a keyword, you can also use Soovle to brainstorm different keywords. For that, you should enter your seed or root keyword, and Soovle will provide you with the related keywords.
- Keyword research from multiple channels at a time, e.g., Amazon, Youtube, Bing, Wikipedia etc
- No limit to the number of searches you can make
- You can only find keyword suggestions and no search volume, keyword difficulty and other important metrics
- Poor layout of the website might put off some people
Google Keyword Planner
Note: You need to have an AdWords account in order to access Google Keyword Planner. That is why the hyperlink leads to ads.google.com page.
No list of keyword research tools will be complete without the mention of Google.
Google Keyword Planner provides you with average monthly searches, Cost Per Click (CPC), and competition level of the keyword. All these metrics are important for effective keyword research.
But you can find these stats in every other keyword research tool. What sets Google Keyword Planner apart is the keyword synonyms and variations it provides.
Also, note that you can also get data on CPC, which means in case you need to rank your keywords using paid method i.e., Search Engine Marketing (SEM), the data will be a good guide.
- Unlike almost all other keyword research tools, Google Keyword Planner can show you the data for the past four years. Impressive, isn’t it?
- Data is almost 100% accurate as Google pulls it from its own search engine.
- Keyword filters have been reduced, which makes it difficult to search data for exact match keywords
- You can only search for three keywords at a time, which is very limited.
Here comes another free tool by Google. It differentiates from others as Google Trends doesn’t show you the keyword difficulty, search volume or the usual metrics of keyword research tools.
Rather, it allows you to see which of the keywords are trending via a graph. The best part is that you can do a couple of searches simultaneously and be able to extract out a relative value of different keywords.
You may search for your targeted keyword in different geographical locations and at different times. For example, you are searching for ‘Home Maker’ in the USA and the UK region for the past 12 months.
This will show you the graph for “Home Maker” in both regions, and you will be able to make a comparison.
Another encouraging feature is the fact that you can carry out the search for a wide variety of platforms. Google Trends gives you the option to make an image search, youtube search, news search, google shopping, or a web search.
This option will truly be handy for those aiming to carry out keyword research for multiple platforms, rather than just Google.
Google Trends lets one have a thorough insight into the audience needs, to its exact. It does not just help you get through with the keyword research, but it guides you to a subtle market strategy that enables you to win over more clients than before.
- User friendly, easy to use interface. You just have to make a few clicks to use it.
- The best part of this is, it uses graphs to compare search queries over different times to make analysis much more effortless.
- The graphs are mainly not available for long-tail keywords.
- Google Trends is not as specific in its searches. There isn’t an absolute graphical representation for your searches. Rather it depends on relative values.
Answer The Public
Right keywords can legitimately win potential customers. Answer the Public is an insight keyword tool that helps you optimize your content in the right direction. It offers a combination of searches from Bing and Google in a search cloud.
Answer the Public offers Google suggested search options as a SEARCH CLOUD or in a cluster. This lets you discover what your target audience is searching for. Answer the Public is the right tool to search for ideas for your blog posts or even for podcasts.
This tool is different from others as it presents the questions related to your typed keywords in a carousel ring. These questions are who, when, where, how, and a lot more interrogative words.
For example, you type in Coffee. Answer the Public shows various questions such as “Where coffee is grown,” “How coffee affects the brain,” “What coffee machine to buy,” etc
Additionally, there is also the option of adding a preposition to your keyword as well as comparison phrases such as verses, like, etc.
For Coffee, you can see prepositions such as “coffee with,” “Coffee is,” “Coffee can,” etc. Similarly, you will see comparison phrases such as “Coffee versus,” “Coffee like,” etc.
Answer the Public, lets you know your audience, target the mainstream keywords, optimize long-tail keywords, and increases the chances of being featured on Google snippets.
Snippets are the short answers that appear on Google in response to the questions that you type in.
In short, Answer the Public extracts useful phrases people search for and lets you have a detailed insight into various topics.
- Presentation of data is easy in two forms; visual format and straight data.
- Several suggestions are just there on a single click.
- Search Volume is not displayed; hence, an alternate keyword tool is required.
- It only helps you generate keyword ideas, therefore not a tool to extract keywords you’re supposed to rank on.
Paid Keyword Research Tools
If you are an advanced blogger or your site has started to get traffic, and now you want to take it to the next height, a free keyword research tool won’t do the job.
That is why we share a few paid tools that are well known in the market.
So let’s dig into them
Ahref is one of the most popular keyword research tools in the market. In fact, there are a few things that only Ahref can do.
It has all the things that you will need for keyword research. For example, you can check the usual keyword difficulty and search volume. Ahref also provides keyword suggestions based on the seed keyword you enter.
Additionally, you can also analyze the entire website of your competitor. This includes finding out what keywords they are ranking on, the overall traffic, and backlinks to the site, among other things.
In short, Ahref is your all in one tool for keyword research and competitor analysis.
- Ahref provides detailed keyword research as well as competitor analysis
- Free backlink checker
- Price is a bit higher compared to many other tools
- Traffic stats are not very accurate
Long Tail Pro
As the name suggests, Long Tail Pro helps you generate long-tail keywords. In case you are not aware, a long tail keyword ranks in no time and, as such, is preferred by bloggers over short-tail keywords.
The software generates over 400 keyword suggestions from a seed keyword in a couple of seconds. You can use these keywords for all types of sites: affiliate, Adsense based etc.
Apart from keyword research, you can also use Long Tail Pro to analyze your competitors’ keyword strategy and dissect it.
The thing I love the most about Long Tail Pro is the option to save and group keywords. In this way, you don’t have to copy-paste the keywords into a separate document. Isn’t this interesting?
- You can get over 400 words from a single seed keyword
- In one go, you can check the ranking on Bing, Google, and Yahoo
- Speed is a bit slow
- Shows limited results for the competitors
SEMRush comes in three different packages, so you can choose from the one best suited for your needs. There is also a seven days trial you can avail if you are not sure if SEMRush can fulfill your requirements.
The tool allows you to deeply analyze the competitor’s keyword strategy by seeing what are the top keywords they rank for as well as the search volume and CPC.
Just like Ahref, SEMTRush has it’s own ranking metric called “SEMRush Rank” data. This is the ranking of the site based on SEMRush’s extensive database.
Apart from the competitor analysis, you can also perform keyword research. For that, you have to follow the same procedure that you do for other tools I.e., enter a seed keyword, and SEMRush will show the long-tail variation of it.
Even better, SEMRush will show you related keywords, which are again long tail and can help you generate good content.
Keyword research and competitor analysis are just two of the thing the tool does. Apart from this, you can do a site audit, backlink analysis, and link building as well.
In short, SEMRush allows an individual to perform a wide range of things and might be a good option for anyone looking for all in one tool.
- There is a site audit option that analyzes every issue on your website. This is rare to find
- Extremely good interface with lots of charts and graphs that are easy to understand
- SEMRush only provides data from Google
- Using a free trail requires you to enter a credit card, which might scare a lot of people
Keywords always form the basis for SEO only if you’re going right. Moz is a potential SEO tool that not only allows you to do SEO of your website but also helps you diagnose crucial issues your site owns. To discover this, you need to have pro access to the site Moz.com.
Once you’re a premium member and have logged in after agreeing to their terms, you may have access to numerous keywords via the KEYWORD EXPLORER. Now, you may enter the exact keyword or may have a search for keywords as well. But, make sure you’re searching in the right country.
Moz helps you get to the metrics that help you analyze keywords’ monthly volume, landing difficulty on the first page, organic click-through rate, and the Moz score. Moz score enables you to prioritize what comes first and what next.
It, too, helps you evaluate while going through SERP analysis. Additionally, it allows you to broaden your horizon by suggesting a wide variety of keywords to pin-down the stuff on your priority.
Moz also allows you to dive into the suggestion page that helps you get the comprehensive keyword database, which you can filter according to your need.
Not just this, it helps you to do Link Analysis via the LINK RESEARCH TOOL/LINK EXPLORER.
- 95% accuracy is attainable with Moz’s search volume metrics making it the most reliable keyword research tool in the market.
- Moz Potential Metric allows you to narrow down your search list to target the most relevant keywords very first.
- Help you analyze your competitor’s websites and their keywords side by side.
- Moz’s dashboards are just right for keyword searching, planning, and web analysis.
- Moz’s crawls are not very ideal for complicated websites.
- The custom reports option is not handy to be used.
- Keyword tracking restrictions exist with Moz.
This was all about the top free and paid keyword research tools in the market. As you have read, each tool has its own pros and cons, and as such, you carefully need to make a choice.
To do so, closely examine your needs. For example, how many keywords you will need to research on a daily basis, whether you need to do keyword research only for Google or other sites as well?
And a lot more questions!
After you have asked yourself all these questions, select the tool which best answers them. In this way, you won’t regret your decision.
So which tool have you decided to purchase? Let me know in the comments below. I am eager to hear from you.
We use SEMRush for our own SEO strategy and to leverage optimization to our Customers. If you want to be part of our Customers, don’t hesitate to Contact Us