Best Keyword Research Tools (Paid and Free) Updated

Best Keyword Research Tools (Paid and Free) Updated

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

Soovle

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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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.

Pros 

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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. 

Pros

  • 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. 

Cons

  • 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.  

Pros

  • Presentation of data is easy in two forms; visual format and straight data. 
  • Several suggestions are just there on a single click. 

Cons

  • 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

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. 

Pros

  • Ahref provides detailed keyword research as well as competitor analysis
  • Free backlink checker

Cons

  • 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?

Pros

  • You can get over 400 words from a single seed keyword
  • In one go, you can check the ranking on Bing, Google, and Yahoo

Cons

  • Speed is a bit slow
  • Shows limited results for the competitors

SEMRush

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. 

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • SEMRush only provides data from Google
  • Using a free trail requires you to enter a credit card, which might scare a lot of people 

Moz

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.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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. 

Conclusion

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

How to use the Keyword Golden Ratio technique to rank within a month?

How to use the Keyword Golden Ratio technique to rank within a month?

Those of you who even know a little bit about blogging and keyword research will agree that it usually takes a couple of months before you can start seeing some traffic on your site and rank the keywords in the top 10-20 results. 

By a couple of months, I mean something around 6 months. Now that is definitely a lot of time and long enough to demotivate an individual. 

Luckily, the KGR technique comes to the rescue here.

KGR stands for Keyword Golden Ratio and is a keyword research technique that can rank your content in less than a month. In fact, there have been some case studies of websites ranking in a couple of days as well. 

Yes, you read that right. It is entirely possible. 

So what exactly is KGR, and what makes it so effective?  In this article, we will explain to you the nitty-gritty of the entire process. 

So hold your horses. You are about to learn something that will blow your mind. 

What is Keyword Golden Ratio (KGR)?

KGR is a method of finding low competition and underserved keywords that very few digital marketers are targeting. As a result, your chances of ranking on these keywords skyrockets.

Here low competition means those results that have search volume less than 250.

One point to be noted is that the KGR method is different from using Ahref to find low competition keywords that we discussed in our other article.

The KGR was developed by Dough Cunnington, an authority in the field of Digital Marketing and owner of the Nichesiteproject.

You might be wondering that a low competition keyword can also be found by other keyword research tools. So what is a big deal about KGR?

The reason why KGR is so effective is that it is a manual process of finding keywords, so it will always be superior than using any keyword research tool available in the market.

KGR is calculated using the below formula. Don’t worry if you don’t understand anything from the formula. In the next section. I will explain each and every step in detail. 

KGR = number of allintitle results / search volume

The keyword with  KGR of less than 0.25 is considered the best. You might rank with such a keyword in less than a week. 

Anything in between 0.25 and 1 is also not bad, and you can expect them to rank in no time. A keyword of KGR of 1 and above is not recommended to use.

Note that the search volume of the keyword should be less than 250.

How to use KGR?

The KGR technique involves multiple simple steps that are easy to understand, even for a newbie. 

Step 1: Select a long tail keyword

You need to create a longtail variation of your keyword. A longtail keyword is one that contains three to five phrases. 

Let’s say you sell water bottles of different kinds: for kids, for offices and for hiking etc. Your seed keyword will “water bottles.”

Now you need to create a longtail variation of the keyword. There are two ways of doing so.

First is to type the keyword in Google, and it will suggest you longtail keywords. For example, I type in “best water bottles” on Google.

Google will show you the following results.

Google search suggestions
Google search suggestions

You should work on all of these suggestions by Google to see which fulfills the KGR criteria, I.e., the search volume of less than 250 and a KGR of less than 0.25 (which is calculated using the formula discussed above).  

Initially, you should only focus on the search volume and prepare an excel sheet of all the keywords which fulfill the criteria.  

Secondly, you can use Ahref or any other keyword research tool to find longtail keywords related to the water bottle. 

We already created a comprehensive guide on how to use Ahref to find longtail keywords. You can check it out here.  

Remember, the search volume should be less than 250. 

Step 2: Find the search results with the exact match titles

So by now, you have filtered out the results from Google autosuggestions. The next step is to use them to find out the exact match search results. 

For example, from step 1, you found that “best water bottles for hiking” fulfills the 250 search volume criteria. 

Type allintitle: (the long tail keyword). From our example, it would look like this

Allintitle:best water bottles for hiking

Remember not to include any space in between the Allintitle: and the long tail keyword. Also, don’t add any quotes, or the results would be different. 

You might be wondering what is allintitle. Well, it is not as difficult as the word might seem. 

Allintitle is a Google search operator that is used to find exact match websites/search results that have those words in the meta title of the post. 

So when you type in allintitle: best water bottles for hiking, only those search results will be shown which have the exact keywords in them. Consequently, you will get rid of generic search results.

Let’s find out the allintitle and search volume of “Best water bottles for hiking” 

Here is what I found

Results on Google for allintitle operator
Results on Google for allintitle operator

This keyword has 234 search results. So we have found the numerator of the KGR formula. Next is to find the search volume. 

For reference, KGR has the following formula

KGR= number of allintitle results/ search volume

Using Ahref, I found the search volume to be 40. This will go in the denominator of the KGR formula. Remember, for KGR, you need to have a search volume below 250. As you can see, our keyword fulfills that criteria. 

If you can’t afford to pay for Ahref, you may go for various free keyword research tools. Remember not to depend on only one free tool but cross-check with multiple ones.

I am saying this because a free tool isn’t as accurate as a paid one, so you need to play safe.  

Global search volume using Ahref
Global search volume using Ahref

Step 3: Put in the values in the formula

Now that we have all the figures, the only thing remaining is to plug them into the formula. Let’s recap the KGR formula as well as the figures we found for it. 

KGR= number of allintitle results/ search volume

Number of allintitle results: 234

Search volume of the keyword: 40

KGR= 234/40, which is equal to 5.85. 

This is way beyond 1, the threshold of KGR and much further than 0.25 which is the recommended KGR to be selected for a keyword.  

Use the above-mentioned steps to find KGR for different long-tail keywords and only select the ones which have are below 0.25. Then use those keywords in your article and see the magic. 

Do I always have to restrict myself to a KGR of 0.25?

The answer is no. The number 0.25 is only when you are just starting out. Once your site has enough traffic, backlinks and has built its traffic, you can opt for higher KGR as well. 

Starting with 0.25 will allow you to cut through the competition and rank faster. 

Use Keyword Golden Ratio in conjunction with search intent

Search intent refers to the reason why a user types in certain things in the search engine. For example, when I type in “best water bottle for hiking,” I want to find the best water bottle that I can take with me for my next trip. 

The user search intent tells Google what a particular person wants to search. Google accordingly displays the results. 

You might be wondering how user intent is related to KGR?

Well, the thing is that even if a keyword is a KGR complaint, it might not rank if the search intent of that particular keyword is different from what you are thinking. 

Therefore, you should always type the keyword in Google and see what results are showing before moving forward with calculating KGR. 

For example, if you enter the water bottle keyword that has been discussing throughout the article in Google, you will either find Amazon in the top 10 or sites which review different water bottles for hiking along with an Amazon (or other e-commerce sites) link from where people can purchase the bottle after reading the details. 

This means that the “best water bottle for hiking” has commercial intent, and people aim to purchase it. 

Now let’s suppose the keyword was KGR complaint, and you write an article talking about the benefits of water and hydration and why you should have a water bottle along with hiking. All this without actually reviewing a water bottle and providing a link to purchase it. 

Do you think your site will rank?

Chances are pretty odd. 

Therefore, make sure that the keyword you are working on has the same user intent for which you want to rank. 

If a Google search shows lots of pictures in the top 10, it will be very difficult to rank a blog post.    

Keyword Golden Ratio is best for beginners!

As a beginner, you might not have a lot of grip on SEO, and as such, it would not be a wise idea to compete against authority sites. 

Therefore, KGR should be your way forward. 

It will help you avoid competition and rank in no time. Consequently, you will get the confidence to work further on the site.

Later on, when you have got the experience, you may work on keywords with a search volume greater than 250 or a KGR of more than 0.25. 

Remember to start small but think big!

Do try out this technique and let us know in the comments what results in you have witnessed. I can’t wait to hear your success stories.  For more information about SEO and keyword research, you can Contact Us to help you out.

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