Keyword research is a crucial element of modern SEO. Whether you’re kick-starting an old blog or developing your content strategy for a new one; good quality keywords are one of the most efficient ways to attract consistent, quality traffic to your site. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best keyword research tools to help you conquer your content.
The 10 best keyword research tools
SEMrush is like the Swiss Army Knife of SEO. Instead of producing a list of keywords, SEMrush suggests 5-10 very specific keywords that your competitors are already using.
- Uncover long-tail keywords and ad group ideas
- Get yearly keyword trends
- Worldwide CPC distribution statistics
- Access to the complete keyword research toolkit
- Keyword difficulty analysis and organic traffic insights
SEMrush hosts a 7-day free trial of the service. You do need to enter credit card details to get access to the trial, but there are no charges levied if you choose to cancel your subscription within the 7-day trial.
SEMrush has four different pricing plans. The best offers come with annual billing.
- Pro – A plan for limited budget sites and freelancers, it starts at $83 per month and gets billed annually.
- Guru – SEO agencies and small to mid-sized business will find the features in this plan perfect for the day-to-day management of content sites. Guru starts at $166 per month.
- Business – It is ideal for eCommerce stores and agencies, and opens at $333 per month.
- Enterprise – If you have an extensive content strategy, reaching beyond the capacity of the above solutions, SEMrush can custom fit a plan for your needs.
Ahrefs is one of the best keyword research tools available for content creators today. The platform provides a broad keyword report to the user and relies on clickstream data to provide unique click metrics.
- Accurate keyword difficulty score
- 1,000+ keyword suggestions
- Supported in over 171 countries
- Click metrics for improving CTR
- Extensive SERP overview
Ahrefs has four pricing plans. The rates for freelancers, online marketers, mid-sized organizations, and bigger brands start at just $82 per month if you choose an annual payment plan.
They do have a trial offer ($7 for 7 days) on their Lite and Standard subscription plans.
Google Keyword Planner is a simple option serving up a few basic features. Despite the lack of functionality, however, it’s one of the most accurate sources of keyword data on the market. The data comes directly from Google and the results integrate well with AdSense monetization.
- Locate commercial keywords using “top of page” bid range
- Accurate search volume directly from Google’s search engine
- Best choice for business websites
Google Keyword Planner is available for free.
KWFinder is a tool designed by Mangools – a developer known for delivering the best keyword research tools across categories. You can use their beginner guide to get started.
The KWFinder platform makes it easy to find keywords with low SEO difficulty, along with a whole host of other useful features.
- A unique and easy to navigate user interface
- Find keywords in any language target, anywhere
- Choose options from the list of powerful keywords
- Get precise statistics for keyword competition
- In-depth SERP overview alongside a list of suggestions
- Use filters to refine the list of keyword suggestions
KWFinder is part of Mangools package that includes 4 other SEO tools. It only allows a handful of free searches. Select an annual plan to save up to 40% on any of their 3 subscriptions.
- Basic – $30 (freelancers and small businesses)
- Premium – $40 (new startups and blogs)
- Agency – $80 (eCommerce stores and heavy sites)
It’s no secret that long-tail keywords are the new standard of SEO. Long Tail Pro generates long-tail keywords for niche sites and has even found a cult following with content producers for micro-niche sites.
- Powerful, detailed keyword metrics
- Easily find long-tail keywords
- Provides recommendations for attracting highly convertible organic traffic
- 2,500+ SERP lookups every 24 hours
Long Tail Pro is a premium tool and does offer a 7-days free trial (subscription to be cancelled before 7 days). Subscriptions start as low as $25 per month (when billed annually). Long Tail Pro currently offers three plans to users.
- Starter – $25/month
- Pro – $45/month
- Agency – $98/ month
Majestic is an all-in-one SEO tool to keep a track of your site’s health. It’s an ideal tool for new blogs and small businesses that don’t have the resources to invest a lot of complicated support for search engine optimization.
- All SEO features are available in a single toolkit
- Find easy-to-target phrases
- Research competition on each keyword
- Trustworthiness vs. authority graph for website analysis
Majestic allows you to sign up and run 3 free searches to help you get a feel for the service. The keyword checker, however, is only available in PRO and API plans. You can grab the SEO toolkit for $83/month when you select the annual billing option.
7. Keyword Tool
If you’re obsessed with keyword data mining, try Keyword Tool. The platform is regarded as one of the top keyword research tools on the market and offers analysis for multiple search engines including Google, YouTube, Bing, Amazon, and the App Store.
- Find great keywords using Google Autocomplete
- Supplement your social media marketing with Instagram and Twitter keyword analysis
- Export results to CSV
- Simple UX for beginners
Keyword Tool is very similar to Google Keyword Planner. It’s free for first 750+ keywords and extremely easy to get started with. The Keyword Tool “Basic” plan starts at $69 per month and is billed annually.
If you’re searching for a full SEO suite, Serpstat is an excellent option which combines website analytics, keyword research, SERP analysis, backlink analysis, a rank tracker, and website audit features. It’s an all-in-one solution meant to streamline the entire category of SEO.
- Know your competition using the competitor graph feature
- Find keyword difficulty and keyword trends
- The most budget-friendly option on our list
Similar to a couple of the other options we’ve listed here, Serpstat can be used a few times for free by signing up for their trial membership. To use the service regularly though, you need to get yourself set up with one of their subscriptions. A personal plan goes for $55 per month.
The Moz Keyword Explorer serves up easy to use, out-of-the-box keyword recommendations. Moz’s SEO tool boasts all the features you’d expect from the very best keyword research tools, plus two very unique data points.
Organic CTR score – This click-through rate demonstrates the number of clicks you’re expected to attract on page 1 of Google.
Priority score – The priority score is a mixture of all the individual factors a typical tool uses to suggest keyword options. It combines data on CTR, search volume, and keyword difficulty to help you select the best terms for your project.
- Get related keyword suggestions
- Organic CTR and Priority score for smart targeting
- Moz offers a one month trial period
Sign up for a free Moz account and get 10 free queries per month. The Keyword Explorer is not a standalone researching tool, to get full access to this useful little asset you will need to pay for the entire SEO suite. You can get the Moz keyword research features in the platform’s “Medium” plan, which starts at $179 a month with the option for a free 30-day trial.
SpyFu is the #1 choice for analyzing your competitors’ SEO strategies. This tool uncovers valuable, virtually untapped keywords and makes a huge difference if you’re working in a highly saturated niche.
- Compare different websites competing for a single search term
- Discover ranking difficulty and historical rank changes
- Additional modules for in-depth domain analysis
SpyFu is a little different from the other tools we’ve listed here as they offer monthly results, not real-time feedback. You can subscribe to SpyFu for $33 per month if you choose the annual billing option.
Which is the best keyword research tool for you?
These are some of the best keyword research tools you can currently find in the SEO marketplace.
To find the one that works for your business, start by analyzing your budget and then consider the primary focus of your brand’s SEO strategy.
If budget is your chief concern, narrow your search to Google Keyword Planner or Serpstat. If you need a more robust set of tools, you’re going to be looking at KWFinder, SEMrush, or Moz Keyword Explorer.
Do you have any questions about choosing between these tools? Ask away in the comments!
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