10+ Best Keyword Research Tool

Modern SEO relies heavily on keyword research. When it comes to getting consistent, quality traffic to your site, you need good quality keywords, whether you are starting a new blog or developing your content strategy. The following are some of the best keyword research tools to help you create great content.

Free keyword research tools

1. SEMrush

SEMrush is a data provider and market leader in competitive research software. SEMrush includes the following tools and reports: Organic Research, Advertising Research, AdSense, Keyword Research, Site Audit, Domain vs. Domain, Position Tracking, and Backlinks.

How it works

To start using SEMrush services, you will need to enter a domain, URL, or keyword in the main search bar. You can switch from one section to another in the left menu to get different data to display.

The Organic Research report offers analytics data on keywords that bring users to a website via Google’s top 20 organic results. For every keyword, you can find useful information such as its position in Google search results, volume, CPC, the URL of a landing page, and how it’s displayed in the search results, competition, and trends.

The Organic Keywords graph represents the number of keywords for which a domain has ranked in the top 20 Google results each month on a historical basis (depending on your subscription, this could be one month, six months, one year, two years, or all-time).

Keywords are also grouped depending on the position they bring a website (1– 5, 6–10, 11+) so you can easily analyze which keywords bring you a higher or lower ranking on Google.

Where the data comes from

SEMrush pulls its data directly from Google search engine results and maintains dedicated databases of this information. SEMrush has 25 databases for the United States (Google and Bing), the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Israel, Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark, Fin- land, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Hong Kong.

Why we like it

SEMrush allows you to access a great deal of data about both your own domain and your competitors’ domains and what keywords those domains rank for in both organic and paid searches.

How much it costs

SEMrush offers a free 7-day trial of its services. During the trial period, you will be required to enter your credit card information, but there are no charges if you choose to cancel your subscription within the 7-day period.

SEMrush offers four different pricing plans. It is best to pay annually.

  • Pro – Priced at $99.95 per month, this plan is ideal for small businesses and freelancers who do not have a large budget.
  • Guru – SEO agencies and small to midsize businesses will find this plan ideal for managing their content sites on a daily basis. Guru starts at $191.62 a month.
  • Business – The plan opens at $374.95 per month and is perfect for eCommerce stores and agencies.
  • Enterprise – For organizations with extensive content strategies, beyond what the above solutions can handle, SEMrush can provide a plan that fits your needs.

2. Google AdWords Keyword Planner

The Keyword Planner offers several ways to search: on the basis of words/phrases, on the basis of websites/country pages, and on the basis of categories.

How it works

In the “Your product or service” field, you can enter keywords or phrases (one per line), and the Keyword Planner will show you ideas for related keywords (note that you need to click on the “Keyword ideas” tab; by default, the “Ad group ideas” tab is displayed).

When you specify one or more keywords to get traffic estimates on, the Keyword Planner will return the predicted number of clicks per day, impressions per day, cost per day for those clicks, and average ad position, as well as an additional breakdown of a per-keyword basis, including clicks, impressions, cost, click-through rate, the average cost per click, and average ad position. 

The cost information can provide you with additional insight into how competitive a keyword is in organic search as well. You can get more exact estimates by selecting specific budgets or costs per click. 

When using the Keyword Planner’s click and cost performance forecasting feature for keyword research, it is best to enter your keywords as “Exact match,” meaning the keywords specified were exactly the ones the Google user searched on.

After you’ve entered your keywords, you can leave “Enter daily budget” blank. Select your language, search network, and the location you’re targeting (for U.S.-focused campaigns, use the default of “Countries and territories” and enter “United States”). 

You’ll then see data for each keyword you entered. Useful data for keyword research purposes include Estimated Clicks/Day and Estimated Cost/Day. You can compare each keyword’s estimated clicks to see which term is more likely to be searched for and clicked on than others.

Why we like it

The click and cost performance forecasting feature provides a rough estimate of your keyword’s click-through rate. Based on the estimated clicks per day, you can get a relative idea of which of your keywords are the most popular and can potentially bring you the most traffic. Practitioners should use other tools to cross-reference these figures, as these numbers can be inaccurate.

Where the data comes from

In order to predict what each set of keywords might achieve, Google uses its historical search data. Your actual results, however, may differ depending on how you go about it and what you target.

How much it costs

It is technically free to use Keyword Planner, but you have to sign up for a Google Ads account (which asks for billing information). You should use a Google Ads account to get access to this tool, as this can give you better data.

3. Google Trends

Google Trends allows you to view the popularity trend of a keyword over time and by geography, as well as compare two or more search terms to each other to see relative popularity and seasonality/trending over time. 

How it works

If you enter the terms into the search bar and separate them with commas, you’ll see the requested terms’ trend history depicted in different colors on a graph spread over a certain time period. You can modify the results by changing the time period and/or region.

With Google Trends, users can also see Google’s estimate of which cities, regions, and languages performed the largest number of searches for a particular keyword. 

Experienced marketers often feel that this data is imprecise (and occasionally inaccurate) because more accurate data from analytics and search advertising campaigns have often contradicted the results.

Lastly, plotted on each graph are a few articles/search results related to your keyword query, which correlate to peaks and valleys in the historical search popularity.

Why we like it

Google Trends is a great, easy tool for comparing keywords and identifying which term is more popular than the other; in addition, you can examine this data over many years with seasonality factored in.

Where the data comes from

The data used by Google Trends is mainly unfiltered samples of actual Google search results. For more accurate analysis, the data is anonymized, categorized, and grouped by topic, region, and time period.

How much it costs 

In addition to being completely free, Google Trends is an excellent supplementary resource for brainstorming or research.

4. QuestionDB

QuestionDB shows you the questions people ask on forums and websites, rather than just keywords.

How it works

QuestionDB concentrates on user questions rather than keywords. Your target audience’s interaction with your selected keywords and what they want to know about them will be clear from this. 

To begin, create a list of related seed keywords. Select one from the list and enter it into QuestionDB. Make sure your keywords are broad, as the tool will return a list of more specific questions related to your overall topic. 

Why we like it 

Content ideation is made easier with this tool. You can get a more detailed understanding of what your audience wants to know from its large database of questions. Then you can create content that addresses those questions more effectively.

Where the data comes from

QuestionDB finds questions on Reddit, and StackExchange, and will soon include Quora as well.

How much it costs

Search results for free users are limited to the first 50 results. Those who want to understand their audience or develop ideas sporadically should consider this plan.

With the Pro plan, you can conduct unlimited searches with unlimited results for $15 per month. Users who do deep dives into their targeted topics or rely on QuestionDB for ongoing content ideation will benefit from QuestionDB.

5. KeywordDiscovery

A very popular third-party tool for keyword research is Trellian’s KeywordDiscovery, which offers the following features:

How it works

When you enter a keyword or phrase in the search bar under the Research section, KeywordDiscovery displays the most popular search terms that include the keywords you provided, along with a count of how many searches were performed for those keywords in the past 12 months.

If you click on the little bar graph icon next to the number of searches for a query, you’ll see a graph of the search trends for that keyword over the past 12 months. 

You can mouse over each bar and see the number of searches for that time period, and you can sort the chart by historical data (how many searches in the past year), monthly data (number of searches broken down into each month), trends (a graph of the search trends over the past year), combination (a graph of historical global and global premium search data.

Where the data comes from

Trellian derives its keyword data primarily from aggregated historical global data purchased from ISPs. Trellian also uses a panel of 4.4 million users to collect its global premium data. The company claims that the global premium data removes the bias that various spiders introduce into data from other sources.

Why we like it

KeywordDiscovery offers a multitude of tools that are great for keyword research. Trellian also offers various tools that are useful for competitive research. You can almost think of KeywordDiscovery as a one-stop shop for research because it offers a diverse set of tools.

How much it cost

KeywordDiscovery offers different subscription options that range from a standard monthly subscription for $49.95/month to a yearly subscription for $499.95/year.

6. AnswerThePublic

Using AnswerThePublic, you can find long-tail keywords related to any topic using Google autocomplete suggestions. The tool creates word clouds that visually group related queries.

How it works

You should enter a seed keyword for the topic you want to write about and select the database you want to use. UK data is shown by default. Let’s use “chocolate” as an example and look at US search data.

Following that, AnswerThePublic will group all the queries related to “chocolate” into thematic word clouds. 

Search terms are sorted by their popularity in this cloud as they represent questions. According to the report, the search terms with darker shades were more popular. There may be fewer results overall or a higher search volume, but this does not always reflect an increase in search volume. When you click on a search term, you’ll be taken directly to the live search results on Google. 

Where the data comes from

The autocomplete data has been collected from 191 countries using Google and Bing.

Why we like it

AnswerThePublic is an excellent tool for generating content ideas. Using its word clouds, you can anticipate more specific questions and search phrases that your audience may ask. By doing so, you can develop more relevant content ideas.

The tool uses Google and Bing autocomplete data from 191 countries to pull its data.

How much it costs

AnswerThePublic is free to use, however, the number of searches you can run is limited according to the amount of traffic its domain receives. You will need one of their Pro plans to conduct unlimited searches. 

Starting at $79 per month, all of their Pro plans are available. At $99 per month, you can also have up to three users and five Search Listening Alerts. Each week, you’ll receive a report via email that provides updates on a keyword you’ve chosen to track. 

Up to five users and five Search Listening Alerts can be created with the Annual subscription ($79/month billed annually).

The Expert subscription ($199 per month) includes unlimited users and up to 20 Search Listening Alerts.

7. Keyword Tool

You can use Keyword Tool to find and target long-tail keywords, products, and hashtags using autocomplete data from a variety of search engines, including Google, Bing, YouTube, Amazon, Instagram, eBay, and the Play Store.

How it works

Pick a search engine and a country from which to view data. Type in the seed keyword. By selecting a search engine, the Keyword Tool will provide autocomplete suggestions, questions, and prepositions.

To download your keywords to a CSV or Excel file, select all the keywords you want to target. 

Where the data comes from

Search data is sourced from Google, Bing, YouTube, Amazon, Instagram, eBay, and the Play Store.

Why we like it

Unlike Google’s Keyword Planner, Keyword Tool focuses on long-tail keywords. Because of this, Keyword Tool works best for SEO, content marketing, and organic search.

8. TubeBuddy

TubeBuddy optimizes, publishes, promotes, and grows YouTube channels. Video A/B testing is also available. Keyword Explorer, one of their suite of tools, helps creators discover long-tail keywords and trending tags.

How it works

Once you grant it access to your YouTube channel, you can access the TubeBuddy Keyword Explorer within the extension and app. Use it by entering a keyword or topic of interest, and clicking “Explore.”

The score for that keyword can be found on the Summary tab. It also considers how well-optimized the top-ranking videos are in relation to the amount of competition. 

In addition, you can access channel-specific scores if you have a paid account.

You can also see a breakdown of YouTube and Google interest over time, as well as related video topics and tags.

Results provide a snapshot of the top videos and channels for that keyword on YouTube. This information could be used to identify competitors. 

Watching one of those videos will bring you to a Videolytics panel. There’s information on performance, SEO, and best practices here, as well as video tags.

Also, the Map tab shows you where the most interest is geographically for this topic. Plan content that speaks directly to viewers in those areas based on your audience. 

Where the data comes from

Google Trends and YouTube keyword data are included in the Keyword Explorer.

Why we like it

Using Keyword Explorer, you can perform YouTube-specific keyword research. They also offer templates, split testing, and other tools that will help you test your new keywords.

How much it costs

Keyword Explorer’s free account allows you to access the top three results of every search and perform 25 searches per day. Furthermore, you won’t be able to access some channel-specific information, such as weighted keyword scores. 

If you want to use Keyword Explorer without limits, you should upgrade to a Pro account: 

  • Pro: $9 per month
  • Star: $19 per month
  • Legend: $49 per month

9. AlsoAsked

With AlsoAsked, you can analyze Google’s People Also Ask data to shape your strategy. People Also Ask (PAA) boxes are a gold mine for related topics and questions surrounding your keyword of choice, as any digital marketer knows.

How it works

In addition to displaying your seed keyword, AlsoAsked displays the PAA questions related to it on a tree diagram to illustrate their relationship.

Searching for “Blockchain” generates four primary questions: 

  • What Blockchain means?
  • What is Blockchain technology and how does it work?
  • How to use Blockchain technology?
  • What is Blockchain and examples?

PAA results, however, also come from these questions. The new questions are also displayed on new branches. A new diagram will appear if you click on one of them.

You can then see the relationships between the topics you could cover, which can assist you in structuring your articles. By doing this, you will answer all the most important questions in the order they will likely be asked. 

In addition to exporting this data as a CSV or image, you can also use it as part of an analysis or presentation.

Where the data comes from

AlsoAsked collects and organizes data from Google’s People Also Ask results, which are searches users also conduct while searching for your initial query. So, AlsoAsked will only return results when a PAA box is returned.

Why we like it

Content ideas that target PAA questions can be easily generated.

How much it costs

At the time of this writing, all AlsoAsked free users have access to a Bulk account (the highest level of paid accounts).

In addition to performing 10 searches every month, exporting images, and viewing your search history, a typical free account would allow the user to perform 10 searches every month outside of the beta.

With paid accounts, you will be able to conduct more searches per month, export CSVs and unbranded images, and bulk upload the keywords you wish to research. AlsoAsked’s website does not provide pricing information yet.

10. Soovle

Soovle is a free, customizable search engine aggregator that gathers search suggestions from up to 15 different engines, such as Google, Bing, Wikipedia, Amazon, eBay, and YouTube.

How it works

Across each search platform, Soovle suggests the top searches related to your seed keyword. When you enter your seed keyword into the search bar in the center of the screen, the suggestions will appear over the logos of the search engines.

Click on any suggestion to view the live search results page and use the left and right arrow keys to toggle through each search engine. Drag a suggestion to the top left corner to save it for later reference. 

Where the data comes from

You can choose to include one or more engines in Soovle.

Why we like it

Using many different platforms, you can quickly compare related search suggestions and discover new long-tail keywords to target.

How much it costs

It is completely free to use Soovle.

Final Words

You are the best person to know your content. With good keyword research, content is delivered to the right audience when they need it. 

It’s important to arm yourself with the best tools, but it isn’t the only one. By continuing to read, think, and challenge yourself, you can keep yourself (and your strategy) sharp.

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