This post may contain affiliate links. For more info, visit the disclosure page.
Choosing the right keywords for your website’s content strategy can help your search engine optimization efforts as well as attracting the right type of visitors.
To help you do this, you need a keyword research tool that will give you access to accurate data and reveal long tail keywords that will help you to rank.
In this blog post, I’m going to give you 12 of the best keyword research tools available that will help you to choose the right keywords for your website.
Price: From $119.95/m. Free trial available.
Best feature: Keyword Magic
SEMRush is not only a keyword research tool but a suite of tools for online marketers. You can do keyword research, SEO research, content marketing research and more with this robust set of tools.
The keyword research tools available in SEMRush has made the tool one of the leaders in the industry for many years. You’ll find this suite at the top of most keyword tool lists because it is just that good.
Some of the best features of SEMRush are:
- Keyword Magic Tool
- Keyword Gap Tool
- Topic Research Tool
Keyword Magic allows you to input a single seed keyword and generate lots of other related keywords in your niche, including long-tail keywords. You can then explore different sub-categories to find even more keywords and topics you may not have thought about.
The Keyword Gap tool allows you to check competitor sites for unique and common keywords they rank for. SEMRush checks for organic and paid keywords.
After finding keywords, you can save them in the keyword manager for later use.
One of my favorite features is the topic research tool found in the content marketing section of the tool. You enter a topic and it generates a mindmap of related ideas, interesting topic headlines, questions your audience asks about the topic and related keywords.
SEMRush is a very useful keyword research suite but it is very pricey. You can use it for free with limitations that include limited results and a cap on the amount of daily requests you can make. Currently you can only make 10 requests per day.
The paid subscriptions are best for people who need to do a lot of research. There are three paid plans starting with the Pro plan which costs $119.95/month. The Guru plan costs $229.95/month. You can try both plans with a 7 day free trial.
There is also a Business plan which costs $449.95/month which is great for large businesses and agencies. There is no free trial for this plan.
2. Ahrefs Keyword Explorer
Price: From $99/m.
Best feature: Keyword difficulty
Probably better known for its backlink checker tool, Ahrefs also has a very good keyword tool which rivals that of SEMRush.
Ahrefs keyword tool probably has the largest database, with 8 billion queries, as it pulls data from multiple search engines across 171 countries around the world. With such a huge database, this means that the tool can help you find opportunities other tools may not find.
Ahrefs data is updated every month to ensure you get the most accurate data each time. Google isn’t the only search engine supported. The tool also can estimate volumes for Bing, YouTube, Amazon, Baidu, Yandex and more which makes it even more useful.
The best feature of Ahrefs is probably Keyword Difficulty (KD). Most keyword tools will give you a keyword difficulty rating as a general estimate such as “difficult” or a percentage eg. 80 out of 100. Keyword Difficulty tells you how easy or difficult it is to rank for the given keyword and how many estimated backlinks you’ll need to get on the first page of the SERPS.
Ahrefs previously offered a 7 day free trial to use their keyword explorer. However, you’ll have to subscribe to use this tool. A Lite plan starts at $99/month for access most of the suite. The Standard plan for $199/month gives you even more features.
3. Google Keyword Planner
Best feature: Refine keywords
Keyword Planner is a free to use tool that comes directly from Google. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that most of the other keyword tools have but you’re getting data right from the source.
This tool was made for uses of Google Adwords so they could get keywords for paid advertising but you can use it to get keyword search data. You’ll need a free Adwords account even if you don’t plan on running any ads.
To do keyword research in the Google Keyword Planner, you can just enter your desired seed term and get more keyword ideas, search volume and more. Or you can enter a website domain or page from any website to get an idea of what keywords they’re using.
It may not be the best keyword tool to use for SEO however you cannot deny the accuracy of the data if you’re optimizing your website for Google.
4. Keyword Tool
Price: Free / From $89/m
Best feature: Keywords for multiple platforms
KeywordTool.io database works by giving you lists of keywords based on autocomplete suggestions from 11 different search engines.
This is similar to what some other keyword tools do ie. Answer The Public and the Alphabet Soup feature in Jaaxy. The only difference is that those tools only use Google while Keyword Tool pulls data from:
- Google Play
- Apple App Store
- Google Trends
The free version of Keyword Tool gives you lots of suggestions based on your query and you can generate a lot of keyword ideas from these. Many of the suggestions are valuable long tail keywords you may want to rank for. The key information like search volume, trends and competition are omitted and requires a paid subscription to access.
Paid subscriptions start with the Pro Basic plan which costs $89/month or $69/month when billed annually. Keyword Tool does hold a lot of benefit if you’re researching keywords in order to generate content ideas.
5. Long Tail Pro
Price: From $37/m. $8 trial available
Best feature: Rank value
Long tail keywords are less competitive keywords that can bring your SEO campaigns better converting traffic than more general keywords.
Long Tail Pro helps you to find all these high converting keywords regardless of your niche, much like all the other keyword tools on this list. The keyword research tool is actually part of the Long Tail Pro suite of SEO tools which includes backlink analysis, rank tracking, site audit and more.
The data in Long Tail Pro is actually pulled from Google’s Keyword Planner. You can see different metrics including keyword profitability using the Rank Value feature, keyword competitiveness for ranking in the top 10 of Google’s first page and more.
There is not free plan with Long Tail Pro but you can get an $8 for 8 days trial before subscribing to a paid plan. There are three plans which have both annual and monthly pricing. The Starter plan goes for $37/month while the Pro and Agency plans go for $67 and $147/month respectively. Annual subscribers pricing the equivalent of 4 months free.
6. KW Finder
Price: From $47/m. Free trial available.
Best feature: Keyword difficulty
Mangools is a developer of 5 different SEO tools including this very efficient keyword tool that claims to find long tail keywords with low SEO difficulty.
KWFinder is very simple to use and has a lot of features other keyword tools have. The developers say that it is “the only keyword tool in the univers you will ever need.”
You can quickly search for keywords using either a seed keyword or a domain name. There are filters to help you narrow down your search. A keyword difficulty score is displayed next to every single keyword so you don’t have to check the keywords you need a score for.
To start using KWFinder, you can register for a free Mangools account and get a 10 day free trial of all their SEO tools including the keyword finder.
Paid plans start at $49/month for a Mangools Basic account or $29.90/month when you choose annual billing.
SerpStat is an all-in-one SEO platform that helps you to do domain and keyword analysis, content marketing, SEO and more. They have a variety of great tools that can help you gain success with your website’s rankings.
Their keyword tool offers features such as keyword difficulty, related search queries you may want to analyze and rank for, keyword trends and search volume. You can start searching using a seed keyword, a domain or any url.
You can also analyze your website to find missing keywords and the SERPS to see how difficult it would be to rank on the first page for a given keyword.
Because SerpStat doesn’t focus exclusively on keyword research, it may not be the best tool on the list but combined with all the other tools there is great value in using it for research.
You can get started for free by creating an account but you’ll need a paid account to get the most out of SerpStat. A Lite account is available for $69/month and as low as $45/month when you subscribe for up to 60 months at a time.
8. Moz Keyword Explorer
Price: Free. Pro from $179/m
Best feature: Keyword difficulty
Moz is an authority on SEO and their suite of tools are used by the SEO community to achieve their goals. The keyword explorer is just one of those tools.
You’ll need a free account to see the results but you can start searching with either a seed keyword or a url. Results from a query show different metrics including keyword suggestions and search volume, keyword difficulty, organic CTR and analysis of SERPS.
SERP Analysis show the results of Google’s page 1 for your search term with both the domain authority and page authority listed. This gives you an idea of your competition and how easily or difficult it would be to beat these results.
You can expand the results to see even more keyword suggestions and export them if you like. Filters on the page help you to narrow down your search.
With a free account, you’re limited to a meager 10 queries per month. To get more searches you’ll need a MozPro subscription which starts at $99/month for a Standard plan. The most popular plan, MozPro Medium is $179/month but comes with a 30-day free trial to get going. You save 20% on plans when you pay annually.
9. Answer The Public
Best feature: Alphabeticals
Answer The Public is one of my favorite keyword research tools. I started using this as an alternative to Google autocomplete.
With Answer The Public, you don’t get search volume and difficulty scores and analysis. The tool simply gives you a list of keywords based on what you would find using Google’s autocomplete while searching a keyword. Other tools do this but not as well as Answer The Public.
Results are sorted and displayed visually in separate groups representing:
- questions – queries starting with what, who, why etc.
- prepositions – queries containing for, is, to, with etc
- comparisons – queries with vs, and, or, like etc
- alphabeticals – eg. search query + words with a, search query + words with b etc
- related – queries related to your original seed query
You can choose to download and save the results displayed as an image or the entire results as a spreadsheet.
Answer The Public has a pro upgrade starting at $99/month which gives you access to some pro only features like hiding unwanted results, data comparison and more plus a content strategy.
Price: From $49/m
Best feature: Quoted Search Results (QSR)
Jaaxy is a keyword research tool that was created by affiliate marketers with affiliate marketers in mind. The tool contains some useful features that aren’t available in other keyword tools.
Along with search volume, you also get:
- traffic volume – expected number of clicks from a first page ranking
- QSR – quoted search results – number of sites optimized for the exact match query
- KQI – keyword quality indicator – green is great, yellow is ok, red is poor.
- SEO score – a score based on how difficult it is to rank for a particular keyword based on competition.
The tool will also offer suggestions for domain names for the keyword and affiliate programs related to your search.
Brainstorm will help you find keyword ideas by searching for a term or by using one of the trending suggestions from hot searches on Google Trends, Amazon bestsellers and Twitter. You can also do search analysis for a keyword and save your keyword lists for later use.
The Alphabet Soup feature gives you keyword suggestions based on Google’s autocomplete results with the query and going alphabetically from A-Z. There is a limited number of query results displayed and you can upgrade to a paid subscription to get more.
Jaaxy is available to members of Wealthy Affiliate with a Lite subscription which means you can use it for free with limitations. Premium Plus subscribers of Wealthy Affiliate have a paid Jaaxy account bundled into their membership.
You can also subscribe directly to Jaaxy without being a Wealthy Affiliate member. Starter accounts are trial accounts that have a limit of 30 searches a month. A paid subscription starts with Jaaxy Pro which costs $49/month or you can get a Jaaxy Enterprise account which gives you even more usage for $99/month. Annual subscribers get a discount.
Price: From $12/m or $120 Lifetime. Free trial available.
Best feature: SEO Difficulty filter
Ubersuggest was developed by top marketing influencer and author Neil Patel. Like many of the keyword tools on this list, it is part of an SEO suite of tools designed to help website owners and marketers.
The tool works similar to a cross between Moz and Answer The Public, sharing many features of both. For example, keyword ideas in Ubersuggest are sorted by suggestions, questions, comparisons and prepositions and you can see various metrics such as SEO difficulty, search volume, paid difficulty and cost per click. There is also information on what it takes to rank on the first page of the SERPS.
The SEO difficulty filter when looking at keyword ideas can be changed to show only keywords with easy, medium or hard to rank scores or you can choose a range. There are other filters you can apply to get your desired keywords.
Free users can only make 3 searches per day. Paid plans start at $12/month which is more affordable than most other keyword research tools. Additionally, there is a lifetime offer for each of the three plans and this starts at $120 one time fee for the Individual plan. A free trial of 7 days is available for users who wish to try any of the plans.
12. Google Trends
Best feature: Rising searches
Google Trends is a tool by Google that show keyword search trends over time and by location. This type of keyword research can be useful for finding keyword trends such as seasonality and for location targeting.
The tool also has real time keyword trends such as hot searches and rising queries. There is a section where you’ll see related keywords and this shows top queries which are the most popular queries over time and rising queries which queries that have recently picked up and up-trend.
You can also compare two or more search terms and see a graphical representation of their popularity over a period of time.
Google Trends is very useful when used alongside other keyword tools that show search volume and other data such as ranking difficulty and related queries.
The great thing about Google Trends is that it is completely free and you don’t even need an account to check data.
As you can see, there are many high quality keyword research tools available out there for you to help with your websites traffic and SEO goals.
Many of them have similar features and some have unique features that you can benefit from even if you choose to go with another keyword tool.
The tool which is best for you depends on your budget and your needs. Many free tools are very useful but some paid tools have features that can give you a competitive edge. If you need keyword research training some tools also have this as well. SEO suites also let you do site audits and backlink analysis which is another key part of SEO that complements keyword research.
Any of these 12 keyword research tools is a good choice. Have you used any of these? Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments.