Keywords are one of the most critical and important parts of SEO. We have already discussed this in detail here.
The basic foundation of SEO is keyword research.
Afterward, other factors like on-page optimization, quality of content, a good site UI, and some other factors come into the picture.
Many companies invest thousands of dollars to pay for keyword research to get such targeted content.
But you don’t need to do that. Just follow this guide…
The keywords you choose to focus on for your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts are critical to the success of your website’s rank.
Choosing the right keywords isn’t always easy or intuitive and you need a lot of data to know whether a given keyword will work for you.
If you are completely new to keyword research tools and the process of keyword research, here are some guides from the past which will help you understand the basics:
- Importance of Keywords in SEO
- Keyword Research for Beginner’s Using the Google Keyword Planner Tool
So now you know the basics of keyword research and you have an understanding of how valuable it can be.
Fortunately, there are many tools available that can help you figure out which keywords work the best for your overall web strategy. There are mostly two types of Keyword research tool:
- Basic Keyword research: Use the seed Keyword to find profitable Keywords
- Competitor based Keyword research: Find proven keywords which are helping other sites to drive traffic.
Personally, I find Competitor based Keyword research to be more effective as the purpose of the Keyword research is to find profitable Keywords. What could be more profitable than something which is already working for someone?
All you need to do after that is to create a page targeting that profitable keyword & reap the benefit of keyword research.
In this exclusive guide, I have covered both the type of Keywords. Most of these keyword research tools are paid and only a few of them are free.
Here are the list of tools listed below:
- Google Keyword Planner
- SEMRUSH (Have given a link below to try SEMRUSH worth $199)
- Ahrefs (Offers 7 days trial for $7)
- KWFinder (Have free plan as well)
Best Keyword Research Tools: 2018 edition
1. Google Keyword Planner <Free>
The Google Keyword Planner tool is one of the most used and popular keyword research tools out there.
The only reason for it being so popular is it’s free and is directly integrated with Google AdWords.
To start using this tool you need to have an AdWords account (which you can create one for free).
- Features: The biggest feature of the Keyword Planner tool is the deep information it offers on Google (the largest search engine).
- Limitations: In some ways, that’s also a limitation. If you want to know how your site or a given keyword is doing on other search engines, you won’t get it here.
- Pricing: Free to use.
The Keyword Planner tool is a good, basic tool for the early stages of a website’s SEO.
This my favorite free tool, but if you need more detailed and competitive analysis, I would recommend going for one of the advanced tools that I have listed below.
Check out the Google AdWords Keyword Planner here
2. SEMRUSH <14-Day Free Trial (worth $199)>
“What is the easiest keyword research tool for a blogger?”
SEMRUSH is not a typical keyword research tool; it offers so much more than just researching keywords.
Unlike other tools where you need to add seed keywords to start your research, here you just need to add your URL (or your competitor’s URL) and it will show you all of the keywords that are ranking for that site.
This makes it easier for you to find short-tail and long-tail keywords that you can target and beat out your competition.
You can get in-depth details on:
- Traffic stats
- Search engine reports
- Adsense CPC
- and so many other details that you need in properly managing an SEO campaign.
This is a highly recommended product.
- You can read a detailed review of SEMRUSH here.
Download a 14-day (completely free) trial of SEMRUSH here
3. Ahrefs Keyword Explorer tool
Ahrefs is one of the most popular keyword tool out there.
What I really like about them is extensive detail including the keyword difficulty. Ahrefs uses clickstream data to also show how many clicks you will get from the search engine. This is very useful after knowledge graph integration, as many keywords may have huge traffic but they hardly get any clicks from search engine. Reason being, they get answers directly from the Google search result. Example of one such query is: “birthdate of any celebrity”
Another thing which makes Ahrefs Keyword research tool stand out is the great UI & the amount of data they provide. You can also create a list of keywords to target directly from Ahrefs dashboard. You don’t need to use excel & this is a huge time saving.
Take 7 days trial of Ahrefs for $7
4. LongTailPro <$30 Discount>
LongTailPro is a cloud-based software for keyword research and one of the most popular in this list.
This is a paid keyword research tool which will help you find amazing keywords for your niche/micro-niche sites. With their “platinum” version, you can get a really amazing and really detailed keyword analysis feature.
They also have a competition checker, which will make it easier for you to pick the right keyword.
You can see a detailed review of LongTailPro here.
Get $30 off of LongTailPro here
5. KW finder:
If you are looking for one tool which is completely dedicated to Keyword research only, KWFinder is your best bet. They are new in the market yet they are one of the fastest growing SEO tool company.
KWFinder helps you get the Keyword that will help you drive highly targeted traffic. Using Questions based Keyword research option you can quickly find long tail keywords that are related to problem solving. It’s no brainer that problem solving content helps us get more targeted traffic & conversion.
KWFinder offers both free & paid plans. For most of the users basic plan is the best. However do use the free account to see the effectiveness of KWFinder keyword research app.
SpyFu is one of the best SEO optimization software products on the market. It’s especially useful if you’re trying to analyze and stay ahead of the competition in a tight niche.
Here’s what you need to know about this one:
- Uses: SpyFu is highly useful for two important reasons.
- Understanding your competition’s SEO platform.
- Discovering under-served, un-tapped, or emerging markets.
- Features: SpyFu also has several modules.
- Compare Websites module
- Keyword History module
- Domain History module
- Related Keywords module
- Limitations: This program doesn’t have the depth of keywords that some competitors do, although this is changing. Also, the data for SpyFu is monthly, rather than real-time.
- Pricing: SpyFu offers two basic pricing plans as well as an “Agency” plan.
- The basic plans are $79 and $99 per month (with a discount of more than 40% if you buy a one year term).
- The “Agency” pricing is $999 per month.
SpyFu is a solid SEO product.
It’s useful if you want to check up on the competition as well as find new areas in which to market.
Check out SpyFu here
Serpstat is another comprehensive keyword research tool that I discovered in 2018. They have done some real good work when it comes to helping us identify winning keywords.
The Serpstat keyword tool gives you following details:
- Search volume
- Keyword difficulty score
You have the option to search in Google.com based on country or also in Yandex search engine. The Keyword trends section help you to understand how the keyword search trend has been.
There is a detailed keyword difficulty score section that shows top 10 web pages that have taken ranking for the keyword along with details like page rank, external backlinks and referring domains. These type of data is very useful when you need to eveluate if you can rank the for specific keyword or not.
For those who are in PPC, SERPstat keyword research page also shows which all domains are advertising for your target keyword in search and what kind of ads they are running. Something that is uncommon in this list of best tools of Keyword research.
Serpstat is used by small businesses to research keywords, build new links, and develop a strategic SEO platform.
- Pricing: Serpstat includes a free data just for registration.
- Monthly pricing is $19 per month.
Check out SERPStat here
I would not recommend you pick up all of the tools listed above, but instead stick to one or two and get used to its system.
If you have been using the Google Keyword Planner tool for a while, you have a good basis for getting started with any of the paid and professional tools listed here. Take a look at some of these tools and decide which works best for your business strategy.
- If you are looking for an easy, yet a great solution, go for SEMRUSH.
- If you are researching keywords for micro-niche sites, use Ahrefs
Whatever you choose, use these tools to supercharge your SEO.
For more on SEO, check out:
- Search Engine Value: The Not So Secret Mantra for SEO Success
- On-Page SEO Techniques To Rank On First Page: 2018 Edition
Are you using one of the keyword research tools from the above list? How has your experience been so far? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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