This is a list of the top 31 best tools for keyword research.
Whether you’re looking for a comprehensive, enterprise-level paid keyword research tool to help drive your organization’s marketing strategy or a free keyword research tool to simply help improve your site’s content, this list has a perfect recommendation for you.
We reached out to our network of marketing agencies, B2B service providers, and business owners to find out what the experts think is the best keyword research tool and received more than 340 votes.
After compiling the data, here’s how the rankings shook out.
Top 31 Tools for Keyword Research
|Google Keyword Planner||42|
|Google Search Console||12|
Top 5 Most Recommended Tools for Keyword Research
Here are some of the many reasons why our community of experts recommended these products as the best keyword research tools on the market today.
One of the things I admire about AHREFS is the instructions that they provide with each feature. You can try out just about any feature and there will be at least one question mark button you can click to get a detailed rundown of how to use that feature. This makes the tool user-friendly and easy to navigate. – Alayna Okerlund, Senior Content Marketing Strategist, BestCompany.com
My favorite tool for keyword research is AHREFS. The Keywords Explorer feature presents useful information about your target keyword in a clean-cut dashboard. You can sift through metrics like: how difficult your keyword is to rank, search volume relative to that keyword, keyword ideas by search volume, the page that’s currently ranking first in the SERPS for that keyword, other competing pages for that keyword, and more. From here, you can perform some competitor analysis to see what else they are ranking for and create similar but better content. – Alexander Denholm, Co-Founder, Ghost Insights
My all-time favorite keyword research tool is AHREFS because they display the global search volume. For many other SEO tools, the user has to filter the search volume by country. Quite often in SEO work, you need to pitch a project to your client/team before proceeding to work on it, and one crucial KPI is, of course, the potential number of visits you can draw from a specific keyword. Presenting the global search volume for a keyword is much more useful than summing up the search volume for only a few core markets (countries). It gives more insight into the potential impact of your project. Furthermore, it may also display untapped markets (Ahrefs shows the top countries by search volume) where your client/team may not have necessarily focused on in the past. The latterer is especially useful for companies looking into localizing their service into a myriad of other languages. – Hung Nguyen, Marketing Manager, Smallpdf
The primary factor for me is the conversion potential of my targeted keywords, and this is dependent on search intent. I specifically target low-hanging keywords that are easier to rank for and more likely to convert by choosing lower-volume and higher-intent search queries. I use the keyword difficulty feature on SEMrush to compare difficulty and search volume and then the keyword overview to check referring domains and backlinks. I try to choose keywords that have enough search volume (sometimes even 100 can be enough for the focus keyword because the article ranks for other keywords, too) and a minimal number of backlinks, or at least there should be some results on the first page that don’t have multiple backlinks. All this information is available in one place: SEMRush. – Johannes Rastas, Affiliate Marketing Manager, Supermetrics
SEMRush is the most versatile SEO and PPC tool on the market and there’s nothing you can’t do with it. It offers free SEO analysis and saves you time by showing you the perfect opportunities to get marketing results that matter. They have tools that give you access to the most comprehensive keyword
research available. It also gives you access to all the marketing moves that your competitor is making giving you an opportunity to develop a strategy to counter it. If you want to improve your search traffic, then choose SEMRush. – Kenny Trinh, CEI, Netbooknews
What we’ve found across all languages is that the most important factor is always your audience, not just the keywords they use but the intent behind them. What questions are they asking? What are their concerns and needs?Using that information to create content that will resonate with your audience allows you to answer their questions, build your reputation, and make the sale. This means that each audience requires its own research. A Norwegian-speaking user may have different concerns than a Spanish-speaking user. A user in the US will ask different questions than a user in an emerging economy. Understanding these differences allows you to tailor content to each of your target markets.
To accomplish this, we use SEMrush to report on our rankings, how sites perform against competitors, and featured snippet performance. The tool also has a reporting capability that includes the ability to build reports from Google Analytics data, combining them with SEMrush reports. – Terena Bell, Head of Global PR, Lionbridge
It’s not as in-depth as other tools, but its data comes from Google so you know which trends and getting searched for most often. – Christopher Nicholls, Marketing Director, EcoSecretariat
In a vacuum, the GKP boasts fewer features than many other keyword research solutions, but it has one major strength: its data comes directly from Google. It’s primarily used for researching and placing keywords for PPC ad campaigns, but given that keyword competitiveness is closely related to SEO traffic–and purchase intent–it has a strong corollary effect as well. GKP shouldn’t necessarily be your starting point for keyword research, but you should always run your keywords through it to get useful input and information directly from Google. – John Funk, Inbound Marketing Specialist, SevenAtoms
The tool I find most useful is an oldie-but-a-goodie: Google Keyword Planner. While it’s not a perfect tool, I appreciate that it’s free, relatively easy-to-use, and accessible to everyone. The tool is also directly connected with Google, which ups its prestige with both me and our clients. People who aren’t as familiar with SEO or marketing, in general, are always going to feel more assured when research is associated with Google as opposed to Ahrefs or SEMrush. I appreciate a tool that gets a lot of mileage. – Sarah Walsh, Strategy Lead, Branch & Bramble
Ubersuggest is easy to use, cheap and accurate in terms of keyword volume and keyword ranking stats. What more can you ask for? – Atique Qureshi, Senior SEO, DailyScrawl
Aside from the fact that Ubersuggest is developed and recommended by the famous digital marketing expert, Neil Patel, it provides so many helpful features for free. – Lilia Manibo, Editor, Anthrodesk
What we find the most useful about Ubersuggest is that it’s free but still provides similar features as Ahrefs does. This includes search volume, SEO difficulty, PPC difficulty, CPC, overall click rate, searchers’ average age range, keyword suggestions, content ideas, and much more.
While Ahrefs provides more data, Ubersuggest is a perfect solution for those who are not ready to spend money on conducting keyword research just yet. – Valerie Borshch, Outbound Manager, Snov.io
AnswerThePublic is a tool that has been around for quite a while, but never quite gets the respect that it deserves. Now more than ever, searcher intent has shifted towards questions and inquiries, which is exactly what AnswerThePublic does well. It can take a simple keyword and expand on it beyond your wildest imagination. For SEOs, this is the special sauce when creating content to rank for PAA snippets or feature snippets. Answer the Public’s results are very up-to-date as well, and it’s an excellent complementary tool to use with SEMrush to do a comprehensive keyword research report for a client or campaign. – Joe Fortunato, Digital Marketing Manager, Company Man Studios
For a slightly different look at keyword research, I really enjoy AnswerThePublic. It gives you a handy visual, and is neatly arranged by questions, comparisons, etc. So entering the term copywriting gives 54 questions, arranged in a wheel around the central keyword. The questions are grouped by question words – what, when, can, etc. And each question is shaded slightly; a darker green indicates a more commonly-asked question, lighter green is less common. I find the results visually appealing and intuitive – a sure winner in my book! – Kevin Miller, Founder and CEO, The Word Counter
Despite being a tad overpriced, AnswerThePublic is FANTASTIC for related topics, FAQs, content discovery and LSI keywords. I usually use it if I really need an edge when it comes to trying to rank content (to the top three positions). – William Chin, SEO Consultant, Pickfu
These products may not have received enough votes to make it into the top 5, but we thought they deserved an honorable mention.
One of my favorite keyword research tools is Keywords Everywhere. It’s a Chrome extension that allows researchers to get search volume data in Google (right under the search box). On top of that, it also provides search volume data in Google AdWords, which is great if you’re not running an ad campaign and can only view search volume ranges, as well as in Answer the Public.. This will help prioritize the type of content that should be written first from an SEO perspective. – Christina Brodzky, Founder, MediaSesh
Keywords Everywhere help solve a problem that most marketers often neglect—limiting keyword options to what their minds can think. There’s a big flaw in this because what the marketer might think of is not necessarily the most optimal choice for their topic. Luckily, Keywords Everywhere helps solve that problem.
The “People Also Search For” feature of this tool helps marketers look at other possible keywords. For a more natural comparison, think of two different shoppers who have different inputs on the search bar, even if both want to buy a sitting tool at the beach. One might enter “beach chair” while the other one might enter “foldable chair.” With that said, if marketers consider all possibilities with their keyword building strategies, it could drastically improve the success rate of their campaigns. – Darrin Giglio, Chief Investigator, North American Investigations
After I brainstorm a list of keywords that are related to the product the business is offering, I use my own Google browser to search for each of them and compile a list of related terms from Keywords Everywhere. It’s a fast and FREE way to go beyond just what you can dream up for keywords. – Krista Walsh, Owner, Krista Walsh Copywriting, LLC
Soovle is quite handy and a fast tool that can provide you with keyword ideas in just seconds. It shows an immediate overview of the top search queries of different engines. By clicking on one of the queries you get redirected to the engine in a second. – Lora Georgieva, Digital Marketing Specialist, ProExpo Services
Choosing the Right Tool for You
What keyword analysis tools do you rely on? Do you prefer free tools or are you willing to fork over some hard-earned cash for advanced keyword analytics? Whichever you choose, know that there IS an option out there for you.
Start your search with the names included on this list of the top 32 best tools for keyword research and you’ll find the right match in no time.
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