10 Best Keyword Research Tools

If you have ever designed a website, you probably have asked the question before, "What is SEO?" Even if you've only obtained a small working knowledge of SEO, you probably know that keywords are an important part of getting found online. Adding specific keywords to your website’s content can help it show up on Google when someone searches for the specific key phrase, making them a very important practice. So, how do you go about finding the best ones? Well, a keyword or key phrase isn’t just something you pluck from your brain and run with. In order to find the best-suited keyword options to get your business website found on search engines, research is required.

When it comes to how to do keyword research, you have more than a few options at your disposal. Since you’re trying to rank well on Google, it’s easy to assume you should use its own keyword research tools, and technically speaking, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, other tools can provide some context for you to see the bigger picture.

Below, we’re going to show you 10 great keyword research tools you should definitely try:

  1. Google Keyword Planner

  2. Soolve

  3. SEMrush

  4. Wordstream

  5. Ubersuggest

  6. Ahrefs

  7. Google Trends

  8. Moz Keyword Planner

  9. Google Search Console

  10. Keywords Everywhere (extension)

1. Google Keyword Planner

Let’s get the most obvious option out of the way first. Google’s own Keyword Planner provides a fairly easy to understand approach to keyword research. Simply type in the keyword or phrase you want information on, and boom: You’ll see the average monthly searches for your keyword, the competition of others using this keyword, and both the low to high “top of page” bid prices, giving you a range of how much you can expect to pay per bid if you decide to use Google Ads.

Technically speaking, it’s not hard to access the Google Keyword Planner, but you will need to create an Adwords account and provide credit or debit card information before you can access it. While you won’t have to actually pay for anything to use the planner, it’s a hurdle some people jump over only begrudgingly.

Bottom line: This free option is for people who want a no-frills keyword research tool directly from Google itself.

2. Soolve

Soolve presents suggested keywords based on your query from across the web. Essentially, it’s like a big auto-suggestion search and provides commonly searched for terms based on what you searched for from the likes of Google, Wikipedia, Amazon, Yahoo!, Bing, and Answers.com -- all at once.

This isn’t an intensely robust tool, but that doesn’t make it unhelpful. Soolve gives you a good idea of how people are searching for the keyword you add to its search box and ways that you could rework the initial phrase for optimization.

Outside of the primary search feature, Soolve allows you to drag and drop suggested results to the top of the screen to save them for later. When “later” comes, you can even export your saved suggestions to a .csv file for use in other platforms.

Bottom line: Soolve is a free tool that’s best for those who want to investigate the autocomplete search from multiple sources at once for keyword inspiration.

3. SEM Rush

SEMRush is a favorite of many, thanks to its vast number of features it brings to its users. It could be considered a bit overkill for some, but if you’re looking for an all-in-one SEO platform, there’s a reason you’ll find this one at the top of many lists.

Whether you’re looking into standard or long-tail keyword research, or even the keywords most used by your competitors, SEMRush has your back. With its Keyword Magic tool, you’ll be able to get over 2 million results and have them grouped together by topic. These are just a few of the several features this platform has on offer. It also includes traffic analytics, advertising research, and much, much more.

If you’re just looking for a keyword research tool, you’ll find it here, but given that it’s a paid platform, someone just starting out may want to opt for a more simple, free option instead.

Bottom line: SEMRush is best for those who want a full suite of SEO features and don’t mind paying for it.

4. WordStream

If you’re trying to find a simple and effective keyword research platform, WordStream provides just that. Offering a simple search box, with optional filters for industry and country, this free tool provides a good set of potential keywords you can take advantage of.

The free version of WordStream offers only keyword suggestions and their Google search volume, the number of searches within a specific time frame. If you want additional insight for details like competition, CPC, and opportunity scores, you’ll need to sign up for the premium, WordStream Advisor.

Your keyword research tools don’t end there, though. WordStream also has additional ways to get inspired, like a negative keyword tool and keyword niche finder.

Bottom line: Wordstream’s basic free keyword search is nice, but you’re going to want to pay to unlock its full power.

5. Ubersuggest

Coming to you from Neil Patel, Ubersuggest is a great keyword research tool that offers valuable information in an easy to understand way.

Using Ubersuggest is a breeze: Simply add the keyword you want to get more insight on, your language/country, and you’re off! You’ll be presented with the information you’d expect from any keyword tool, like suggested keywords, volume, cost per click (CPC), Paid Difficulty (PD), and SEO Difficulty (SD). That’s not all though, as several other helpful insights are just a click away. You can easily access related keywords, questions on Google using the keyword, prepositions, and comparisons.

To dive in even further, simply click on one of the keyword suggestions to open an overview of the term that shows stats on Google SERP, visits, links, domain score, and social shares.

Bottom line: For a free tool, Ubersuggest feels very premium. It may be best to check this one out before spending money on other options for similar features.

6. Ahrefs

Another very popular tool for keyword research comes from Ahrefs, and it packs a punch in the features department.

The Ahrefs keyword tool not only offers a great feature set, but it’s also likely the easiest on the eyes. With great charts to visually show you the strength of your keyword, it’s definitely a little less intimidating than some of the other tools on this list. One of the primary insights is the Keyword difficulty, which can provide suggestions on how to best take advantage of it, like adding backlinks.

Ahrefs offers some flexibility for your research, specifically where your keyword is ranking. You’re able to search from a multitude of locations, whether it’s Google, YouTube, Bing, Yandex, Baidu, or Amazon.

Bottom line: Ahrefs offers an all-in-one SEO suite that isn’t free, but brings a lot to the table. It may be a little advanced for some users.

7. Google Trends

Google Trends can be fun to see what’s popular on the search engine, but it can also just as easily be used for your keyword research.

Simply type in your subject and you’ll be presented with a timeline, showing the popularity of your keyword. You can apply filters for location, time (default is 12 months), category, and search type. The latter allows you to filter between a standard web search, YouTube, news, image, or Google Shopping search.

Below the timeline, you’ll see a couple of charts that break down the popularity of your search term by subregions, which can be helpful for local SEO. Below that, you’ll see related topics and queries that may further help you optimize your keywords.

Bottom line: Google Trends is 100% free and is great to get inspiration and optimization tips on keywords.

8. Moz Keyword Explorer

Moz is a great resource for all things SEO, so it’s unsurprising that it also offers a fantastic keyword research tool.

Your standard set of features are present, such as keyword search volume, as well as the ability to generate and save keyword lists, but that’s not all. You can do a deep dive into long-tail keywords in question format, optimize your keywords for your international audiences, and advanced competitive keyword analytics. Those are just some of the features that you’ll get with the Moz Keyword Explorer.

While it’s probably not a complete deal-breaker, you’ll need to sign up for an account just to use the tool.

Bottom line: The SEO experts at Moz have created a fantastic free tool for keyword research that’s not intimidating to use.

9. Google Search Console

The Google Search Console provides a wealth of information about the performance of your website and it can be very helpful for keyword research, just perhaps not in the way you’d expect.

The Search Console will only provide terms that you’re currently ranking for, so if you’re looking to research potential new keywords, then another tool may be better suited for your needs. However, seeing what phrases people are using to find you on Google can help further optimize and expand on what’s already there. You could even find that some keyphrases could be performing better with a couple of on-page tweaks. Need some help getting off the ground with the Google Search Console? Check out our Ultimate Beginner’s Guide.

Bottom line: The Google Search Console is a free tool that can help you get insights on your existing keywords and how to optimize them.

10. Keywords Everywhere (extension)

If you’re sick of spending a countless amount of time on individual keyword research tools, you can lighten your load with the Keywords Everywhere extension for Chrome and Firefox web browsers.

This freemium extension allows you to get useful information for keywords without needing to go to a dedicated site. A simple Google search will automatically yield related keywords to your search query as well as a “people also search for” section to the right of the search results. If you’re looking to mine more info on your search (and you probably are), then you’ll need to purchase credits to get details about search volume, CPC, and competition. These details will appear directly within the autocomplete box while searching and below the search bar after you’ve executed the search.

Bottom line: Keywords everywhere is a paid extension that takes a lot of the grunt work out of keyword research since it’s built-in into your browser after it’s added.

By Blake Stimac

Wix Blog Writer