Are you looking for the best keyword research tools to grow your SEO traffic?
Keyword research sits at the heart of any SEO strategy. As such, you can’t rely on guess work – you’ll need the right tools to make the magic happen.
In this article, we’re sharing the best keyword research tools to consider for your SEO campaign. We’ll start off with some quick recommendations, then dive into the full list of tools.
Ready? Let’s get started.
The best keyword research software – summary
- SE Ranking is the best keyword research tool overall because it offers a deep feature set and is surprisingly affordable.
- KWFinder is the best platform for beginners because of its affordability and ease of use.
- SEMrush is the best option for professionals because it’s a feature-packed SEO solution that’s worth its hefty price tag.
- Soovle is a free, simple-to-use keyword research tool for those that need a quick way to gather keyword ideas for a post.
Let’s dig deeper into each tool so you can understand more about its key features.
1. SE Ranking
SE Ranking is our favorite out of all the keyword research tools in this list. It strikes the right balance between price and performance.
It has a ton of features that makes it the ideal keyword research tool for those that take their SEO seriously. It’s best known as an industry leading rank tracking tool and makes it easy to monitor rankings across Google, and other search engines. You can even check rankings for different locations (e.g. UK/USA rankings) and mobile devices.
The website audit tool and on-page checker will tell you what’s wrong with your site and provide instructions on how you can optimize it better. And the Backlink Checker helps you create a sustainable link building strategy.
Now, what about keyword research specifically?
You can enter a term and get keyword ideas based on a location you specify. You can also toggle between Google and Yandex. SE Ranking then provides a difficulty score so you’ll have an idea of how easy or difficult it is to rank your keyword results.
Other keyword data include monthly search volume, CPC, and paid competition.
You can toggle between similar and related keywords. Or you can click on the Low Search Volume tab and find words and phrases that are easier to rank for.
There is an option to use the same tool to perform competitor research and see which terms are driving traffic to their site. You can also do keyword research in bulk.
Pricing: SE Ranking has a unique structure where plan pricing changes depending on how often you’d want to check your rankings, the subscription period, and the number of keywords to track.
The Essentials plan is the cheapest plan at $23.52/month (paid annually) with weekly tracking.
Learn more in our SE Ranking review.
KWFinder is another keyword tool that’s part of an SEO tool package by Mangools. Its main selling point is that it helps users find long-tail keywords with low keyword difficulty.
There are two ways for someone to do keyword research using KWFinder. You can try finding keywords by entering a seed term or you can enter a domain and a list of keyword suggestions will pop up.
You can specify the location you want the keywords to come from or a language.
The tool is very intuitive and KWFinder delivers great keyword suggestions. This is the reason why it’s a perfect fit for beginners.
It even lets you perform competitive research so you’ll always know what your rivals are up to. Just enter their domain or URL and this keyword tool will give you the best words to target based on what’s working for your competitor.
KWFinder also provides historical data. So if you want to see how keywords performed in the past, you can do so. This is good news for businesses that are seasonal in nature. You’ll know ahead of time how certain phrases perform on search engines based on how well they did the previous year.
Pricing (Billed Annually): Basic ($29.80/month), Premium ($39.90/month), and Agency ($79.90/month)
SEMrush needs no introduction especially if you’re a hardcore online marketer. It’s an all-in-one SEO tool that’s trusted by most in the industry. And when it comes to keyword research, it has one of the best keyword tools in the digital marketing space.
Let’s focus on its keyword research capabilities.
The Keyword Overview section reveals organic search and paid keyword data. You’ll see the keyword volume, difficulty, CPC, and SERP features.
There’s also information on keyword variations, questions, and related terms. The keyword’s trend is also on display.
If you need to create a keyword master list, you can use the Keyword Magic Tool. You simply enter a seed term and SEMrush will pull a list of terms that you can use in your campaign. This keyword tool uses a lot of metrics including volume, competitive density, keyword difficulty, and results in SERP.
The Keyword Gap tool allows you to compare your site with your competitors to see if there are potential keywords you’re missing out on. The Keyword Manager tool lets you analyze and manage up to 1,000 keywords at a time.
And those that are annoyed by those “not provided” keyword results will be happy to know that SEMrush can extract those data so that you’ll have more opportunities to outrank your competitors.
Pricing (Billed Annually): Pro ($99.95/month), Guru ($191.62/month), and Business ($374.95/month)
Soovle may not look like much at first glance, but for those that want a free keyword research tool, it’s a fantastic option. It can give you keyword data from different search engines like Google, Bing, YouTube, Yahoo, and Amazon.
As far as features go, there’s not a lot to go on. It’s a fairly simple keyword tool. You just enter a seed term and Soovle will display the top keywords related to it across all the search engines listed on the site.
There is an option to go over the top internet keywords for a given time. Though the latest data available as of this writing is for May 2019. The search terms are in alphabetical order but there is a search feature to help you narrow down your search. You can also select a search engine to base the results on.
You can also save your keyword suggestions for future reference.
If all you need is to find out what keywords are hot on the internet right now for free, Soovle could be a quick solution. But if what you need is a serious keyword tool with extensive features, you might be better off looking elsewhere.
5. SEO PowerSuite
SEO PowerSuite is a collection of SEO tools that happen to include a keyword tool. To be more specific, the Rank Tracker feature is what you’ll need to find the best keyword ideas for your website.
While it is called a Rank Tracker, it combines 23 keyword research tools into one platform. It lets you select from a list of keyword research methods including Google Adwords, Google Autocomplete, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Yahoo Search Assist, and Bing Related Search.
It will display key metrics like keyword difficulty, search volume, and Alexa ranking.
You can also track your competitors using SEO PowerSuite. It tracks your rivals’ keyword tactics and lets you know which keywords they already rank for.
It’s also worth mentioning that you can automate the checking of keywords. Just create a schedule and SEO PowerSuite will start working in the background. You don’t have to check keywords manually anymore.
The best part about SEO PowerSuite is that it’s customizable with white-label options. That means you can use it to send reports to clients if you’re running an SEO agency. And you can also use the same automation feature to send client reports automatically.
Pricing: Professional ($299/year) and Enterprise ($499/year)
Learn more in our SEO PowerSuite review.
6. Keyword Tool
Keyword Tool uses Google Autocomplete to provide its users valuable data for their marketing campaigns. It’s one of those free keyword research tools that have a paid upgrade path for those that need to unlock more features.
The free version will provide you with keyword suggestions. However, you’ll need to pay for the Pro version to unlock the search volume, trend, CPC, and competition information.
If all you need is to create a list of keywords to target regardless of their metrics or maybe you’re just doing research on where to begin, the free version should be enough. Otherwise, you might want to upgrade to the Pro version.
Keyword Tool also has tabs that are specific to terms that are in question form and those that start with prepositions.
You’d also have the ability to enter negative keywords to exclude keywords that include words or phrases that you don’t have any use for. If you’re using the free version, however, then you’re limited to five negative keywords. The Pro version lets you enter up to 2,000 entries.
Keyword Tool is not only good for Google search. You can also use it to find keywords for YouTube, Amazon, Bing, eBay, Instagram, Play Store, and Twitter.
Pricing (Billed Annually): Free, Pro Basic ($69/month), Pro Plus ($79/month), and Pro Business ($159/month)
QuestionDB is simply one of the best keyword research tools if you want to research topics or keywords for a blog post.
All you need to do is to enter a seed term and this great tool will give you a long list of ideas for your next blog post or article. Free tools like QuestionDB are great, however, you don’t get the full results. For that, you’ll have to upgrade to the paid version.
What makes QuestionDB kind of unique is that you can see where it sourced its answers from.
For example, if one of the results grabs your attention and you want to learn more about the people asking about it, you can click the source to learn more about it. It could come from a Reddit post or any other forum.
You can also filter the answers by keyword or question. The results also include related topics to your search queries. And you can download all the results for your convenience.
The paid version of this tool removes the 50 results per search cap and raises it to 800 per search. You also get unlimited searches and get API access.
The best part? It’s not that expensive at all. It’s a great choice for those that need a keyword tool for conceptualizing content topics.
Pricing (Billed Annually): Pro ($7/month)
Ahrefs is on the same level as SEMrush and is also considered one of the best keyword research tools today. It has plenty of features since it is an all-in-one SEO solution. But we’ll be putting all our focus on the Keywords Explorer Tool.
The Keywords Explorer Tool lets you discover thousands of keyword ideas instantly. You’ll find results from over 171 countries and 10 different search engines. It claims to only show the most accurate keyword search volumes as it uses clickstream data for the most accurate results.
More than the search volume, Ahrefs also shows how many clicks a search entry gets so you’ll have a better idea of how good a keyword really is. It has advanced SEO metrics too like return rate, percent of clicks, and more.
Ahrefs is one of the most comprehensive keyword research tools. At the very least, you should include it in your list of SEO tools to consider.
Pricing: Lite ($99/month), Standard ($179/month), Advanced ($339/month), and Agency ($999/month). 2 months free on annual plans.
Serpstat is another all-in-one SEO platform that, of course, has its own keyword research tool.
Its Keyword Research Tool provides metrics such as volume, popularity, competition, and keyword difficulty. It also shows related searches so you can get the right keywords for your campaign.
It can also help you find the right search term to focus on so that your blog posts rank for organic traffic. You can also use Serpstat to determine a keyword’s trend and seasonality to know what people are searching for and when they’re doing so.
You also get access to the Rank Tracking and Competitive Research tools to give you the edge you need to succeed.
There are five plans to choose from so you can pick one that best suits your business requirements.
Pricing (Billed Annually): Lite ($52/month), Standard ($112/month), Advanced ($224/month), Enterprise ($374/month), and Custom (Pricing Varies)
10. Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is part of Google Ads and is a reliable source of information since it comes courtesy of the search engine giant itself. It’s really simple to use and you can get it for free.
The only downside to using the Google Keyword Planner is that the keyword results are often limited and lack some of the more advanced metrics that you’ll find on other keyword research tools.
But it is a great starting point for anyone who’d like some SEO training or for people who need to find information on a particular keyword.
11. Google Search Console
Google Search Console aims to improve your website’s performance on Google search. While its primary purpose is to find technical issues that prevent your site from ranking higher on search results, you can also use it to find keyword opportunities.
In particular, you’ll be able to find which queries bring people to your site. You can also see your domain’s impressions, clicks, and position on Google search.
It may not be as extensive as the best keyword research tools but it’s still worth exploring. All marketers need to familiarize themselves with Google Search Console.
12. Answer the Public
Answer the Public is a great platform for free keyword suggestions. Its visualization feature gives you a better sense of what people search for online and how each term is related to one another.
You can use the information here to generate blog topics, build up your Q&A section, establish long-tail keywords to target, and more.
Keywords are divided into sections: questions, prepositions, comparisons, alphabetically, and related.
It’s so easy to get lost in all of the keyword possibilities that Answer the Public presents you with.
There are paid versions that you can upgrade to which will give you unlimited searches and users. It also allows you to compare data over time.
Pricing (Billed Annually): Annual ($79/month) and Enterprise ($399/month)
Frequently Asked Questions
Which tools are used for keyword research?
You will need access to a keyword research tool to do keyword research. Almost every all-in-one SEO platform will have this feature though there are standalone options available.
Which is the best free keyword research tool?
If you’re looking for the most basic free research tool, Google Keyword Planner is a good place to start.
What is the cheapest keyword research tool?
There are several keyword research tools that come for free. Google Keyword Planner, Answer the Public, and QuestionDB are just a few examples.
What is the best way to do keyword research?
The best way to do keyword research is to find a seed term that you’d like to anchor your site on and use a keyword tool to explore other possible keywords to include in your site.
Wrapping it up
And that concludes our article on the best keyword research software.
But which software is best for you? That depends on your needs. The best option for us may not be the same for you.
This is why it’s important to consider your needs. Do you need a simple keyword research tool?
Or do you need an all-in-one SEO toolkit that can handle keyword research and has other features such as backlink analysis and rank tracking?
It’s also important to consider your budget. The price of these tools can vary wildly especially for those who need large volumes of projects and team accounts.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for other SEO tools to add to your tech stack, you may find these comparisons useful:
- SEO Reporting Tools
- Link Building Software
- Rank Tracking Software
- Ahrefs Alternatives
- Content Writing Tools For SEO
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means we may make a small commission if you make a purchase.