Keyword Research Tools
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The odds are pretty good that you don’t need us to tell you the real value of keyword research in SEO, and that without a top-tier keyword research tool to handle the heavy lifting of this process you’re really shortchanging your shot at success.
Most smart, strategic, and savvy entrepreneurs and online marketing companies today recognize the value of keyword research and long-tail keywords. At the same time, though, with so many different options out there to pick and choose from finding the right one can feel like a bit of an uphill battle.
That’s why we’ve put together this quick guide.
Do I Really Need a Keyword Research Tool?Absolutely!
Sure, you could choose to come up with keywords all on your own – seemingly at random – and throw everything at the wall to see what sticks. But that’s really only something you should consider if you’re willing to waste days, weeks, or even months of your life fumbling around in the dark with search engine optimization efforts that are crippling your business.
The best keyword research tools on the market today help you save a tremendous amount of time, a tremendous amount of effort, and give you insights and inside information that you wouldn’t have had access to otherwise.
Inside of 30 seconds or less you can easily discover the most profitable keywords in any market, the ideal keywords you should be targeting, and the most relevant keywords you can use to do an end around your competition while skyrocketing your chances of success at the same time.
Not only that, but top-tier keyword research tools also give you “x-ray vision” when it comes to your competitors and their search engine optimization efforts. You’ll be able to reverse engineer everything they are doing right, spot what they are doing wrong, and course correct before you make the same kinds of missteps.
The bottom line is simple. You NEED a keyword research tool these days!
Top Free Options
Google Keyword Planner
It should come as no surprise to anyone that the folks at Google are responsible for making one of the best keyword research tools on the market, the Google Keyword Planner – or that it is 100% free of charge.
The granddaddy of keyword research tools, this used to be the only party on the block for this kind of insight and information. While that’s changed considerably (with all kinds of competition diving headfirst into the fray) you still can’t go wrong using the Google Keyword Planner.
Somewhat recently acquired by legendary search engine optimizer and online marketer Neil Patel, this tool remains 100% free of charge and has been heavily invested in to make it even better and more robust than it ever used to be before.
Effortless to use, with some of the prettiest visuals of any free tool, you’ll be at a serious competitive disadvantage if you aren’t using this keyword research asset. The timeliness of each search (as well as the predictive nature of the analytics tools) put it head and shoulders above a lot of premium options.
A simple and straightforward (not to mention lightweight) plug-in you can add to your Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox installation, this tool leverages extra data through the Google API that provides a flood of data and details previously “hidden” inside of your browser that you wouldn’t have had access to before.
Not only are you going to get a tremendous amount of deep insight into the keywords you are researching, but you’re also going to get quite a bit of keywords that you might have overlooked with other tools – all thanks to the “People Have Also Searched For” tools.
Answer the Public
Some have described this as a bit of a one trick pony when it comes to keyword research, and maybe that’s fair, but the one trick it has up its sleeve is ridiculously powerful – so much so that you MUST be using it with your keyword research efforts.
This tool helps you generate a list of keywords based entirely off of the Google Auto Complete feature, one of the most powerful search features Google has ever engineered and a real point of leverage that you don’t want to overlook.
Top Paid Options
Yes, you’ll have to pony up a little bit of extra cash to get your hands on this top-tier premium solution (something you don’t have to do with when it comes to the free and open sourced options we highlighted above) – what you get more than your money’s worth.
Besides being an awesome tool for link building, Ahrefs is also great at finding keywords. You can easily get keyword suggestions and insights with intuitive keyword filtering tools and keyword difficulty analytics to help you know where to focus your efforts moving forward.
Moz Keyword Explorer
Previously known as SEOMoz (but now just going by the Moz moniker), if you’ve been involved in search engine optimization, web designer or web building, or even just online marketing in any way whatsoever the odds are pretty good that you’ve heard of this organization and used at least some of their tools.
They been around since 2004, have become industry leaders with powerful and proven tools, and separate themselves from the rest of the pack by leveraging data from a wide variety of sources aside from Google – including other search engines, mobile applications, data mining tools, and more.
They recognize that Google does their very best to hide information and data from search engine optimization engineers which is why they go above and beyond to get detailed data from other sources to help you beat that search giant, climb rankings fast, and build more profitable campaigns.
Another of the more legacy tools in the world of search engine optimization. This tool has been a fan favorite for search engine optimizers and online marketers for more than a decade – and it’s easy to see why.
The Keyword Magic tool that they offer does a great job with keyword suggestions, outlining the difficulty of optimizing for those keywords, filtering out keywords, and getting a top-down look at all of your core metrics in a single location.
A quick caveat that comes with our recommendation for this tool – it is in desperate need of an overall UI overhaul.
The design is dated, can be a little complex and convoluted, and it just feels a little less premium and a little less useful than some of the other options we highlighted above.
Under the hood, however, this remains one of the best search engine optimization and keyword research tools you’ll find anywhere on the planet. The insights are in-depth, allow you to really drill down into the underlying analytics, and help you find the best possible keywords you can use for each of the campaigns you are looking to run.
At the end of the day, keyword research should be a lot easier for smart and savvy marketers than ever before thanks to the myriad of tools available – both 100% free and with premium price tags.
Don’t sleep on the power and leverage that these kinds of research tools provide. They let you x-ray your market, your niche, and your competitors in a way that just isn’t possible through any other approach and can help you turn around campaigns that “just weren’t working”.
Hopefully the details above help point you in the right direction when it comes to finding the right keyword research tool or tools for your needs.