To say that keyword research is a fundamental part of any content and SEO strategy would be a complete understatement. If you’re not targeting the right keywords on your website, blog or social media accounts, you won’t attract the attention of your target audience or potential customers. Not sure where to start? Check out our list of the best keyword research tools that you should be using right now.
Below, we’ll walk you through a range of free, freemium and paid keyword research tools that will help you figure out what keywords you should be targeting and ranking for in your content strategy. Enjoy!
Best keyword research tools
- Google Trends
- Keyword Tool
- Moz Keyword Explorer
- SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool
- GrowthBar SEO
- Special mentions
Soovle is a free, handy tool that will offer up suggested keywords and search terms from a range of sources, including Google, Wikipedia, Answers, YouTube, Bing, Yahoo and Amazon. All you have to do is type in your root keyword and suggested keyword phrases will appear over each platform. You can then click on the suggestions to head directly to the relevant platform.
If you want to return to these phrases at a later date, you can save them by dragging and dropping them into ‘Saved Suggestions’. Alternatively, you can download your keyword suggestions as a CSV file.
Though Soovle might seem rather basic (lacking advanced features like audience data or search volumes), it’s a great starting point for brainstorming potential keywords to target and will give you a better idea of what kind of differences there are in search terms between platforms.
Google Trends is another free resource that will allow you to look for new keywords and explore past and current search trends. You can use it to look at the popularity of certain keywords or trends, which is especially useful when planning campaigns or creating your content strategy—it enables you to figure out what trends matter to people right now and which ones are fading into the background.
All you have to do is enter a search term or topic and you’ll be able to see how interest in it has changed over time (by specifying a range of hours/days/years). You can hone in on interest by subregion, and view related topics and queries. If you’re torn between different search terms/trends, you can compare multiple search terms to determine which ones are most popular at the moment.
If you’re wondering what sort of topics or keywords you want to focus on for seasonal marketing campaigns, or want to avoid falling for a trend that is no longer ‘in’, Google Trends is a great tool to use.
Paid Subscription: Pro ($99/month), Enterprise ($399/month)
You won’t get far looking for keyword research tools without stumbling upon AnswerThePublic and that’s because it’s a handy tool to have in your arsenal. It’s a freemium resource that will help you come up with a swarm of long-tail keywords, phrases and questions that you wouldn’t previously have thought of.
All you have to do is input your root keyword and AnswerThePublic will do the rest. You’ll be given related questions, prepositions, comparisons and phrases ordered alphabetically. You can view this information as a ‘visualisation’ (a type of mind map), or as ‘data’ (a general list).
Though it’s relatively basic, AnswerThePublic is perfect for finding the odd keyword/query gem that you will have missed in your brainstorming sessions. If you’re looking for more capabilities, you can upgrade to the paid version for $99/month, which will give you search data, regional information and comparisons of data over time.
Paid Subscription: Individual (£39/month), Business (£49/month), Enterprise (£99/month)
Trial: 7-day free trial
Ubersuggest is a freemium tool that can compile a wide range of short-tail and long-tail keyword suggestions. If you’re using the free version, you’re allowed up to three searches per day. Unless you upgrade to one of the paid subscription packages, starting at £29/month for Individual, you’ll only have access to a limited number of keyword suggestions and metrics.
When you type in your keyword, you’ll be given a list of keyword suggestions, questions, comparisons, related keywords and prepositions. You’ll also be able to look at search volume, SEO difficulty (estimated competition in organic traffic), paid difficulty (estimated competition in paid research) and cost per click (CPC). You can then export this list as a CSV file, or copy it to your clipboard.
If you intend to conduct some serious keyword research, you’ll want to fork out for one of the paid packages that Ubersuggest offers. (Three searches a day will only get you so far!) It will allow you access to its full range of historical data, keyword suggestions and other handy metrics.
Paid Subscription: Pro ($10/month)
The next batter up to the plate is QuestionDB. This freemium tool can help you compile a list of questions-focused keywords by accessing a database of over 32 million questions from threads on Reddit. It’s a great way of finding high-volume questions that people are actually interested in—giving you ideas for blog titles and general content topics.
All you have to do is enter your root keyword(s) and you’ll be given a list of related questions, keywords and topics. If you tick the ‘Show source link’, you can find the exact thread that the question was taken from. You can then download your list as a CSV file.
If you’re using the free version, you’re limited to a maximum of 50 results per search. To gain access to the full range of results, and take advantage of unlimited searches, you’ll have to purchase their Pro subscription package starting from $10/month.
Paid Subscription: Pro Basic ($69/month), Pro Plus ($79/month), Pro Business ($159/month)
If you’re just looking for general keyword suggestions and queries, tools like AnswerThePublic will suit you perfectly. If, however, you’re looking to delve into keyword research on specific platforms, Keyword Tool might just be the freemium tool for you.
All you have to do is type your root keyword into the search bar and specify your platform of choice, which includes Google, YouTube, Bing, Amazon, eBay, Play Store, Instagram and Twitter. You’ll then gain access to up to 750 long-tail keyword suggestions, questions and prepositions that are based on Google’s autocomplete data. These lists can be copied to your clipboard or downloaded as a CSV file.
Keyword Tool is a great way to find out how your target audience’s queries or interests might vary between platforms. It’s also handy for finding social media hashtags related to your root keyword. If you want to gain access to metrics like search volume, trend, cost per click (CPC) and so on, you’ll need to purchase one of the paid packages, e.g., Pro Basic, which is around $69/month.
Paid Subscription: Standard ($99/month), Medium ($179/month), Large ($249/month), Premium ($599/month)
Trial: 30-day free trial
Unlike most of the keyword research tools on our list, Moz’s Keyword Explorer is part of an extensive paid suite of tools that Moz has on offer. That’s not to say that you can’t use it by itself, however. If you sign up for a free account, you gain access to 10 free queries each month.
Not only does Keyword Explorer offer up keyword suggestions (that are questions, based on closely related topics or related to keywords with similar results pages), it also tells you how difficult it is to rank organically for your keywords with the ‘Keyword Difficulty’ metric. This is a handy way of figuring out how competitive certain keywords are, giving you a better idea of which keywords to prioritise over others.
If 10 queries a month isn’t enough for you, you’ll need to fork out for Moz’s entire suite of tools, not just the Keyword Explorer. You can get this with their Medium subscription, which comes in at around $179/month. Not sure it’s worth it? Test the waters with Moz’s free 30-day trial!
Paid Subscription: Pro ($119/month), Guru ($229/month), Business ($449/month)
Trial: 7-day free trial
Though there’s certainly more to SEMrush than just its Keyword Magic Tool, that’s all we’re going to focus on right now. As with other tools on this list, SEMrush offers its resources for free, on a limited basis of 10 searches a day. To access this, you’ll need to create a free account—don’t worry, it only takes a minute to set up and you won’t need to input any payment details.
There’s a lot to take in with SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool. Once you input your root keyword, you’ll be given a list of suggested keywords which can be filtered into questions, broad match, phrase match, exact match and related. Additionally, you’ll be given access to metrics that allow you to look at search volume, trend, keyword difficulty, competitive density and much more.
Unfortunately, as with other tools on our list, you’re limited with what you can view on the free version of Keyword Magic Tool. In order to access the full list of keywords and metrics, not to mention the ability to export your list, you’ll need one of the paid subscription packages, starting out at $199/month for Pro. If you want to get a taste of what Pro can do for you, there’s a 7-day free trial available.
Paid Subscription: Mangools Basic (€49/month), Mangools Premium (€69/month), Mangools Agency (€129/month)
Trial: 10-day free trial
Struggling to rank well for keywords with a high search volume? KWFinder might be the keyword research tool you’re looking for. Developed by Mangools, this particular tool helps you find keywords with a high search volume and low SEO difficulty—meaning, you could be ranking highly in search results in no time!
You can look for suggested long-tail keywords by either entering a root keyword, or by entering a domain. If you’re already targeting a variety of keywords on your website or blog, this is a good way of finding any gaps that you might have missed. Once you enter the keyword, you can look at related keywords and questions, not to mention hone in on metrics like search volume, cost per click (CPC), pay per click (PPC) and keyword difficulty.
You can take KWFinder for a spin with their 10-day free trial, however, you will be given a limited list of keywords and metrics. If you want to gain full access to everything, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid subscription package, starting out at around €49/month, depending on how many searches you want to complete per day.
Paid Subscription: Standard ($29/month), Pro ($79/month), Agency ($129/month)
Trial: 5-day free trial
GrowthBar is an SEO tool, designed for marketers, bloggers and businesses to help with keyword research, rank tracking and competitor analysis. Like Moz, it’s not just about keywords here. With GrowthBar, you gain access to additional capabilities, like backlink tracking (both yours and your competitors’) and content outlines for your website or blog.
Once you’ve entered your root keyword, GrowthBar will give you access to a wide range of keyword suggestions, related long-tail keywords (handy for finding content ideas that will actually benefit your target audience) and keyword difficulty scores. With GrowthBar’s AI Content tool, all you have to do is enter a keyword you want to rank for and it will offer up content outlines with keywords, headings, links, word counts and much more—helping you create content that ranks.
Unlike other paid tools on this list, GrowthBar’s trial period is a short 5-day run. To access this trial, you will need to input your payment details. This helps ensure any research or rankings you oversee during this period will remain linked to your account, should you choose to upgrade to a paid package. If you stay on, it will cost you around $29/month.
Not content with our list of best keyword research tools? Don’t fret! Our list is just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re looking for even more brilliant resources to take advantage of, take some time to look at these:
And there you have it! You’ve now got some of the best keyword research tools on the market to add to your collection! If you’re eager for more handy resources or general tips, keep an eye on the Supersede Media Blog!