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Keyword Research Tools: Best Free Keyword Tools

When it comes to keyword research tools I’m sure there’s no need to waste time persuading you that keyword research is one of the highest return SEO activities that are essential to your marketing success.

best keyword research tools for seo

Your SEO keywords are the keywords and phrases in your web content that make it possible for people to find your site via search engines. A website that is well optimized for search engines “speaks the same language” as its potential visitor base with keywords for SEO that help connect searchers to your site.

With all the talk in the SEO world today about content and social signals it’s easy to forget a little thing that happens to be the foundation of SEO: keyword research. I’m not exaggerating when I say that without keywords, there’s no such thing as SEO. Keywords are like a compass for your SEO campaigns: they tell you where are and what people are looking for on the web.

You Know what?

There’s also no shortage of great articles that give you very detailed instructions as to executing a professional keyword research, ranking high for thousands of targeted search terms and vastly improving your traffic from Google.

But here’s an interesting observation: each of these tools will give you a somewhat different set of instructions.

Not that any of them is advising you wrong, it’s just there’s no universal approach to executing keyword research..

What are the criteria for the best keyword research tools?

As I already said, I do keyword research all the time. Based on my experience, I suggest 5 main criteria for the perfect keyword tool:

  • It must find/suggest as many relevant keywords as possible
  • It must be able to trim down huge keyword lists easily
  • It must show a search trend for a keyword
  • It must have a reliable keyword difficulty score
  • It must have a good SERP analysis

Why not Google Keyword Planner?

A lot of people still believe Google Keyword Planner is an excellent tool for keyword research. While it’s not.

GKP is a specialized tool for PPC advertisers and is not really supposed to help with organic keyword research. Already back in 2012 Rand Fishkin warned us to be careful using AdWords for keyword research.

Then one-day Keyword Planner started to combine search volumes for similar keywords and phrases. That move was quite reasonable for PPC keyword research, considering the Ad will be shown for any keyword in such group. But without individual search volumes, GKP became useless for organic keyword research.

My Top 17 Keyword Research Tools

#1.  Ahrefs Keywords Explorer

Ahrefs pulled the maximum number of keyword suggestions and left all other tools far behind. Ahrefs’ Keyword Generator is powered by clickstream data and updates its database with fresh keywords every month.

Suggested keywords: 892,576 keywords

#2. Kwfinder

The tool has 3 types of keyword ideas: suggestions, autocomplete, and questions, so I summed them up (after filtering out the duplicates).

Suggested Keywords: 954 keywords

#3. Moz keywords explorer

Moz provides only minimal data for the top10 search results such as PADA, and number of referring domains. Besides you have to do FAR too much scrolling down to see all positions.

Suggested Keywords: 1,000 keywords

#4. SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool

An excellent result considering this tool (Keyword Magic) is still in Beta. However, it’s only 40% of the number of suggestions from Ahrefs.

Suggested Keywords: 440,273 keywords

#5. Serpstat Keyword Research Tool

Serpstat offered a good number of keyword suggestions. Around 35% of what SEMrush shows.

Suggested Keywords: 149,003 keywords

Suggested: 893 keywords

#6. Long Tail Pro

A reasonable number of suggestions, but due to limitations in “Max results per seed keyword” I had to run their “Google AdWords Suggestions” report multiple times.

Suggested keywords: 893 keywords

#7. clickstream data:

which is the biggest source of keyword suggestions today. The role of clickstream in SEO just keeps on growing day to day.

#8.  Answerthepublic.com :

It’s perhaps one of the best but most underutilized sources of research for content ideas. Until now. The auto-suggests results provided by Google & Bing are a goldmine of insight for today’s marketers.

As you type you are presented with an aggregated view of the questions & therefore a hint of the motivations & emotions of the people behind each search query. This is search insight that could and should be used by any marketing team. Creative, PR, Content, SEO

#9. Infinitesuggest.com :

#10. Ubersuggest.io :

#11. Soovle.com:

#12. KeywordFinder.com

#13. ubersuggest.io

#14. Kparser.com

#15. serps.com

the help you track thousands of keywords for multiple search engines and languages, on multiple devices, from multiple locations, every day

#16. Keywordseverywhere Extension

The Keywords Everywhere extension is your free keyword tool. It can be easily installed on either Chrome or Firefox. The best part is that we show you useful google keyword search volume, cost per click and competition data of keywords on multiple websites.

Are you an online advertiser, copywriter, blogger or all-round content aficionado that’s tired of the back and forth steps involved in SEO research? This free extension is going to save you a lot of time.

Time that would have otherwise been spent on copying data from one website while finding search volume from another. Keywords Everywhere lets you find long-tail phrases with their accurate search volume, CPC and competition data.

#17. keywordtool.io

Keyword Tool Is The Best Alternative To Google Keyword Planner And Other Keyword Research Tools

Here are a few reasons why:

  • The free version of Keyword Tool generates up to 750+ long-tail keyword suggestions for every search term
  • Unlike Keyword Planner or other tools, Keyword Tool is extremely reliable as it works 99.99% of the time
  • You can use Keyword Tool absolutely for free, even without creating an account

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