Keywords are one of the vital aspects of any SEO campaign. Without conducting proper keyword research, you might as well be driving blindfolded.
Many SEO companies pour in thousands of dollars each month for professional keyword research tools. And I’m not going to lie, they do an amazing job. However, there are still some tools out there that you can begin to use today for a fraction of that price.
Finding the perfect keyword research tool
The only issue is that many businesses simply don’t have the time to learn how to use their tools, let alone which is why they hire an SEO expert to it for them. Still, we feel that knowledge is power and as such offer 5 software tools to help you on your journey to keyword research heaven.
Just know that the keywords you decide to focus on for your search engine optimization efforts are critical to the success of your website rankings.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to SEO keyword research.
- You can conduct your own research, based upon data to single out which keywords work best for your particular industry. Here, we focus on finding keywords that have a good amount of volume, yet still have a low difficulty score (you’ll see what I mean later on)
- The other approach is to use these tools to find your competitors websites and see what keywords they are trying to rank for. This approach weighs on the notion that something is already working so why try to change it. Your competitors have already done the research for you in a sense.
Top Keyword Research Tools
- Google Keyword Planner
- Spy Fu
Semrush is an amazing tool, not just for keywords research but for so much more
Unlike different keyword tools where you have to add keywords to begin your research, Semrush just needs to know your website address or your competitor’s website address and it will display all the keywords that are ranking for that website.
This approach allows you to find short tail and long tail keywords that you can begin targeting and beat out your closest competitors.
- Search engine reports
- Traffic statistics
- Cost per click campaigns
- Top research analysis
- And much more
Ahref is the gold standard when it comes to keyword research tools. They set the bar in many aspects of SEO analysis.
However, be warned. Ahrefs provides so much detail, it might overwhelm you. Still, as long as you know what you are looking for and how to approach the data, you’ll be just fine. Ahrefs uses clickstream data to also show how many clicks you will get from the search engine.
You can also use their site explorer tools to discover your competitors top performing pages and even find which of those pages would be easy to outperform (low hanging fruit.) Just look for pages with tons of traffic and little to no referring domains and begin taking their top keywords on those pages. Once you find a page, you can use a keywords dropdown menu to discover the amount of keywords that page ranks for in Googles 100 top search results. This approach gives you an opportunity to see what you should talk about when putting together a page on a topic.
An oldie but a goodie. The Google Keyword Planner tool is one of the most widely used and popular keyword research tools out there. Google has been the dominant planner in the keyword game from the beginning. Why not use a tool made directly by Google and that’s actually free with no strings attached. The only thing you need to do is set up a google ads account (formerly AdWords)
Googles keyword planner is simple and intuitive; offer enough data about certain keywords to help you along your journey to discussing the best keywords for your particular niche. Unfortunately, with a simple and easy to use interface comes some limitations. You won’t be able to get exact data; only roughly. Still for most people that is good enough.
Overall, the keyword planner is a great tool on your keyword research journey but is by no means the end all be all source when you’re looking for a more detailed and competitive analysis. This job would be reserved for one of the advanced tools that I have mentioned.
Spy Fu is one of the best SEO optimization software tools on the market. It’s particularly useful if you’re trying to analyze and stay ahead of your competitors. Spy Fu even allows you to see exactly what your competitors are paying for in regards to pay-per-click advertising and how those ads are coming along.
Spy Fu is easy to use and provides a host of data on the keywords that are ranking and what it takes to rank for additional keywords. When you can see through Spy Fu’s keyword competition tool that your competitors are doing well in your market, you know there is potential for you to succeed as well.
However, like most SEO tools, there are always drawbacks Spy Fu uses data gathered on a monthly basis rather than real-time and the program doesn’t have nearly the depth of keywords that other tools do. Still, for under $40 a month, it’s a good bargain.
Ubersuggest is the brainchild of SEO guru, Neil Patel (although developed by Alessandro Martin) and is one of the best keyword’s tools available today. There is no limit on the amount of search es you have. From volume to seasonality, to cost per click data, Ubersuggest keywords tools will show you everything you need for the best price around free.
It’s probably one of the simplest and most user-friendly keyword suggestion tools available today but don’t let its simplicity fool you. It’s still a very powerful keywords research tool that packs a powerful punch to optimize your website.
All in all, there are many other SEO tools that we have not even discussed. The important thing is to try a few and see which ones you feel comfortable with and offer the most value to your respective business. Don’t get lost in the data; it’s just meant to guide you, rather than being the ultimate solution.