The 8 Best Keyword Research Tools
When it comes to choosing my favorite tool from the long list of the best keyword research tools, I would always go with Google’s Keyword Planner.
It was easy to use and gave me the information I need to find keywords I could use in my content, blog posts, pages, website title tags and videos.
But that ended a couple weeks ago when Google decided to stop showing the normal keyword results. They now show a BROAD range for each keyword.
As you can see in the image, the first example gives you a result of 1k-10k, which is a huge gap and makes the results pretty useless.
Now if you want to get the ALL the information on keywords, you need to actually start a campaign and RUN that campaign.
Kinda sucks right?
It does for me since I believed it was one of the best keyword research tools out there, easy to use, great stats and was the first place and sometimes the only place I went when it came to finding quality keywords.
But luckily, like everything online today, there are options, there are a some great tools out there to help you do your keyword research just as fast and in-depth as Google Planner did.
List of The 8 Best Keyword Research Tools You Can Use
SEMRush UPDATE: Recently I had a VERY bad support issue with SEMRush.. 3 weeks no reply, then 3 days of DMS chasing them to fix my issue. All I was trying to do was join THEIR affiliate prgram… just horrible… so because of this I no longer recommend them… go with the other tools below, they are all great. What I like about SEMRush is that it doesn’t just help you find quality keywords including most of the same stats as Google planner, but it ALSO gives you keywords that your competition is ranking for. You can add your keyword idea “your seed” to start the research or you can add your URL (or your competitor’s URL) and it will show you all of the keywords that are ranking for that site. This one feature is gold if you want to beat your competition in ranks by showing you the short-tail and long-tail keywords that your competition ranks for.
When I want to find long tail keywords, then HitTail is my first stop. They are a powerful keyword suggestion tool that does all the leg work for you and delivers it all in a clean easy to understand way.
Focusing on long tail keywords is a VERY smart way to get more high rankings that bring in more traffic to your blog or website.
For the people that don’t know what long tail keywords are, here is an example of a normal keyword and a long tail.
Normal: Air Jordan Sneakers
Long Tail: Men’s Air Jordan Academy Sneakers
Long tail keywords are well, longer lol plus they are more detailed and specific, which makes the traffic that comes to you from those keywords more targeted and closer to buying or taking action.
I would much rather rank for 10 small long tail keywords than I would for one big “normal” keyword.
One of the best keyword research tools I have started to use is Moz’s keyword explorer tool. It gives you the metrics and scoring you need to help you find quality keywords quickly and easily.
When doing your keyword research, they break things down in 4 ways, Volume, Difficulty, Opportunity and Potential. This gives you a nice and easy to understand view on whether the keyword you want to use, should be used.
Each 4 explained:
Volume – Volume ranges show you (with 95% or more accuracy) how often a term or phrase is searched for in Google each month.
Difficulty – A score from 0 (easy) to 100 (difficult) that estimates how difficult it is for you to rank higher than current competitors on the first page of search results.
Opportunity – A score from 0 (low) to 100 (high) that estimates the relative click-through-rate of organic web results for this keyword.
Potential – A score from 0 (low) to 100 (high) that combines all of the other metrics, including your custom Importance score. Higher potential represents a sweet spot of higher volume and opportunity with lower difficulty.
Moz does many other things, but for me, and for most people reading this post, finding keywords I can use in my everyday content is what matters and Moz does that very well.
Another powerful tool I have started to use lately is WordTracker.
They are a cloud-based tool that helps you search for keywords and brings you the list of long tail keywords, along with the search volume, competition, and the Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI) for each of the keywords.
Wordtracker has a special feature called Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI). The KEI is available only on Wordtracker, it shows you the keywords that are highly profitable, marked by their high traffic and low competition.
Another thing I like is that they also give you related keywords that you can and should use alongside your “main” keyword.
If you want to run AdWord campaigns or want to run Social Media ads, then WordStream is the keyword research tool you should use.
When it comes to running PPC ads, you will want a huge lsit of keywords you can target, but just having a list of keywords isn’t going to help if you don’t know how to use or even which keywords you should target.
The nice thing about WordStream, is it takes you from initial keyword discovery through to organization, strategy, implementation and analysis, so you can actually act on your keyword research to get meaningful results.
Keywordtool.io is pretty new to me, but in the short time I have tested it, I like what it does a lot.
If you want to get a huge list of long tail keywords to match you main “seed” keyword then this tool will do that nicely. You can get keyword results from Google, Bing, Yahoo and Apple App store for free.
Keywordtool uses Google’s auto complete feature to pull out such huge keyword variety.
For me, the best feature of Keywordtool is that it shows you the questions that can be formed using your seed keyword. Now you can take that question and create new blog posts that will give you a better chance at ranking and grabbing traffic.
Ubersuggest is one of the best keyword research tools and it has been around a long time. It is a simple keyword suggestion tool that generates keywords from Google but that are NOT shown in Google Planner.
It can generate up to around 200-400 keyword suggestions per seed keyword.
You can then break it down and expand on each of those keyword to give you more keywords under that one.
Simple tool, but does what it does very well.
Google Trends is used mainly to determine the popularity of keywords and discover new keywords that have been trending recently.
As a keyword research tool, Google Trends can reveal new keywords that only few of your competitors would know about.
Google Trends not only allows you to compare the popularity of one keyword over another, it also tells you which keywords are rising in popularity.
Knowing what is trending, you now can take those keywords use them in your content, blog posts, videos and advertising.
I’m sad that the Google Planner tool won’t be my go to keyword tool, I have used it for so many years. But on the other hand, it gives me time to test out some of the best keyword research tools that are available.
I’m normally not a big fan of change lol especially when it comes to SEO, but to succeed and grow, you have to adapt and keep moving.
I hope this list helps you find a Google planner alternative.
October 4, 2016 by Matt Read
August 2, 2016 by John Paul Aguiar
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