There are dozens, if not hundreds of keyword research tools on the market today. Some are extremely unique, but most are just slightly different takes on the same idea. So which one is the best? Let’s break it down with free and paid tools.
Free keyword research tools
There are two free keyword research tools that I have used and recommended:
- Keyword Shitter
Let’s put all the conversions on hold about Neil Patel for a second. This tool does its job and, if you’re on a budget, it can work to get you started with SEO.
Ubersuggest is basically a free, scaled down version of Ahrefs or Moz. It allows you to spy on competitor backlinks, see what keywords they are ranking for, and do decent keyword research. If you’re doing SEO on a budget, you can get the job done.
Keyword Shitter is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. You type in a keyword and get hundreds of keyword suggestions. It’s great if you just need tons of ideas, but in most cases it only spits out keywords related to the one you typed in, not single, separate ideas.
Paid keyword search tools
Now we’re getting into the big boys’ (or girls’) tools! If you are serious about SEO and have the budget, these are the tools you want to use.
- Keyword Insights
- Keywords Everywhere
Ahrefs is my favorite SEO tool; not only for keyword research, but also for link building, ranking tracking, creating content ideas, and much more. It has all the bells and whistles and is easily the best SEO tool on the market. However, it comes at a very high price, with a basic tool costing $99 per month.
SEMrush is another great keyword research tool. It’s more affordable than Ahrefs, but doesn’t have as many features. It is more geared towards search marketing and PPC (hence the SEM in SEMrush). However, if you want a great paid tool but don’t want to pay the premium on Ahrefs, it’s a valid option. It even allows you to test the product for free!
Keyword Insights claims to be “the smartest way to group keywords and rank search intent at scale”… and with good reason. The tool uses geo-specific data from search engine results pages to cluster keywords into similar groups, while calculating the search intent behind them.
The user simply uploads a list of keywords (as many as they want) and the tool spits out a preformatted Google sheets document with the grouped keywords and their intent. Their most recent update also sorts the grouped keywords into “top level topics” so you can see what their content hubs should be and what their radio content could look like. The information will also tell you which keywords you can target on a single page, or which ones should be split across multiple pages.
Keywords Everywhere is an awesome free tool that shows you search volume, competition and average CPC directly on Google every time you type something. It also shows stats for related keywords and “people also search” keywords. Regardless of what other tools you use, I highly recommend you grab this one.
So what keyword research tools should you get? My recommendations are Ahrefs and Keywords Everywhere. Ahrefs is a comprehensive SEO software that will help you rank your site, not just find keywords. In addition, Keywords Everywhere allows you to see search volume and keyword ideas every time you search for something on Google. Plus it’s free, so what’s not to like?