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Best Keyword Research Tools for SEO: Boost Your Rankings and Traffic

If you’re looking to improve your search engine optimization strategy, then you know that keyword research is a critical component of the process. However, attempting to conduct keyword research without the right tools can be a frustrating and fruitless endeavor. That’s why SEO professionals rely on keyword research tools to help them build comprehensive lists of keywords with monthly search volumes.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to 16 of the best keyword research tools used by SEO professionals. Whether you’re new to SEO or looking for new tools to try, we’ll help you choose the right one for your needs. By the end of this article, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to take your keyword research to the next level.

The Best Tools for Keyword Research

1. Semrush

When it comes to keyword research tools, Semrush is one of the most popular and comprehensive options available. It offers a range of SEO tools, including a suite specifically for keyword research.

Semrush’s Keyword Overview provides a snapshot of keywords, including search volume, difficulty, cost per click (CPC), and variations. The Keyword Magic Tool generates keywords by broad match, exact match, phrase match, and related words, along with relevant metrics about search volume, intent, and competitiveness.

The Keyword Manager tool, only available to paid Semrush users, supports deep analysis and data export. The Position Tracking feature allows you to monitor how your site is ranking alongside the competition on a daily basis.

Finally, the Organic Traffic Insights feature combines Google Analytics and Search Console with its own data to help you identify the keywords that are driving organic traffic to your site.

Semrush’s pricing ranges from $99.95 to $449.95 per month.

2. Ahrefs Keywords Explorer

Ahrefs is another all-in-one SEO toolkit that includes a Keyword Explorer providing in-depth information on keywords. It uses data from 10 different search engines and provides more than keyword suggestions; it also provides information about search volume, ranking difficulty, and keyword movement.

Ahrefs is particularly useful for identifying your competition and which keywords they’re ranking for that you’re not. This information can then be used to create new content to target and capture that traffic.

Ahrefs’ pricing ranges from $83 to $999 per month.

3. Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is a free-to-use tool for anyone with a Google Ads account. It provides direct data from Google and is primarily intended for digital marketers who are advertising on Google.

Using Google Keyword Planner is simple – just type in a keyword and it will give you data on approximate monthly searches, related keywords, and bidding information.

4. Serpstat

Serpstat is another full-service SEO suite that includes tools for link building, PPC campaign management, and local search optimization, as well as keyword research. It claims to use the biggest database and can help you identify keywords, analyze volume, popularity, and competition, and track your competition.

Serpstat’s results include the site in the featured snippet as the first result, to help you claim that spot for your own. It also includes tools for monitoring trending keywords, including searches by region, rank tracking, and content analysis.

Serpstat’s pricing ranges from $59 to $499 per month.

5. is known for providing a sheer volume of keyword suggestions. For example, a search for “pharmacy” returned 669 total keywords. provides all the relevant data an SEO professional could want, including competition (both average and by specific keyword), search volume, and trend information. It also allows you to filter results based on your needs, such as region, language, platform, and type.’s pricing ranges from $69 to $129 per month.

6. Moz Keyword Explorer

Moz is one of the biggest players in the world of SEO tools and offers both a paid and free version (limited to 10 queries per month) of its Keyword Explorer.

Moz Keyword Explorer has comprehensive analysis tools, robust keyword suggestions, and predictive metrics. It also gives you detailed information on SERPs, tools for identifying long-tail keywords and search questions, and suggestions to help you rank internationally.

Moz’s pricing ranges from $79 to $599 per month.

7. Google Trends

Google Trends is a free-to-use keyword research tool that lets you search by specific words and phrases, or related queries. It breaks down results in a variety of useful ways, including interest by region, interest over time, and related topics and queries. You can also compare two keywords to determine if one is trending more than another.

8. AnswerThePublic

AnswerThePublic is a “search listening tool” that taps into autocomplete data from search engines to determine useful search questions and phrases. It presents this information in a visual format that makes it easy to identify search volume divided by questions, prepositions, comparisons, and related searches.

AnswerThePublic has a free version that is useful for small amounts of research, and a Pro plan that is better for regular SEO work. The Pro plan offers unlimited daily searches, priority customer support, and customization options.

AnswerThePublic’s pricing ranges from $9 to $199 per month.

9. QuestionDB

QuestionDB is a great way to discover relevant keywords that other keyword research tools may not suggest. You enter a broad keyword, and it returns a list of highly specific questions related to it.

With this information, you can create content to

Choosing The Right Keyword Research Tool

When it comes to choosing the right keyword research tool, there are a few factors to consider. First and foremost, you need to think about your budget. While free options may be tempting, they tend to be less robust than paid tools. Therefore, it’s important to find a tool that offers the functionality you need at an affordable price.

Another important factor to consider is your overall SEO strategy. What is the primary focus of your search engine optimization efforts? Are you looking to establish yourself as an authority or attract new customers? Are you targeting people locally or internationally? Each keyword research platform has different strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to select one that’s well-matched to your goals.

To ensure you make the best decision, it’s important to carefully evaluate your options. If you work as part of a team, invite everyone’s opinions. They may have platforms they have used in the past that did or did not work. Understanding why can help you pick the best one for your needs.

Once you find the perfect tool for you, you can start going after and landing traffic from more queries and generating more conversions. Here are some more resources to help you in your keyword research journey:

  • Google Keyword Planner: How To Use The Free Tool For SEO
  • Keyword Research: An In-Depth Beginner’s Guide
  • Rank Tracking: How To Do It The Right Way

By taking the time to choose the right keyword research tool for your needs, you can improve your SEO efforts and drive more traffic to your website.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the top keyword research tools available?

There are many keyword research tools available in the market, but some of the top ones include Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, Moz Keyword Explorer, and Keyword Tool. These tools offer various features such as keyword suggestions, search volume data, competition analysis, and more.

How do you determine which keyword research tool is best for you?

The best keyword research tool for you depends on your specific needs and budget. Consider factors such as the features offered, ease of use, pricing, and customer support before making a decision. You can also try out free trials or demos to see which tool works best for you.

Can you recommend a free keyword research tool?

Yes, there are some free keyword research tools available such as Google Keyword Planner, Keyword Tool, and Ubersuggest. While they may not offer all the features of paid tools, they can still provide valuable insights into keyword research.

What are the benefits of using a keyword research tool?

Using a keyword research tool can help you identify relevant keywords for your website or business, understand search volume and competition for those keywords, and optimize your content for better search engine rankings. It can also save you time and effort in manually researching keywords.

How do you use a keyword research tool to improve your SEO strategy?

To use a keyword research tool effectively, start by identifying your target audience and the keywords they may use to search for your products or services. Then, use the tool to find related keywords, search volume data, and competition analysis. Use this information to optimize your website content, including titles, meta descriptions, and headings, for better search engine rankings.

Which keyword research tool is most commonly used by SEO professionals?

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, some of the most commonly used keyword research tools by SEO professionals include SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz Keyword Explorer. These tools offer advanced features and in-depth analysis for keyword research and SEO strategy.


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