8 Best Keyword Research Tools for 2020: Find SEO Keywords
Keyword research is vital to any website’s SEO. If you’re creating content or optimizing landing pages, it’s important to find the best keywords to rank your website on Google and other search engines. Using the right keywords will drive traffic to your website, which can lead to sales, leads, and conversions.
In the world of SEO, keywords are the words and phrases on your website that make it possible for visitors to find your site via search engines. Using the right keywords for your business, blog, or any website is essential to bring visitors looking for your content to the site.
But how do you find the keywords that will attract the right audience to your website? You can try to brainstorm what people might be searching for, but the best way to find keywords is to use keyword research tools. We do keyword research for all of our content, so check out our reviews of the best keyword tools to improve your website’s SEO.
Top 8 Keyword Tools
SEMRush is one of the most comprehensive SEO tools available today. It can be used to analyze websites’ domain rating, traffic, backlinks, rankings, and can even do entire site audits. SEMRush also has one of the best keyword research tools for organic research into a site’s traffic.
This tool can be used to pull keywords from competitor websites, so you can find out what keywords and phrases they used. The SEMRush Organic Research tool displays keywords’ monthly search volume, keyword difficulty, cost per click, SERP features, and more.
SEMRush also has a Keyword Magic tool, which can offer keyword variations by broad match, phrase match, exact match, and related options. SEMRush makes it easy to find SEO keywords so that you can write content that pulls in the largest possible audience.
- Keyword Magic tool
- Organic traffic insights
- Keyword gap analysis
- Long-tail variations
- Link building and site auditing tools as well
- Pro: $99.95/month
- Guru: $199.95/month
- Business: $399.95/month
Save 16% by paying annually.
SpyFu allows you to analyze your competitors and learn what keywords they used to successfully rank their websites. This tool is great for SEO on-page content and blog content, as well as PPC campaigns. Enter any URL into SpyFu and learn what keywords are on the page, where it ranks, and more.
SpyFu pulls information from Google, so when you enter a URL it can tell you every organic ranking, every keyword they’ve bought on Google Ads, and every ad variation. You can also track your own website’s paid and organic traffic and rankings to see how your site stands up to the competition and where you can improve.
This tool makes it easy to spy on your competitors and use their best practices in your own SEO and PPC campaigns. Learn the search volume, difficulty, number of advertisers, CTR, and more with SpyFu. Find the most important keywords in your niche to improve your on-page SEO, blog content, and ad campaigns.
- Spy on competitor websites
- SEO Keyword Ranking History
- Keyword group analysis
- Check competitor backlinks by keywords
- Ad campaign analysis and keywords
- Basic: $39/month, or $33/month billed annually
- Professional: $39 first month, $78/month thereafter, or $58/month billed annually
- Team: $299/month, or $199/month billed annually
Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific variations of big keywords. Many SEOs use these keywords because they are easier to rank and have a higher conversion rate because they are more specific. Aiming for less competitive keywords can help your website rank faster, which can improve your overall SEO and trust with Google.
LongTailPro is a keyword research tool that specializes in long-tail keywords. While other tools tend to prioritize the keywords with the highest search volume, LongTailPro focuses on the best keyword variations in your niche. This tool offers hundreds of suggestions based on your main keyword or niche.
Aside from providing keyword variations, LongTailPro can also run competitive analyses, determine a keyword’s profitability, and can track your website’s keywords and rankings to see your progress.
- Uncover niche-specific long-tail keywords
- Competitor analysis for keywords
- Advanced keyword metrics
- Conversion recommendations for keywords
- SERP tracking
- Starter: $37/month, or $25/month billed annually
- Pro: $67/month, or $45/month billed annually
- Agency: $147/month, or $98/month billed annually
KWFinder from Mangools is another premium keyword search tool. It can find long-tail keywords as well as higher volume keywords in every niche. Their tool is very intuitively designed, so it’s easy to navigate.
With KWFinder, you can search by keyword, location, language, or search by domain or URL to extract the keywords used on that page. Their keyword difficulty tool makes it easy to see how difficult certain keywords are to rank, so you can target keywords that will rank faster.
You can also check competitors’ rankings, and access historical data for keywords, their search volumes and rankings over time. KWFinder provides exact search volumes rather than generic estimates. Find search metrics, SERP analyses, and keyword planning tools with KWFinder.
- Accurate keyword difficulty and search volume
- Find hidden long-tail keywords
- Check competitor’s keywords
- SERP analysis and SEO metrics
- Local keywords
- Basic: $49/month, or $29.90/month billed annually
- Premium: $69/month, or $39.90/month billed annually
- Agency: $129/month, or $79.90/month billed annually
AhRefs is another high-end SEO tool, similar to SEMRush. It can be used to check out website stats like domain rating, referring domains, backlinks, organic traffic, keywords, and more. This is a comprehensive and versatile SEO tool, so they’re keyword research feature is only one part of AhRef’s full package.
AhRef’s Keyword Explorer tool allows you to search for the best SEO keywords on Google, Bing, YouTube, Amazon, Yahoo, and more. It can tell you accurate keyword difficulty, search volume by location, CPC, and a vast amount of similar niche keywords, related questions, and more.
AhRefs also has one of the most advanced SERP analysis tools. It shows who is ranking for keywords, the site’s domain rating, URL rating, referring domains, traffic, keywords, and more. It’s a great backlink and site auditing tool as well as keyword search tool.
- Extensive keyword suggestions
- Advanced metrics and data
- Best SERP overview
- Top Pages tool and organic keyword movement tracking
- Content gap analysis
- Lite: $99/month, $990/year
- Standard: $179/month, $1790/year
- Advanced: $399/month, $3990/year
- Agency: $999/month, $9990/year
SerpStat is another good option that offers a full suite of SEO tools. Their keyword research tool is one of their strongest features. With SerpStat, you can research keywords and their variations, as well as semantic terms to improve content’s context. It can find long-tail keywords as well as keyword trends to see how popularity changes over time.
SerpStat can also help determine the value of keywords by offering advanced metrics like CPC, search volume, competition, and more. It can even check your webpage’s relevance, so you can learn how well optimized it is for your target keyword. This is especially useful when creating landing pages or blog posts that you want to rank, or for diagnosing why they are not ranking.
SerpStat has lots of other features as well. It can perform competitor research, rank tracking, advertising analytics, on-page audits, backlink analyses, and more. One other interesting feature is their content marketing ideation tool, which analyzes your content and offers suggestions for related topics, questions, and more.
- Keyword, variation, long-tail, and LSI research
- Advanced keyword and search metrics
- Keyword trends
- Competitor comparison graphs
- Keyword optimization tips
- Lite: $69/month, or $55/month billed annually
- Standard: $149/month, or $119/month billed annually
- Advanced: $299/month, or $239/month billed annually
- Enterprise $499/month, or $399/month billed annually
SerpStat is another great SEO keyword research tool, and it has a wide range of other SEO features. This is one of the best comprehensive digital marketing tools on a budget, and one of the best keyword tools.
Surfer SEO is a favorite tool of ours. It has a few tools that are useful for finding keywords, analyzing your existing pages to learn what keywords you’re missing out on, and analyzing SERPs.
Their keyword research tool helps users uncover similar keywords and topic-related questions. This helps uncover new topics to write about on your blog, or questions or keywords that you can add to existing pages for better relevance. Once you find relevant keywords, you can go directly to the SERP analyzer to see what pages are ranking and use their content editor to create optimized content on the spot.
Surfer also has a great SEO audit tool that looks at your existing content and compares it to the top-ranking pages for your target keywords. Then, it tells you what keywords and LSI you’re missing on the page so that you can rank better. Surfer takes you through each step of the keyword research and optimization process in one tool. They also provide a free Google chrome extension called Keyword Surfer, which provides keyword ideas directly on the side panel of your Google SERPs.
- Keyword research for related terms and relevant questions
- Free Keyword Surfer extension for quick research
- Content Audit and Editor to better optimize for target keywords
- Compare SERP similarities of related keywords
- Basic: $59/month or $590/year
- Pro: $99/month or $990/year
- Business: $199/month or $1990/year
Surfer offers a slightly different product than some of the other keyword software on this list, but it’s one of the best for taking your content from research to writing to auditing for optimization. It’s also one of the more affordable options.
Google Keyword Planner
If you’re looking for a free keyword tool, Google Keyword Planner is one of the best options, with information coming straight from Google keywords. Since Google is the most popular search engine, it only makes sense to look for keyword data directly from the source. Even better, Google offers free keyword metrics.
Google Keyword Planners offers free keyword suggestions, so you can find keyword ideas you hadn’t yet considered. Their keyword data offers insights into how search terms have changed over time and can help match your SEO content with search intent. Along with a list of keywords and data on them, Google Keyword Planner is also great for ad creation, providing bid estimates for PPC campaigns.
Google Keyword Planner is actually made for Google Ads research, but it’s also a great free keyword research tool for writing SEO content and landing page optimization. It’s completely free to use and easy as well, whether you use your keyword list for ads or to write a great article to drive search traffic.
- New keywords recommendations
- Keyword data
- Historical data
- Bid estimates
- Save keyword lists
- Google Ads integration
Google Keyword Planner is one of the best keyword research tools, especially since it’s free to use. It isn’t as advanced as other paid options, but at no cost per month, this is a worthwhile tool to keep in your arsenal.
How To Search for Keywords: Which Keyword Finder Should I Use?
There are a lot of great options on our list of the best keyword tools, and many have very similar functions. With so many options, it can be hard to decide which tool is the best for keyword research and for your specific needs. Look for these features in your keyword tool.
When choosing a keyword research tool, you want to find more than just keywords relating to your topic – there’s a good chance you could guess some of those without paying for a tool. Pick a tool that has the metrics most important to you. These often include search volume, keyword difficulty, cost per click, keyword value, and more. Depending on your goals (blog content, landing pages, PPC, ad campaigns) your needs may vary.
Variations, Long-Tail, and LSI
A good keyword tool will offer more than just the most common keywords. It should also provide keyword variations, related keywords, long-tail keywords, and LSI keywords. Tools with a broader scope of keywords and variants will help you find the right contextual terms to use on the page. Another element to look for is questions: questions including or relating to your keyword make for great content or subheaders within your content.
Every tool on our list is great for keyword research, but they also offer additional features. Some, like SEMRush, AhRefs, or SerpStat are fairly comprehensive SEO tools, while others offer extra keyword planning options or additional insights.
If you’re paying for the full tool, pick the one that has the most appealing additional features. You’re paying for them anyway, so you might as well get the most out of your keyword research tool. Learn about the extra features offered and determine which ones best match your digital marketing needs.
Price, of course, is always a factor. Some of the tools on this list are high-end, expensive SEO software, while others are more affordable. Consider what you really need, and keep your budget in mind. You should also consider signing on for a yearly plan. It is a commitment, but each tool offers a discount if you sign up for the whole year. Do the research so that you can commit to a full year for a lower price.
Keyword research is an essential part of SEO, blogging, online ads, and more. Drive more traffic to your website or target your ads perfectly with these keyword research tools.