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The 8 Best Keyword Research Tools

The 8 Best Keyword Research Tools

The 8 Best Keyword Research Tools

Doing great keyword research is like being a fisherman. Reeling in the big profits takes knowledge, a Speedo, and a thermos. Whether you like it or not, keyword research is at the core of pay-per-click marketing and SEO practices. If you aren’t bidding or using the right keywords, short- or long-tail, then you could be selling yourself short on your potential success. And wouldn’t you rather reel in a big whale shark instead of a few sardines? (You can obviously tell I don’t know my fish very well.) See, doing good keyword research is like being a seasoned fisherman, casting his net at the right place, at the right time. So whether you’re looking to patch up the holes in your current keyword selection net, or expand the size of it, consider this article a potential algal bloom of profits. By now you should know that the AdWords Keyword Tool is no longer available – Google has folded the tool into Keyword Planner, a combination of the old keyword tool and the Traffic Estimator. Now, you need a Google Ads (formerly known as AdWords) account to get keyword suggestions from Google. But Google is far from the only keyword game in town. In this article, we’ll look at my eight favorite keyword research tools, plus some fancy tricks you can use to get a wooden peg leg up on your competition. Some are free, and some are not (but well worth the money). So without further ado, let’s take you from being like this guy... To this guy. 1. WordStream’s Keyword Tool (free) Ahhh yes... Of course, I could never forget WordStream’s very own keyword tool for both SEO and PPC keyword research. The WordStream keyword tool allows you to target certain niches (groups of related keywords), gives you further suggestions, and also allows you to group them based off of a common theme for easy ad group launches. This keyword research tool gives you 30 searches for free, after that you’ll have to sign up for their WordStream Advisor to use it additionally. Hidden bonus? You get a free 7-day trial on top of the 30 free searches you already did! 2. Soovle (free) If you have multiple channels you wish to do keyword research for and want to sound like an idiot explaining the pronunciation of this tool to your watercooler buddies, then Soovle is a perfect fit. Soovle allows you to explore the most typed in keywords on multiple search engines based on the keyword root you give it. It even includes Amazon and eBay. Not only is it a great keyword research tool to use, but it’s also a great brainstormer as you can slowly start typing in your ideas and allow it to auto-generate its own ideas. I would’ve never thought to call a bounce house an inflatable castle, but now I do :) 3. Ubersuggest (free) Meet the keyword research tool on steroids, Ubersuggest. Ubersuggest takes any keyword you give it and immediately gives you an almost unlimited list of alphabetized and numerical keyword variations of your original keyword. You can even take it further by adding “bounce house ab, ac, ad” to uncover more keywords that you could potentially bid on or use for SEO purposes. 4. Serpstat ($19) Serpstat is an all-in-one SEO platform, and keyword research is one of its functions. This tool has some unique features that can help you optimize your website and get ahead of your competitors’ sites as well. Unlike similar tools, Serpstat is a page-oriented platform for in-depth competitive analysis. You can find competitors and define missing keywords for a single URL or even entire domains. You can also view historical position data for a range of pages organized by phrase, as well as see which pages have dropped in rank and their rank distribution as a percentage, which is very handy if you want to compare data from two different time periods or observe changes over time based on algorithm updates and other factors. Serpstat also allows you to view search questions and suggestions. This data is based on real search queries, meaning you can use this feature to come up with fresh ideas for creating traffic-driving content that people are actually searching for.  Serpstat has a unique "tree-view" algorithm. You can use it to check your pages’ positions, improve the ones that are just behind the first page, and gain more traffic. This tool has advanced filtering options that allow you to set your own custom parameters and get exactly what you’re looking for. Although Serpstat is primarily intended for SEO, you can research PPC keywords using the tool and content marketers may find the search questions feature quite helpful, making it a solid, cost-effective all-rounder. 5. Search Term/Query Reports (free-ish) Now even though you won’t be expanding your keyword net by using search query report mining, you’ll at least be improving your Google Ads or Bing Ads account by patching up holes. One common thing I notice in PPC accounts is the lack of attention and detail in which the account owner or previous agency allows one or a couple of keywords to be the “catch all” for everything. A common example would be to have the keyword +bounce +house or “bounce house” and leave it at that. The only problem is that you can’t possibly laser-target every ad to the search query, and your landing page will definitely not be as targeted as it could be either. Not even dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) would help, because who wants to click on an ad with the headline of just “Bounce House”? Let’s just say it gets tricky, and you’re a little lazy if that’s all you do. The search term/query report is a PPC report that shows you what search terms have actually triggered your ads based on the current keywords you’re bidding on. So it won’t expand your reach since your ads are already showing for those terms, but it will help you improve your quality scores and granularity within your account. Here’s how to access the search term report in Google Ads: Here’s how to access the search query report in Bing Ads: 6. Google Keyword Planner (free) Duuuhhh...of course this is on the list. The Google Keyword Planner is sometimes regarded as the alpha and omega of keyword research tools. You must have an AdWords account to access it, and that doesn’t mean you have to pay anything to use it, it’s still free. The Google Keyword Planner will show you some pretty neat stats like average monthly searches, competition level (high, medium, or low), the average cost per click, and more. It doesn’t give you exact keyword suggestions but it actually takes it a step further and suggests more synonyms and variations than many other tools available. Is it accurate? Sort of. I always tell people to take the suggested keyword stats with a grain of salt. Here’s how to find it. Log in to your Google Ads account and go to the Tools and Analysis tab: Here are some of the keyword results: You can find more great tips for using Keyword Planner here. 7. Competitor Source Code (free) This might not be the best and most fruitful keyword research tool but it allows you to see what meta keywords your competitors could be using to try to rank organically. Since I use Google Chrome as my browser, it’s super simple to right-click on a site and select “View Page Source.” After that, all you have to do is locate the keywords and read what they’ve got. That’s it! Two caveats for this method: Your competitors might not be using the best keywords Your competitors might not have meta keywords enabled (since Google doesn’t include meta keyword data in its search algorithm anymore) 8. Google Ads Display Planner (free) Google Ads' Display Planner tool isn't solely a keyword tool, but it does offer a great deal of functionality that could be invaluable to marketers of all stripes. The Display Planner tool replaced the YouTube Keyword Tool in 2014 and can be accessed from the Tools section of your Google Ads account. Although it's a little more involved than entering a keyword into the YouTube Keyword Tool, the Display Planner offers some great functionality for making the most of Display campaigns, including keyword-driven video ad campaigns on YouTube. The Display Planner also offers precious insights into the demographics and interests of your audiences, allowing you to create highly tailored Display campaigns. Happy fishing! :)

Unique & Free Keyword Research Tools You Didn’t Know You Needed

Unique & Free Keyword Research Tools You Didn’t Know You Needed

keyword research is an important foundational step. It’s easy enough to dismiss keyword research in favor of the more generalized “write great content” strategy. The fallacy with this approach is that “great content” doesn’t differentiate between people at different stages of the buyer’s journey – keywords do. You need to know what people search for and how they search. For example, one of the initial stages in the buyer’s journey involves seeking information. People type queries into a search engine that include phrases such as, “how to”, “ways to”, and “guide”. The specific use of long-tail keywords changes the closer a person gets to buying (or converting). For example, keywords that include “where to buy”, “discount”, and “sale” indicate a searcher who’s no longer in the consideration stage — they’re ready to buy now. Since it comes from the world’s largest search engine, the Google Ads Keyword Planner tool tends to be the first one people think of for doing keyword research. However, Google limits the amount of useful keyword data it gives away. Furthermore, this keyword data is in many ways irrelevant for ranking in relevant organic search – it refers to paid ads data. Luckily, there are several other great keyword research tools available on the market: some free, some paid. This list represents some of the most unique keyword research tool alternatives you’ll find – ideal for when you’re in a rut or have a special circumstance that requires more than the most well-known options. 1. TagCrowd An important part of doing proper keyword research involves analyzing your competitors’ content. While there are tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs that make this process easy, these popular options come with a hefty price tag for even the lowest cost plans: roughly $100/month. Not everyone – especially those whose primary job doesn’t revolve around SEO – can justify this expense. If you’re not already using any of these tools and are looking for a free alternative, consider TagCrowd. The premise behind TagCrowd is simple: it allows you to visualize word frequency by creating word/text/tag clouds. Being able to see a competitor’s most frequent keywords for a given page can help you understand their keyword strategy — no expensive tools required. TagCrowd is fairly straightforward to use. There are multiple ways to add and analyze content: upload a file, paste the webpage URL, or paste the page text. 2. Keywords Everywhere Keywords Everywhere is a free browser add-on for Chrome and Firefox that collates data from over 15 of the most popular keyword tools, including Ubersuggest, Answer the Public, Google Search, Google Analytics, and Search Console (among others). When you enter a search query into Google, Keywords Everywhere shows you some basic but useful information, including Google keyword search volume and cost per click data. Although Keywords Everywhere collates data from multiple sources, they make it easy for you to get the data you want. Download data in PDF, Excel, or CSV file format. Keywords Everywhere is brought to you by the same team behind Keyword Keg. 3. Merchant Words If you own an Amazon store, Merchant Words is the perfect keyword research tool for you. Merchant Words collects data from over 1 billion actual Amazon searches around the world. All of their keyword data comes directly from shopper searches in the Amazon search bar. It calculates volume using their proprietary algorithm that takes into account site-wide Amazon traffic, search ranking, and current and historical search trends. You can test out Merchant Words for free with a limited amount of keywords. The paid version starts at $30/month (for U.S. data only) and is $60/month if you cater to a global audience. The pricing includes unlimited searches and CSV downloads, as well as 24/7 customer service support. 4. PinterestKeywordTool The world is still anxiously waiting for a specialized LinkedIn keyword tool. In the meantime, there’s a keyword research solution for another popular social media platform: Pinterest. At first glance, it looks kind of spammy. And to be fair, PinterestKeywordTool doesn’t provide a lot of useful keyword data — especially in terms of search volume or ranking difficulty. What it can tell you is if a keyword is popular on Pinterest and if there are any other keywords that you should consider on the long-tail of your seed keyword. 5. Keyword.Guru Keyword.Guru collates results from top search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing) and e-commerce sites (Amazon, eBay). Once you start typing, it delivers results based on what people are searching for in real-time. Keyword.Guru does not display information regarding keyword search volume, but it does show you the most common searches for a seed keyword. Using these real search results, you can infer which keyword phrases are most often used. 6. Keyword Shitter It does not take a genius to figure out what Keyword Shitter does: it spews out keywords like no tomorrow! According to an article on Ahrefs, the writer left this keyword tool running for 30 minutes and it was able to generate over 20,000 keywords (and counting)! The program works by mining Google Autocomplete for queries. Realistically, if you don’t want that many keyword suggestions, you can narrow down the results by adding positive and/or negative filters. Final Thoughts: 6 Unique & Free Keyword Research Tools You Didn’t Know You Needed Keyword research is an important component of any good SEO strategy. If ever, it no longer makes sense to rely solely on data gleaned from the Google Ads Keyword Planner tool. The good news? There are plenty of paid and free keyword research tools to choose from. While popular paid keyword research tools provide the most data (with the easiest route to uncovering it), free keyword research tools can still be quite insightful — without the hefty price tag. Did we miss any unique keyword research tools that you think should be a part of this list? Tell us in the comments! More SEO Resources: Image Credits All screenshots taken by the author, October 2018

Three Free Keyword Research Tools 

Three Free Keyword Research Tools

 Three Free Keyword Research Tools

Three Free Keyword Research Tools

One of the hardest things to do in keyword research is to uncover related keywords. With that in mind, the tools I’m reviewing today all help identify related keywords that you may want to search in more detail. These tools are not a substitute for detailed keyword research like I talked about in my first series of articles. Rather, they may help to either identify those keywords that are most important to your competitors, or help find obscure opportunities where there may be little search volume, but there is also little competition. All of the tools I reviewed for this article are free to the public. Some have paid options, but I’ve only covered the free features. KeywordEye keywordeye.co.uk This tool defaults to Google UK since it’s developed by a UK team, so if you’re using it in the US, you’ll have to change it to Google US. The nice thing is that it also has options for several other countries and returns results in language. The free version of this tool does limit you to 100 keywords, so while it’s useful for high level ideas, it’s not a keyword research substitute. Another nice feature is the ability to order the cloud visualization it returns – by Adwords competition or by search volume. Since the cloud already “orders” the data by showing high volume words in larger font, I generally choose to order by Adwords competition. Here’s a screenshot of “backpacks” in Google DE ordered by ascending Adwords competition: As you can see, this is an easy way to surface a lot of related keywords that don’t necessarily contain the word “backpack”. It’s also a better strategy for translation/localization on the cheap, since “Deuter rucksack” is likely to be the most searched phrase. It will save you from making a big mistake like using the literal translation of “to backpack”, which is “tramp”, or being too specific like “hiking backpack”, which is “wanderrucksack”. KeywordSpy www.keywordspy.com Keyword Spy allows you to quite literally “spy” on keywords. It’s a great name. There are several features of the free version of this tool, but the one I like the best is the Domain spy tool. Just type any domain into the search box, make sure the radio button for “domains” is selected, and you can get reasonably accurate data on how much that site is spending in paid search, who their competitors are, what keywords they spend the most money on, and more: Those tabs across the top work too, and while with a free trial, you can only get 10-20 results in each tab, the information is still really useful. The “Ads” page for example shows you Geico’s top ad copies with some key information about them. You can even click on this little “KW” button to get more keywords that are in that ad group: Plus, you can export any of the lists into Excel, CSV, or Google Spreadsheets. Bonus! Export capability is usually not offered in free products. The competitors tab is also pretty neat; you can see both organic and paid competitors side by side: The Top Lists page is mostly just fun info to know with no direct application, but one of these lists is the keywords with the largest cost per click change. This information, which is not readily available in other tools, can be quite useful in detecting trends as they are happening. Notice that every one of these keywords is for a different industry/vertical, so you get a good cross-section. It’s worth checking back on occasionally. But in terms of real-world application, the Keyword Spy add on has got to be the best feature. Their website link doesn’t seem to work all that well, but I downloaded the add-on for Chrome, and basically what it does is allow you to open the domain report on any website where it’s applicable. You can find out some interesting and useful information this way. For example, did you know that the most profitable keyword Facebook bids on (according to Keyword Spy’s calculation) is “advertise myspace”? Think of what you could learn about your competitors. SEMRush www.semrush.com This tool is also a paid tool with a free option, but unlike other free options, I think this tool provides just enough data in its free application to be useful. One element that I like in SEMRush that I haven’t seen elsewhere is the metric for the number of results in Google. That’s this number for any given search: The number of results is useful because it essentially shows you how big the competitive field is for a keyword. Instead of showing you just the number of competitors, or who wants to pay for it and how much, it shows you that there are (in this case) 145 million other pages that use this term in a way that Google feels may be relevant. Here’s where you see this metric on SEMRush: Another area that SEMRush provides something you just don’t see everywhere else is “related keywords”. Staying with the example of “backpack”, you can see below that SEMRush points out a couple of important keywords that are not relevant to a site selling bags that you carry stuff in and sling over your shoulders: These keywords all refer to an application named “backpack”, which was created by 37Signals and is a companion to BaseCamp, which is a project management system. This is an important piece of information, and something I need to make sure I put in the negatives of my PPC campaign. Sure, I would find it eventually anyway if I’m optimizing my account well, but this way, I don’t have to pay for keywords like this up front. So there are just a few free opportunities to get more keyword data. There are so many more I could cover, but after reviewing more than two dozen free keyword tools, these are my favorites. One other toolset that merits mention is the one from SEOBook, which is only partially keyword research, but between the tools and the browser extensions, will make your life so much easier. It’s important to note, there’s definitely something to be said for paying for great data. I’ve previously had the benefit of subscriptions to SpyFu, Wordtracker, Adgooroo, Compete.com, and KeywordDiscovery, and I wouldn’t hesitate a minute to buy those again if my budget allowed. What’s your favorite tool? Are there other features of the ones I covered that you couldn’t live without? Tell me in the comments! Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here. About The Author Jenny Halasz is the President of an online marketing consulting company offering SEO, PPC, and Web Design services. She's been in search since 2000 and focuses on long term strategies, intuitive user experience and successful customer acquisition. She occasionally offers her personal insights on her blog.

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