7 Top Free & Paid Tools To Do Keyword Research

Top 7 Keyword Research Tools for SEO Success

Keywords are the foundation of any SEO or paid marketing campaign. Right keywords can generate high-quality traffic by expressing intent for purchases and business conversions.

Choosing keywords with the wrong intent can lead to irrelevant users visiting your website. Additionally, choosing keywords that require more effort than you can put in can result in no returns. This can ultimately result in wasted efforts and a loss of your marketing budget.

That's where keyword research tools come into place. Like you take the help of a torch light to find the right path in the dark, similarly, you must use keyword research tools to discover the right set of phrases for each page of your website that can bring the right visitors to your website.

But at the same time keyword research is a reasonably vast area of expertise and there are different keyword research tools to fulfill different requirements.

Here we are going to showcase some of the leading paid and free keyword research and analysis tools which we usually use to generate quality traffic:

Free Keyword Research Tools : 

1. Google Ads Keyword Planner

Google as the leading search engine offers a variety of tools that can be used to find new terms. The most important tool offered by Google for Keyword research and analysis is Keyword Planner. This tool primarily focuses on Google Ads results and can be highly effective if you use it for paid marketing campaigns.

To use the Keyword Planner, you will need to have a Google Ads account. The tool can be used simply by making inputs with one keyword or several (up to 10) different keywords or just by typing your website address in the field provided by the Keyword Planner. As soon as you finish doing this, Google will come out with a big list of related keywords along with data metrics for each keyword. This will help you evaluate the potential of each keyword for using them in search engine campaigns.

The keywords and their corresponding metrics and data points will also make you find how each keyword performs statistically. The tool will help provide a long list of competitive keyword options effective for different Google Ads campaigns.

Google keyword planner tool dashboard and features

Tips To Use Keyword Planner Features :

  • Use the “Location” feature to find keywords based on your target audience area.
  • Utilize the “Refine Keywords” option on the top right. It can help you in finding keywords based on branded vs non-branded, service, industry, etc.
  • Add phrases to “Negative Keywords” on the left of the dashboard to avoid finding keywords containing any certain term.
  • Look at the cost-per-click (CPC) to target better keywords.

Google Trends is another awesome keyword research tool from Google that allows performing research on a variety of keywords and filtering them as per location, search engine exposure, category, and history. After furnishing all the information, the tool will allow you to see the entire interest generated around a keyword or search term and the source of the website traffic. 

The ultimate benefit of using Google Trends is that it not only furnishes static numbers corresponding to the keyword volume as done by most keyword research tools, but the tool also shows quite interactive visual graphics showcasing the performance of different keywords and the trends. Google Trends is a more dynamic tool to offer in-depth insights into keyword finding and discovery. The best thing is that it covers the entire range of options including different spellings and misspellings of keywords.

Keyword analysis on the Google trends tool
  • Find data on the provided keyword on different searches using options like - web search, image search, news search, google shopping, and youtube search.
  • Check interest over time. Pick keywords with rising interest for better results.
  • Use “Interest By Region” & "Check the box “include low search volume regions". It will give you insights on any keyword for different cities or areas.
keyword filter by sub-region on the Google trends tool
  • Check “Related Queries” for keyword suggestions related to your phrase.
  • Enter any keyword in the “Add Comparison” section to compare the trend between the two terms.

3. Keyword Sheeter

Keyword Sheeter is actually a simple tool that basically incorporates the idea of pulling thousands of Google autocomplete suggestions into one sheet for a detailed view of all the keyword options. When you want to generate several different ideas for using keywords effectively in content, this comes as the ideal tool. 

The flaw of the tool is that it comes as a basic keyword tool without offering much deeper insights into keyword data and research. On the other hand, it comes with a really handy feature that allows using positive and negative filters. While the positive filter finds keywords and searches terms containing a specific word, the negative filter delivers results excluding that particular word.

Dashboard of free keyword research tool by keyword sheeter

Tips For Using Keyword Sheeter Feature:

  • Change the location for searching keywords based on the country and language from the top.

1. Moz Keywords Explorer

Moz as the leading SEO platform provides an array of super-efficient SEO tools for keyword analysis and research. Moz may be limited in covering too many data points just like various other full-featured tools. But it can actually be beneficial as it is very unlikely to overwhelm the users. At the same time, it offers pretty much all the essential metrics that users generally need.

Moz crawls various databases from Google and other search engines to suggest the best keywords. 

Moz offers an awesome feature called "Priority" score to help you evaluate whether a keyword is really worth targeting. The calculation of the score is carried out by Moz on the basis of keyword volume, difficulty level, organic CTR, and the importance of the keyword for your business.

Moz keyword research tool comes also with a free plan allowing up to 10 queries in a month. The Moz Pro starts with a $99/month plan allowing 150 keyword queries every month. Moz is also highly regarded because of its user-friendliness.

Moz keyword explorer dashboard

Tips For Using Moz Keyword Explorer Tool Features:

  • By using the drop-down menu on the left, find which keyword any page or website ranks for just by entering the URL.
  • Hover over the “Ranking Distribution” graph bars to figure out the total ranking keywords and their position between 1-10 on SERP for any page.
  • Use “SERP Analysis” to check who is ranking for your searched keyword.
  • Focus on Priority features to understand how best it would be to target this keyword.
keyword SERP analysis on Moz keyword explorer tool

2. Semrush

Apart from its awesome feature set of SEO covering almost every aspect of keyword research, Semrush also earns the reputation of being a highly expensive tool. Business users who focus on advanced inputs corresponding to keyword research and details of keywords, always find Semrush more effective and efficient. This tool is credited with having capabilities for providing granular findings on every keyword. 

Most importantly, Semrush just doesn't offer keyword research tools just like many of the services listed here. Semrush also helps fetch standard traffic data and data corresponding to search volume. The tool also provides a detailed content-driven keyword research function as well as a competitive gap analysis among keywords. These additional features help business websites keep a sharp eye on the keyword performance corresponding to competitor websites. 

On top of everything, Semrush also offers an SEO Content Template tool to help optimize the content based on grades received as per content readability, originality tone of the content, and SEO. As we have said, Semrush is quite expensive and the pricing starts at $119.95 per month allowing you to see 3,000 search results every day and 250 different keyword metrics every month. 

Tips To Semrush Keyword Magic Tool Features : 

  • The “Questions” tab will let you discover keywords of the question form.
  • Use Modifiers like a broad match, phrase match, exact match, etc, to find the extended variations related to your primary searched keyword.
  • The “Intent” option will guide you about the motivation of the user behind any keyword. It tells you if a keyword is informational, transactional, navigational or commercial.
  • In “Advanced Filters” you can discover keyphrases that trigger results like knowledge panel, local pack, news, images, etc.

3. KWfinder

KW finder is a gold mine to find keywords that are new as well as the ones your competitors are targeting. Once you search your seed keyword, it will provide you with different data and additional keyword suggestions.  PPC competitive level & average cost per click on google ads, keyword difficulty, trend, and volume are some of the metrics it offers.

Further, It has a search-by-domain feature that comes in handy to unveil competitors' keyphrases. Simply entering your desired URL, will generate a list of keywords the website is targeting. Moreover, it provides you with keywords that the website is using for its paid advertising campaigns. 

The basic plan of KWfinder starts from 29.90$ per month. With the basic plan, you can research up to 100 keywords per 24 hours.

Tips To Use KWfinder Features:

  • Use “Autocomplete” to discover the extended version of  keywords.
  • On the “Questions” tab, you will be able to find question-based phrases related to your search term.

4. Ahrefs Keyword Generator Tool

Keyword Generator created and maintained by Ahref is basically a keyword finder or keyword suggestion tool. It can gobble up more than 150 different keyword ideas for every different keyword option. For any word you type, the tool generates hundreds of keyword options containing that particular word along with estimated search volumes for each keyword option. 

For every ten keywords making the list, it also shows in-depth metrics like the Keyword Difficulty(KD), Search Volume, Global Volume, and Traffic Potential. The ranking difficulty is calculated by the number of backlinks you are required to rank. The tool also allows you to search different parts of the world for keyword performance and ranking.

Ahrefs offers the lite plan of their SEO tools for businesses at 99$ per month. Apart from the keyword research and analysis feature, it has various other tools integrated within that are useful for SEO purposes.

keyword overview on Ahrefs keyword explorer tool

Tips For Using Keyword Generator Features:

  • Use "SERP Overview" to get the data of top-ranking pages for the keyword along with other important metrics like backlinks, traffic, top keywords, etc.
  • “Organic Position History Chart” shows the position movement of the top 10 rankings pages for your keyword over time. It can help to determine the volatility of SERP for your target keyword.
keyword position history on keyword explorer tool
  • “Ads Position History” shows snapshots of pages that appeared on Google ads results for your target keyword.
jagdish mali- Digital Marketing Specialist


Jagdish Mali
Jagdish Mali is a professional digital marketer (specializing in SEO) with years of expertise organising and executing effective marketing campaigns across multiple channels.

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