13 Best SEO Keyword Research Tools and Their Benefits in 2024

Keyword research is an indispensable pillar of any effective search engine optimization strategy. Yet, it truly shines when paired with the right SEO keyword research tools.

The options are abundant, with hundreds of tools vying for your attention. This includes paid and free platforms, hybrid tools offering both features, Google’s own creations, long-tail search specialists, AI-powered solutions, browser extensions that work like a charm, SERP analyzers, impartial content assessors, and even traditional surveys.

Wondering where to start?

The good news is that we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. Over the years, we’ve downloaded, tested, purchased, and experimented with a plethora of SEO tools. Why? So you won’t have to navigate through a confusing maze of options.

And the outcome of our diligence? We’ve identified the best SEO keyword research tools that either lead the pack or offer unparalleled advantages in the field.

The strength of this compilation lies in the data backing it up. These SEO keyword research tools have not only withstood the test of time but have also received accolades from the SEO community for their exceptional performance.

But here’s more good news: you don’t need to clutter your toolkit with all 13. In fact, you might strike gold with just one or two—and many of them are free.

Ready for the big reveal? Let’s dive in.

  1. Ahrefs Keyword Explorer

Ahrefs Keyword Explorer

The Parent Topics feature is a standout aspect of Ahrefs. Think of it as your SEO guide, helping you decide if you should continue climbing the search engine rankings for your chosen keyword. Intriguingly, it also suggests considering a broader, more popular term—referred to as the “parent keyword”—instead.

For instance, let’s say you want to rank for “conversion rate optimization services. “Ahrefs chimes in, suggesting, “Why not aim higher with ‘conversion rate optimization agency’ as your parent keyword while still keeping your focus on ‘conversion optimization services’?”

But that’s not all. If Ahrefs notices that Google perceives two keywords as unrelated, it turns into your virtual detective, advising, “Two pages would be better than one if you want to excel with both keywords.”

Benefits:

  • A keyword difficulty score that ranges from 0 to 100, serving as your SEO crystal ball.
  • Clickstream data from not just one or two but ten different search engines. Yes, it’s getting sophisticated.
  • Keyword suggestions that offer contextual information because sometimes searchers are looking for more than just keywords. 
  • Intelligent metrics that display click percentages, user return rates, and optimal clicks-per-search averages.

Price:

You can start with a free version of Ahrefs, but if you’re looking to unlock premium features, pricing begins at just $99 per month.

  1. SEMRush Keyword Magic

SEMRush Keyword Magic

Let’s talk about SEMRush’s Keyword Gap feature, which essentially acts like your undercover spy on competitors. Picture being able to compare your website’s keyword performance to your competitors, identifying both overlapping areas and keywords where you have an edge. It serves as a sort of treasure map, revealing keywords your competitors haven’t yet targeted. Clever, isn’t it?

Benefits:

  • SEMRush offers six versatile keyword tools for you to use:
  • Keyword Overview
  • Organic Research
  • Keyword Magic
  • Keyword Manager
  • Organic Traffic Insights
  • SERP Features
  • Discover the number of featured snippets in organic search results.
    • Decode the keyword complexities.
  • Identify keyword difficulty scores to help you navigate challenges.

Price:

You might be curious about the pricing. Brace yourself: plans start at just $119 per month.

So, whether you’re a seasoned keyword strategist or a newcomer to the SEO realm, SEMRush provides a comprehensive suite of tools and insights that will leave your competitors trailing behind.

  1. MOZ Keyword Explorer

MOZ Keyword Explorer

Domain Authority (DA), pioneered by the team at MOZ, serves as a predictive measure of a website’s potential to rank on search engine result pages. Among other factors, it evaluates the quality and quantity of incoming links to a site. Just imagine the gap between a website with a DA of 90 and another with a mere 15.

In the SEO world, DA has become a go-to metric. It functions as a reliable assistant, helping professionals gauge the competition and estimate how tough it might be to climb the rankings.

Benefits:

  • Use the MOZbar Chrome Extension to inspect links, DA, and Page Authority (PA) directly within search results.
  • Keyword difficulty score, which is invaluable because, let’s face it, keywords can be tricky.
  • Page Authority, which is similar to DA but focuses on individual pages.
  • Local SEO tools for those who prefer a localised approach.

Price:

MOZ offers a free version for those who want to dip their toes into SEO waters. For those ready to dive in, the premium plans start at $99 per month. It’s like having an SEO secret weapon at your disposal!

Also Read: 16 Local SEO Tips for 2024

  1. KeywordTool.io

KeywordTool.io

Ever wondered how Autocomplete functions? It’s simple: when you start typing in Google’s search bar, Autocomplete presents a dropdown menu filled with suggested terms related to your query. It’s like Autocomplete effortlessly works its magic!

But Google isn’t the only platform to feature autocomplete. This tool also plays a significant role in other search engines like YouTube, Bing, and Instagram, making it a key player in the search engine landscape.

Autocomplete is your go-to tool for uncovering those elusive long-tail keywords—those specific, three-word, or longer search queries that generally face less competition. Not only are they easier to rank for, but they also offer better conversion rates.

What’s more, Autocomplete gives you a window into the real-world queries people use when they’re looking for the keywords you aim to rank for. The suggestions in the dropdown? Those come from the most commonly searched keyword-related queries, so you’re tapping into collective human behaviour!

Benefit:

  • You’re not limited to a single platform’s keyword data. KeywordTool.io pulls from multiple sources like Google, YouTube, Bing, Amazon, eBay, Instagram, Play Store, and Twitter. Essentially, it’s like the Avengers of keyword data, all under one roof.

Price:

Good news! KeywordTool.io offers a free version for those starting out. For those looking to ramp up their keyword strategy, a paid version is available with monthly pricing starting at $69.99. It’s time to uncover those keyword gems!

  1. Mangools KWFinder

Mangools KWFinder

Keyword Difficulty is an essential metric you shouldn’t overlook, especially when you’re targeting high-stakes keywords. While there are several tools out there that claim to accurately gauge keyword difficulty, Mangools’ KWFinder takes it up a notch. They amalgamate metrics from MOZ, Majestic, and their own proprietary data to provide an estimate of how challenging a keyword is to rank for. Clearly, they’ve got some secret sauce in the mix.

Wondering what metrics they incorporate? We’re talking about Trust Flow, Citation Flow, Domain Authority, and Page Authority. By blending all these elements, they offer what could be considered the gold standard of keyword difficulty scores, outperforming many other SEO tools on the market.

Benefits:

  • Keyword suggestions based on real-world queries
  • Convenient filters for fine-tuning your searches
  • Local keyword analytics for geographically targeted campaigns

Price:

KWFinder offers a free version to get you started. For those looking for more advanced features, their first-tier paid subscription is available for just $29 per month.

  1. Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner

If you have a Google Ads account (formerly known as Google AdWords), you gain complimentary access to Google’s renowned Keyword Planner. To get started, you’ll need to set up a Google Ads account but rest assured, that part is entirely free!

Here’s where things get interesting: search volume estimations. While most popular keyword tools offer monthly search volume estimates, there’s a catch—the data isn’t always precise. Why? Because Google no longer releases exact search volume data. Instead, they offer broad ranges, such as “1K-100K monthly searches,” which makes it challenging to pin down exact numbers.

However, with Google Keyword Planner at your disposal (and a clever trick or two up your sleeve), you can get a much more accurate idea of the search volume for your target keywords. Trust me, this level of accuracy can be a game-changer when it comes to deciding which keywords to prioritise and which to set aside for later.

Benefits:

  • Direct insights straight from the source: Gain valuable data directly from Google.
  • “Top of Bid” analysis: Evaluate the prices that advertisers are willing to pay for specific keywords. This can help you gauge their commercial value and assess the worth of your organic traffic.

Price:

Absolutely free! All you need to do is register for a Google Ads account.

Also Read: Affordable SEO Services for Small Businesses- 2024 Guide

  1. Google Search Console

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is an exceptional suite of tools and reports designed to help you monitor your website’s performance in search results. Best of all, it’s completely free!

What really stands out is the Performance Report. When you delve into Search Console and review this report, you’ll get a detailed view of how many impressions each of your pages has garnered, the number of clicks they’ve received (commonly known as the click-through rate or CTR), and your current standing in keyword rankings.

Armed with this valuable data, you can pinpoint which pages are performing remarkably well for specific keywords, identify those that need a bit more optimization to climb to the coveted first-page position, and even determine which pages could benefit from enhanced meta descriptions and titles to boost their click-through rates.

Benefits:

  • Seamlessly integrates with Google Analytics for a comprehensive view of keyword performance.
  • Sends alerts about site usability issues, helping you keep your website in optimal condition.
  • Provides insights into your link profile, including both external and internal links to your site.

Price:

Absolutely free!

  1. Google Trends

Google Trends

Google Trends serves as a temporal gauge for assessing a keyword’s popularity in search queries. It’s akin to having your own keyword arena where you can put up to five different terms against each other to see which one wears the crown of popularity—and which ones are gaining or losing traction.

Wondering why this tool is a treasure? Let’s delve in.

Consider comparing two keywords. With Trends, it becomes crystal clear which one is capturing the most attention. Investing heavily in a keyword that’s gradually fading from the search scene? Definitely not a wise move.

But wait, there’s more. You’re familiar with Keyword Planner, right? That reliable tool provides you with an average monthly search volume. Google Trends takes it a step further by revealing the seasonal fluctuations in search traffic.

Here’s a scenario: According to Google, the term “Taylor Swift” attracts around 200+K monthly searches. Impressive, right? However, a deeper dive into Trends reveals that these searches aren’t consistent year-round. The numbers skyrocket from August to December but quiet down to almost a lull from February to July.

Benefits:

  • Gain insight into the most relevant search queries and topics related to your keyword.
  • Uncover the untapped potential of YouTube keywords.

Price:

Completely free!

  1. Keywords Everywhere

Keywords Everywhere

Utilising Keywords Everywhere is akin to having a miniature magic wand for keyword research right within your browser. Gone are the days of toggling between multiple tools. This handy browser extension lets you quickly access relevant search queries, obtain search volume data, and even track historical trends—all directly within Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). No more hassle.

What sets this apart is that it doesn’t just aid your research; it also enhances your overall browsing experience.

Benefits:

  • Discover elusive long-tail keywords that are otherwise hard to find.
  • Uncover related terms to broaden your scope.
  • Delve into the “People also searched for” suggestions to gain a deeper understanding of user intent.

Price:

A free trial version is available for those looking to dip their toes in the water. If you’re ready to elevate your keyword strategy, the paid version starts at just $10. And what do you get for this modest investment? An astonishing 100,000 keywords to experiment with—that’s excellent bang for your buck.

  1. Answer The Public

Answer The Public

Answer the Public employs autocomplete suggestions to generate its keyword ideas, similar to KeywordTool.io. However, what sets Answer the Public apart is its extraordinary ability to organise these suggestions into clear and understandable categories, offering an unparalleled user experience.

Answer the Public goes a step further by meticulously categorising key question-based keywords into ten distinct groups:

  • Who
  • What
  • When
  • Where
  • Why
  • Are
  • Can
  • Will
  • Which
  • How

You might wonder why question-based keywords should excite you. Firstly, they are insightful long-tail keywords laden with specific intent. (Think about it: when you understand exactly what people are seeking, providing the answer becomes straightforward.) Secondly, these questions serve excellently as subheadings within your articles, giving your content an added lift.

Benefits:

  • Offers robust data on question-based keywords to enhance your SEO strategy.

Price:

You have the option to stick with the free version or upgrade to the Pro edition, starting at a reasonable $99 per month for those seeking a more advanced experience.

  1. Seed Keywords 

Seed Keywords

Seed Keywords takes a unique approach to keyword generation that sets it apart from other tools. It uses actual surveys filled out by real participants to generate keyword suggestions. Honestly, it’s pretty awesome—and we’re big fans of such innovative methods!

So how does it work? You start by defining a scenario or issue related to your product or service. The software then generates a URL that you can share with real people, such as your customers, friends, and contacts.

These individuals provide their feedback in the form of search terms they would use to address that specific problem. Voila! You now have a list of search terms that real people have employed to find a solution to the issue you’re focused on.

Benefits:

  • Innovative and highly engaging approach to keyword research.

Price:

  • Completely free to use.
  1. ClearScope.io

ClearScope.io

ClearScope.io is an ingenious word processor designed to ensure your content accurately aligns with targeted keywords. One standout feature is “content grades,” which users find especially appealing—think of it as the cherry on top of your content cake.

ClearScope.io’s editor has a dedicated “terms” section that works hand in hand with your main target keyword. It helps generate semantically related groups of words, ensuring contextual relevance in your articles. For example, if “keyword research tools” is your target keyword, a related term could be “SEO.” This indicates that a comprehensive article on keyword research should naturally incorporate the term “SEO.”

ClearScope.io uses these related terms to create intelligent topic models and calculate relevance scores for your content. The catch? Omitting these terms can lower your article’s relevance and, subsequently, its content grade. Think of it as a report card for your content: A+ for stellar work, C+ for adequacy, and F for, well, a rewrite might be in order.

Beyond enhancing keyword incorporation, these content grades serve another purpose. Writers can strategically employ these graded terms to ensure relevant keywords are integrated into article outlines—a boon for content creators.

Benefits:

  • Precision Editing: ClearScope.io ensures your content aligns perfectly with selected keywords.
  • Content Grades: Grade-based evaluations help you assess and improve your content’s quality.
  • Context-Rich Articles: Utilise semantically related terms to enrich your content’s context.
  • Relevance Scoring: ClearScope.io assigns relevance scores based on keyword integration.
  • Strategic Planning: Use graded terms to outline articles with essential keywords.
  • Improved Readability: Access readability ratings for enhanced comprehension.
  • Recommended Word Counts: Receive suggestions for structuring your content effectively.
  • Increased Engagement: Benefit from question-based suggestions to boost reader interaction.

Price:

Gain access to all the features and benefits that ClearScope.io has to offer, starting at just $170 a month.

  1. Keyword Keg

Keyword Keg

Keyword Keg offers a handy suite of five straightforward yet powerful tools. The lineup includes: Identify Keywords, Import Keywords, Research Related Keywords, People Also Search For, and Merge Words—the last of which is undoubtedly the showstopper.

Picture this: you input a significant list of terms, and voila! Keyword Keg ingeniously combines these original keywords to generate an abundance of fresh keyword ideas—much like a magician’s hat overflowing with endless rabbits.

So, why is this significant? Imagine an eCommerce landscape filled with a dizzying array of product options—colours, sizes, and any other attributes you can conceive. Merge Words allows you to effortlessly discover every possible term variation without the tedious task of manual combination.

Benefits:

  • Input multiple seed words simultaneously.
  • Tailor your keyword list based on consumer purchase intent.
  • An impressive collaboration of 11 search engines to populate suggested keywords.

Price:

Starting at just $38 a month, you can dive into this keyword treasure trove.

Conclusion

In today’s digital age, you have a plethora of excellent keyword research tools at your disposal. 

We’ve only scratched the surface by not mentioning popular options like SerpStat, Ubersuggest, Soovle, Raven Tools, Majestic, Long-tail Pro, or SpyFu.

Remember, your frontline colleagues are an invaluable resource. 

Account managers, sales teams, customer service agents, online support staff, and account reps all hold a treasure trove of keyword insights that are ripe for the picking.

The best keyword research tool ultimately boils down to personal preference. 

What truly matters is your ability to obtain the following key information for selecting and ranking the most relevant keywords:

  • Estimated search volume
  • Search pattern trends
  • Difficulty level assessment
  • Projected visitor/click volume
  • Identification of searcher intent
  • Development of a comprehensive content strategy

Did we miss one of your favourite keyword research tools? If so, which ones?

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