What You Need To Look For in A Keyword Research Tool

If you put time, effort, and money into a digital marketing strategy, you need to know as much as you can about SEO, especially Google SEO. SEO, or search engine optimization, drives the position of your websites, blogs, and pages on the internet in organic search engine results.

Updated: December 1, 2022
keyword research tool

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Today marketers and freelancers have options when it comes to tools to help enhance digital marketing and content strategies.

One helpful aid, in particular, is the keyword research tool.

Keywords are an essential part of an SEO strategy, and choosing the right ones is essential for your efforts to be successful.

It is those keywords that get you in front of customers and clients and ahead of the competition.

To achieve such success, a keyword research tool can make all the difference.

Keyword research tools can range from very basic for beginners to complex for more advanced users.

Some are free, but others often come with a big price tag, so you’ll want to choose the one that meets your specific needs and budget.

    What is a Keyword Research Tool?

    A keyword research tool streamlines and simplifies the process of finding relevant words and phrases to use in content and, in turn, helps you rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).

    The helpful tool will prompt you to enter a basic keyword, then will generate a list of ideas surrounding that word.

    The keyword research tool focuses in on the keywords and phrases that your buyer personas are already searching on for answers to their questions or to find products or services they need.

    It can also help you expand your list of beneficial keywords, and this will allow you to continue working to improve and update your content marketing strategy. You may even find new ideas to include in blog posts or new landing pages.

    In addition, the tool provides you with data surrounding a keyword, such as traffic for it specifically, and also how your competitors are currently using it to rank higher than you.

    The Key Benefits of Using a Keyword Research Tool

    Keyword research is essential in helping you understand where people are in the buyer’s journey, how your competition strategizes, and ways you should go about shaping your own content strategy.

    It further guides you toward smart marketing decisions backed up by analytics, removing the guesswork that may or may not get you the results you want.

    More specifically, the benefits of using a keyword research tool include the following.

    Saves you time

    With the assistance of a keyword research tool, you can locate high-performing keywords and phrases in less time than if done manually. This way, you can spend more time developing relevant content around those keywords.

    Provides more specialized keywords

    The tool provides you with more specialized keywords and limits your usage of generic ones. Generic keywords have more competition, and you may be less likely to rank higher by only using them.

    In particular, by identifying longtail keywords that are more specific, you can attract a smaller audience that includes those that are further along on the buyer’s journey.

    Shows you what competitors are doing

    One of the biggest benefits of a keyword research tool is the ability to conduct a competitive analysis.

    Find out all the keywords your competitors are using to rank, how they incorporate them into content, and the level of success they experience as a result.

    Now that you know this, you can craft your own content to be more relevant and watch as you move past them in search engine rankings.

    Improves important metrics

    With the use of more relevant keywords and phrases, you can improve SEO metrics.

    These metrics include traffic to your website, search engine results ranking, and those valuable conversion rates.

    Helps boost conversions

    Identifying the most relevant keywords can help to boost conversions.

    This boost happens when those keywords bring more people to you that are looking for exactly what you have to offer, whether that be answers, products, or services.

    How Do I Choose a Keyword Research Tool?

    There are several keyword research tools available today. Some are simple, while others provide a variety of options to help you further your digital marketing efforts.

    You may need to experiment with several different ones until you find the tool you are most comfortable with and that provides what you need.

    Here are a few tips on what factors to look for when choosing a keyword research tool.

    Trustworthy Data Sources

    To choose wisely, first determine if a tool’s data sources are trustworthy.

    Look for one that pulls from Google (either Google Analytics or Search Console).

    You need to know where the data and keywords are coming from so you can trust the results not to be incomplete or biased in any way.

    User-Friendly Experience

    Look for one that is simple and straightforward, making it user-friendly whether you are a beginner or a budding expert.

    You want to be able to make use of the tool quickly and understand the results it presents without having to decipher anything too complex.

    Includes Essential Data

    While receiving a list of relevant keywords is somewhat helpful, you want a tool that provides you with data about those keywords, including resulting traffic and keyword difficulty.

    Another piece of data that is highly beneficial is a competitive SERP analysis. 

    You may even find one with keyword trend-spotting abilities.

    Availability of a Free Version and Paid Plan Possibilities

    Cost is always an important factor.

    While there are free options available, be sure to check on what is included in the free version of a keyword research tool.

    Results may be limited, or you may only have free access for a short amount of time.

    Check how much an upgraded plan will be and what it offers to determine if the tool is the right fit for your organization.

    6 Top Keyword Research Tools

    1. Google Keyword Planner

    Google offers its own research tool called Keyword Planner for free; however, you must first have a Google Ads account to gain access.

    This tool helps businesses and freelancers discover new keywords and phrases that are most relevant to what they offer.

    For convenience, the keywords are presented in groups and subgroups, making them easier to review.

    Data on each keyword is included and is based on live, accurate data.

    2. Wordtracker

    Wordtracker is unique in that it shows search data from more than just Google, and this includes Amazon and YouTube.

    It also offers a competitive analysis feature.

    You can gain SEO insights, find relevant, related terms to your favorite keywords, and more.

    Wordtracker offers three different plans, all starting with a free seven-day trial.

    3. WordStream

    Designed by actual search marketers, WordStream is easy to use and provides comprehensive keyword searches, helping you to find new opportunities to help your content strategy.

    The free tool also lets you refine keyword strategies so you can seek higher returns.

    4. Moz

    The Moz Keyword Explorer is ideal for those seeking a simple process with robust results while still having access to important metrics.

    Select which keywords you want to learn more about, and Moz will provide their monthly volume, click-through rate (CTR), and difficulty. You will also receive suggestions for related keywords.

    Moz offers a free version and paid plans with a 30-day free trial. Each plan comes with an onboarding walkthrough and 24-hour support.

    Pricing depends on the plan you choose and ranges from $99 up to $599 per month.

    5. Ahrefs

    Search for keywords using Ahrefs, and you’ll receive a lot of helpful data beyond what you might expect. This tool shows information for every keyword, including search volume, competition, and organic click-through rate.

    Start with the free keyword generator, and if you want more, go with one of these paid plans:

    • Lite: $99/mo. (freelancers and small businesses)
    • Standard: $199/mo. (agencies and in-house marketers)
    • Advanced: $399/mo. (mid- to large-size businesses)
    • Enterprise: $999/mo. (enterprises and large agencies)

    6. SEMrush

    A more advanced option is the SEMrush keyword research tool.

    This tool provides access to high levels of keyword data, including SERP features like reviews and featured snippets.

    It also includes the ability to conduct an SEO analysis of your website.

    If you go with the free plan, you’ll get up to 10 tracked keywords each day, along with 10 Analytics reports.

    SEMrush also offers three paid plans, including the following:

    • PRO: $119.95/mo. (best for smaller teams and beginners)
    • Guru: $229.95/mo. (best for mid-size businesses and agencies)
    • Business: $448.95/mo. (best for enterprises and larger agencies)

    Wrap Up: Find Your Keyword Research Tool and Excel at Optimizing

    With information overload online today, the best step you can take to advance your content and business is to optimize with the right keywords and phrases. By utilizing a keyword research tool, you can find the ones that will effectively drive more traffic to your website and, ultimately, boost your conversion rates.

    Want to do even more with your marketing efforts to achieve SEO success? If so, download our marketing planning bundle today and get started.


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