13 Keyword Tools for Effective Research

Keyword research is a big part of online marketing and search engine optimization. For some types of websites, niche sites in particular, effective keyword research can be one of the biggest factors in the success of the site. In order to be effective and efficient with keyword research you will need to have access to the right tools. Depending on your needs you may be able to get what you need from a free tool, or you may need to look at the features of some of the many premium tools that are available.

In this article we’ll take a look at 13 of the leading tools specifically related to keyword research. Many of the pro tools listed here also include a variety of tools for other aspects of SEO (such as link building).

Google AdWords Keyword Tool

Google AdWords Keyword Tool

The Google AdWords Keyword Tool is basic, but very helpful. It’s a free tool that is intended to help advertisers who are using AdWords to identify keywords and search phrases to bid on, and to get an idea about how much competition they will have from other advertisers on those keywords. If you just want to get an idea about how many people are searching for a specific word or phrase, or if you want to compare two similar keywords (like “web design” and “website design”) to see which one is getting more searches, this is a great tool. It lacks more advanced features of the premium tools that will be mentioned in this article, but for basic research it can be very useful.

Majestic SEO Keyword Checker

Majestic SEO Keyword Checker

The Majestic SEO Keyword Checker is another helpful free keyword tool. You can enter a few different search phrases and it provides some helpful data, including search volume, the number of times the keyword is used in anchor text, the number of times the keyword is used in page titles, based on domains and URLs. This data can be helpful when comparing a few different words or phrases.

SEOmoz

SEOmoz


When it comes to SEO, SEOmoz is one of the leading authorities. They have a blog where they publish a lot of great SEO-related content, and their premium tools are among the best you’ll find anywhere. As far as keyword research is concerned, SEOmoz has a keyword difficulty tool that will help you to know how easy or difficult it will be to achieve top rankings for a particular keyword or search phrase. It gives a keyword difficulty score based on the data that it finds. You can then track your rankings for the keywords that you are targeting, and you’ll get a report each week that shows any increases or decreases in the rankings.

SEOmoz offers a full suite of SEO tools in addition to the keyword tools. The cost to uses the tools is $99 per month, but they offer a free 30-day trial that allows you full access to try out all of the tools. If you’re on the fence, give the free trial a shot. You can use the keyword difficulty tool and all of the other tools while you decide if you want to continue with a paid membership.

Raven Tools

Raven Tools

Like SEOmoz, Raven offers an extensive suite of SEO tools that includes the ability to research keywords. The keyword research tool uses data from WordTracker to help you identify the best words and phrases to target. Raven also has a wealth of other tools for researching, managing, and tracking your SEO campaigns. Raven costs $99 per month, but you can get a 30-day free trial with no credit card required.

SEMrush

SEMrush

SEMrush is a popular tool that allows you to see your competitor’s organic rankings so you know what keywords are sending traffic to their site. You can also use SEMrush to help you identify the best long-tail keywords to target with your site. Pricing starts at $69.95 per month with a 7-day money back guarantee.

Long Tail Pro

Long Tail Pro

With Long Tail Pro you can create targeted campaigns, research competitors, identify opportunities, test niche viability, and focus on profitable niches. It’s an intriguing option for keyword research because the basic version of Long Tail Pro is available for a one-time fee of $97. You can get some additional features with the platinum membership that includes a fee of $17 per month. A 10-day free trial is also available. I recently purchased Long Tail Pro and with the limited use I’ve had so far I’ve found it to be a really good tool, especially if you’re looking for something that doesn’t involve a monthly fee.

Market Samurai

Market Samurai

Market Samurai is a leading keyword tool that has been around for several years. Like Long Tail Pro, Market Sumarai can be purchased for a one-time cost (currently $149). It includes tools to help you find the right keywords, research your competition, and more.

Authority Labs

Authority Labs

Finding the right keywords to target is important, but once you’ve optimized your site for those keywords you’ll need to be able to track your search rankings. Authority Labs allows you to do just that with ease. You insert your keywords and it will check the rankings every day with Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. You’ll be able to see the rankings at any time, plus you can view the ranking history for each keyword. Pricing starts at $49 per month, but you can get a free 30-day trial with no credit card required.

WhooshTraffic

WhooshTraffic

WhooshTraffic includes a keyword research tool that provides data on search volume, PPC competition, cost per click, and more. You can also analyze your competitors for a particular word or phrase to see why they are getting the top rankings. It also includes a daily rank checker that shows your ranking for the keyword. WhooshTraffic starts at $49 per month, with a 30-day free trial available.

WebMeUp

WebMeUp

WebMeUp includes a keyword discovery tool to help you find words and phrases to target. It also includes other tools like a competitor’s keyword research tool, word combination tool, keyword efficiency analysis. search ranking checker, link analysis, and much more. Pricing starts at $99.95 per month, with a two-week free trial.

SpyFu

SpyFu

SpyFu helps with your keyword research by allowing you to “spy” on your competitors to see what words and phrases are sending traffic to them, for both AdWords and organic search. Pricing starts at $79 per month with a 30-day money back guarantee.

WordTracker

WordTracker

WordTracker is a popular option for keyword research. It will provide you with loads of keyword suggestions to help you find the right long tail keywords. It also provides a competition algorithm to help analyze the level of competition. WordTracker also tracks your rankings for your targeted keywords. WordTracker is free for 7 days, then $69 per month.

KeywordSpy

KeywordSpy

KeywordSpy is another tool that is intended to help in your research by providing info on your competitors. You can see the keywords that are sending traffic to your competitors and use that data to put together your own list of keywords to target. Pricing starts at $89 per month.

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6 Responses

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  • rudolf, April 25, 2013

    Several listed tools offer to show organic rankings.
    I thought that this violates the Google API licence: http://selnd.com/ReKGi3 (Searchengineland article)

    • Steven Snell, April 26, 2013

      Rudolf,
      I’m not familiar with Google’s terms to the API, that is something that the creators of these tools would have to determine if there is a conflict.

  • Austin, April 26, 2013

    Good post. This is a very important post for every internet marketing experts also.

  • Hi, thanks a lot for sharing these valuable keywords research tools. No doubt, google adwords is the best of all. But, I use a software to research keywords. It also gives effective result. It shows the ranking of your site according to keywords. Its name is “easy monitor for google”. You also can try this. Hope, you will like it.

    Regards
    Paul

  • Nathaniel, June 1, 2013

    Magnificent website. Plenty of useful info here. I am sending it to several
    pals ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks in your sweat!

  • Vishal shah, July 4, 2013

    As a SEO anyalist, I was aware of this tools randomly.
    But you provided full list.
    Its going to be useful a lot to others people also..
    Thanx.. !!

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