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The Best Keyword Research Tools

Targeted keywords can often make or break an online marketing campaign, so it always pays to use the best search tools that the current industry has to offer.

The term “keyword” is quite appropriate when referring to search engine optimisation, as these clever bundles will literally unlock the door to better and more lucrative online opportunities. Of course, anyone who is even vaguely familiar with the notion of online advertising is clearly aware of this observation. The only issue is that this topic can be rather confusing, as SEO suggestions seem to change on a regular basis.

Another major roadblock is that intuition rarely solves the problem. Even those who are extremely “in-tune” with their business might not be aware of which words will garner the most interest. Some could use outdated phrases while others may choose the wrong words entirely even though they may seem relevant. Let’s remember that keywords are not only based around the website in question. They are also heavily dependant upon search trends and audience preferences. This is why two businesses which may very well be offering similar products and services could be associated with an entirely different spectrum of keywords.

This is often why keyword research tools are your best bet when creating content that will resonate with your readers. In order to take much of the guesswork out of the equation, let’s first begin by discussing why keywords are so important before moving on to examine some of the most powerful and user-friendly search utilities at your disposal.

The Best Things Come in Small (and Targeted) Packages

2020 could very well be dubbed the year of the “personal marketing approach”. Countless articles have been focused upon the need to develop a bespoke rapport with the reader in question in order to provide relevant and actionable information. This is indeed very true and yet, many so-called marketing specialists have neglected to mention that keywords are still paramount in terms of searchability and online exposure. Even the most targeted content will fall upon deaf ears if it is not imbued with the appropriate keywords.

This is when we encounter a rather formidable problem. A recent study performed by Ahrefs found that a staggering 92.42 per cent of all keywords receive fewer than ten monthly searches. Here are some other seemingly confusing statistics that were uncovered in this decidedly sobering report:

  • 13.53 per cent of keywords associated with fewer than ten searches per month consisted of between one and two words.
  • 70.87 per cent of keywords garnering more than 10,000 hits per month were between one and two words.

Now, these two statements appear rather contradictory at first glance. How can such results display this level of disparity when they are referring to the same number of keywords? The answer here lies in the simple fact that relevance is king. Being able to appreciate which words echo the needs of the audience is the most important factor.

A Changing Digital Landscape

Keywords can be viewed as some of the most effective digital barometers if we are to appreciate the changing needs of any online audience. Perhaps one of the most relevant and clear examples in recent times involves how searches have been modified as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Let’s imagine for a moment that you own a plumbing firm. Some logical keywords would include:

  • The name of the town or region.
  • The services provided.
  • Phrasal “hooks” such as professional, reliable, certified, and economical.

Although these are obviously still relevant, the health crisis has caused the flavour of online searches to be slightly modified. Due to understandable concerns, customers are now more likely to incorporate other elements into their searches such as “safe”, “hygienic” and “online consultation”. The main point here is that adaptability is important if you hope to remain one step ahead of the game. To further reinforce this point, it has also been shown that the first five search engine results equate to more than 67 per cent of all inbound clicks.

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The Power of Keyword Research Tools

The information presented above was meant to provide a stark reminder of how “business as usual” is rarely the case in terms of keywords. While it is indeed a fact that certain choices can remain evergreen for long periods of time, it is dangerous to assume that words which provided impressive results in the past will continue to perform equally well in the future. This is why leveraging keyword search platforms is always a good idea. Let us now take a look at some of the most effective and user-friendly bundles on the market so that you can make an informed choice at the appropriate time.


Some have likened this platform to the “Swiss army knife” of keyword search tools due to the numerous amenities which can be enjoyed. Not only will SEMrush provide you with standard keyword results, but it offers between five and ten additional possibilities based upon the actions of your competitors.

SEMrush also supplies long-tail keywords, historical trends, cost-per-click analyses, and organic insights regarding your inbound traffic. A final impressive feature is the fact that you are able to sign up for a seven-day free trial before committing to any type of plan (there are currently four different pricing options). Whether you have just entered into the digital domain or you are looking to provide your business with a much-needed facelift, SEMrush is a great place to begin.


Anyone who has been involved with the digital marketing community for an extended period of time has likely heard of Ahrefs in terms of their advertising insight and informative blog posts. However, they also offer a standalone bundle known as the Keyword Explorer. Perhaps the most impressive feature of this package is that users are provided with more than 1,000 suggestions based upon a difficulty score of between zero and 100.

Other metrics include global keyword volume, click-through rates and a thorough SERP (search engine results page) overview. Ahrefs is supported in 171 countries and customers can choose from four different pricing options. Those who are new to the marketing game will also be pleased with a highly intuitive dashboard that clearly displays all of the most important metrics.

Google Keyword Planner

Considering the fact that Google enjoys the lion’s share of online searches, it makes perfect sense that they have come up with a useful keyword search tool. The Google Keyword Planner takes the guesswork out of the equation if you prefer a no-frills solution that does not require any type of paid subscription.

While the tools and utilities might not be as technically diverse as other options, users can still enjoy a host of fundamental benefits. Google Keyword Planner offers a simplified search function based upon the core features of your business and a built-in research widget will display the frequency of specific words; allowing you to better appreciate which keywords are receiving the greatest monthly volume.

In terms of monetisation, this platform also offers a suggestion of bid estimates for each keyword. This is ideal if you are concerned about adhering to a limited advertising budget. All subsequent information can thereafter be shared with other team members via Google Drive, so the learning curve is kept to a minimum and there is no need to download additional software.

KW Finder

KW Finder is specifically useful if you are hoping to encounter the most appropriate long-tail keywords. Why is this important? A study conducted by WordStream found that more than 50 per cent of all search queries contain four or more words. So, it only makes sense to include long-tail keywords within any marketing campaign if you hope to get the most out of your content.

KW Finder offers a beginner’s guide to those who might be just dipping their toes into to the digital water and its user interface is extremely easy to navigate. Multiple languages are supported and statistics are updated on a daily basis. It is also interesting to point out that you can search for words relevant to a specific domain name; a very useful option if you are not sure where to begin. Simply type in your website address in order to be provided with targeted suggestions.

KW Finder offers four discrete pricing plans, and some of these bundles will allow simultaneous access to multiple users; a nice touch if you happen to be working with a sales team or should you wish to share your findings with other stakeholders.


The Majestic keyword checker is another worthwhile tool; especially for small- to medium-sized enterprises that might not have an ample amount of working capital. There are several tiered pricing packages and new registrants can take advantage of a seven-day free trial offer.

Billing itself as the planet’s “largest online link database”, users can access a host of centralised SEO utilities within a single toolkit. Like the other bundles mentioned above, Majestic provides a means to monitor and evaluate the keywords of local competitors. Another feature which appears to be rather unique to this platform involves the ability for users to compare trustworthiness versus authority. This is a nice touch in terms of imbuing a website with a sense of transparency from the start. Keep in mind that the Majestic keyword checker is only available in the API and PRO versions.

Keyword Tool

Try not to let this decidedly generic name fool you. The fact of the matter is that this cloud-based software package is one of the most technically thorough on the market today. Keyword Tool is arguably the best option for those who are more interested in data mining keywords and long-tail phrases. Users can access multiple third-party platforms from within a single database to better understand how keyword rankings can change across different sites. These include:

  • Google
  • Bing
  • Amazon
  • YouTube
  • eBay
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Google Play

As we can see, Keyword Tool is also heavily focused upon the e-commerce community. This is why online retailers could particularly benefit from its presence. As this is a cloud-based system, it can also be used in tandem with other keyword search bundles.

Making the Best Decision

We can now see that you have a kaleidoscope of options to consider. Here are some questions which should be answered in order to make an informed decision:

  • How much can I afford to spend?
  • What is the ultimate goal of my website?
  • Do I require a simplified platform or a more technically oriented approach?

The good news is that each of these packages is associated with extensive user reviews, you can appreciate what others have had to say about their experiences.

Why Not Instead Outsource?

Still, we need to remember that working with the team at Textbroker is arguably the best choice in order to take your website (and the keywords contained within) far beyond the digital horizon. While content is still king, keywords share a considerable portion of the throne. Thankfully, Textbroker has always been the lord of the manor.

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About our author

Ron first arrived in Barcelona, Spain in 2007. Although initially pursuing a career in wealth management and finance, he learned that the content writing community provided the highest level of personal satisfaction while still being able to personally help clients. He has been a full-time professional writer since 2011. Some of his other interests include martial arts and bodybuilding.

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