8 Best Keyword Research Tools: Main Features and Pricing


Let’s cut to the chase: keyword research is and has always been one of the most crucial components of any SEO strategy. When SEO experts say that SEO starts with keyword research, they mean it.

To get the most out of keyword research, begin by choosing the right tool. There are tons of options that promise to skyrocket your SEO, but it will take more digging to find what’s truly best for you. 

And we’re excited to help you find the perfect match.

We analyzed dozens of keyword suggestion tools on the market and rated them using six criteria (more on that later) to cut the list down to eight top-of-the-line solutions. Let’s review each one so you can choose the most suitable option for your business.

Which keyword research tools did we choose?

Let’s explore some top-notch keyword search tools for your SEO needs.

SE Ranking: This versatile SEO platform provides robust keyword research capabilities and powerful reporting features. From its wide range of crucial keyword metrics, suggestions for untapped keywords, an in-depth SERP analysis to bulk analysis functionality, and its custom filtering options, you can find all you need for keyword research here.

Ahrefs: This platform is one of the most trusted SEO software suites available on the market today. It’s used for link building, competitor analysis, rank tracking, site audits, and, of course, in-depth keyword research.

Semrush: This reputable toolset offers the full range of SEO services. By using its rich combination of keyword research features, you’ll find more than just a list of valuable keywords. It also lets you discover their organic and advertising value, and identify your rivals’ keyword research strategies.

SpyFu: This tool specializes in keyword and competitive research. With access to 15+ years of historical data, SkyFu provides comprehensive insights on how both your strategies and your competitors’ have evolved over time. This helps you adjust new strategies accordingly.

SECockpit: As a comprehensive keyword research tool, SECockpit offers keyword suggestions from multiple sources like Google, YouTube, and Amazon. It’s known for being one of the fastest platforms for processing keyword data, saving its users hours of time.

Moz Pro: This outstanding platform offers a set of SEO tools, and is widely known for its flagship Keyword Explorer tool. Offering over 500 million keyword suggestions, Moz Pro is a great assistant for expanding your keyword list.

Mangools: This powerful SEO platform has one of the most user-friendly interfaces on the market. With over 50,000 supported locations and over 40 languages to choose from, people worldwide are using its keyword research tool to identify popular and relevant keywords for specified niches.

Google Keyword Planner: This free tool is primarily designed for PPC advertising, but you can also use it to discover and target new keywords, and look at their estimated search volumes and costs.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a 360-degree view of each tool’s capabilities, as well as their pros and cons. This will help you understand which options perfectly match your needs and expectations.

How we ranked each keyword research tool for you

To ensure impartiality, we evaluated each keyword research tool based on a wide range of essential criteria. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the factors we considered:

  • Crucial keyword metrics: An effective tool should provide all critical keyword data, including search volume, keyword difficulty, estimated traffic, and search intent.
  • Data accuracy and relevance: The best SEO keyword research tools not only provide a wealth of necessary data but also ensure a high level of accuracy for metrics like search volume, keyword difficulty, traffic forecast, and so on.
  • Datasets in different regions: To complement their comprehensive keyword databases, keyword research tools should let users check keywords in different regions, countries, and even cities.
  • Variety of relevant keyword ideas: These tools should offer relevant keyword ideas in different forms, such as long-tail keywords and questions. They should also allow users to filter out stop words and irrelevant queries based on their goals, like search volume, keyword difficulty, and word count.
  • Convenience: The tool should have an intuitive and user-friendly interface for all skill levels.
  • Flexibility of pricing policy: To accommodate various budgets and usage requirements, the best keyword research tools for SEO should offer flexible pricing options, including different subscription tiers or customizable plans.

To help you find the most suitable keyword research tool, we created this comprehensive comparison table. 

Minimum pricing plan cost


Number of supported locations


No specific data available

No specific data available

52k locations including countries, cities, and DMA regions

All countries and territories except those subject to OFAC sanctions

Categorized keyword recommendations


Similar, related, questions-based, low search volume keywords

Matching terms, related terms, search suggestions

Related, question-based keywords, and keywords with broad/phrase/exact match

Similar, question-based, keywords, as well as keywords’ top-ranking domains/advertisers rank for

Keyword ideas from Google Ads, as well as Google Suggest Synonyms, Google Related Searches Synonyms, Amazon/Youtube Suggest Synonyms, and keyword ideas your competitors rank for

Keyword suggestions with all of the query terms, broader ideas, related topics, synonyms, keywords with similar results pages, and question-based keywords

Related keywords, autocomplete suggestions, and question-based search terms

Keyword suggestions with broad/phrase/exact match

SERP analysis with all the essential metrics


Search engines available for keyword research


Google, YouTube, Amazon, Bing, Baidu, Yahoo, Daum, Naver, Seznam

Google, Youtube, eBay, and Amazon

Automated keyword intent identification


Additional SEO features available


  • Rank tracking
  • Competitive analysis
  • Website audit
  • Backlink monitoring
  • On-page analysis
  • Local SEO
  • SEO reporting
  • Rank tracking
  • Site audit
  • SERP comparison
  • Competitors’ backlinks and keywords analysis
  • Competitor analysis
  • Website audit
  • Backlink analysis
  • Advertising tools
  • Rank tracking
  • Competitive analysis
  • Backlink monitoring
  • On-page analysis
  • Reporting
  • Rank tracking
  • SERP analysis
  • Backlink monitoring
  • Website audit

Minimum pricing plan cost

Number of supported locations

No specific data available

No specific data available

52k locations including countries, cities, and DMA regions

All countries and territories except those subject to OFAC sanctions

Categorized keyword recommendations

Similar, related, questions-based, low search volume keywords

Matching terms, related terms, search suggestions

Related, question-based keywords, and keywords with broad/phrase/exact match

Similar, question-based, keywords, as well as keywords’ top-ranking domains/advertisers rank for

Keyword ideas from Google Ads, as well as Google Suggest Synonyms, Google Related Searches Synonyms, Amazon/Youtube Suggest Synonyms, and keyword ideas your competitors rank for

Keyword suggestions with all of the query terms, broader ideas, related topics, synonyms, keywords with similar results pages, and question-based keywords

Related keywords, autocomplete suggestions, and question-based search terms

Keyword suggestions with broad/phrase/exact match

SERP analysis with all the essential metrics

Search engines available for keyword research

Google, YouTube, Amazon, Bing, Baidu, Yahoo, Daum, Naver, Seznam

Google, Youtube, eBay, and Amazon

Automated keyword intent identification

Additional SEO features available

  • Rank tracking
  • Competitive analysis
  • Website audit
  • Backlink monitoring
  • On-page analysis
  • Local SEO
  • SEO reporting
  • Rank tracking
  • Site audit
  • SERP comparison
  • Competitors’ backlinks and keywords analysis
  • Competitor analysis
  • Website audit
  • Backlink analysis
  • Advertising tools
  • Rank tracking
  • Competitive analysis
  • Backlink monitoring
  • On-page analysis
  • Reporting
  • Rank tracking
  • SERP analysis
  • Backlink monitoring
  • Website audit

1. SE Ranking 

SE Ranking is a powerful platform designed for agency and in-house professionals. It offers a variety of features that allow users to quickly and effectively conduct advanced keyword research. Users can evaluate keyword competition, identify untapped keyword opportunities, and evaluate any given keyword under a comprehensive set of SEO metrics. 

SE Ranking’s main keyword research features

With its Keyword Search Tool, you can conduct research in different languages and regions. This makes it possible to create content that speaks to diverse audiences. 

Here is a look at database sizes for some of the countries SE Ranking serves:

  • USA: 659 million keywords
  • United Kingdom: 652 million keywords
  • Germany: 590 million keywords
  • Canada: 89 million keywords
  • Philippines: 36 million keywords
  • UAE: 26 million keywords

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! SE Ranking also provides global data and data for wider regions like Europe, Asia, and more. This makes it possible to adjust your keyword strategy based on the regions you’re most interested in.

By the way, this database is expandable. Just add your own keyword lists and request their addition to the dataset. This will give you access to all the keywords relevant to your niche.

For each term processed by the system, you’ll receive a wealth of valuable keyword data, including:

  • Difficulty Score: Quickly assess how challenging it is to rank for a specific keyword.
  • Search Volume: Stay informed about the present popularity of keywords and analyze their performance over time.
  • CPC and Paid Competition: Gauge each keyword’s cost per click and level of competition for paid advertising.
  • Global Volume: Gain insights into the global market by analyzing worldwide search volumes for chosen keywords.
  • Search Intent: Uncover the intent behind user queries to tailor your content to your target audience’s needs.
  • SERP Features: Discover the SERP features for specific keywords.

SE Ranking is constantly polishing its data processing algorithms to provide accurate keyword data that users can rely on. For example, it applies ungrouping techniques to better estimate search volume. Also, SE Ranking recently upgraded its traffic estimation algorithm, which now relies on an AI formula to deliver traffic data that better aligns with GSC metrics.

SE Ranking's Keyword Research Tool

You can also leverage the tool’s Keyword Ideas section to find new keyword targetting opportunities. This section offers thousands of suggestions, all pulled from SE Ranking’s extensive database. It divides potential keyword opportunities into four main categories:

  • Similar keywords
  • Related keywords
  • Low search volume keywords
  • Question-based keywords 
SE Ranking's Keyword Suggestions

In this section, you can organize and save search queries in unique lists for later use. The tool’s keyword management feature allows you to save keywords for different regions in one spot. You can seamlessly add them to either the Content Editor (to generate new content) or the Rank Track (to keep an eye on your site’s positions).

To analyze dozens or even hundreds of keywords at once, you can use the tool’s bulk keyword analysis feature. Enter your keywords one by one or copy-paste them from a text editor and wait a few seconds for the system to analyze them. After the analysis, you’ll receive an in-depth report with detailed data on all your search queries.

To refine your keyword list, the tool offers various filters, including inclusion/exclusion criteria, and filters for search volume, word count, difficulty, search intent, competition, and so on.

The tool also provides insights on:

  • Which pages rank for your chosen keyword, including their traffic estimates, backlink count, and other crucial metrics.
  • Whether the rankings of the URL/domain have gone up or down during the selected period.
  • Historical performance of the most popular ads for the analyzed keyword.
SE Ranking's keyword research data overview

Other features that enhance keyword research and analysis

In addition to the main keyword research functionalities, SE Ranking offers more tools to help with keyword research. These include:

  • Keyword Grouper: This tool helps you create keyword clusters by identifying similar SERP results, saving time and eliminating possible mistakes. Its algorithm is super straightforward: when multiple search queries bring up the same pages in the SERPs, they’re added to the same cluster. 
  • Competitor Research Tool: This tool helps you identify the keywords your competitors target in both organic and paid search, uncovering keyword opportunities you might have missed. 
  • Position Tracking Tool: This tool is essential for monitoring your targeted keywords’ performance in SERPs. Rankings are updated daily.

Pros and cons

+ Robust keyword research capabilities: The tool stands out for its comprehensive range of vital SEO metrics, diverse keyword suggestions, SERP analysis, extensive database, and bulk analysis functionality.

+ All-in-one SEO solution: Regardless of your chosen pricing plan, you get access to a complete suite of SEO tools.

+ Tailored for SEO agencies: The Agency Pack add-on offers white label reports containing a list of target keywords carefully selected by users for new client projects. It also offers manager seats to help team members use the tools simultaneously.

+ Cost-effective SEO tool: The tool offers an advanced set of SEO services while still being budget-friendly and accessible to most users.

– Cluttered UI: Most reports contain large amounts of data, which can be difficult to navigate at first. 

– Lack of keyword data for Bing, Yahoo and Amazon: This tool only lets you perform keyword research for Google.

Pricing

The Keyword Research Tool is included in all SE Ranking subscription plans. The Essential plan suits freelancers and SEO newbies, while the Pro and Business plans (offering an unlimited number of analyzed projects and three or five manager seats) are better for in-house SEO teams and agencies with more complex needs.

  • Essential ($55/month) — Get 100 daily keyword reports and 60 lists in Keyword Manager per account.
  • Pro ($109/month) — Get 5,000 daily keyword reports, unlimited lists in Keyword Manager, and historical data for the past three months.
  • Business ($239/month) — Get 10,000 daily keyword reports, unlimited lists in Keyword Manager, and historical data for any available month.

If you opt for any of SE Ranking’s yearly subscription plans, you’ll get 20% off.

Verdict

SE Ranking provides some of the best SEO services, ranging from keyword research and competitive analysis to backlink monitoring and website audits.

For keyword research, SE Ranking helps you analyze keywords with essential SEO metrics, suggests unique keyword ideas, conducts bulk analysis, and provides convenient keyword management features. This tool delivers reliable data insights, continually polishing its data processing algorithms and updating databases to maximize each insight’s relevance. 

Since each one of SE Ranking’s subscriptions offers a complete set of SEO tools, it’s possible to combine insights gained from the Keyword Research Tool with insights from other tools, including the Competitive Research Tool, On-Page SEO Checker, Website Audit, Backlink Monitoring Tool, and more.

2. Ahrefs Keywords Explorer

Ahrefs is a top-notch SEO software suite with over 13 years of experience in the industry. It has a wide range of tools to help you build high-quality links, perform comprehensive keyword research, analyze competitors, track rankings, and audit sites.

But for now, let’s focus on its keyword research capabilities.

Ahrefs Keywords Explorer’s main keyword research features

With a database of almost 20 billion keywords, Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer is a true top SEO keyword research tool. Today, it provides data for 216 countries and nine different search engines, including Google, YouTube, Amazon, Bing, Baidu, and more. This makes it a perfect option for online businesses across the whole world.

By entering your seed keyword into the tool, you’ll receive three different reports with keyword ideas. These are:

  • Matching terms: Keywords containing your target keyword or phrase.
  • Related terms: Keywords related to your seed keywords or phrases.
  • Search suggestions: “Autocomplete” suggestions for your target query.
Ahrefs Keywords Explorer

For each keyword suggestion, the tool provides insights on estimated search volume, keyword difficulty, traffic potential, cost per click (CPC), and more.

The system also identifies the parent topic for each search term, which represents an entire branch of previously untapped seed keywords. This is especially useful for semantic SEO.

Here, you can apply custom filters to refine your results. For instance, you can filter out low-competition keywords with high search volume, creating a list of promising keywords for bringing new visitors to your website. Note that each time you apply a filter, a report will be deducted from your monthly allowance.

In the SERP Overview report, you’ll find top-performing webpages for a selected keyword, along with key SEO data like backlinks, organic traffic, and organic keywords—all in one place.

Ahrefs SERP Overview report

After collecting your desired search terms, you can organize them into separate lists for future use. 

Other features that boost keyword research and analysis

To get the most out of your keyword research, you can use other Ahrefs tools like:

  • The Site Explorer: Identify the keyword strategies your competitors are using to get to the top of the SERP.
  • The Content Gap: This feature lets you compare competitor keywords with yours to discover new opportunities.

Pros and cons

+ The whole package of essential SEO tools: No matter which subscription you select, each gives you access to the basic set of features required to optimize your website.

+ Positive user experience: The platform’s interface is very intuitive even for new users.

+ Data availability for a wide selection of search engines: It lets you perform keyword research across 10 search engines.

+ Advanced estimation algorithms: This tool independently estimates the number of clicks a search term will likely receive.

– No free trial: You are barred from testing the platform’s keyword research features unless you make a purchase.

– No keyword intent feature: The tool doesn’t do this for you by itself so you’ll need to filter keywords by their modifiers (e.g., what is, how to for informational intent and buy, order, subscribe for transactional intent). Each filter used will cost you credits.

Pricing

In 2022, Ahrefs launched its ‘usage-based’ pricing system, where you get a set amount of credits. These credits get used up when you use Ahrefs’ tools, even Keywords Explorer. You’ll be charged 1 credit whenever you do things like opening reports, applying filters, or requesting additional data (here you can find more info on which actions consume credits).

Ahrefs does not offer a free trial so you’ll need to subscribe to one of its plans

  • Lite (from $99/month): 500 credits 
  • Standard (from $199/month): 600 credits 
  • Advanced (from $399/month): 750 credits
  • Enterprise (from $999/month): The number of credits you get is decided for each case separately

Users requiring more credits can pre-pay for them annually or enable additional pay-as-you-go (PAYG) charges. 

For every additional user, you’ll need to pay an extra $50 per month.

Verdict

Ahrefs is arguably one of the most advanced keyword research tools currently available. It offers thousands of relevant keyword ideas with metrics included. Plus, it provides great filtering options that allow you to narrow down your keyword list to your liking. On the other hand, using too many filters can double the price of your monthly subscription. It’s also missing a free trial and some basic features like automatic search intent detection, which might make other tools look more attractive.

3. Semrush

Semrush is a complete SEO tool suite that offers various digital marketing services, including keyword research. If you need simple keyword ideas, want to estimate research volume, or have to do a competitive keyword gap analysis, Semrush is a reliable assistant in your keyword research toolbox.

Semrush’s main keyword research features

Semrush has a comprehensive set of tools for different features, with two main features: Keyword Overview and Keyword Magic Tool

Let’s take a closer look at them.

With the Keyword Overview feature, you can enter any keyword and instantly get data on metrics like its search volume, keyword difficulty, advertising cost per click (CPC), competitive density, search intent, trends, and more. It also suggests similar search terms that could be valuable in your SEO campaign, along with a list of organic search results for that keyword.

Semrush Keyword Overview

For more advanced keyword research, you can use the Keyword Magic Tool, which offers access to over 25 billion keywords across 142 geo databases. Based on your seed keyword, the tool generates a list of topic clusters containing niche-specific keywords. 

To find highly specific queries aligned with your goals, you can use the software’s filters on: 

  • Word count range
  • Search volume
  • Keyword difficulty
  • CPC
  • Competitive density
  • Number of results in the SERP
Semrush Keyword Magic Tool

To further enhance your results, you can sort out question-based keywords, and set modifiers like Broad Match, Phrase Match, Exact Match, or Related.

Other features that boost keyword research and analysis

Some additional tools for streamlining your keyword research include:

  • Keyword Gap: This feature lets you expand your existing list of keywords with new ideas, showing shared queries (common keywords between you and your competitors), missing keywords (search terms your competitors rank for, but you don’t), and weak and strong keywords (terms you’re doing better or worse on).
  • Keyword Manager: You can put your chosen keywords here and combine your lists with other Semrush tools for further processing.
  • Organic Research: This helps you observe any domain in terms of its target keywords and its organic traffic on both desktop and mobile platforms. Analyze keyword trends, estimated traffic, top position shifts, SERP features for selected keywords, and more.

Pros and cons

+ One of the biggest databases on the market: Offers access to over 25 billion keywords. 

+ All-in-one platform: Perform almost all SEO analysis activities.

+ Extensive keyword research features: Whether you want to manage your target keywords, track keyword rankings, get unique keyword suggestions, or find data on search volume by location, user intent, keyword difficulty, and competition, Semrush lets you do everything in one place.

– High price: It’s more expensive than many other SEO solutions.

– Data only available for Google search results: No opportunity to perform keyword research for search engines like Bing or Yahoo.

– UX/ UI is not very beginner-friendly: It might be a bit tricky for new users to get the hang of its interface. 

Pricing

You can access the limited version of this platform free of charge, but you will only be able to run 10 keyword searches per day. 

Its subscription plans are as follows:

  • Pro ($129.95/month): 3,000 searches per day and 250 updates for your target keywords per month.
  • Guru ($249.95/month): 5,000 searches per day, access to historical data since 2012, and 1,000 updates for your target keywords per month.
  • Business ($499.95/month): 10,000 searches per day, access to historical data since 2012, and 5,000 updates for your target keywords per month.

Verdict

Semrush is a reliable tool for finding new keyword ideas, analyzing them using key SEO metrics, and keeping track of their performance over time. However, this tool might not be suitable for SEO newbies and businesses on a limited budget. Its services are pricy compared to similar options. Also, its steep learning curve and lack of white label reporting features may also make it less appealing to SEO agencies.

4. SpyFu

As the name suggests, SpyFu is an SEO and PPC analysis tool designed to help you “spy” on your competition. Its wealth of data generated through competitive research puts it in the same league as the other top-tier tools mentioned in this list.

SpyFu’s main keyword research features

SpyFu says it has millions of keywords in its database, but they don’t give the exact number. Its Keyword Research module is divided into two main sections: Keyword Overview and Related Keywords.

When typing in a keyword in the Keyword Overview search bar, you get helpful stats and metrics about how people use that keyword on search engines. You’ll get info on each keyword’s:

  • Monthly volume
  • Estimated clicks
  • Mobile vs Desktop searches
  • Keyword difficulty

For new keyword opportunities, users can navigate four more reports:

1. Similar Keywords: This shows you related keywords to target to attract the right audience.

2. Questions: It gives you questions you can use for content ideas on the topic you’re exploring.

3. Also Ranks For: This report outlines other keywords that top-ranking domains also rank for.

4. Also Buys Ads For: This shows what queries that top-ranking advertisers for your target keyword are using.

SpyFu Keyword Overview

You can also dig deeper into analyzing organic search rankings and see the most successful advertisers and their best ads for your target keyword.

But to expand the initial keyword list with new, high-potential queries, you’ll need to go to the Related Keywords feature. This is where you’ll have the opportunity to use filtering options like search volume, word count, keyword difficulty, clicks, CPC, and even choose to include or exclude keywords.

SpyFu Related Keywords

By the way, SpyFu automatically organizes keywords into adjustable clusters. This makes it easy to build focused ads, content, and product pages around them.

Other features that boost keyword research and analysis

To maximize your keyword research, you can use other modules like:

  • Advertiser History: Discover both current and past ads for a specific search term. You’ll get details like monthly ad budget, total keywords, average ad position, top of page percentage, and coverage.
  • Ranking History: Keep an eye on top-performing domains for a keyword and see how their positions have changed over time.
  • Bulk Upload: Get data for up to 10,000 keywords uploaded at once.
  • SERP Analysis: Find out which websites rank highest for a keyword and how hard it would be to rank for it.
  • Google Ads Advisor: Determine which keywords to buy based on what your competition is advertising.

Pros and cons

+ Database with 15 years of historical data: This long-term view can help you understand the evolution of your industry and adapt your own approach accordingly.

+ Great filtering options: You can apply a wide range of filters to create a custom keyword list that suits your business goals.

+ Affordability: It’s suitable for businesses on a tight budget.

– Limited keyword suggestions: Its lists of keyword suggestions are less extensive compared to other SEO keyword analysis tools. 

– Limited SEO features: This platform mainly focuses on keyword research and competitive analysis, so it doesn’t have the full set of SEO tools like some others on this list.

Pricing

You can’t get a free trial, but you can try some basic features before opting for a paid subscription. There are three main pricing plans:

  • Basic ($39/month): 10,000 keyword search results and six months of historical data.
  • Professional ($39/first month and $79/month after that): Unlimited keyword search results and 15 years of historical data.
  • Team ($299/month): Unlimited keyword search results, 15 years of historical data, and access for five authorized users.

Verdict

SpyFu is primarily a great option for PPC and SEO competitor research. It provides valuable insights that can boost your SEO campaign. However, compared to other keyword research tools, SpyFu might lack some advanced features. It doesn’t include search intent identification, keyword gap analysis, or data for search engines other than Google. 

5. SECockpit

SECockpit is another handy SEO tool used for keyword research, competitor keyword spying, SERP analysis, and position tracking. It also gives you tips on the type of keywords to target for better SERP rankings, and which ones should be dropped for not generating enough traffic. 

SECockpit’s main keyword research features

Using SECockpit, you can analyze up to 200 search terms using key SEO metrics in a matter of minutes. After this, you’ll see a report with keywords next to metrics like monthly searches, CPC, top results, domains, and niche. This feature also lets you analyze queries in different languages and countries or import your own list.

SECockpit keywords overview report

SECockpit offers a wide range of keyword ideas from sources like Google, YouTube, and Amazon Suggest. 

The tool also provides data on the top 10 pages that show up for your chosen keyword. You can see things like each URL’s domain authority, social media data (including Facebook and Twitter), backlinks, and more. It’s also possible to apply a filter to any column to make the list even more useful.

SECockpit SERP analysis data

More tools for keyword research and analysis

  • Competition analysis: Find out which keywords help your competitors rank high on SERPs. You can use these as a starting point for new keyword ideas or optimize your content to match them.
  • Keyword organization: To create a new keyword list, use its simple Drag & Drop system. You can even use colored labels to separate keywords or groups, so you can easily distinguish the results from different keyword research sessions.

Pros and cons

+ Global reach: The tool supports all languages and countries, including non-Western languages like Japanese and Arabic.

+ Rich data sources for keyword suggestions: You can find additional, often completely untapped sets of keywords, through Google Suggest Synonyms, Google Related Searches Synonyms, Amazon Suggest Synonyms, and YouTube Suggest Synonyms.

+ Free trial: Its keyword research features are free for 7 days.

– Lacking its own database: The tool pulls keyword data from Google Keyword Planner, Suggest, Related Searches, YouTube, and Amazon. Its data for top-performing domains comes from Moz.

– Limited amount of keyword data: The tool doesn’t offer insights on estimated traffic, search intent, visibility, etc.

– Outdated UI: The tool’s interface is outdated. This makes it more challenging to use and less visually pleasing.

Pricing

The platform offers three pricing plans

  • Personal ($39/month): 10 keyword searches per day.
  • Pro ($59/month): 50 keyword searches per day, and keyword ideas from Google Suggest, Google Related Searches, Amazon, and YouTube Suggest.
  • Agency ($99/month): Unlimited keyword searches per day, and keyword ideas from Google Suggest, Google Related Searches, Amazon, and YouTube Suggest.

You can save up to 35% when opting for a yearly subscription.

Verdict

SECockpit has some useful keyword research features that pull data from sources like Google Suggest, Google Ads, YouTube Suggest, and Amazon. It’s flexible for customized keyword research, helping you find keywords that meet your performance goals. But its outdated interface and limited keyword data are considerable pitfalls when comparing it to more advanced options.

6. Moz Pro

Once a blog platform where SEO professionals shared their expertise and ideas, Moz Pro has since grown into an impressive all-in-one suite of SEO tools. And keyword research is integral to it.

You can use this advanced toolset to analyze any given search term effortlessly. It’s even possible to identify untapped keyword opportunities and create clusters around different topics for queries with high traffic potential.

Moz Pro’s main keyword research features

The platform’s Keyword Explorer starts off looking just like dozens of other keyword tools. You input your seed keyword and receive a list of similar keyword suggestions to target in your content. But the tool’s capabilities far exceed those limits.

In addition to basic SEO metrics like search volume, keyword difficulty, and competition, the tool assigns all search terms with a “Priority” score.

Moz Pro Keyword Explorer

This metric is unique to Moz Pro and tells you if a keyword is worth your time and money to target. The system automatically figures this out by looking at how much traffic the query gets, its organic CTR, and difficulty. The algorithm also considers your “My Score” metric, which you can set to show how important the keyword is for your business.

In its database of 1.25 billion traffic-driving keywords, you can find new valuable ones to target. By default, Moz sorts these terms by Moz’s Relevancy metric, which is based on the number of times a specific keyword appears in competitor content reviewed by the platform.

Moz Pro keywords filtering

After filtering keywords and organizing them into groups, you can track their total search volume, estimated organic CTR, keyword difficulty, and SERP feature distribution.

Other tools for keyword research and analysis

  • Keyword Gap feature: Discover the keywords your competitors rank for that you don’t.
  • SERP analysis: Get insights into organic search results for a specific keyword. See things like domain authority, page authority, and linking root domain. Learn how optimized they are for this keyword by observing the On-Page Grader Score.
  • Rank tracking: Keep an eye on how your website ranks for potential queries in Google, Bing, and Yahoo in different countries.

Pros and cons

+ Reliable and up-to-date data: Moz is known for being one of the world’s most accurate SEO keyword analysis tools.

+ Wide range of tools and features: Moz covers keyword research, link analysis, site auditing, rank tracking, and more. 

– Outdated UI: Users might find its interface challenging, especially new users.

– High price: Anyone on a tight budget might need to consider other options.

– Limited access for users on lower-tier plans: Some of the most advanced features and insights are only available on more expensive plans.

Pricing

Here are Moz Pro’s pricing plans:

  • Standard ($99/month): 150 keyword queries per month, five keyword lists with 100 queries each.
  • Medium ($179/month): 5,000 keyword queries per month, 30 keyword lists with 500 queries each.
  • Large ($299/month): 15,000 keyword queries per month, 60 keyword lists with 750 queries each.
  • Premium ($599/month): 30,000 keyword queries per month, 100 keyword lists with 1000 queries each.

By opting for the annual payment plan, you can save 20%.

Verdict

Moz Keyword Explorer is a tool that provides detailed SERP information, robust keyword suggestions, and unique metrics like Priority. On the other hand, it might be too pricey for small businesses and individuals. Its outdated UI and lack of regular updates could also discourage many users from choosing Moz.

7. Mangools

Mangools is an easy-to-use set of five powerful tools made to simplify your SEO work. It covers everything from rank tracking and website audits to SERP analysis, backlink tracking, and keyword research. Among these tools, its keyword research tool, KWFinder, is the most popular and successful.

Mangools’ primary keyword research features

With a database of 2.5 billion related keywords, this tool is great for traditional keyword research. 

Here’s how it works: You input a seed keyword, explore similar search terms your target audience uses, and analyze them using a bunch of key SEO metrics to find the best opportunities. In the Autocomplete and Questions sections, you’ll find valuable long-tail keywords with low difficulty.

Mangools' KWFinder

For every analyzed keyword, you get info on its:

  • Trend: Shows how often people have searched for the keyword over the past 12 months
  • Search: The estimated number of keyword searches per month 
  • CPC: The estimated cost per click for that keyword in paid search
  • PPC: Indicates the level of competition in Google Ads
  • KD: Metric indicating how difficult it is to rank for a keyword

KWFinder also offers advanced features like filters and SERP analysis.

Its extensive range of filter options include:

  • Search volume
  • Keyword difficulty score
  • CPC
  • PPC
  • Included keywords
  • Excluded keywords
  • Number of words
KWFinder keywords filtering

For SERP analysis, you can figure out how strong the competition is by analyzing top-performing webpages. This is possible given the following metrics:

  1. LPS (estimates the Link Profile Strength for the ranking URL)
  2. Domain Authority 
  3. Page Authority
  4. Citation Flow (Majestic metric that estimates the impact of a URL based on its backlink count)
  5. Trust Flow (Majestic metric that estimates a URL’s strength based on the quality of links pointing to the page)
  6. FB (the number of Facebook shares)
  7. Website Popularity Rank (estimates how popular a website is compared to other websites based on the number of unique visitors and pages viewed)
  8. Links (the total number of external links pointing to the URL)
  9. Referring domains
  10. Referring IP addresses
KWFinder SERP analysis report

With over 50,000 supported locations and over 40 languages to choose from, you can also use KWFinder to look for keyword opportunities that appeal to and reach a global audience. 

Other features that boost keyword research and analysis

  • Bulk upload and review: Depending on the pricing plan, you can upload up to 700 keywords 1,200 times a day for further analysis.
  • Domain look-up: Examine keyword strategies used by other websites to build or complement your keyword lists.
  • List creation: Organize similar keywords into separate groups for later use, analysis, or comparison.

Pros and cons

+ Intuitive UI: KWFinder is one of the most user-friendly SEO solutions on the market.

+ Free trial: You can test the tool with a 10-day free trial.

+ Affordability: Great option for freelancers, newbies, and small businesses who are on a tighter budget.

– Keyword suggestion limits can be low for experienced users: Depending on your plan, you’re limited to 50, 200, or 700 results per search.

– No keyword gap analysis feature: You can’t see which keywords your competitors rank for but you don’t.

– Data is limited to Google search results: The tool doesn’t provide insights for other search engines like Bing or Yahoo.

Pricing

You can start with a free account that gives each new user five keyword searches every 24 hours, 15 related and five competitor keywords per search. Then, you must pick from one of its paid subscriptions:

  • Entry ($29/month): 25 keyword searches every 24 hours, 50 keyword suggestions, and you can import 50 keywords at a time.
  • Basic ($49/month): 100 keyword searches every 24 hours, 200 keyword suggestions, and you can import 200 keywords at a time.
  • Premium ($69/month): 500 keyword searches every 24 hours, unlimited keyword suggestions, and you can import 700 keywords at a time.
  • Agency ($129/month): 1,200 keyword searches every 24 hours, unlimited keyword suggestions, and you can import 700 keywords at a time.

With the annual subscription, you can get 35% off on any plan.

Verdict

KWFinder is an attention-grabbing tool for traditional keyword research. Its user interface is visually appealing and easy to understand even for new users. But it does have some limitations to keep in mind. It only provides Google data, has no keyword gap feature, and has modest limits on keyword suggestions.

8. Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is a free service offered by Google that can be used for a variety of keyword research goals, including generating keyword ideas and getting assistance with building PPC strategies. Let’s analyze the capabilities of this service in more detail.

Google Keyword Planner’s main keyword research features

Even though you technically need a Google Ads account to use Google Keyword Planner, you don’t actually need to run paid ads to get access to it. Once you set up an Ads account, simply pause your ad campaign. After that, you can use Keyword Planner as part of your research process.

After accessing the tool for the first time, it will give you two options to choose from:

  • Discover new keywords: This option provides you with new keyword suggestions for driving traffic to your website.
  • Get search volume and forecasts: This option can be used to find out your search terms’ historical trend, search volume, and future forecast.
Google Keyword Planner

Using the first option, this one gives you quick keyword ideas plus organic search performance data:

  • Avg. monthly searches: Shows the number of monthly searches the term receives.
  • Competition: Shows how difficult it is to get an ad placement. 
  • Top of page bid (low range): Outlines the lowest price advertisers would pay for a top of page bid.
  • Top of page bid (high range): Outlines the highest price advertisers would pay for a top of page bid.

You can also use extra filters to find new keywords based on your geo-location (great for local SEO), language, search engine, and time zone. Just click on the items in the upper bar beside your search term. Plus, by clicking on the right-hand Refine Keywords column, you can filter out branded and non-branded keywords.

Keyword Ideas in Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner also lets you analyze keywords your competitors are targeting. Just enter a competitor’s URL into the corresponding fields to prompt the system to present the keyword list with all the metrics mentioned above.

Another smart way to use Google Keyword Planner for keyword research is through the Get Search Volumes and Forecasts option. Here, you can analyze your chosen search terms against things like clicks, impressions, cost, click-through-rate (CTR), and average CPC. This helps you figure out if a keyword is worth optimizing for.

Other keyword research and analysis features

  • Keyword grouping: Keyword planner lets you group related keywords together to create highly targeted ad campaigns or content clusters. 
  • Mobile vs. desktop trends: Google Keyword Planner offers insights into the device-specific performance of keywords, allowing users to optimize their content for a mobile-first world.
  • Integration with Google Ads: After your keyword research, you can build targeted ad campaigns straight away. This helps make sure your SEO and advertising efforts match up.

Pros and cons

+ Access to Google’s data: Google Keyword Planner provides access to Google’s extensive database of search queries and trends.

+ Keyword suggestions with basic SEO metrics: It gives you keyword suggestions and key details like search volume, competition, and suggested bid prices.

+ Historical data: You can check out how historical data and keyword trends have evolved over time. 

+ Location and language targeting: Google Keyword Planner helps you refine your keyword research by letting you specify the location and language of your target audience.

+ Competitor analysis: You can look at your competitors’ websites to see which keywords they are targeting.

– Limited data for non-advertisers: Keyword Planner works best for advertisers using Google Ads. Unless you’re running an ad campaign, you won’t have access to all data.

– Vague search volume ranges: It doesn’t give you exact search numbers; you get search volume ranges, which is a huge limitation for keyword research.

– Focus on commercial intent: It’s mostly built for advertising, so it leans toward keywords with commercial intent. This could be limiting if you’re searching for keywords with informational search intent.

Pricing

When used for keyword research, this tool is absolutely free of charge.

Verdict

Overall, Google Keyword Planner is a good choice for basic keyword research. You can find low-competition keywords, see local search volumes, find seasonal & trending queries, identify which keywords competitors are targeting, and more. But it falls short when it comes to accurate search volume data and some of the advanced capabilities that other SEO tools on our list have.

To sum up

Keyword research is the bedrock of any successful SEO strategy. It’s the process that determines whether your optimization efforts will pay off in the end. 

In the early days of SEO, people had to do keyword research manually due to the lack of specialized SEO tools. But today, there’s a wide range of automated keyword research solutions available for different budgets and needs. Now, the challenge is choosing the best tool for keyword research from all these highly promising options!

Before you decide, consider these factors:

  • Keyword database size
  • Keyword suggestions and range of accompanying SEO metrics
  • Filtering and clustering options
  • User-friendliness of the interface 
  • Flexibility of pricing policy

So, before you rush to pick the first keyword research tool you find on the SERP, make sure it aligns with your specific goals and budget. 

If you’re looking for a free tool that offers basic keyword research capabilities, Google Keyword Planner is a good choice. But if you have a large budget and don’t mind paying extra for an SEO solution by a well-established brand, you can choose between Ahrefs, Semrush or Moz. 

SE Ranking offers a balanced combination of high-quality data, advanced tools, and cost-effective pricing, making it a great choice for both in-house SEO teams and agencies.

If you’re seeking a platform tailored specifically for keyword and competitive research without diving into the ins and outs of other SEO areas, SPyFu is your go-to solution. Meanwhile, newcomers and startups with tight budgets looking for all-in-one SEO solutions may find SECockpit and Mangools to be excellent starting points.



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