List of SEO Keyword Research Tools

Are you looking for alternatives to a keyword research tool you are currently using? Then look no further cos you will be presented with the list of tools to help you scale your SEO keyword research.

Keyword research has always been the secret of gaining organic traffic. Without it, your content will be difficult to find organically. So, right in this article, I will give a brief description of 6 essential free tools and 5 paid tools.

For the purpose of those who are new to Search Engine Optimisation, let me start by stating the meaning and the importance of keyword research.

What is keyword research?

Keyword research is a systematic process of gathering data regarding words and phrases that are commonly searched for by web users on search engine platforms. Usually, professional web writers create contents using these search terms in order to target a specific audience.

To uncover these search terms, you have to use any of the keyword research tools. Following this systematic process can increase your website ranking, thereby leading to an increase in organic traffic.

Why is keyword research important?

As most online marketers know, the most critical part of SEO is to do keyword research. Writing web contents without considering search terms beforehand may never get your contents in front of your audience. So, to get your target audience to see your contents, you need to perform keyword research.

Another good reason to research the key terms before writing is to give you an edge over your competitors. That means, find out what your potential clients or customers are searching for, and build your blogs, videos or podcast around those search terms.

In case you are a newcomer into a highly competitive market, using low competitive keywords to gather your audience is the best way to start. And doing keyword research will show you those low competitive terms.

Best free keyword research tools

Here are lists of free tools in case you are not yet able to get a premium version. The downside to some of these free tools is their limitations. However, there is still a lot to get from using the combination of various tools to achieve your goal.

If you cannot get everything you need with the free tools, try out the paid ones and see how they work for you. It’s all about trying each one to figure out which suits you best.

1. Google Keyword Planner

This tool has been around for quite some time now, and it is the first ‘go to’ when planning keyword research. It is essential to use this tool in case you want to run a Google Ads campaign.

Google Search has billions of searches per day. That means everyone is searching for one thing or the other on its platform. To the advantage of Google Keyword Planner, all the data is in its system to suggest best search queries.

One of the good things about this tool is how it refines search terms. Moreover, it shows the cost per keyword to bid for if you run paid ads.

2. Google Trends

As the name implies, Google Trends is another Google product for conducting keyword research. The tool shows you the key terms that are currently trending and how those terms change over time.

For instance, if you want to know which term to use between Digital Expert and Digital Specialist, Google Trends will show you which of the term has more search volume and whether the searches are increasing or reducing.

Crucially, you can use the tool to determine the keywords that are seasonal. For those selling seasonal products, by using the tool, you will see the period the keywords are mostly searched for.

3. Keyword Shitter

Keyword Shitter is a very simple and easy to use tool. It is perfect for gathering longtail keywords. If your focus is more on creating phrases or using more than 3 words as your key terms, then this tool is right for you.

The downside to this tool is that it doesn’t show any search volume nor does it specify the period the phrases were searched for. However, the tool does have one good feature; it allows you to filter negative keyword terms.

4. Ubersuggest

This is another useful tool that provides refined keyword suggestions. The good thing about Ubersuggest is that it uses Google autocomplete to suggest keyword ideas to users. Similar to Google Keyword Planner, this tool shows the level of difficulty a search term has.

Ubersuggest produces monthly keyword volumes and the competitiveness of the keyword. Essentially, it provides a list of web pages and contents that are ranking for the keywords. With this, you will be able to see which article had been published using the keywords you are looking for.

5. Answer The Public

When I say super, I mean SUPER! Answer The Public is a superb tool that provides questions and queries people are searching for on Google search engine based on search terms.

This tool can be regarded as a question, preposition, alphabetic and comparison based search queries. When you search for a specific term using Answer The Public, the tool will suggest a series of questions asked by Google Search users.

The questions are based on which…, who…, what…, when…, why…, how…, are…, where…, etc. Let’s say you search for Digital Expert. You will find: How to become a digital expert? What is a digital expert? Where to find a digital expert? And more…

6. Soovle

One of the easiest ways to find a keyword or phrase is to use Soovle. It provides keyword suggestions from different search engines then combines the result into a single platform.

The downside of this tool is that it doesn’t provide search term volumes. Secondly, the number of keywords the tool suggests is small compared to other keyword research tool.

However, to get a better experience with Soovle, you need to add a browser add-on from Keyword Everywhere that will provide the list of search volumes on each platform for your search terms.

Best paid keyword research tools

In case you have some cash to spare, these paid tools are awesome to use. And if you are interested in testing any out first before paying, some of them have a trial period for getting a feel of the product features.

1. Keysearch

Keysearch is a keyword research tool that has a full-fledged SEO powerhouse. It provides not just data about search terms but also analyses your competitors’ keywords. In addition, it helps you to track your SEO performance.

The elements of Keysearch are in-depth keyword research, keyword difficulty checker, SEO competition analysis, rank tracking, brainstorm niche ideas, YouTube competition research, backlink checker, webpage audit analyser, link analysis, and API & white-label reporting.

2. SEMRush

SEMRush is another powerful tool that is unique, in terms of features, when compared to other keyword research tools. This tool does competitor analysis perfectly well by showing you the search terms your competitors are ranking for.

Similar to Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush has the feature of using URL to fetch out the keywords a website is ranking for. That’s what makes the tool essential since you can use your competitor’s URL to uncovers what makes them rank better.

Interestingly, the tool has SEO, paid traffic, social media and content analysis features. With this tool, you can get both longtail keywords and short key terms.

3. Ahref

Ahref is a popular keyword research tool used by SEO professionals to create contents that rank higher on search engines. When it comes to competitor analysis, Ahref and SEMRush lead the way. Moreover, Ahref is a very good tool for checking your website backlinks.

What’s amazing about Ahref is its constant update and improvement on how to gather search terms for your web contents. Ahref has lots of features such as keyword research, competitive analysis, backlink research, content research, rank tracking and web monitoring.

4. KWFinder

KWFinder is a keyword research and analysis tool that provides hundreds of longtail keywords. It particularly shows low SEO difficulty giving you the opportunity of ranking higher with your contents.

Some of KWFinder features are: find hidden longtail keywords; provides localised results for local keywords; get most accurate keyword difficulty; search volume and keyword metrics; and SERP analysis & SEO metrics.

5. Moz Keyword Explorer

Moz is a company that deals with anything SEO. You can imagine how powerful this tool will be since the company is straight in the game of SEO rankings. With this tool, coming up with key terms is easy and straightforward.

Just like any other tool, with Moz tool, you will get keyword ideas, accurate monthly search volume, SEO competition. Apart from that, Moz does provide a comprehensive SERP analysis to better understand the top level search results.


Free or paid tool: what should you go for? It all depends on your budget and how you want to conduct your keyword research. Although most of the tools share similar features, there is still one or two things that make each one unique.

In comparison, paid tools provide a comprehensive analysis and lots of keyword suggestions you can use to map out your website contents. However, this is not to say you can’t achieve a similar result with free tools.

For a beginner who doesn’t have enough budget to get a premium tool, you can make do with the free ones put together. Without using a paid keyword research tool, it’s very much possible to rank your contents higher on search engines.

To learn more about other tools, both paid and free, check out the List of Tools I created here. And if you have any question, feel free to send me a message at any time.

Online Marketing Specialist