Are you looking for the best keyword research tools for your blog or website?
To get your articles ranked on Google, you need a good SEO keyword research tool. Google Keyword Planner is one of the free keyword research tools available.
But I don’t recommend them.
They do not provide keyword volume, LSI keyword phrases, keyword difficulty, etc. With regard to Google’s Keyword Planner, I don’t recommend it for organic search.
Because the Keyword Planner is designed for people using Google’s paid ads and most of the metrics in the Keyword Planner are drawn from pay-per-click.
This means they are not necessarily going to help you in identifying good keywords for organic search. That’s why you need to look beyond tools like Keyword Planner.
When it comes to keyword research, you need as much keyword data as possible such as;
I recommend the following tools as they provide most of the keyword information listed above.
Don’t worry if you don’t have the budget to spend on the above tools, as I’ll show you how to use them almost for free (except Ahrefs).
➔ SEMrush (you can grab their 7 days Pro account trial from here) – use their tool for keyword research for 7 days, and if you don’t want to continue, just cancel within 30 days so you won’t get charged.
➔ Ahrefs – If you are not ready to spend money yet, no worries as you can still find great keywords using the other tools listed here.
➔ Ubersuggest – Ubersuggest offers some free searches which you can use to get keyword volume.
➔ KeywordTool.io – A freemium tool, but the free account will do the job for basic keyword research purposes.
The above-listed SEO tools are used by almost all bloggers nowadays.
To rank for a keyword, your website has to be well managed (like your website hosting, speed and website security) because Google watches everything on your site.
Let’s now jump into the part where I show you how to do keyword research using the above-mentioned SEO tools.
How to Use SEMrush for Keyword Research
SEMrush is recommended by lots of pro bloggers. One good thing about using SEMrush is it gives you access to the “Keyword Magic” tool which can be used as an all-in-one tool for keyword research.
Just one seed keyword is enough to come up with a ton of keyword ideas when you have access to the SEMrush Keyword Magic tool.
Here’s how to use the SEMrush keyword magic tool for finding better keywords. Once you are on the SEMrush dashboard, go to Keyword Magic Tool which you can find under the “Keyword Research” section.
Begin by entering a seed keyword of your choice.
As you can see above, you can also choose a database, by country. Make sure to select the database that contains your target audience.
You can see that the SEMrush keyword magic tool generated over 129,000 keyword terms for our target keyword which is “WordPress themes”.
To simplify our keyword research process and to find the best keywords, we’ll use some filters. Click on “Advanced Filters”, which you can find next to the Broad Match, Phrase Match, and Exact Match keyword tabs.
Now, choose the volume filter and enter min 100 and max 1000. Apply the filter.
This filter shows you only those keywords that have monthly searches between 100 and 1000. You can add more filters like KD (keyword difficulty) to find low-competition keyword ideas.
After applying the KD filter (we chose 50 as the keyword difficulty which will ensure that we find low-competition keywords), we found keywords with good search volume and low competition.
Now, you can select the most relevant keyword for your blog post.
Finding Competitors’ Top Performing Keywords with SEMrush
One good reason to use premium tools like SEMrush is competitor research. With competitor research, you can quickly find a list of the keywords that your competitors are ranking for.
Here’s how to use SEMrush to find competitor keywords.
Go to the Organic Research section under the Competitive Research tool from SEMrush. Enter any of your competitors’ domains.
As you can see, you will instantly get a list of all the keywords that the site is ranking for. In the above example of shoutmeloud.com, SEMrush is giving us over 100,000 keywords that are generating traffic from search engines.
When you click on the keywords, you’ll get a long list.
You’ll find a wealth of important information, such as;
That’s a lot of useful data, right?
Now, you can again use the Keyword Magic Tool to easily find low competition and high CPC (cost per click) keyword terms for each keyword that you got from the competitor analysis.
SEMrush is a freemium tool which means that there are some free searches available that you can use. However, if you want more searches then you need to buy it.
Here are all three plans of the SEMrush tool:
How to Use Ahrefs for Keyword Research
Ahrefs is another popular SEO tool that can be used for keyword research. And like SEMrush, it’s a premium SEO tool.
One of the main reasons for using premium tools like Ahrefs is that they provide you with a huge number of keyword ideas, many more than you would get from free tools like Ubersuggest.
So let’s now talk about how you can use Ahrefs to find potential keywords for your website. Before starting, you need to pay $7 to try Ahrefs for a 7 days trial because, as I said, Ahrefs isn’t a free tool.
Ahrefs provides an innovative tool called “Keywords Explorer” to assist you with keyword research. To start, go to Ahrefs Keywords Explorer and enter your keywords.
Assume you wish to rank for a search phrase such as “free blogging platforms.”
Here’s what Ahrefs keyword data looks like:
As you can see, Ahrefs has given us multiple streams of data:
That’s a lot of useful keyword data, right?
So we will begin our keyword research with Ahrefs by looking at a list of all the keyword ideas it generates for our example keyword.
Just click on the “All Keyword Ideas” tab and Ahrefs will give you a HUGE list of potential keywords.
Here’s an example:
As you can see above, for the keyword “free blogging platforms”, Ahrefs Keywords Explorer generated over 8,000 keyword suggestions.
Using the above filters, you can easily find keywords with high search volume but low competition.
You can also use their other keyword tool features to narrow down your search:
Just click on any of these options to get more keyword ideas.
Finding Competitors’ Top-Performing Keywords with Ahrefs
As I mentioned earlier, with premium SEO tools like Ahrefs you can easily your competitor’s top-performing keywords. Here’s how you can use Ahrefs to discover competitors’ keywords.
First, go to the Site Explorer tool, and then click on the Organic keywords list.
Then, use keyword filters like KD, search volume, CPC, etc to target overlooked yet easy-to-rank keywords!
Here’s what the Organic Keywords list looks like:
Ahrefs offers four different plans which are:
Lite Plan: The Ahrefs lite plan costs you $99 per month. If you are a small business owner or a blogger then this plan is best for you.
Here are all the features of the lite plan:
- SEO Dashboard
- Site Explorer
- Keyword Explorer
- Site Audit
- Rank Tracker
Standard Plan: The Ahrefs standard plan costs you $199 per month. If you are an SEO professional then this plan is best for you.
Here are all the features of the Standard plan:
- All in lite plan
- 6 months of history
- Site Explorer
- Content Explorer
- SERP Update
- SERP Comparison
- Domain Comparison
- Batch Analysis
- And more.
Advanced Plan: The Ahrefs Advanced plan costs you $399 per month.
Here are all the features of the Advanced plan:
- All-in Standard plan
- 2 years of history
- Site Explorer
- Site Audit
- Google Data Studio
- Dashboard Folders
Enterprise Plan: The Ahrefs Enterprise plan costs you $999 per month.
Here are all the features of the Enterprise plan:
- All-in Advanced plan
- Unlimited history
- Access Management
- Pay by Invoice
- Directory Listing
- Audit Logo
How to Use Ubersuggest for Keyword Research
If you are looking for a Premium keyword research tool, Ubersuggest is one of the best tools available.
Some first searches of Ubersuggest are completely free to use and provide a ton of useful keyword data. To get started, visit Ubersuggest and enter any seed keyword of your choice.
Here’s what it looks like:
Just hit the Search button and Ubersuggest will instantly give you an overview of the keyword (as shown above).
As you can see, although Ubersuggest is a free tool, it also offers excellent keyword data including:
➔ Search volume
➔ SEO difficulty
➔ Paid difficulty
➔ CPC value of the keyword
Scroll down and you’ll find even more keyword ideas based on your seed keyword.
As you can see, Ubersuggest gives us a lot of keyword suggestions along with PD (paid difficulty) and SD (SEO difficulty) scores so you can easily determine the difficulty of keywords.
When we click on View All Keyword Ideas, it generates over 120 keywords for our target keyword.
You can also click on the “Related” tab to find a list of related keywords. These keywords can also be used as LSI keywords – they help you optimize your posts without exceeding the recommended keyword density for your main keyword.
If you want to rank for multiple keywords, try using preposition keywords. These include words like at, for, in, off, on, over, and under. These preposition keyword terms can be used to describe a location, time, or place.
Click on the Prepositions tab and voila, you’ll see a new set of keyword ideas.
If you’re doing product reviews or comparisons, you need to find related keywords that are commonly used in comparison articles. Fortunately, Ubersuggest also offers “comparisons” keywords that look like this :
So there you go. Ubersuggest will help you discover a lot of new keywords including:
In fact, there’s no other free tool that offers you this number of options for keyword research. So yes, Ubersuggest is definitely a great keyword research tool if you’re looking for a free tool in 2020 to increase your search traffic.
Finding Competitor’s Top Performing Keywords with Ubersuggest
So what about competitor research?
Yes, you can find your competitor’s keywords using Ubersuggest.
Just enter your competitor’s domain in the Ubersuggest tool and it shows you a list of the top keywords that the site is ranking for.
Here’s an example:
As you can see above, Ubersuggest has listed all of the keyword terms that the “Shoutmeloud” website is ranking for along with their search volume, position for the keyword, the estimate of visits, and SEO difficulty.
To recap, with Ubersuggest you can take a single keyword from your competitor’s site and discover a wealth of new keyword ideas.
UberSuggest is the most affordable SEO tool that you can purchase for your website. UberSuggest offers three plans which are:
Individual Plan: The Individual plan of Ubersuggest costs you $12 per month. Here are the features of the Individual plan:
Business Plan: The Business plan of Ubersuggest costs you $20 per month. Here are the features of the Business plan:
Enterprise/Agency Plan: The Enterprise/Agency plan of Ubersuggest costs you $20 per month. Here are the features of the plan:
How to Use KeywordTool.io for Keyword Research
If you’re looking for one more free tool for keyword research, I recommend you try KeywordTool.io. It is considered one of the best free alternatives to Google’s Keyword Planner.
Although it’s NOT a completely free tool (it’s a freemium tool) it allows you to do basic keyword research for free. Here’s how to use KeywordTool.io for finding low-competition keywords.
To start, visit KeywordTool.io and enter any keyword. You can also pick any database of your choice (in this example, let’s go with the US database).
Once you hit enter, you will get a ton of keyword ideas. The good thing about using this tool is it generates keyword ideas within seconds (some other tools take longer).
As you can see above, with the free version, you’ll only get access to the keyword themselves and you won’t get much-associated data (search volume, keyword trend, CPC value, etc which are only included in their premium version).
By clicking on the tabs along the top, you’ll get different keyword suggestions for YouTube, Bing, Amazon, eBay, and so on.
You can also use this tool to find question-based keywords. Here’s what it looks like:
Another benefit of using this tool is that it not only generates keyword ideas from Google but it also pulls in suggestions from YouTube, Amazon, Bing, eBay, etc.
So if you’re doing YouTube SEO, for example, you can find keywords only for YouTube.
Can you find competitors’ keywords using KeywordTool.io?
The free version of KeywordTool.io is a standard keyword research tool. It doesn’t do competitor research (unlike SEMrush and Ahrefs).
Although the PRO version does do competitor analysis it’s NOT accurate and is of limited use as it only pulls in data from Google.
So I wouldn’t recommend this tool for competitor analysis. But all in all, KeywordTool.io is an excellent tool to begin your keyword research for free.
However, if you need more data such as CPC, search volume, and more keyword suggestions, you should consider their premium version.
Keywordtool.io also offers three different plans which are:
Pro Basic: The Pro Basic plan costs you $89 per month that includes these features:
Pro Plus: The Pro Plus plan costs you $99 per month that includes these features:
Pro Business: The Pro Business plan costs you $199 per month that includes these features:
These four keyword research tools will help you find keywords you can rank for and will help you grow your blog’s traffic.
If you want to start your own blog, you definitely should use SEO tools. But of course, it all depends on how you use these tools.
The advantage of the paid keyword tools – such as Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer and SEMrush’s Magic Keyword Tool – is that they pull in huge amounts of data.
This makes them much more effective when it comes to uncovering low-competition keywords that other people have missed.
In summary, free keyword tools are helpful when you’re just starting out. But as your website grows, you need premium tools. This is especially true if you want to keep up with the competition.