Doing business without analytics and forecasting is like wading blindly through a dark forest. Of course, there’s always a probability that you’ll quickly pass this obstacle course or even find an ancient treasure under a log. But think how much more comfortable it will be if you turn on a flashlight!
Keyword research tools will be your flashlight. They will help you find out which search queries are popular in your market segment, which ones are already covered by your competitors, and which ones have real potential for rapid business growth.
Of course, the best SEO tools for keyword research are not limited to such functions. They can be used to optimize for Google’s SERP snippets, generate low-frequency queries with long-tail keywords, and generate drafts of future text materials.
Despite the widespread use of artificial intelligence that mimics the behavior of a human being, keyword research remains the foundation of modern SEO. That’s why it gets so much attention when promoting a business online.
And that’s why we are ready to present you the top 10 best keyword research tools that will become your strongest argument in the fight for leadership.
What Is a Keyword Research Tool?
A keyword research tool is a type of software that helps you find and choose the right key terms to optimize pages for. Using them, you can see what your target audience is looking for and choose topics to highlight to get more traffic to the website and rank higher.
Keyword research tools are used during content planning to make sure you and your potential customers or readers are on the same page.
The best keyword research software also helps you peek into the strategies of your competitors. What keywords are they targeting? What content performs the best? How can you rank higher to get all the traffic they get? A high-quality tool provides you with such insights.
Which Keyword Research Tool Is Right for You?
Before you get to the more detailed reviews of the best tools for SEO keyword research, take a look at the table below. We’ve compiled the most important information for comparison so that you can see which option meets your needs the most.
While you study the table, think about the following:
- What features you’re looking for in a keyword research tool
- What capacity you need every month
- How many user seats you need
- What your budget is and what kind of plan you need
When you know exactly what keyword research tool you need, it’s much easier to make the final choice. Keep in mind that 5 is the highest rating in the table and each number is concluded based on professional reviews and testimonials of specialists who have been using the tools for a long time.
TOP-10 Keyword Research Tools
Now, let’s look at each option separately and in detail. It’s much easier to make the right choice when you know every pro and con of a tool, as well as its pricing and other general information.
Many of the following keyword research tools have free trials you can use to determine which tool can become your biggest SEO helper.
1. SE Ranking
SE Ranking Keyword Research Tool is just one of the best SEO keyword research tools you get in a set for a pretty generous price. The developer offers a whole range of instruments for on-site and off-site SEO, social media, and more.
The Keyword Research Tool will show you the keyword difficulty, search volume, cost per click, organic and paid results, and more. All that in handy expandable graphs and lists.
The tool offers you access to results in all countries encompassing over 7 billion keywords. For each keyword, you can analyze up to 100 pages that are in competition for first place.
- Affordable, instrument-rich plans
- Intuitive interface
- Lots of data on one viewing screen
- Easy-to-understand graphs, explanations for many metrics
- Worldwide database
- API access is only available in the Business plan
To find out if SE Ranking is for you, there’s a 2-week free trial. After you use it up, there are several plans to purchase:
- Essential – $55 per month
- Pro – $109 per month
- Business – $239 per month
You have an opportunity to build a customized plan for your needs. For that, contact the company and get a detailed quote. There’s also a pricing plan calculator if you’re not ready to contact a consultant just yet.
SE Rankings definitely has some of the best software for keyword research. Their scores are always accurate, there’s lots of data you can see on one viewing screen, and it’s quite easy to understand and navigate.
You get access to keyword data in different locations, across different search engines, and on all devices. The info showcased in the results includes keyword difficulty, search volume, and much more.
In the SE Ranking review, it is also worth noting that the pricing is more than generous for the number and quality of the tools you and your clients get.
2. Keyword Tool
Easy and to the point. The Keyword Tool uses search engine autocomplete data to suggest the best long-tail keywords for you. Some of them you can’t find in Google Keyword Planner, which is why it’s the second on our list. The tool can show you missed queries you can really rank for.
Here’s a list of sources from which this keyword research tool takes autocomplete info:
- Play Store
All you have to do to use the tool is choose the engine and location where you’d like to search queries and write the seed keyword you want suggestions for. You can easily export the resulting list to adjust and use later — we used this feature a lot while compiling the Keyword Tool review.
And if you get the Pro plan, you’ll get access to the search volume data from Google Ads, competitor analysis according to your keywords, and more.
- Shows keywords missing from Google Keyword Planner
- Autocomplete data from multiple sources
- Affordable option
- Begin for free
- No API access even in the Pro plan, only in the Business plan
You can use a free version of Keyword Tool for the first 750+ keywords. It will provide 5 suggestions for one query. You can also get one of the following plans:
- Pro Basic – $89 per month (if paid monthly)
- Pro Plus – $99 per month (if paid monthly)
- Pro Business – $199 per month (if paid monthly)
Another reason why we included Keyword Tool in the list of the best SEO tools for keyword research — the service offers a 30-day money back guarantee, no questions asked.
The Keyword Tool is very easy to get started with, so it definitely deserves a place in our ranking of the best keyword research software. First of all, you can use it for free if you only need suggestions without additional data. It’s also very similar to Google’s Keyword Planner, but it has queries the former may miss.
The Pro plan is pretty affordable, and there’s a 30-day money back guarantee in case you don’t like anything. The service offers a full refund.
Ahrefs Keyword Research Tool is one of the most marketed yet. The tool provides unique and valuable metrics for keywords, using clickstream data for the most up-to-date reports. Its keyword difficulty score is always accurate, and you can get over 1,000 suggestions for one query.
Ahrefs proves that it is worthy of the title of the best software for keyword research. It can be used in over 170 countries, and you can get access to the metrics that may improve your CTR (click-through rate).
We really like the keyword difficulty metric of the tool. While most services show a number like a score or a word explanation (‘hard’, ‘easy’, etc.), Ahrefs shows you the number of backlinks your website will need to rank the first for the query in question. Such precision is impressive.
- Up-to-date data
- Always precise
- Lots of valuable metrics
- Keywords competitors rank for
- Intuitive design
- Pricing is rather high
Ahrefs offers a 7-day keyword research tool trial for $7. And if you’re ready to purchase a whole plan, here are monthly prices:
- Lite – $99
- Standard – $199
- Advanced – $399
- Enterprise – $999
Don’t forget that you can save up to 20% if you pay annually. This is a common feature for many SEO software developers.
Ahrefs is famous for a reason. Their tools are creative and showcase important data that can actually help you rank higher in SERPs as soon as possible. The Keyword Explorer tool will provide you with over a thousand of query suggestions, a detailed difficulty score, and other metrics essential for choosing the right set of keywords for your pages.
From the Ahrefs review, it may seem that the pricing is pretty high, but for the tools and database you get, it’s not too much. If you’re a small business but need a lot of features, you can try another service until you need Ahrefs just to save some budget.
The SEMrush Keyword Research Tool is another very well-known SEO tool with timely updates and loads of useful data to collect. Encompassing over 20 billion keywords, it allows you to group keywords by SERP features, search intent, type of question, topic, etc.
The Keyword Magic Tool is suitable for specialists who need an in-depth analysis of the queries they research, especially if it’s an industry-specific topic.
SEMrush can also be called the best keyword research software because it offers lots of filters that help you navigate the billions of keywords:
- Search volume
- Keyword density
- Search intent
- Phrase match
In the SEMrush review, it is worth focusing on the Search Intent filter, which is quite important nowadays since it has become an essential part of any keyword research.
- Over 20 billion keywords in databases
- Free 10 query searches per day
- Detailed reports
- All essential metrics
- Filters including Search Intent
- No clear pricing info on the website
- May be too difficult for beginners
The developer offers a 7-day free trial. There’s also a ‘Free’ plan where you can research 10 keywords a day.
If you also think that it is one of the best keyword research tools, you can get SEMrush by purchasing one of the following plans:
- Pro – $99.95 per month
- Guru – $191.62 per month
- Business – $374.95 per month
Currently, there’s no clear information about pricing, but you may need to contact the company to find out the up-to-date plans and pricing.
SEMrush is one of the leading SEO toolsets. Their Keyword Magic Tool will cover most of your professional needs in minutes. The filtering system allows you to look strictly for the keyword suggestions you need instead of trying to find a working suggestion in a mixed list.
It may be difficult for beginners to understand due to the multitude of metrics, terms, filters, and buttons in the keyword research tool. But if you’re a professional looking to up your game, this may be the perfect tool for you.
MOZ Keyword Research Tool or Keyword Explorer is very smart. This is the first word rushing through our minds. It’s very good at finding the so-called lateral keywords. These are the ones that may not contain the words you’ve entered but be connected to the topic.
Such a smart list, generated by the best keyword research software, may show you a lot of niche-specific ideas you haven’t even thought of before.
Interesting metrics of the Keyword Explorer by MOZ also include Organic CTR. This is an estimated number of clicks you will get by optimizing your page to the keyword you research. The algorithm analyzes the keyword for ads, knowledge graphs, news results, etc., and predicts if your CTR is going to be sufficient.
- Smart keyword research with lateral queries
- Organic CTR shows how many clicks you may get
- 30-day free trial
- Competitor keyword research
- The toolset is quite pricey
- May be difficult for beginners
The service offers you a month of free trial. After that, you’re offered the following plans:
- Standard – $99 per month
- Medium – $149 per month
- Large – $249 per month
- Premium – $599 per month
Considering the functionality we talked about in the Moz review, this is not too much, especially since the prices are far from record-breaking.
Moz is definitely one of the best keyword research tools of the leading SEO services with lots of free modules and trials. Its paid instruments are quite expensive, but if you need the features the company offers and a large budget for SEO, it’s a good option.
MOZ offers a smart approach to optimization and keyword research that may really help you top the SERPs.
The second part of our list of the best keyword research software starts with KWFinder. The main pro of this tool, among others, is intuitive design. Rarely can you find a tool with so many functions that is suitable for beginners.
In the KWFinder review, we were impressed by the fact that there’s a beginner guide you can use to make sure you understand everything on the first try.
KWFinder will help you find the best low competition keywords that may bring you to the first place in SERPs. Its convenience is that near every keyword, you see its difficulty score right away. There’s no need to look for it elsewhere and click on metrics.
Of course, you can look for target keywords in many languages and locations.
- Very intuitive design – suitable for beginners
- Any language and location
- Detailed filters for the best keyword suggestions
- No multi-tab research
- A limited number of keywords in the results
You can try out this best SEO keyword research software by getting a 10-day free trial. After that, you can choose one of three monthly packages:
- Basic – $49
- Premium – $69
- Agency – $129
As usual, you can pay annually if the tool is perfect for you, saving up to 40%.
KWFInder is an excellent choice for beginners. It’s light, intuitive, and easy to get used to. It has enough metrics for you to track, yet a limited number of queries in the results. You can filter them and adjust the number of searches by upscaling the plan.
This keyword research tool is also not as expensive as its more famous competitors, which is a suitable option for small businesses with a limited budget. Nevertheless, there’s a plan for agencies that will cover more needs.
SpyFu is on the list of the best tools for SEO keyword research for a reason. It is great for those who focus on beating competitors. The tool lets you compare different websites competing for the first place in a focus SERP. By using SpyFu, you can find essential keywords your competition might have missed and get to the top faster.
Use additional modules, and you’ll get a valuable in-depth insight into different domains, looking for gaps you can fill. Rank dynamics for each keyword can also be analyzed with the instrument.
The strength of this keyword research tool is past data that allows you to see how popular the keyword was, compared to what it is now. And finally, you can try the tool for free by simply entering a URL into the search field.
- Great competitor keyword research
- Past data allows you to see the dynamics of each query
- Affordable keyword research
- Opportunities to compare your keyword strategy and those of competitors
- The software tracks UK and US ratings only
- Some information may be difficult to understand for newbies
You can try the tool for free and create a free account. If the tool is effective for you, choose one of the following plans:
- Basic – $39 per month
- Professional – $79 per month
With such prices, the tool could have taken the top position, but the SpyFu review shows its limited functionality.
SpyFu is a great choice for competitor research in terms of keywords. It’s an essential part of every SEO strategy, allowing you to see where the other websites did wrong and which gaps you can fill with your targeted content.
The plans are quite affordable, too, which is a great reason to include the service in the list of the best keyword research tools.
The SISTRIX Keyword Tool offers valuable insights into each query you research. It shows suggestions of the real questions your target audience asks and displays the changes in the rankings of your keywords.
The good news for many beginners is that the tool is free if you don’t need to look up more than 10 queries a day. All you have to do is write the keyword, choose a country and language combination, and click ‘START’. For us, this meant that we could compile a SISTRIX review without signing up for a paid subscription — keep this in mind if you’re planning to launch a small project.
It may take some time until the website shows the results, but the number of location and language combos is impressive. So, if you work for an international company, you should be satisfied with the diversity of options.
- The dashboard can be customized
- Lots of modules, including basic SEO, link building, etc.
- Social media tools available
- A diverse list of locations and languages for keyword research
- The pricing is rather high
- UI may be difficult to understand at first
SISTRIX offers a free trial, after which you’re offered to choose one of the following packages:
- Start – €99 per month (+ taxes)
- Plus – €199 per month (+ taxes)
- Professional – €349 per month (+ taxes)
- Premium – €599 per month (+ taxes)
Don’t forget that you can look up to 10 keywords a day for free using SISTRIX is another reason to call it the best keyword research software.
SISTRIX offers a lot of useful tools, including some of the best keyword research software. It may be rather difficult for beginners, but you have an opportunity to try the instruments for free within a free trial. Also, the Keyword Tool is completely free if you don’t need more than 10 queries to analyze in a day. The page with the instrument could work faster, but we don’t complain about free stuff.
Keep in mind that the pricing is in euros, not dollars.
GrowthBar offers multiple SEO tools for keyword research, competitor research, and content creation. You can research keyword difficulty and other metrics on the go, which is why it’s one of the best SEO keyword research tools for specialists who need results ASAP and are always in a hurry.
In the GrowthBar review, we really liked the tool’s AI-powered algorithm that generates an outline for you to create optimized content for that keyword. There, you’ll have the queries to use in the post, headers, images, word count, and even links.
Along with that, you can benefit from GrowthBar’s competitor research, including backlink info, keywords they rank for, and Ads data, from both Google and Facebook.
- AI-powered outline generator for posts for your website
- Detailed keyword data
- Great long-tail keyword suggestions
- The ability to easily export data
- More suitable for basic projects
- The prices for the Pro and Agency plans are rather high considering the toolset
The company offers a free trial so that you can try some features out. If you find GrowthBar worthy of the title of the best software for keyword research, you can purchase one of the following plans:
- Pro – $29 per month ($48 if paid monthly)
- Scale – $79 per month ($129 if paid monthly)
- Agency – $199 per month ($299 if paid monthly)
GrowthBar can definitely be called one of the best keyword research tools with some non-standard decisions like the AI-powered outline generation. It’s a nice option for SEO specialists who have basic projects where they don’t need analysis that is too detailed. Looking for keywords is easy and effortless, as well as getting long-tail suggestions for your blog posts.
The information about the plans is tricky, though, as you have to read the small print only to find out a new price if you choose to pay once a month.
Serpstat is closing our list of the best SEO keyword research tools. The company offers decent sets of tools for content planning, link building, and other SEO needs. While keyword research isn’t the developers’ top focus, Serpstat owns a very effective query research tool where you can check the ‘quality’ of any key term, find out who ranks for it, what content they post, and find out how difficult it is to rank for it yourself.
In the Serpstat review, we also noted a pretty interesting feature — the competitor graphs, which shows you who else competes for the keyword of your interest. Keyword suggestions are also pretty decent within the tool. And, if you want to rank internationally, you can adjust the queries to various locations.
- Clear competition for every keyword
- Not too expensive
- Keyword trends, difficulty, and other metrics available
- Free trial available
- Nice data visualization
- Keyword difficulty isn’t always accurate
- May work slower for larger websites
Serpstat offers a free trial for you to determine whether the service is right for you. If it is, you can choose one of the following plans:
- Lite – $69 per month
- Standard – $149 per month
- Advanced – $229 per month
- Enterprise – $499 per month
Serpstat is a nice all-in-one service — one of the best SEO tools for keyword research. Talking about this module, it’s not the main instrument, but for the price, the metrics you can monitor are pretty good. Also, we like that you get such a focus on competitors, as it’s an important part of an analysis and considering a keyword.
There are various plans available as well, which offers versatility for businesses.
All services effectively cope with their main tasks, but each of them has its advantages. Some platforms offer a wide range of SEO tools, while other web applications go deeper into their field, allowing you to gain unique advantages in a narrow market segment.
To determine the best keyword research tools, you need to consider several factors:
- The budget you spend on SEO, marketing in general, and solving specific tasks;
- The amount of work and number of projects you are working on at the same time;
- The information your business needs to make management decisions.
But rest assured that you will definitely find your perfect service. If you need an all-in-one platform, we recommend giving preference to SE Ranking, the leader of our rating of the best tools for keyword research. This web application has an extensive database that allows it to work effectively both on the international market and in local segments, with wide target audiences and in narrow niches. In addition, it offers many other features designed to audit websites, build an array of external links, track ranks, and monitor competitors.
You should also take a closer look at other all-in-one services, such as Ahrefs, SEMrush, Moz, SISTRIX, Serpstat, etc. Each of them has its unique advantages, whether it is advanced reports or a user-friendly interface with an intuitive layout of functional elements.
But if you want to get the most out of your investment, the best SEO tools for keyword research will be highly specialized ones. Web applications such as KWFinder, GrowthBar, and Keyword Tool allow you to find areas of development that you won’t even know about from Google Analytics. They generate low-frequency queries with high potential and also build structures for future articles using AI.
Always remember that you don’t have to subscribe to a particular service in advance. You can test their functionality in a free trial period. We recommend evaluating the functionality of several platforms by comparing them with each other. This allows you to make a choice not only between specific brands but also between versatile and highly specialized services in general.