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Comparison of the Best Free and Paid Keyword Research Tools in 2021 (tables with features and prices included)

Iskra Evtimova

There are a lot, and we mean a lot of different keyword research tools on the internet. They range from simple word-generating platforms to elaborate AI-like products. All have their own specifics, weak and strong points, and additional features. It will take you close to a month to research at least the top ones to make an informative decision on which one to buy and use. And we know this because we have already done it. We worked day and night to save you time and effort to present you with a full price and feature comparison of the most popular paid and free keyword research tools for 2021. Yep, we really did that for you.

The information we offer you is systemized into five main categories to help you navigate through this large pool of information:

  • Our overall champions in 6 different categories based on the number of features, data presentation, metric updates, and usefulness. If you don’t want to read for each and every tool listed here, just take our word for granted and trust us on our top picks.
  • A comparison table that will help you determine the right tool to use, depending on your level of expertise and your needs – newbies, professionals, copywriters, and business owners. It will save you a lot of reading time and will guide you toward the most suitable products.
  • An overview of the basic tool features and metrics, including the metrics you get when researching with screenshots for every tool so you can visually imagine how they look.
  • A side-by-side comparison of the pros and cons of each tool and our honest opinion about it.
  • A monster of a comparison table containing information about all of the keyword research features, plans, and prices for each tool. Yes, you can find it all at one table. No need to go through all the websites and compare 20-30 tabs.

Are you ready to step up your game, elevate your content, find the best ranking keywords with low difficulty, and gain head positions in the SERP? These free and paid tools will certainly help you do it.

Disclaimer: Please bear in mind that this article contains some affiliate links. However don’t let this fool you, we have tested and used each tool and are confident in their abilities and user benefits. 

1. Our Top Picks for Keyword Research Tools

When it comes to Keyword Research tools, there is a lot you can choose from. Depending on your business and needs, different products can be beneficial for you. There is no one ultimate solution. However, some tools are just better than the rest, so here are our top picks.

1.1 Top Multifunctional Keyword Research Tool: SEMrush

SEMrush is a complex SEO solution that assists in every aspect of the optimization process. It is not limited to just Keyword Research but can rather provide you with the full picture. The metrics it offers are as exact as they can be, with data being updated constantly. Flexible and intuitive, SEMrush is on the top of our list based on its reliability, user-friendly design, and many additional features.

1.2 Top Advanced Keyword Research Tool: Serpstat

Serpstat is created to help both newbies and professionals with their full Keyword Research. Although it has additional functions like Rank Tracking and Site Audit, its keyword analysis is the one that is the most popular. If you are an SEO professional, there is no way you don’t use Serpstat. And if you are not, why are you missing out on such a beneficial opportunity? You can easily gain front positions on the SERP, discover new niche keywords, and keep your sites in check. Serpstat is the keyword research tool every advanced SEO marketer must know how to use.

1.3 Top Tool for SEO Newbies: KWFinder

Keyword optimization is not an easy thing to master as there are many metrics you must learn and constantly track. Thankfully KWFinder’s user-friendly design and intuitive screens are easy to navigate and don’t overflow with information. The short learning curve makes this tool perfect for first-time users or SEO newbies as the data is systemized in a way that allows it to be analyzed faster. Our advice for junior optimizers is to take it slowly and rely on KWFinder, as you can learn a lot from this tool.

1.4 Top Keyword Research Tool for Content Creators: TwinWord Ideas

TwinWord Ideas is unique when it comes to generating and discovering new keywords and phrases. The tool specializes in searching for low-difficulty words that can give your site that golden push it needs to rank in the top 10. And we are not exaggerating. TwinWords Ideas has a secret weapon – the LSI Keywords feature. And if you don’t know what LSI keywords are, check out this explanation from Backlinko. TwinWords Ideas will make the job of every copywriter 10 times easier as it will give you the right keywords to impress both your audience and Google.

1.5 Top Affordable Multifunctional Keyword Research Tool: Rank Tracker

SEO PowerSuite includes four desktop tools, each aimed at a specific aspect of SEO: Rank Tracker for keyword research and tracking, WebSite Auditor for onsite and on-page optimization, SEO SpyGlass for checking backlink profiles, and LinkAssistant for link-building and outreach. All four features are strongly focused on keyword optimization. The Rank Tracker can measure organic traffic and rankings, whereas the WebSite Auditor provides technical and content optimization data. All the tools share a similar interface, features, and common metrics.

1.6 Top Totally Free Tool: Google Keyword Planner

There is no surprise here. Google Keyword Planner is still the most widely used free tool. Regardless of whether you need it for your Google Ads campaign or rely on it to generate some new keyword suggestions, this tool is one of the essentials in your SEO arsenal.

2. Comparison Table Matching the Right Keyword Research Tool to the Ideal User

To help you choose the right tool, we have also prepared a simple comparison table with our user recommendations. Use it to match the product to your current needs and check out the tools you are interested in. We have divided the user pool into 5 categories:

  • SEO expert / SEO agency – People with experience in site optimization, that possess the necessary knowledge and seek a tool to help them maximize their profits.
  • SEO newbie – People who are just starting with SEO and are currently in the process of learning the basic skills needed to succeed. Usually, they need a more simple tool to help them understand how all of the metrics are connected.
  • SEO Copywriter – Those are content creators and bloggers that need a product to help them elevate their copy.
  • PPC marketer – Advertisers that need help developing successful paid campaigns. The keyword research tools they are looking for can offer accurate PPC metrics.
  • Independent SEO users – Those are business owners that desire to do their own SEO and don’t want to rely on agencies’ help. The tools they need are usually not over-complicated with on-point reports.

Note that one tool can be useful for multiple categories of users. The ✔ signifies the most suitable product-user match. However, depending on your situation, there are always exceptions. Make sure to mark your goals before you seek a keyword tool. For example, you may be a highly experienced professional who needs a reliable source of keywords for their content. In this case, you need to look in the column marked “SEO Copywriter.”

Note: The table is mobile-friendly, meaning the first row and column are “frozen”, so you can freely swipe left/right or up/down.

Tool SEO expert / SEO agency SEO Newbie SEO Copywriter PPC marketer Independent SEO Users
SEMrush

Serpstat

Rank Tracker

SECockpit

KWFinder (Mangools)

Keyword Revealer

Keyword Tool Dominator

Long Tail Pro

TwinWord Ideas

WordTracker

Answer the Public

Ahrefs Keyword Explorer

GrowthBar

Jaaxy

Moz Keyword Explorer

KeywordTool.io

Ubersuggest

QuestionDB

Google Keyword Planner

Google Trends

Soovle

WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool

3. Basic Overview of the Paid Keyword Research Tools

We will start our list with the paid tools, as they are the most desired by SEO professionals and the hardest to compare. The majority of these products are quite hard to analyze since they have a lot of extra features, not to mention a couple of different plan options. Some tools offer free trials or guest accounts with limited capabilities. The latter is called a freemium product, as you can choose between free or paid plans.

3.1 SEMrush

Payment option: Paid
Plans: Pro – $99.95/month; Guru – $191.62/month; Business – $374.95/month;
Trial option: Free 14-day trial for the Pro or Guru plan

SEMrush is one of the top tools when it comes to keyword and competitor research. You can easily get detailed information about all the relevant words your competition uses. The tool has many different features, and it provides its users with detailed guides and video lessons. You can even acquire free training from SEMrush experts.

Once you open the Keyword Overview and enter your seed words, a quite impressive screen is generated. Notice how the information is systemized, so you can easily navigate through the different reports.

SEMrush Keyword Overview

  • Volume – Estimates the average monthly searches for the seed keyword for the last 12 months.
  • Keyword Difficulty – Indicates how difficult it will be for a domain to rank organically in Google’s top 10 for this keyword.
  • Global Volume – Presents the total number of searches for the specific keyword in all databases.
  • Results – Indicates the number of URLs shown in the organic search results for the given keyword.
  • SF (SERP Features) – Any results shown on Google’s results page that are different from organic ones.
  • CPC (Cost Per Click) – Shows the average amount advertisers pay for a user’s click on an ad with the given keyword.
  • Com. (Competition) – Indicates the level of competition between advertisers bidding for this specific keyword within their PPC campaigns.
  • PLA (Product Listing Ads) – The top product listing ads that show for that particular keyword.
  • Ads – The top ads that show for that particular keyword.
  • Trend – You can see how the interest for the keyword has changed over 12 months.

SEMrush Keyword Suggestions panels

In this section of the screen, you can find 3 types of reports related to different keyword suggestions.

  • Keyword Variations – A list of different keyword suggestions containing variations of your original short or long-tail keyword.
  • Questions – A list of questions containing your keyword or phrase.
  • Related Keywords – A list of keywords similar to your seed term.

The metrics you see at first glance are:

  • Volume
  • KD%

Based on the displayed data, you can make a fast decision or view the entire report.
Last is the SERP Analysis which will give you information about the current organic results.

SEMrush SERP Analysis screen

  • URL – Contains the searched keyword.
  • Page AS (Authority Score) – A SEMrush metric that indicates the overall quality and SEO influence of the given URL. The measurements are based on the number of backlinks, referring domains, organic traffic, etc.
  • Ref. Domains – The total number of referring domains that have at least one link pointing to said URL.
  • Backlinks – Shows the total number of backlinks leading to the URL.
  • Search Traffic – Indicates the amount of estimated organic traffic this URL is gaining from this specific keyword.
  • URL Keywords – number of keywords for which this particular URL is ranking in the SERP.

Since SEMrush is a complex SEO tool, there are many ways to obtain and track keywords. The Organic Search Positions feature is one of them. Once you enter your or your competitors’ website, you will receive a full keyword profile.

SEMrush Organic Search Positions screen

  • Keyword – the term that attracts the users’ attention and brings traffic
  • SERP features – Any results different from organic on Google’s results pages. The different icons stand for the different types of sources.
  • Position – Indicates the ranking position of the URL in the SERP for the given word (including the one before the last update).
  • Position Difference – Shows the changes in the position of the URL in the SERP for the given word. If the domain has moved up the rankings or down. This is valuable because you can easily spot which keyword has gone down in the rankings, and you can take action to bring it back up again.
  • Traffic – Estimates the amount of organic traffic generated by the keyword for the website.
  • Traffic % – Indicates the average % of traffic generated by the keyword for the website.
  • Volume – Shows how many people have searched for that term in the last month.
  • KD (Keyword Difficulty) % – Indicates how hard or easy it is to rank for the given word (the bigger the number, the more difficult it is to rank).
  • CPC (Cost-Per-Click) – How much it will cost on average to advertise using this keyword.
  • URL – The URL of the page that generates the most traffic for this specific keyword.
  • Costs % – What is the share of all traffic costs driven by the keyword to the website
  • Com. (Competitive Density) – Shows what is the density of advertisers using this particular keyword in their ads.
  • Results – Indicates what is the number of search results in the SEMrush database.
  • SERP – An image showing the exact source from which the result is taken.
  • Last Update – The last time the keyword has been updated in the SEMrush database.

All of these metrics can be shown optionally, meaning you can create your own customized look for the report.

SEMrush is a multifunctional tool that can help you better your SEO in every aspect possible. If you are not satisfied with something, you can request customization. Intuitive and flexible SEMrush is truly the best there is on the market. Unlike its competitors, it isn’t lacking in its accompanying tools in regards to Backlink analysis, Link Building, Content creation, and practically every other sphere. Every part of the tool is designed to be useful, efficient and provide the freshest metrics possible. On the other hand, the information is presented in a well-systemized way. You won’t feel confused and buried in copious amounts of data.

Start your Free SEMrush trial

3.2 Serpstat

Payment option: Freemium
Plans: Lite – $55/month; Standard – $119/month; Advanced – $239/month; Enterprise – $399/month
Trial option: No, however, there is a FREE plan with limited capabilities

Serpstat isn’t just a tool for keyword research. It can also help you with content creation, backlink research, and link building. You can easily obtain the needed phrases and words using the “Organic keywords” report. In addition, the keyword clustering function can be very helpful when you are examining a specific branch of your targeted market. When you start, you will first get the following metrics from the Overview section:

  • Volume – Monthly search volume according to Google Ads or Yandex.Direct (average value from last year).
  • Competition, % – What percentage of advertisers use this keyword. The higher the number, the bigger the competition (monthly update).
  • CPC – Shows the average cost per click for this keyword (monthly update).
  • KW. difficulty – How difficult is it to rank for that keyword measured on a scale from 0 to 100 (0-20: easy, 21-40: medium, 41-60: difficult, 61-100: very difficult)
  • Keyword trend – A chart illustrating the keyword popularity over a certain period.

Serpstat Overview screen

The tool is easy to work with, and the menus are intuitive, with each one giving you the exact amount of necessary information. Once you purchase a plan, you can use not only the keyword research option but the other features as well. You will get free access to the Backlink analysis, Rank Tracking, and Site Audit functionalities, including a large number of training materials. One extremely useful feature is the large number of keywords you can track. The system can send you reports if particular words have lost their positions on the SERP so you can take immediate action. Serpstat is ideal both for business owners who want to optimize their company’s websites and SEO agencies in search of a reliable tool to help them with their day-to-day research.

Try Serpstat for free

3.3 Rank Tracker(SEO PowerSuite)

Payment option: Paid
Plans: Free – $0/month; Professional – $299/year; Enterprise – $699/year;
Trial option: No, however, there is a free plan with limited capabilities

SEO PowerSuite is amongst the most popular companies that offer SEO tools, and the Rank Tracker is the one dedicated to keyword analysis and tracking. It is important to note that unlike most software in our list, the SEO PowerSuite solutions are desktop-based, meaning you get to install them on your own devices.

The keyword research tool is called Rank Tracker. It combines 20+ methods like Autocomplete Tools, Related Searches, Word Mixer, TF-IDF, driving keyword stats from any source: popular search engines, YouTube, Amazon, mobile search, etc.

Let’s see what you get once you open Rank Tracker.

Rank Tracker - Ranking Keywords menu

On the left, you can see all of the keyword analysis options:

  • Targeted Keywords – Allows you to track keywords, monitor how your web pages rank on the various search engines, compare and check the ranking movement of different words, and much more.
  • Keyword Research – We will explore it in detail next.
  • SERP analysis – Lets you analyze keyword difficulty based on the top 50 pages that compete on the SERP. You can also discover any factor that plays a critical role in the page’s ranking like keywords, links to the page, page strength, page experience (aka Core Web Vitals metrics), and domain strength overall.
  • Competitor Research – Allows you to discover your top organic competitors (by domain or by topic). You can analyze their top-ranking keywords and find new ones you can then apply to your content using the Keyword Gap tool. Additionally, you can also track your competitors’ rankings alongside yours.
  • Domain Strength – Lets you explore different domain metrics showcasing your weak and strong points. You can see the general info like IP, country, and age; check your backlink profile stats; view your domain’s social media popularity and more.
  • Reports – A compilation of various reports that you can use to gather different data. The reporting templates are customizable, so you can choose from the available ready-made templates or create your own. Besides, the enterprise version allows you to apply a white label to add your company logo and information to the reports. You can choose from:
    • Keyword Rankings and Visibility
    • Competition Rankings
    • Keyword Rankings (grouped by SE)
    • Keyword Rankings (grouped by keyword)
    • Rank History
    • Keyword Research
    • Organic Website Traffic
    • Domain Strength

Now, let us check in detail the Keyword Research feature and what it has to offer. First, you get the Ranking Keywords menu, where you can find out a list of terms that a domain is already ranking in Google for the specified region.

Here you get the following metrics:

  • Keywords – Indicates the number of collected keywords
  • Organic traffic – Shows the estimated number of visitors that the analyzed domain has received through the collected keywords over the last 30 days.
  • SERP Features – Illustrates the distribution of keywords across SERP features – featured snippet, local pack, news, images, videos, sitelinks, thumbnail, review, knowledge panel, people also ask, ads top, ads bottom, and shopping.

You can customize the Found keywords table by choosing from over 20 different metrics divided into 3 categories – Keyword info, SEO analysis, and PPC analysis.

different keyword filters

Keyword info contains:

  • Keyword – Shows the discovered keyword
  • Rank – Indicates the current ranking position for this keyword
  • Organic traffic – Shows the estimated number of visitors that the analyzed keyword has brought to your website over the last 30 days.
  • URL Found – The URL of the page that contains the examined keyword.
  • Keyword Difficulty – Estimates the total competition difficulty level for a certain keyword.
  • Tags – Shows the tags associated with the analyzed keyword.

In SEO analysis, you can choose from:

  • # of Searches – Shows the number of times a keyword has been searched in Google over the last 30 days (according to Google Keyword Planner)
  • Competition – Indicates how competitive the analyzed keyword is. It can be Low, Medium, or High.
  • KEI (Keyword Efficiency Index) – Shows the ratio between the competition level and the search volume. It helps to evaluate the effectiveness of the keyword. Words with high KEI (marked with green) will likely bring more traffic to your website through organic listings
  • Expected Visits – Estimates the number of visits your site may receive from Google if your website ranks 1st for the analyzed keyword.
  • Keyword Length – Shows the number of words in your analyzed keyword (phrase)

And in PPC analysis, there are:

  • Cost per click – Indicates the cost you need to pay each time your ad gets clicked in the Google search results (according to Google Ads)
  • Expected Ad Clicks – Estimates the number of clicks the keyword will receive if you run a PPC campaign in Google.
  • Estimated PPC cost/mo -Shows the estimated monthly cost of a Google PPC campaign for the analyzed keyword.

You can use the metrics listed above to customize the Found keywords table in each of the following menus.

The Keyword Gap allows you to discover competitors’ keywords that you do not rank for. Additionally, you can compare your domain to up to 5 competitors per project.

The Search Console menu lets you collect organic keywords from Google Search Console and Google Analytics accounts.

Similarly, the Keyword Planner option helps you find new keyword ideas from different keyword research sources, once you connect your existing account to Rank Tracker. You can choose from Google Ads Planner, Google ads – by targeted Page, and Yandex Wordstat.

The Autocomplete tools function can generate new keyword ideas by collecting autocomplete suggestions from search engines and online services – Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Amazon, YouTube, Ask, and Yandex.

The Related Searches offers you search suggestions related to your root keyword that appear on the SERP listings, amongst other results. You can choose your database from Google, Bing, or Ask.

The Related Questions menu allows you to generate various combinations of questions related to your seed keyword that people may look up in Google Questions Autocomplete or Google People Also Ask section.

The TF-IDF Explorer finds the most meaningful and frequently used words and phrases of your top-ranking competitors. You just need to enter your topic keywords.

The Keyword Combinations feature is quite unique. It allows you to get new keyword ideas by creating new combinations of words and phrases and generating misspelled words.

Last but not least is the Keyword Sandbox. All the keywords discovered through Keyword Research will next appear in the Keyword Sandbox. All are automatically transferred into keyword groups based on the topic (you can adjust settings to group keywords less broadly or more).

ranking keywords filters - SEO analysis menu

Rank Tracker is a versatile tool that can be used by professionals and newbies in conducting detailed keyword analysis and discovering new optimization possibilities. With its many functionalities and diverse database options, this keyword research software can help you gather data from multiple different sources, observe your competitors’ performance and track your SERP rankings. In addition, you can benefit from multiple free user manuals that will aid you in better understanding the logic of the software and improve your SEO skills.

Check out Rank Tracker

3.4 SЕCockpit

Payment option: Freemium
Plans: Personal – $25/month; Pro – $42/month; Agency – $75/month;
Trial option: Free 7-day trial

SECockpit is the child of SwissMadeMarketing and is widely used by SEO professionals. The tool provides valuable information that can be applied in content creation, data optimization, ad campaigns, and more. It is as versatile as a swiss army knife, providing its users with the full keyword profile of the research term.

Once you create a new Keyword Search, a well-designed and easy-to-understand screen generates. Here is what you can find in it:

SEcockpit Keyword Search screen

  • Niche – The Value formulates by dividing the Monthly Searches by the Top 1-10 Competition bar value. The lower the competition, the more filled in the bar is.
  • Phrase – Shows the keyword suggestions returned for the entered seed keyword(s).
  • Monthly Searches – Monthly searches based on the data in Google Keyword Planner
  • Top (Competition) Results – The competition value is based on the on and off-page analysis of the top 1-10 organic Google results. The more filled in the bar is, the harder it will be to rank for that phrase.
  • Available Domains – Indicates if the keyword is available as an exact match (.com, .net) domain.
  • CPC (Cost Per Click) – Suggested bid of a keyword in Google Ads.

These are the basic metrics shown initially. However, you can choose from more than 20 different options and customize your research.

SEcockpit list with metrics

  • The Keyword sections contain basic information about your seed keyword or phrase, like how many independent words it is composed of or the language.
  • Monthly Searches vs. Competition will show you against what you are competing.
  • Daily Visitors vs. Competition will give you more insight into the user’s intent and most preferred search words.
  • Both the On-page and Off-page metrics are designed to show you in which direction you should elevate your site and better your performance using the right long-tail keywords.
  • The Google Ads section is dedicated to better understanding your paid campaigns and showing you possible keywords that can help you outshine your competition.
  • The Universal Search metrics will reveal which words will be beneficial to use when creating different types of copy.
  • Top Results will showcase the best-performing keywords across different databases like Amazon or YouTube.
  • Info will provide you with additional insight about the current research, like when a particular word was last analyzed or in which data source the term was discovered.

If this information is not enough, you can always rely on the Rank Tracking tool to reveal even more keywords using your or your competitors’ URLs and domains. With SECockpit, you can also track up to 100 keywords per month. So you only need to access the tool to check if you need to change something in your SEO strategy. In addition, you can benefit from free webinars and training materials that will help you learn how to increase your organic traffic by using the correct keyword combinations.

As you can see, SECockpit is pretty amazing when it comes to keyword research and analysis. The tool provides in-depth data from multiple sources and focuses on all aspects of keyword exploration. SECockpit is unique in its way of presenting the data in a synthesized manner, allowing you to create multiple research templates within the same screen. With other tools, you may get the same information, however, it will be scattered across several menus or screens. If you are searching for a keyword research power tool, we strongly advise you to consider SECockpit.

Check out SECockpit

3.5 KWFinder (Mangools)

Payment option: Paid
Plans: Basic – $29.90/month; Premium – $39.90/month; Agency – $79.90/month;
Trial option: Free 10-day trial

KWFinder specializes in researching and offering the most relevant short and long-tail words depending on your needs. It is quite easy to use. You just have to write the term you want to research, choose your location and language and press “Find Keywords.” The informational panel that will pop up contains all the basic info you need to start your analysis.

KWFinder Overview screen

The metrics you get are:

  • Trend – Search volume trend in the last 12 months.
  • Search – Average monthly search volume; the time frame can be adjusted for 3, 6, or 12-month periods.
  • CPC – Average results in Google Ads.
  • PPC – Level in competition in Google Ads.
  • KD – Keyword difficulty calculated according to the LPS (Link Profile Strength) of URLs ranking on the first results page. (The metric is developed by Mangools)
  • Keyword Difficulty – Visualization of the KD results.
  • Trend Graph – A larger graph representation of the trend results, located on the far right.

In addition, a SERP overview report will generate, containing other important metrics like:

  • DA (Domain Authority) – Created by Moz, the score predicts how well the domain will rank.
  • PA (Page Authority) – Created by Moz, the score predicts how well a specific page will rank.
  • CF (Citation Flow) – Created by Majestic, the score predicts how influential an URL is based on the number of sites linked to it. (focused on link quantity)
  • TF (Trust Flow) – Sites closely linked to a trusted seed site should see higher scores, while sites with questionable links will see lower scores. The higher the score, the more trusted the link sources (focused on link quality and developed by Majestic)
  • Links – Indicates the number of external backlinks to the URL (Hover over each result to see the number of referring domains, IPs, and subnets).
  • FB – Shows how many times the URL has been shared on Facebook.
  • LPS (Link Profile Strength) – Created by Mangools, the score indicates the strength of the backlinks. The higher the number, the more powerful the backlink is.
  • EV (Estimated Visits) – The number of estimated monthly visits of the URL on this SERP position.

KWFinder uses trusted metrics developed by the SEO pioneers to provide its users with the most reliable data. It may not be as multifunctional as the one SEMrush offers or have such in-depth competitor keyword research, but it is certainly one of the best tools for generating fresh word suggestions. KWFinder offers you the ideal amount of insight to get the job done and not feel lost or overwhelmed by the countless rows of information. Its keyword tracking capabilities are outstanding as it can check and report for up to 1 500 words/month. This is extremely useful for newbies who are just starting to learn the importance and correlation between keywords and URL rankings.

Start your free KWFinder trial

3.6 Keyword Revealer

Payment option: Freemium
Plans: Basic – $7.50/month; Pro – $17.50/month; Elite – $29.50/month;
Trial option: No, however, there is a FREE plan with limited capabilities

The Keyword Revealer is designed to find easy-to-rank long-tail words and phrases that will help you obtain better positions on the SERP. The tool allows you to evaluate the terms using metrics from reputable sources like Moz and Alexa and make a competitive and backlink analysis. At first glance, you will get the following data:

Keyword Revealer overview screen

  • Monthly Volume – monthly search volume
  • Volume Trends – for the past 12 months
  • Cost Per Click – approximate costs for that keyword
  • Profit – potential profits from ad clicks in a month
  • Words – word count of the long-tail keyword or phrase
  • Difficulty – an estimate of how difficult it will be to rank for that particular keyword. The lower the number, the better the chances.

You also have the Keyword Brainstorming feature. It is extremely useful when you are suffering from writer’s blockage and need to find a good keyword or topic ideas.

Keyword Revealer Brainstorming overview screen

The Keyword Revealer is suitable for all SEO professionals regardless of their level of experience and especially for content creators. The tool is user-friendly and intuitive, not cramped with too much data but enough to conduct proper keyword research. From keyword tracking to daily evaluations and competitive analysis, the Keyword Revealer will provide you with trustworthy data.

Check out Keyword Revealer

3.7 Keyword Tool Dominator

Payment option: Freemium
Plans: There are none, you can buy the tools for life – Keyword Tool Suite Bundle – $139.00
Trial option: No, however, there is a FREE online plan with limited capabilities

Keyword Tool Dominator is quite different from the other suggested SEO products on our list. For starters, to use the free version, you need to download its Google Chrome Extension. Then comes its enormous database that combines insights from the biggest search engines like Google, Bing, Amazon, etc.
Another unique feature is its multiple paid tools that target each specific source of data:

  • Amazon Keyword Tool
  • eBay Keyword Tool
  • Etsy Keyword Tool
  • Google Keyword Tool
  • Bing Keyword Tool
  • Google Shopping Keyword Tool
  • Walmart Keyword Tool
  • YouTube Keyword Tool

However, you can also use the free version of the tool, which can provide you with some good suggestions for long-tail keywords.

KTD overview screen

  • Source – From which search engine the data comes from
  • Country – Location from which the relevant data are pulled
  • Top 10 – The top 10 ranked keywords
  • Rank – How difficult it will be to rank for that word. The lower the number, the better.

If you want to conquer a specific niche and find the most suitable long-tail keywords for your YouTube or Amazon campaign, the Keyword Tool Dominator is the right choice. Its free version, however, falls a little flat, as the data is insufficient if you want to conduct a proper keyword research analysis.

Visit Keyword Tool Dominator

3.8 Long Tail Pro

Payment option: Paid
Plans: Starter – $25/month; Pro – $45/month; Agency – $98/month;
Trial option: Free 7-day trial for either the Starter or Pro plans

Long Tail Pro is a multifunctional tool that can allow you to research both keywords and URLs. Its user-friendly design and light menus are well organized and make working with it a very enjoyable experience. You don’t have to wonder what this or that do, or where to find a particular report.

The Keyword Research Feature is well-developed and offers sufficient data. You can research words by using multiple keywords or different domains. Here is what you get once you start your exploration:

Long Tail Pro Keyword Research screen

The first thing that will grab your attention is the bar on the left.

Long Tail Pro Target Keyword Competitiveness bar

Target Keyword Competitiveness is a very useful analysis showing the level of competitiveness based on your domain strength. Once you enter your domain the following analysis is generated:

Long Tail Pro Target Keyword Competitiveness results screen

Based on the strength of your domain, you should be able to rank for most keywords with a Keyword Competitiveness score below the lower of the two numbers shown in the bar (50 and 60 in this example). With some additional link building, your domain might also be able to rank for Keyword Competitiveness score inside the marked range ( between 50 and 60).

When you progress further down, you will see the list of terms related to your seed keyword. The metrics and functionalities which you can explore here are:

  • – You can mark your preferred keywords with a star.
  • +20 – By pressing it, you will get 20 Google Ads suggestions for that particular keyword.
  • G – Show on Google
  • Keywords – The list of word suggestions based on your seed keyword.
  • Avg.KC (Keyword Competitiveness) – It estimates how difficult it is to rank on the first page of Google for this particular keyword suggestion. The metric is calculated using page title, Majestic Trust Flow and Citation Flow, site age, links, and other factors of the top 10 results found in Google for the keyword. The metric is measured with a score from 0 to 100, where the higher number indicates a higher keyword difficulty.
  • Volume – Indicates the average monthly search for this word over 12 months based on the country and Search Network targeting that you have selected.
  • Bid – This is the suggested advertisers’ bid. It is calculated by taking into account the cost-per-click (CPC) paid by advertisers for this keyword for the location and Search Network settings you have selected.
  • Competition – Indicates the number of advertisers for each keyword relative to all keywords across Google for the location and Search Network settings you have selected. The value is measured as Low, Medium, and High.
  • Words – Shows the total number of words in the keyword phrase.
  • Rank Value – This is the estimated monthly value of ranking in the top organic search result. It is calculated using Google Ads, Amazon Affiliate, or a custom visitor value using the “Set Rank Value” option in the bulk actions dropdown.
  • Lang (Language)
  • Loc (Location)

That is not all, as Long Tail Pro is a multifunctional SEO tool, you could also access multiple other functions. You can use SERP Analysis, Rank Tracker, and Backlink Analysis and can track multiple keywords a month (up to 400 to be exact).

In addition, there is a very comprehensive and well-made video guide that will teach all of the tricks you will need to use this complex tool to its full potential. Long Tail Pro is a great solution for small and mid-sized companies that don’t need to work with large amounts of data. It is suitable for business owners who wish to do their own SEO and not rely on external agencies. Long Tail Pro will help you create and apply your optimization strategy, and gain a steady flow of organic traffic towards your site.

Try Long Tail Pro for free

3.9 TwinWord Ideas

Payment option: Freemium
Plans: Plus – $12/month; Pro – $24/month; Agency – $59/month;
Trial option: No, however, there is a FREE plan with limited capabilities

TwinWord Ideas is a great freemium tool that can help you check both organic and paid metrics. It is simply built and can provide you with the most essential information.

TwinWord Ideas Overview screen
Here is what you get:

  • AVG Monthly Searches – Average monthly search volume for the past 12 months.
  • SEO Competition – Indicates the level of competition in the organic results.
  • Paid Competition – indicates the level of competition on Google Ads
  • Keyword Score – Determines which keywords are suitable for your content (1-5 stars, 5 being the best). It is calculated based on the average monthly search volume and the competition scores.
  • Title Score – Shows which keywords are ideal for your title (1-5 stars, 5 being the best)
  • Relevance – how relevant is each suggested word to the original search term.

You can easily navigate the menus and won’t get lost on multiple screens, like with Ubersuggest or MozKeyword Explorer. This is a big deal, especially for SEO newbies that are unsure which metrics to take into consideration and how to formulate a working strategy.

One of its most remarkable paid features, that we haven’t seen in many other tools, is its LSI Keyword functionality.

TwinWord Ideas LSI Graph screen

The tool will generate terms in a couple of different categories from which you can choose depending on your goals:

  • Broad Terms – List of more general and abstract words. For example with the search term “sushi,” you will get “Asian food” or “Japanese dish”.
  • Narrow Terms – List of more specific words. For example, if your seed word is “sushi” you will get terms like “food”, “fish”, etc.
  • Related Terms – List of words that are related in meaning. For example “house move” can relate to “household”, “home”, “new address”, etc.
  • Evocations – Words that bring something to mind with the seed keyword. For example, “germs”, “dust” or “vacuum” are evocations of the word “cleaning”.
  • Synonyms – A list of similar words for example with a seed word “moving” you will get synonyms like “relocating” or “removal”.
  • Association – Those are words found in similar contexts. For example, if your seed keyword is “house removals”, “housing” will be an association term.

TwinWord Ideas is ideal for content creators and bloggers. There is no way you will ever suffer from writer’s blockage with such a diverse plethora of generated topics and keywords.

Have a look at TwinWord Ideas

3.10 WordTracker

Payment option: Paid
Plans: Bronze – $17/month; Silver – $38/month; Gold- $54/month;
Trial option: Free 7-day trial for all plans

WordTracker is the ideal tool for discovering words with a low keyword difficulty that you can rank for. It uses not only data from Google but also Amazon and YouTube. You can easily find related long-tail words and phrases your competitors are not trending for.

WordTracker Overview screen

The main metrics you can check are:

  • Historical – Indicates the historical trend for a particular term over a specific period. If you click on the graph, you can see an on-point backlink analysis.
  • Volume – Shows how many are the average monthly searches for this word in the last 12 months.
  • Comp. – Indicates the organic competition the keyword has. The bigger the number, the larger the competition.
  • IAAT (In Anchor And Title) – Indicates the number of web pages in which this word shows both in the title tag and the text of the backlink.

On the left of your results page, you will find out a list of different keyword suggestions. In addition, you can check the PPC options that will give you even more metrics like:

  • PPC Comp. – Indicates the level of PPC competition. The higher the number, the bigger the competition.
  • CPC – The more competitive a word is, the higher its CPC will be.

When it comes to competitor analysis, the tool is lacking in data, however, its keyword tracking feature is outstanding. The interface is easy to navigate once you get used to it. But that is not a problem as you can find well-written guides on the main site and adequate customer support. It is an overall solid keyword research tool.

Check out WordTracker

3.11 Answer the Public

Payment option: Freemium
Plans: Monthly – $99/month; Annual – $79/month; Enterprise – $399/month;
Trial option: No, however, there is a FREE plan with limited capabilities

This is one of the easiest tools to use for generating long-tail keywords and phrases. Not to mention the user-friendly interface that makes the research quite an enjoyable experience. Do not expect to receive any kinds of metrics or additional data on the generated suggestions. What you can get, however, is a plethora of great ideas.

Answer The Public Overview screen

Answer the public offers you the most popular questions and phrases people use when searching in Google and Bing. There are 5 categories you can choose from:

  • Questions – FAQ containing your keyword
  • Prepositions – long-tail phrases
  • Comparisons – the most frequently searched combinations of two opposing or similar topics
  • Alphabeticals – related words in an alphabetical order
  • Related – phrases related to your search

The way Answer the Public presents the information is in the form of visualization. The mind map vibe is strictly unique and makes it distinguishable from the other word-generating tools. Don’t worry, there is also a list version of the results to make the data easier to work with.

Have a look at Answer the Public

3.12 Ahrefs Keyword Explorer

Payment option: Paid
Plans: Lite – $82/month; Standard – $149/month; Advanced – $332/month; Agency – $832/month
Trial option:  7-day trial for 7$ for the Lite or Standard plan

Ahrefs’ products are amongst the top SEO tools, as they can provide you with detailed site and keyword analysis and search engine insights. The Keyword Explorer is focused on keyword research and is one of the features you will get with the paid version. The overview data is divided into different screens and panels, with each leading to its own detailed menu. So here is what you get at first glance:

Ahrefs Keyword Explorer Overview screen

  • Keyword Difficulty (KD) – A graph illustrating how hard it will be to rank for that keyword in the top 10 organic search results. It is measured on a scale from 0 to 100 where 0-10: easy, 11-30: medium, 31-70: hard, and 71-100: super hard.
  • Volume – Average monthly number of searches for that keyword.
  • CPC (Cost Per Click) – Average price advertisers pay for each ad click in the paid search results.
  • Clicks – average monthly number of clicks in the SERPs people make when searching for the target word.
  • CPS (Click Per Search) – Shows the average number of different search results that get clicked on when people are searching for the target keyword at a particular location. It is the ratio of Clicks/Search Volume.
  • RR (Return Rate) – Indicates how often the same user searches for your term over the course of 30 days.
  • Global Volume – Shows what is the average global search volume per month for that keyword.
  • Parent topic – Determines if you can rank for your term while targeting a broader topic.

Once you have examined all of these metrics related to your keyword, you can scroll down and check the suggested word ideas. Here you can benefit from the following groups:

  • Having same terms – A list of long-tail keywords and phrases containing your exact term.
  • Questions – A list of search queries containing your targeted keyword.
  • Also rank for – A list containing all keywords that the top 10 ranking pages for your target keyword also rank for.
  • Newly discovered – A list of newly discovered keyword ideas to the Ahrefs database.

You can also check the SERP position history for your targeted keyword. The data are presented in the form of a graph with the pages that currently rank in the top 5 positions in the SERP. Hover over the lines, and you can see the daily data for them. Depending on your subscription plan, you can check the information for 1 month, 6 months, 24 months, or an unlimited time period.

Ahrefs SERP position history overview

And finally, you can have a look at the SERP overview for your targeted word. Here you can check the following metrics:

Ahrefs SERP Overview screen

  • Search result – The list of search results ranking for your target keyword
  • AR (Ahrefs Rank) – Indicates the rank of the site in the Ahrefs database based on the quality and size of its backlink profile(DR).
  • DR (Domain Rating) – Indicates the strength of the site’s backlink profile compared to the others in the Ahrefs database on a scale from 0 to 100. It’s essentially a less granular version of AR.
  • UR (URL Rating) – Indicates the strength of the page’s link profile on a scale from 0 to 100.
  • Backlinks – Shows the total number of incoming links to the page.
  • Domains – Indicates the total number of domains linked to that page.
  • Traffic – The estimated monthly organic traffic this page gets.
  • Keywords – Shows the number of keywords this page ranks for in the top 100 positions.
  • Top keyword – The term that attracts the most organic traffic to this page.
  • Volume – Monthly search volume of the top keyword.

As you can see, Keyword Explorer can offer you a lot, however, if you are in a hurry and just want to make a quick check, the tool can get a bit overwhelming. That is why we recommend it for detailed analysis and competition comparison. First-time users or SEO newbies may find it difficult to use it to its full potential.

Try Ahrefs

3.13 GrowthBar

Payment option: Paid
Plans: Standard – $29/month; Pro – $79/month; Agency – $129/month
Trial option: Free 5-day trial for all plans

GrowthBar is an intuitive, user-friendly, and multifunctional SEO tool. You can conduct keyword research, analyze your backlinks and grow your ad campaigns. You won’t get as much data as from SEMrush, for example, but the price is quite good for the functionalities GrowthBar offers. With the Keyword Research option, you get:

GrowthBar Keyword Research Overview screen

  • Search Volume – Monthly search volume of your targeted keyword.
  • Ranking Difficulty Score – Indicates how difficult it will be to obtain top positions in the SERP with that specific word.
  • Monthly Searches – Monthly search volume of the suggested term.
  • CPC (Click Per Cost) – Indicates how much it cost to bid for this word on Google Ads.

You can also try the Content Creator from where you can get some good ideas for the following:

GrowthBar Content Creator Overview screen

  • Optimal title – The most suitable title for your blog or article containing your targeted keyword.
  • Optimal URL – What keywords to include when constructing the name of your URL to optimize it.
  • General information – Professional tips that will help you create your copy.
  • Suggested Images – Images that are suitable to the topic of your targeted keyword and will complement it.
  • Include Keywords – Related keyword suggestions with good metrics you can use in your copy.
  • Consider linking to – related URLs with good metrics that will enrich your page’s backlink profile.

GrowthBar is suitable for small businesses and SEO newbies, as the tool is not overly complicated, but at the same time, offers you a pretty accurate picture of where your site stands. Not to mention with the Content Creator functionality, your copy has practically written itself, making it extremely easy to create valuable content the SEs like.

Visit GrowthBar

3.14 Jaaxy

Payment option: Freemium
Plans: Starter – $0/month; Pro – $49/month; Enterprise – $99/month
Trial option: No, but the Started plan is completely FREE

Jaaxy is a widely-known keyword research tool amongst content creators. Its free version is sufficient if you need to find great ideas for long-tail keywords and relative topics. Here is a sneak peek at what you get with Jaaxy:

Jaaxy Keywords Overview screen

  • Avg – Average monthly search volume of that keyword
  • Traffic – Expected visits to your website if you rank on the first page of the Search Engine.
  • QSR (Quoted Search Results) – Number of websites that rank for the same word.
  • KQI (Keyword Quality Indicator) – It can be green(great), yellow(OK), and red(poor).
  • SEO – the metric is based on traffic and competition. The higher the number, the bigger the chance of ranking in a better position.
  • Domains – domains related to the keywords

On top of the basic metrics, you can use two other functionalities that will help you immensely better the quality of your copy:

  • Related – Shows a list of related keywords.
  • Brainstorm – You can check the latest trends and topics containing your keyword from Google Trends, Yahoo! Buzz, Alexa Topics, Amazon Best Sellers, and Twitter Trends.

Jaaxy is relatively inexpensive, offers you a lot when it comes to keyword research, and is an overall great SEO tool to use.

Explore Jaaxy

3.15 Moz Keyword Explorer

Payment option: Freemium
Plans: Standard – $79/month; Medium – $143/month; Large – $199/month; Premium – $479/month
Trial option: Free 30-day trial for the Medium plan + FREE version of the tool with limited capabilities with no plan attachments.

Moz is one of the leading SEO companies in the world, and naturally, the tools they offer cover the whole site optimization specter. However, for the purposes of this article, we will be focusing on their Keyword Explorer. This is a multifunctional tool that can provide you with lots of ideas, relevant keyword suggestions, accurate metrics and detailed analysis. The keyword overview consists of three different sections, with each leading to a different menu with even more information.

MOZ Keyword Explorer Overview screen

First, you have the graph section where you can check the following metrics:

  • Monthly Volume – Shows the minimum and maximum expected search volume for the keyword.
  • Difficulty – Indicates how difficult it will be to rank for that specific keyword.
  • Organic CTR – Estimates the percentage of clicks for organic links.
  • Priority – It is based on the levels of volume, organic CTR, and difficulty. Estimated on a scale from 0 to 100. The higher numbers represent higher search volume and organic CTR and lower difficulty.

In the section with keyword suggestions, you can check:

  • Monthly Volume – how often this word is searched on Google
  • Relevancy – Indicates how similar and relevant are the words to the original term

The SERP Analysis consists of an overview of the related URLs and domains. Here you can see:

  • PA (Page Authority) – It is a metric created by the Moz team indicating the page’s potential to rank on the SERP.
  • DA (Domain Authority) – It is a metric created by the Moz team indicating the domain’s potential to rank on the SERP.
  • Linking RDs (Root Domains) To Page – Number of external domains linked to the specific page.
  • Linking RDs(Root Domains) To Root Domain – Number of external domains linked to the specific domain.
  • Page Score – An estimate of how well the site is ranking on the SE.

The Moz Keyword Explorer allows you to create different word lists and identify the top-ranking terms that will help you win over your competitors. The tool offers a lot of different information in large portions which makes it ideal for advanced SEO professionals.

Try Moz Keyword Explorer

3.16 KeywordTool.io

Payment option: Paid
Plans: Pro Basic – $69/month; Pro Plus – $79/month; Pro Business – $159/month;
Trial option: No

The Keyword Tool is advertised as an ideal alternative to the Google Keyword Planner, and we couldn’t agree more. The tool allows you to check all of the essential metrics while having the opportunity to choose your targeted search engine and database (Google, Bing, YouTube, Amazon, eBay, PlayStore, Instagram or Twitter).

Keyword Tool.io Overview screen

  • Search Volume – the average number of searches for this term per month.
  • Trend – illustrates the change in the search volume in the last 12 months
  • CPC – How much are advertisers paying to bid on this word in Google Ads.
  • Competition – What the competition of each keyword is, measured on a scale from 0 to 100, where: 0-34 is low, 35-69 is medium, and 70-100 is high.

While the Google Planner is designed to help you with the construction of your paid campaigns and provides you with basic words and phrases, this tool will find you the golden words. These are the low-difficulty, hidden long-tail keywords that will elevate your copy and rank in the front positions of the SERP.

Check out KeywordTool.io

3.17 Ubersuggest

Payment option: Freemium
Plans: Individual – $12/month; Business – $20/month; Enterprise/Agency – $40/month;
Trial option: Free 7-day trial for all plans + FREE version of the tool with limited capabilities with no plan attachments.

Ubersuggest is created by one of the SEO pioneers Neil Patel, and as such, the tool can provide you with detailed analysis. Due to its many features, Ubersuggest can be a little hard to navigate at first, and it has lots of additional menus and screens. Even the initial keyword overview has 3 separate sections holding tons of information.

Ubersuggests Keyword Overview screen

  • Search Volume – Number of keyword searches per month.
  • SEO Difficulty – Estimated competition in the organic searches
  • Paid Difficulty – Estimated competition in the paid searches
  • Cost Per Click (CPC) – Average cost per click in Google Ads

After the overview of the keyword you typed, you have some more valuable info that will help you design your SEO strategy:

  • SEO Results – What percentage of the clicks are from ads and organic searches.
  • Searcher’s Age Range – Which age groups search for this keyword

In the Keyword Ideas section, you have a list of suggestions, including the following metrics for each word:

Ubersuggests Keyword Ideas screen

  • Trend
  • Volume
  • CPC
  • PD (Paid Difficulty)
  • SD (SEO Difficulty)

And finally, you will find a Content Ideas section based on your seed keyword(s) that consists of:

Ubersuggests Content Ideas screen

  • Page Title/URL – The title tag containing the keyword, followed by the URL of the page.
  • Est. Visits – Estimated traffic this URL gets from that particular keyword.
  • Backlinks – How many incoming links this URL has
  • Facebook – How many times this URL shows on FB
  • Pinterest – How many times this URL shows on Pinterest

Ubersuggest is a widely popular keyword research tool and is highly praised by the SEO community. If you are a beginner in this field, we recommend you start by using the free version of the product to get accustomed to it and its many options. Once you feel more comfortable, you can begin exploring Ubersuggest paid functionalities.

See Ubersuggest

3.18 QuestionDB

Payment option: Freemium
Plans: Pro – $7/month;
Trial option: No, however, there is a FREE plan with limited capabilities

QuestionDB is quite similar to Answer the Public, as it can provide you with a large database of questions users seek the answer to. When you type your keyword and press “New Search”, you can benefit from one of two options:

  • Filter by Keywords – It will show you a list of related keywords you can use.

QuestionDB filter by Keywords screen

  • Filter by Questions – It will show you a list of related questions and where were they asked (for example on Reddit)

QuestionDB filter by Question screen

This simply built and easy-to-use tool is suitable for content creators as it can help them generate lots of new ideas and improve their writing. Altho QuestionDB doesn’t show any additional SEO metrics, the provided information can be used to create the structure of your copy and meta titles and descriptions.

Discover new keywords with QuestionDB

4. Basic Overview of the Free Keyword Research Tools

Now let’s look at the most widely-used free keyword research tools that can save you both time and money. They are more simply built and don’t offer much in terms of additional functionalities. However, you can use them in combination with some of the paid tools like KWFinders or SECockpit to create a strong working SEO strategy.

4.1 Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is perhaps the most widely used and known keyword research tool out there. It is a completely free tool that comes as a feature in Google Ads. Even if you don’t have active campaigns or have no interest in advertising, you can use the Keyword Planner.

Google Ads Keyword Planer Overview screen

And since it is a Google product the information comes straight from the kitchen, so you don’t have to wonder how accurate the displayed data is. However, when it comes to the exact values of the metrics, there is a catch. Once you create a paid campaign you will see all the data in detail. But if you haven’t used Google Ads the information will be more generalized and will appear only as suggested ranges like 1k-10k, for example. Here are the standard metrics:

  • Avr. monthly searches – Indicates how popular is your keyword. The average monthly searches are based on your Search Network setting, location, and month range.
  • Competition – Shows how big the paid competition is and can be low, medium, and high. It is based on the number of advertisers bidding for that specific term relative to all keywords on Google.
  • Ad impression share – Estimates the potential of ranking the term. It is calculated by dividing the number of impressions you receive by the total number of searches for the location and network you’re targeting in the last calendar month.
  • Top of page bid (low range) – Indicates the lower range of what advertisers have historically paid for the top of page bid for that specific term. The data is based on your Search Network settings and location.
  • Top of page bid (high range) – Indicates the higher range of what advertisers have historically paid for the top of page bid for that specific term. The data is based on your Search Network settings and location.
  • Account Status – Shows if the term is in your advertisement plan, account, or negative keyword list.

In addition, you can filter the information by location and period. You can research a couple of words at the same time and check out the forecast data about them. The tool is quite useful when it comes to generating related keywords and helping you discover or rediscover popular words and phrases. Google Keywords Planner is an essential tool for all SEO and digital marketers, regardless if there are pros or newbies.

Try using Google Keyword Planner

4.2 Google Trends

This is yet another completely free keyword research tool courtesy of Google. However, the Planner is focused more on the monetary metrics, whereas Trends is user-orientated, allowing you to see how popular are the terms you want to use. Once you type your keyword and choose the location, the following data shows:

Google Trends Overview screen

  • Interest over time – Shows the search interest for that term. It is represented by a score from 0 to 100, where 100 is the peak of popularity and 0 means there is not enough data for this keyword.
  • Interest by sub-region – Indicates the popularity of the term in the different sub-regions or cities of the given country. The score can be from 0 to 100, where 100 indicates the location where the keyword is most popular. “ A higher value means a higher proportion of all queries, not a higher absolute query count.”
  • Related topics – A list with related topics searched by the users alongside your keyword.
  • Related queries – A list with related queries searched by the users alongside your keyword.

That is not all. Google Trends also can compare multiple keywords, so you can see which is the more suitable one.

Google Trends Comparison Overview screen

With this side-by-side comparison, you can check:

  • Interest over time – the graph compares the number of searches for both keywords over the same period.
  • Compared breakdown by sub-region – Shows which term is more commonly used across the country (by a sub-region or city).
  • Interest by sub-region – Examines the popularity of each keyword for the specific location.
  • Related queries – It is a list of related keywords and phrases the users also use when searching for that specific term.

All tables and graphs can be downloaded and of course, this data is completely free and available for everybody. You can add multiple keywords when doing the comparisons, so you are not limited to just two words.

Google Trends is amongst the most reliable information sources and keyword research tools out there. It is used both by seasoned professionals and SEO newbies. Used on its own, the tool does not provide enough data. However, you can easily combine it with the Keyword Planner or another product to get the full perspective.

Check out Google Trends

4.3 Soovle

Soovle is a great free tool that can help you find those perfect long-tail keywords that will help you obtain the top spots in the SERP. It provides you not only with information collected from Google but also from other sources like Bing, Yahoo, and Amazon.

Soovle Overview screen

It is a bummer that you don’t have any additional metrics, like search volume, difficulty, and PPC. But the fact that Soovle is completely free and you can use it unlimited times makes up for it. The save and download option is essential when you are conducting detailed research on a broader topic.

You can always use some of the other suggested research tools to check the status of the already-picked keywords.
Easy to use and allowing unlimited searches and data downloads, Soovle is a great addition to your SEO arsenal.

Try out Soovle

4.4 WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool

What distinguishes WordSteam’s Free Keyword Tool from the other suggestions on our list is its design and data representation. You can simultaneously check the paid metrics from two different search engines – Google and Bing. This makes it a valuable tool to have if you need to gain additional insight for your advertisement campaigns. When you type the desired keyword, you can adjust your industry and location, and after pressing “New Search”, you can check the following:

Word Stream's Free Keyword Tool Overview screen

  • Search Volume (Google) – Estimated monthly searches on Google.
  • CPC (Google) – The cost you pay for each click in your marketing campaign on Google.
  • Competition (Google) – Keyword competition on Google.
  • Search Volume (Bing) – Estimated monthly searches on Bing.
  • CPC (Bing) – The cost you pay for each click in your marketing campaign on Bing.
  • Competition (Bing) – Keyword competition on Bing.

The Keyword tool also allows you to seek keywords by typing a URL. This way, you can check your competitors’ pages and see what relevant keywords they are ranking for.

The tool shows only paid metrics and no organic results, so it is more suitable for PR and advertising rather than copywriting. You can use it in combination with the Google Keyword Planner to get a better perspective of your potential competition.

Visit WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool

5. Pros and Cons of the Most Frequently Used Keyword Research Tools in 2021

Now that we have our list of keyword research tools, let’s check out their pros and cons and tell you why we recommend them.

Note: The table is mobile-friendly, meaning the first row and column are “frozen”, so you can freely swipe left/right or up/down.

Tool

Pros Cons

Why We Recommend

SEMrush ➤ You receive a complete keyword, website, and competitor analysis.

➤ It provides both organic and PPC information.

➤ SEMrush has a lot of built-in reports that you can use.

➤ The platform is very intuitive and you can easily get used to it. 

➤ You receive not only a keyword research tool but a full SEO solution. In retrospect, it is way cheaper to buy a multi-tool like SEMrush than to purchase two or three different products for link building, buckling analysis, etc with no integration between them.

➤ You can get flustered at first due to its many functionalities and menus.

➤ Some features are limited to the projects, which are limited in each plan.

➤ If you own a large international corporation and have a big SEO team, you may have to pay extra for adding users, different locations, or for highly specific analysis.

If your goal is to analyze the market and your competitors’ sites, this is the right tool for you. SEMrush is perfect for helping you find short and long-tail keywords and phrases with low difficulty that you can rank for. Since this is a one-stop-shop tool you will get access to many different modules and features. The information is systemized and not so hectically presented as in the Moz Keyword Planner, for example. On the other hand, the research capabilities of SEMrush exceed the ones of Ahrefs in terms of in-depth analysis and data presentation.
Serpstat ➤ The reports are not filled with an overpowering amount of information. They are easy to understand and contain detailed enough data to serve your purpose.

➤ Great price for what you get.

➤ Depending on your needs you could request from the Serpstat team to add different filters or features. If it’s possible, they would gladly aid you.

➤ The tool can be a little slow when it comes to daily updating all of the metrics. We recommend Serpstat for both newbies and professionals, as the tool is well-developed and gives all the necessary data and more. The interface and sub-menus are user-friendly, and the data is presented intuitively. There aren’t many additional features like with SEMrush, but the Keyword Research and Backlink Analysis tools are close to perfect.
Rank Tracker ➤ Easy to work with and relatively short learning curve.

➤ Regardless of the plan, there are no limits to the number of keywords tracked and projects created.

➤ All offered tools can be purchased as a bundle or as a standalone tool.

➤ It can be a little slow when dealing with large databases.

➤ Not an integrated platform, meaning you need to set up each tool individually.

➤ The tools are desktop applications as opposed to being on one web-based platform.

In our opinion, SEO PowerSuite offers some of the most well-working tools on the market. There are a few hiccups here and there, but overall the software delivers accurate data. It is suitable for all types of users and organizations, making it one of the most popular options when it comes to keyword analysis.
SECockpit ➤ Uses multiple reliable databases

➤ Fast data processing time

➤ Intuitive design allowing multiple reports to be generated from one menu.

➤ The short learning curve is especially beneficial for the more inexperienced users.

➤ You need to register your card to benefit from the free trials. SECockpit is amongst the most reliable website planning tools there is. It has great potential and can process large amounts of data in mere minutes. If you are looking for a tool that can help you turn around your SEO strategy, SECockpit is the one for you. 
KWFinder ➤ Very intuitive and easy to use

➤ Inexpensive but surprisingly effective

➤ Perfect for people that are just starting with SEO and keyword research.

➤ The other Mangools tools are also included in your subscription plan.

➤ Lacking when it comes to keyword competitor research and more advanced SEO analysis.

➤ Not suitable for big companies.

If you are searching for a powerful tool that can generate lots of new keyword suggestions, KWFinder is the right choice. It may not be ideal for detailed competitor research, but it will save you a lot of time thanks to its intuitive design and on-the-point metrics.
Keyword Revealer ➤ Uses relevant metrics from Moz, Alexa, etc.

➤ You will receive precise data at a very comfortable and inexpensive price.

➤ The tool is user-friendly, and it doesn’t require a long learning time.

➤ It provides information only for the top 10 pages

➤ The whole research process can take a long time since some features are manual, and you can evaluate only 3 words at the same time.

The Keyword Revealer is suitable for every type of user regardless of their level of experience. However, we believe that the tool will be most beneficial for small business owners who want to develop their SEO potential. The low-price plans offer a lot of basic functionalities and some well-made features, like Keyword Brainstorming.
Keyword Tool Dominator ➤ Shows highly relevant keywords from multiple databases.

➤ You can cross-reference the words, so you will know you will end up in the top results of multiple SE.

➤ There is no subscription plan. You only buy the tool once and receive a lifetime of free updates and services

➤ Simply-built and easy-to-use interface.

➤You need to install a plug-in to use it, and it only works on Google Chrome

➤ Focused exclusively on keyword research 

If you are researching a specific niche, the Keyword Tool Dominator can help you discover many new keywords. We strongly recommend it for freelancers and small business owners to help create effective product descriptions and site copy. Since the data comes from a lot of different databases, you can really step up your game using this tool.
Long Tail Pro ➤ Well-made, intuitive, and doesn’t require a long time to learn how to use it.

➤ Combines metrics from different sources like Amazon, Google Ads, Majestic, etc.

➤ Provides reliable data

➤ Great long-tail keyword suggestions 

➤ You can’t create projects. However, you can track multiple keywords and use lists to systemize your most important terms and phrases. Long Tail Pro is a great solution for smaller enterprises and freelancers. We recommend it for people who wish to make their own SEO and not use an agency. It has all the necessary metrics to give a good perspective of how you are positioned at the moment and what you need to change.
TwinWord Ideas ➤ Perfect for discovering user intent and strong long-tail words. The tool will provide you with an in-depth analysis of LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords, including a detailed graphic of your targeting terms.

➤ The learning curve is short, and the tool is intuitive, with lots of additional features depending on your plan.

➤ If you are searching for a tool that will help you with your paid campaigns, this one is not it. TwinWord Ideas is directed towards creating a better copy. Don’t let this simple-looking tool fool you. TwinWord Ideas is one of the strongest keyword research tools on our list and the only one with a focus on LSI keywords. It will help you completely transform your copy and make it more crawlable and indexable. We strongly recommend this tool for all content creators.
Wordtracker ➤ A reliable source of information that has regular updates of its database.

➤ Shows useful keywords that can actually benefit your content.

➤ Strong focus on power and long-tail keywords.

➤ Easy to work, but even if you feel confused, there is a large database of teaching materials you can use.

➤ Can be a bit slow when generating large amounts of data.

➤ Not ideal for complete research for paid campaigns. However, it can be successfully used with Google Keyword Planner to boost your ad performance.

In our experience, Wordtracker is one of the best-performing SEO tools for pure keyword research. It presents the data in a simple way that allows even inexperienced users to benefit from it. You can use it to discover many low-difficulty keywords that your competition is neglecting and use them to elevate your copy and rank in better positions on the SERP.
Answer the Public ➤ Uses a huge database and displays the searches from Google and Bing

➤ The free version is sufficient enough

➤ Unlimited daily searches 

➤ Multiple users per account

➤ Graphic and list representation of the data

➤ Doesn’t display any additional SEO metrics

➤ The paid plan comes off a bit expensive

This tool is ideal for blog and content writers. You can not only receive some great word suggestions, but you can use the tool to explore different topics within the same theme. Answer the public can help you structure your post or article by providing you with valuable H-tag ideas.
Ahrefs Keyword Explorer ➤ A multifunctional SEO tool

➤ In-depth analysis

➤ Multiple metrics from multiple sources 

➤ One of the most popular tools on the market for tracking low-difficulty long-tail keywords

➤ You can create a complete analysis without the need to use any other supporting SEO product.

➤ Overwhelming for SEO newbies

➤ The speed can get a bit slow when managing large amounts of data

➤ A bit expensive, especially for smaller businesses

➤ The number of keyword reports allowed in the smaller plans may be insufficient.

Ahrefs Keyword Explorer is an advanced research tool that can offer you great functionalities. We recommend it to more experienced users as they can appreciate its full potential. The Keyword Explorer can help you conduct an in-depth analysis combining different aspects of SEO – from keyword to backlink research and link building.
<GrowthBar ➤ Perfect for content creators, freelancers, and small businesses

➤ Provides the basic keyword research metrics

➤ Very affordable

➤ If you are an experienced SEO professional, you may find GrowthBar a little light when it comes to the data it offers. The Keyword Research tool, in combination with the Content Creator feature, makes this product stand out from the rest. You can check it out if you want to target low-difficulty keywords and better your copy.
Jaaxy ➤ Easy to use, with a simple interface 

➤ Affordable with useful additional features

➤ You can’t distinguish between local and global searches. 

➤ Limited database that can sometimes show inaccurate results based on where you are located.

Jaaxy is a great Keyword Research tool if you are a beginner SEO marketer. It can provide you with decent data, and thanks to its light design won’t feel overwhelming. 
Moz Keyword Explorer ➤ Really, and we mean really in-depth analysis.

➤The free version has sufficient keyword research potential.

➤ One of the most complex tools with hard-to-navigate menus, cramped with additional data.

➤ You need to be an SEO professional to use this tool to its full potential.

➤ You need to invest a lot of time and effort to learn how to use the tool.

Moz creates hands-down some of the most useful tools. However, they are not for everybody. Each plan offers so much data that unless you are working in a major company with lots of SEO colleagues, you won’t be able to process it all. Thankfully the Moz Keyword Explorer has a free version that can be used in combination with SEMRush or Serpstat to receive optimal results. 
KeywordTool.io ➤ You can easily research a large number of keywords in a bulk.

➤ Easy to work with and has an intuitive design, speeding up the keyword research process.

➤ Very helpful in finding on-point keyword suggestions and related words, topics, and questions. 

➤ The capabilities of the tool are slightly limited as it offers only keyword research data and no extra features.

➤ You can’t use it for a detailed analysis.

The Keyword tool is a great additional weapon in your SEO arsenal. It may not be able to provide you with data for your paid campaigns but in combination with another advanced tool (like the Serpstat one, for example) can help you immensely elevate your copy.
Ubersuggest ➤ Can monitor broken links in addition to the basic keyword research function.

➤ Offers a lot of data charts and stats.

➤ Generates useful content ideas.

➤ Only one account per plan with no option of adding more. Meaning multiple users can’t log in simultaneously to use the tool. 

➤ You can’t transfer data from one account to another.

➤ Lacking social media search data.

➤ Can be overwhelming as the data is presented in large portions.

Ubersuggest has great potential, and we believe it will develop into a very useful tool in the near future. For now, we recommend the free version as it is sufficient for quick checks, and newbies can use it to learn by observing the different metrics. 
QuestionDB ➤ Simple-to-use

➤ Large query database

➤ Not enough keyword metrics

➤ Relays heavily on queries from Reddit

QuestionDB is not a complicated tool, it is created to generate long-tail keywords and questions, and it does the job pretty well. If you are a copywriter, we recommend you check this tool out.
Google Keyword Planner ➤ A free Google tool that provides you with accurate data ➤ It is orientated for finding keywords for the paid ad campaigns.

➤ Lacking organic metrics

➤ Can be hard to navigate at first, as there are a lot of features

Even if it’s not the most efficient research tool, the Google Keyword Planner is one of the first products people learn to use when they start to do SEO. It is a necessary tool for everybody who uses Google Ads to provide relevant and exact data concerning paid campaigns.
Google Trends ➤ A completely free Google tool that can provide you with accurate data.

➤ Easy to understand visualization of the information

➤ Helpful in determining user intent 

➤ The values for the search volumes are not an exact number but a suggested range.

➤ Not enough data when it comes to the related keywords

If you want to know what people want and search for, Google Trends can help you with that. We recommend you use it at the beginning of each keyword search, so it can give you some solid guidelines when it comes to the terms and phrases people prefer to use when seeking a particular thing on the web.
Soovle ➤ Gets keyword suggestions from multiple sources like Google, Bing, YouTube, and Amazon.

➤ Easy to download and save the suggested keywords.

➤ Unlimited keyword searches.

➤ User-intuitive design that helps the user do fast research.

➤ Limited SEO options.

➤ Doesn’t include any type of keyword metrics.

➤ Using only this tool for your keyword research is not sufficient.

➤ The simplistic design of the site can be off-putting to some users.

This is a unique tool focused exclusively on finding keywords and phrases. The fact that it collects information from the biggest search engines and sites is what makes it great. You can easily overlook all of its flaws once you get your hand on those prize-winning keywords. 
WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool ➤ Simple to use 

➤ Great for finding new keyword suggestions

➤You need to download the reports if you want to see all of the keywords

➤ Not enough metrics to do an in-depth keyword analysis

WordStream’s free keyword tool is a perfect way to discover long-tail keywords and phrases that you can use in your copy. The tool is simple but effective in pointing you in the right direction, especially if you don’t have enough SEO experience.

6. Price and Functionality Comparison Table with the Most Popular Keyword Research Tools in 2021

Now let’s explore in detail the subscription plans and features of the most popular keyword research tools for 2021. We have included all of the products regardless if they are paid or free. Our goal is to make your job easier by giving you all of the information in one place.

It is up to you to pick the tool that makes the most sense for your particular situation. Most paid tools on our list have either a free trial or a free visitor account, so you can try for yourself its capabilities.

Remember, you are not obligated to buy or use any of the products if you are not satisfied with their performance. And if you try a tool for a few months and decide it is not the right one, you can always cancel the subscription and try another product. With that being said, now take your time and explore all possibilities by examining each row and column.

Disclaimer: For the purpose of this article, we are looking only at the tools directly related to keyword research. Some products like Ahrefs or SEMrush can have different limits when it comes to site audit, link building, keyword exploring, etc.

As you may expect, the side-by-side comparison of all of the listed keyword research tools makes up a quite huge table. Thus, posting everything here won’t be productive or useful since there isn’t enough available space for all of the information. That is why we decided to share with you a downloadable version of the table.

Note: The table is mobile-friendly, meaning the first row and column are “frozen”, so you can freely swipe left/right or up/down.

Tool

SEMrush

Serpstat

Payment option

Paid

Freemium

Free use with limited data

n/a

YES – there is a free account option with limited capabilities

Trials Free for 14 days Free for 14 days n/a

n/a

Monthly Plans Pro Guru Business Free

Lite

Price (billed annually) $99.95/month $191.62/month $374.95/month $0/month

$55/month

Price (billed monthly)

$119.95/month

$229.95/month $449.95/month $0/month

$69/month

Basic accounts included in the plan 1 1 1 1

1

Price per new account +$45/month +$80/month +$100/month n/a

upon request

Limit of Websites

1/project

10/project unlimited n/a

n/a

Projects* 5 15 40 1

10

Price per new project

upon request

upon request upon request n/a

upon request

SERP lookups per day

3 000 5 000 10 000 10

4 000

Keyword lookups per day

3 000

5 000 10 000 10

4 000

Max number of data rows per search

10 000

30 000 50 000 10

10 000

Max number of exported rows 10 000 30 000 50 000 n/a

500 000/ month

Total number of keywords to track per month

500

1 500 5 000 n/a

1 500

Track mobile rankings 🗹 🗹 🗹

🗹

Keyword metrics updates

250 times/month

1 000 times/month 5 000 times/month

Daily

Historical data

🗹 🗹

🗹

Show Search Volume Data

🗹

🗹 🗹 🗹

🗹

Bulk Search Volume Analysis

🗹

🗹 🗹

🗹

Keyword rank tracking

🗹

🗹 🗹 n/a

15 000 / month

Show CPC Data 🗹 🗹 🗹 🗹

🗹

Show PPC Competition Data

🗹

🗹 🗹 🗹

🗹

Keyword difficulty analysis

🗹

🗹 🗹 🗹

🗹

Related keyword suggestions

🗹

🗹 🗹 🗹

🗹

Tracking keywords for different locations

🗹

🗹 🗹 🗹

🗹

Research competitors’ keywords

🗹

🗹 🗹 🗹

🗹

Keyword Research Features n/a ➤ Keyword cannibalization report ➤ Product Listing Ads

➤ Keyword cannibalization report

➤ Keywords quality control – 100 tracked keywords ➤ Keyword clustering

➤ Access to 230 Google and 9 Yandex databases

Additional features depending on the plan ➤ 5 Scheduled PDF reports

➤ 10 Social profiles for posting

➤ 50 Social profiles for monitoring

➤ 30 Pages per OTI campaign

➤ 500 SEO Ideas Units/month

➤ 5 Plagiarism checks per month

➤ 1 Calendar in the Marketing Calendar Tool

➤ 50 posts to track per project

➤ 5 countries to track per project using the Brand Monitoring Tool

➤ 10 Plagiarism checks per month

➤ Unlimited calendars in the Marketing Calendar Tool

➤ 50 posts to track per project

➤ 10 countries to track per project using the Brand Monitoring Tool

➤ Share access – 1 user

➤ 10 pages to Audit

➤ Keyword clustering and Text analysis – 1 500 words

➤ 150 000 pages included in the Page Audit

➤ 10 projects for Rank Tracking and Audit

➤ 1 API request/second

Additional Features for all plans ➤ Trends

➤ Content marketing platform

➤ Local SEO platform

➤ Automatically generated PDF reports

➤ PDF template sharing

➤ Traffic Analytics API Access – upon request

➤ Sharing with “read-only” and “edit” access

n/a

➤ 3 Scheduled reports

➤ Serpstat training

➤ SERP crawling

➤ Search volume crawling

User-friendly Suitable for more advanced users Suitable for all users regardless of their level of experience

Customer Support

Excellent support including additional training and consultations. There is a 100-person team that caters to all clients. Chat support for all plans and phone support for Advanced and Enterprise

>> OPEN THE FULL TABLE NOW <<

Stop missing out on the action and consider renewing your SEO tool belt. Depending on what your goal is, there are plenty of reliable products on the market. Our final advice to you is don’t be afraid to experiment and try different tools. Combine their power, do data cross-references, and find the ideal combination of functionalities to achieve your SEO goals.

Tell us what your favorite keyword research tools are. Did you see a great tool that is not on our list? If so, share it with us, and we will include it in one of our next updates of the article.

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