18 BEST Keyword Research Tools for SEO [2024 Reviews]
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18 Best Free and Paid Keyword Research Tools for SEO

Brian Dean

Written by Brian Dean

15 BEST Keyword Research Tools for SEO

This is a list of the 18 best keyword research tools in 2024.

These amazing tools have helped my organic traffic grow by 28.55% over the last year:

Backlinko – Organic traffic increase

And in this guide, I’ll reveal the world’s best keyword research tools…

…and help you choose the best one for you.

The best SEO keyword research tools for SEO have one thing in common: helping users boost organic traffic and search engine visibility.

However, each tool approaches this goal differently. Some are all-in-one SEO platforms that specialize in technical SEO, backlink opportunities, and guest post outreach.

Others focus on niche SEO opportunities, such as finding underserved and easy-to-rank keywords or topic cluster research.

We’ve updated this post to account for SEO opportunities in 2024 and guide your choice of the best keyword research tools suitable to your needs.

Editor’s Note: Our recommendation for the top all-in-one SEO tool is Semrush. Keep scrolling for a detailed overview.

18 Best Keyword Research Tools

1. Semrush

Semrush works a little differently than the other tools I will show you.

Instead of entering a seed keyword and getting a long list of keyword ideas, Semrush shows you keywords that your competition already ranks for.

(These are usually outside-the-box keywords that would be impossible to find using any other tool.)

Here’s how it works:

First, enter a competitor’s domain name in the field at the top of the page.

Semrush – Input website

If you’re doing SEO in a country outside of the US (for example, in Google.co.uk), you can choose to see information about that specific market. Just choose that country from this menu:

Semrush – Domain overview – Country filter

Next, take a look at the “Organic Research” section:

Semrush – Organic research – Overview

Here’s what the different terms in that section mean:

  • Keywords are the estimated number of monthly organic visitors that come from Google.
  • Traffic is the estimated number of monthly visitors.
  • Traffic Cost indicates how valuable this traffic is (based on Google Ads CPC).

So if you see a domain with a lot of Organic Search Traffic but a low Traffic Cost, you know that they’re ranking for keywords that don’t convert into buyers.

But the real value of Semrush comes from the “Organic Keywords” data:

Semrush – Top organic keywords

This box will show you 5 of the top keywords that your competitors are ranking for. To see more, click on “View all [number] organic keywords”.

And you’ll get a list of all of the keywords that the site or URL ranks for:

Semrush – Organic search positions

This page alone will usually give you a handful of solid keywords for digital marketing.

But if you want more ideas, go back to the “Organic Research” overview and check out the “Competitors” in the menu bar.

And you’ll see that site’s first-page competition:

Semrush – Organic competitors

When you click on one of THOSE results, you can see the exact search queries they’re ranking for.

There will be some overlap from what you just saw, but you’ll also (usually) dig up some real gems.

You can also start your Semrush search with a keyword instead of a competitor’s site:

Semrush – Search – Keyword research

Semrush will show you a “Phrase match report”, which is a list of long-tail keywords that include the keyword you entered:

Semrush – Keyword Magic Tool – Phrase match filter

This is really helpful for finding long-tail variations of Head and Body Keywords.

For example, if you wanted to rank for the keyword “weight loss”, you’ll quickly find that it’s simply too competitive.

But Semrush will show you long-tail variations, like the “weight loss calculator”, that is MUCH easier to rank for:

Phrase match – Weight loss

My Favorite Feature: Keyword Magic

This tool pulls keyword suggestions from Semrush’s massive database of over 21 billion terms.

Semrush – Keyword Magic Tool
Brian's Bottom Line
Brian's Bottom Line

Semrush is my favorite keyword research tool. Not cheap. But if you’re serious about SEO, it’s a must-have.

2. Soovle

Scrape suggested keywords from multiple sources.
Soovle gives you suggested keyword ideas from Google, YouTube, Bing, Yahoo, Amazon and more.

(All in one place.)

That way, you can find untapped keywords that your competition doesn’t know about.


My Favorite Feature: Saved Suggestions

Easily save your favorite keyword ideas with Soovle’s “drag & drop” saved suggestions feature.

Then, download your favorite keywords to a CSV file.

Brian's Bottom Line
Brian's Bottom Line

Soovle is one of the best free keyword research tools out there.

3. TopicRanker 

Discover keywords based on problems and weaknesses on the search engine results page.

TopicRanker is a fantastic tool for those who want to hit the ground running.

It’s meant for the SEO layperson — folks who don’t require advanced SEO features but are on the hunt for keywords that they have an immediate chance of ranking for.

The best part? TopicRanker does all the heavy lifting — all you have to do is input your website URL.

Key in your website URL into TopicRanker

Once the app analyzes the topical depth of your site, it will suggest seed topics relevant to your niche.

Seed keywords after TopicRanker analysis

Note that these are seed topics — groups of keywords that can be further broken down into related keywords.

Clicking into any of these seed topics is where TopicRanker really starts to shine through by showing you specific keyword queries with multiple problems on the search results page:

TopicRanker shows multiple queries to target

The tool combs through millions of search results to find only the search queries with an actual problem with the search results.

It then filters these easy-to-rank keywords ensuring relevancy to your niche by giving you search volume and specific problems it identifies on the search results with actionable ranking strategies.

Click 'view details' to see exact problems on SERP

Expanding ‘view details’ highlights specific problems spotted on the SERP:

  • Title mismatch – the title of the page ranking does not contain search query terms
  • Thin content – word count of pages ranking is very low,
  • Old content – the search results page contains a lot of outdated articles
  • Poor readability of the pages ranking high on search results
  • Poor load speed of the pages ranking high
  • Forums sites such as Quora, Facebook, and LinkedIn appear high on search results
  • High spam score for sites appearing high in search results

Take these tips, produce better content, and you’ll start to see results quickly.

Brian's Bottom Line
Brian's Bottom Line

TopicRanker takes a unique approach to how it weighs its prioritization metrics, allowing it to surface opportunities other tools won’t find. This tool combines epitomizes efficiency and relevance in keyword research by finding problems and weaknesses in the SERP. TopicRanker will soon be launching its AI Writing Tools to generate content with AI and NLP; making it a must-have for anyone doing SEO. Plus, at just $47 it’s a great value.

4. Jaaxy

Get thousands of related keyword ideas within seconds.

This is a straightforward (yet powerful) tool.

So, what makes Jaaxy unique?

First off, it gives you LOTS of different keyword ideas.

(Including some that you won’t find in most other tools.)

Plus, you get helpful data on every keyword that it generates (including competition, search volume, and potential traffic).

Jaaxy – "keto diet" results

My Favorite Feature: QSR

QSR stands for “Quoted Search Result”.

This is a fancy way of saying: “how many other websites are trying to rank for this exact term?”.

Obviously, the lower this number, the better chance you have of ranking #1.

Jaaxy – QSR
Brian's Bottom Line
Brian's Bottom Line

Jaaxy is a decent freemium tool. Not nearly as good as something like Semrush. But at $50/month, it’s not a bad deal.

5. Google Search Console

Find hundreds of “Opportunity Keywords”.

The Google Search Console isn’t a traditional keyword research tool.

But it does have a feature that makes finding awesome keywords a CINCH.

The feature?

The Performance Report.

This report list out the pages on your site that get the most clicks from Google.

(And the exact keywords that brought them there)

So: how can you use this feature for keyword research?

It’s easy: use it to find “Opportunity Keywords”.

Opportunity Keywords are where you rank between #8-#20 in Google for a specific keyword.

And with little extra on-page SEO, you can find yourself with a nice rankings boost.

For example, my average rankings for the keyword “SEO tool” is 6.2.

"seo tool" SERP – Average position

That keyword is an Opportunity Keyword. And if I optimize my page around “SEO tool”, my rankings for that term should go up.

My Favorite Feature: Google Analytics + Google Search Console

Did you know that you can combine your Google Search Console and Google Analytics accounts?

Well, you can.

And it’s VERY helpful.

When you do, you’ll get more in-depth keyword data than you would with either tool by itself.

Brian's Bottom Line
Brian's Bottom Line

The Google Search Console is an underrated keyword research tool. No other tool can help you find Opportunity Keywords like the GSC.

6. Ahrefs Keywords Explorer

Make smarter keyword decisions.

Ahrefs recently rolled out a new and improved “Keywords Explorer”.

And what I like most about Keywords Explorer is this:

It gives you SUPER in-depth information on each keyword.

Sure, you get the data you’d expect (like search volume). But you also get a breakdown of the first page competition… and how many searchers actually click on a result.

Ahrefs – Keyword Overview – "link building"

My Favorite Feature: Keyword Difficulty

Most keyword research tools give you vague difficulty info (like “easy” or “difficult”). Or a score (like “89/100”).

But Ahrefs tells you EXACTLY how many backlinks you’ll need to rank on the first page of Google.

Keyword Difficulty – Link building


Brian's Bottom Line
Brian's Bottom Line

Ahrefs is mostly known as for backlink analysis. But I have to say: it’s got a killer keyword research tool. I find myself using it more and more every week.

7. SECockpit

Keyword research for SEO pros.

This a Swiss Army Knife of keyword research tools.

Like any other keyword tool, you give SECockpit a seed keyword… and you get a list of results.

But what makes SECockpit unique is the built-in features that allow you to get A LOT of depth on search trends, organic competition and traffic estimates.

Which means that it’s a tool largely designed for SEO professionals.

Sure, newbies can get value out of this tool. But there’s no doubt that SECockpit is targeted for people that sleep, eat and breathe SEO.

If you’re brand new to SEO, the sheer number of features in this tool might be overwhelming for you. But if you’re looking for lots and lots of depth, you’ll probably get your money’s worth.

With that, here’s how it works.

When you login you’ll automatically go to your Dashboard, where you can create projects around sets of keywords…or jump right in with a single keyword search.

SECockpit – Dashboard

To start the keyword research process, click on “Start a Keyword Search”:

Then, enter a seed keyword in the field marked “Keyword Phrase”:

You can get even more results by choosing to include Google Suggest, Related Searches and synonyms pulled from Google Ads:

When you’re done, click on “save and close” and the tool will get to work:

Here’s the report you’ll get:

If you’ve ever used the Google Keyword Planner, the data here should look familiar to you.

In fact, the columns “Phrase”, “Monthly Searches” and “CPC” are pulled directly from the GKP:

(The only difference is that CPC is called “Top of page bid” in the GKP)

So: what does the other information in SECockpit mean?

Well you’ll notice a bunch of green bars under the column labeled “Niche”:

This bar is a single metric that takes into account first page competition, monthly search volume, and commercial intent. In other words, whether or not that search query is a good overall choice. The larger the bar, the better the keyword.

Next to monthly searches you’ll notice a series of orange bars labeled “Top Results”:

This bar indicates the difficulty of ranking for that particular keyword based on the current top 10 results.

And when you click on a keyword, you get a breakdown of that keyword’s search results.

When you do, SECockpit will display important competition metrics for the top 10 pages in the results… including Moz Domain Authority and total backlinks:

SECockpit – Competition metrics

This is a great way to quickly size up competition without having to look one-by-one at the SERPs.

And you go back to the keywords page, you can actually add at least 20 more columns to the results:

For example, you can see a ratio of the keyword’s competition in comparison to its search volume. Or you can get a comparison of the estimated traffic you’ll get from hitting the top 3 for that keyword. And lots more.

My Favorite Feature: Filtering

You can use over 100 filters to find the keywords that you want.

For example, do you only want keywords that get searched for at least 10k times per month? Done.

Or maybe you want terms that have the best ratio of search volume and competition. You got it.

SECockpit – Filters
Brian's Bottom Line
Brian's Bottom Line

Clunky? Yes. Intuitive? Heck no. Feature-rich? Absolutely. If you want lots of advanced features, and don’t mind a steep learning curve, definitely check out SECockpit.

8. Google Keyword Planner

Tap into Google’s massive keyword database.

The GKP is pretty vanilla compared to most other keyword research tools.

So why use it?

Because the data you get from it comes straight from Google.

(So you know its legit)

"link building" Google Keyword Planner results page

My Favorite Feature: “Top of page bid”

This is how much people advertisers are bidding on a keyword.

For example, of you see a top of page bid of $10, people are spending an average of 10 bucks per click.

Obviously, the higher this number, the more commercial intent that searcher has.

Google Keyword Planner – Top of page bid
Brian's Bottom Line
Brian's Bottom Line

The data in the GKP is the most reliable out there. That said, because it’s designed for Google Ads, using it for SEO can be tricky. This Google Keyword Planner Guide shows you how the GKP for SEO-focused keyword research.

9. KeywordTool.io

Get boatloads of targeted keyword ideas.

Here’s another Google Suggest scraper (just like UberSuggest and Soovle).

What makes KeywordTool unique?

Two things:

First, KeywordTool gives you A LOT of keyword suggestions.

KeywordTool.io – "seo" search results

For example, I just did a search for “SEO”… and got 1,394 relevant keywords.

Not bad.

Second, you can easily filter, drill-down or expand the results to find the right keywords for you.

KeywordTool – Filtering

My Favorite Feature: Analyze Competitors

This is a very cool feature I don’t see in many other keyword research tools.

Just enter a competitor’s site… and the tool will generate a list of keyword ideas based on that site’s content.

For example, when I pop Backlinko into the tool, I get keywords that I’d expect.

(Like “SEO” and “blog”)

KeywordTool – Analyze competitors

But I also came across terms that I don’t use anywhere on my site… but are closely related to the type of stuff that I write about.

(Like “digital marketing” and “how to check backlinks”)

KeywordTool – Untapped terms
Brian's Bottom Line
Brian's Bottom Line

One of the best overall keyword research tools on the market. Worth a try.

10. Moz Keyword Explorer

Find keywords that will generate the most traffic.

Moz’s Keyword Explorer does an awesome job of finding “lateral” keyword ideas.

For example, take a seed keyword like “weight loss”.

Like most other tools, you get a list of closely related keywords:

Moz – "weight loss" search

But what makes Moz unique is that it’s SMART.

This means you get outside-the-box suggestions that you probably won’t find anywhere else.

Moz – Outside the box keywords

My Favorite Feature: “Organic CTR” and “Priority”

These two awesome features let you know how many clicks you can expect to get from your target keyword.

Moz – Organic CTR

Organic CTR is the number of clicks you can expect to get if you crack the top 10. For example, if a SERP has a ton of PPC ads, news results, and a knowledge graph, your CTR is gonna be low.

Priority takesCTR, search volume and difficulty into account. It’s an “overall” score of whether or not you should target a particular keyword.

Moz – Priority

So if you’re overwhelmed by keyword data, you can use this single metric to find keywords that are going to bring you the most traffic from Google.

Brian's Bottom Line
Brian's Bottom Line

Moz’s keyword tool is pretty darn awesome. Unfortunately, it’s not a standalone tool (you have to pay for their entire suite of SEO tools to use it).

11. Keywords Everywhere

Get search volume (and more) wherever you go.

Keywords Everywhere is a paid keyword research tool that displays keyword data on top of 10 websites …including Ebay, Amazon and Answer The Public.

That way, you don’t need to copy and paste keywords into the Google Keyword Planner. The data shows up in your Chrome browser. Very cool.

Keywords Everywhere – Homepage

My Favorite Feature: “People Also Search For”

Get a list of keywords related to your search term… in the Google search results.

Keywords Everywhere – People Also Search For

What’s cool about this feature is that you can find keywords that your target customer searches for when they’re not searching for what you sell.

For example, when I search for “SEO Tools”, I see terms like “Google Keyword Planner SEO” and “”Free SEO analysis”.

(Both of which get decent amounts of searches every month)

Keywords Everywhere – "seo tools" search


Brian's Bottom Line
Brian's Bottom Line

If you’re serious about keyword research you NEED to install this extension. It rocks.

12. Keyword Snatcher

Find 2,000 keyword ideas with a single search.

If you want a lot – and I mean a lot – of keyword ideas, Keyword Snatcher is a dream come true.

In fact, you’ll usually generate at least 2,000 keywords from a single seed keyword.

Here’s how it works:

Just open up the tool and choose the sources that you want Keyword Snatcher to pull its suggestions from:

I recommend keeping them all checked so you can generate as many keyword ideas as possible.

Next, enter a seed keyword into the field and click “Get Suggestions”:

And after a long wait, you’ll get an insane amount of suggestions:

Keyword Snatcher – Suggestions

The big downside of this tool is that it doesn’t give you any data on the keywords that it generates (like search volume and keyword competition). It’s simply a keyword idea tool.

To get that information, you need to extract the list of keywords by clicking on “Download Suggestions” and saving your keyword list as a text or CSV file:

Then, copy and paste those keywords into the Google Keyword Planner.

Google Keyword Planner – Volume & Forecasts

My Favorite Feature: Word Count

This nifty sorting feature lets you focus on keywords that are a certain length.

(Like terms that are at least 4-words long)

This makes finding long tail keywords MUCH easier.

Keyword Snatcher – Word count
Brian's Bottom Line
Brian's Bottom Line

Not the best keyword tool ever made. But it’s one of the few out there that don’t require a monthly subscription.

13. Google Trends

Find new keywords and search trends.

There are two ways to use Google Trends for keyword research:

First, you can search for a specific keyword…

Google Trends

…and take a look at the “related queries” section.

Google Trends – Related Queries

Second, you can see if whether or not a keyword is growing in popularity.

Google Trends – Interest over time

Why is this important?

Well, let’s say you’re debating between two keywords:

“Content Marketing” and “Inbound Marketing”.

As you can see, interest for “Content Marketing” is growing fast… and fewer people are searching for “Inbound Marketing” than ever before.

Google Trends – Interest over time – Comparison

This isn’t to say that “Inbound Marketing” is a bad keyword. But the fact that it’s trending down is one factor to keep in mind as you decide on your next keyword.

My Favorite Feature: YouTube Search

See whether a given keyword is growing on the world’s 2nd most popular search engine: YouTube.

Google Trends – Interest over time – YouTube
Brian's Bottom Line
Brian's Bottom Line

If you write lots of evergreen content, you NEED to use Google Trends. That way, you can see if a keyword is going to bring you traffic over the long haul… before you write a word of content.

14. KWFinder

A powerful keyword tool that’s also easy to use.
KWFinder is quickly becoming one of my go-to keyword research tools.


Because it has lots of the features that other tools have. But unlike most other tool, KWFinder is VERY intuitive.


My Favorite Feature: Keyword Difficulty

As you might expect, this tells you how hard it will be to rank for that keyword.

But unlike most other tools, KWFinder automatically shows a Keyword Difficulty score next to every keyword.

(So there’s no need to click on every single one to see its difficulty score… which gets old fast)

KWFinder – Keyword difficulty
Brian's Bottom Line
Brian's Bottom Line

At $29/month you really can’t go wrong with a KWFinder subscription. Great value.

15. QuestionDB

Find lots of question-focused keyword ideas (for free).

QuestionDB pulls question-focused keywords from threads on Reddit.

So if you’re looking for an alternative to Answer The Public, QuestionDB does the job.

QuestionDB – Search

My Favorite Feature: Popularity
Sort the results by popularity. That way, you can create content that answers these burning questions.

QuestionDB – Results
Brian's Bottom Line
Brian's Bottom Line

When it comes to finding question-keywords for blog content, QuestionDB can’t be beat.

16. Serpstat

Analyze the first page competition.
Serpstat is a SEO software suite with tools for content, link building, and more.

Which means Serpstat doesn’t specialize in keyword research.

Even so, it still has a VERY decent keyword research tool.


My Favorite Feature: Competitors Graph
This lets you visualize the sites that are competing for a given keyword (and related terms).

So if you see big bubbles for “Wikipedia” or “Amazon” it’s probably time to look for a different keyword.

SerpStat – Competitors graph
Brian's Bottom Line
Brian's Bottom Line

Is Serpstat one of best tools on the market? No. But at $19 a month, you get a lot of pro features for your money.

17. AlsoAsked 

AlsoAsked a fantastic tool for topic cluster research.

Seasoned SEOs understand that the best way to rank for head keywords is to create topic clusters — multiple pages that talk about the topic in-depth.

AlsoAsked helps you map out these clusters and visualize how people ask questions on the topic.

For example, let’s say you wanted to rank for ‘home security cameras’ – a head keyword that has a 100,000 monthly search volume.

home security cameras as visible on AlsoAsked

Plugging this keyword into AlsoAsked gives us four distinct cluster topics, divided into specific questions around each cluster.

Answering these questions in your content is an excellent method of building authoritative topic clusters — and driving tons of SEO traffic.

Brian's Bottom Line
Brian's Bottom Line

With API access coming soon on Alsoasked, and with an affordable pricing, it could be a tool for SEO veterans to use while undertaking massive SERP analysis across different niches and regions.

18. KeywordTool

Great app for bulk keyword research.

Rounding up our list is Keyword Tool. It’s a great app for bulk keyword research, although the free plan is somewhat limited.

Plugging a generic keyword into the tool gives you a massive list of keyword suggestions, sorted by search volume, trend, and competition.

Key in your target keywords and see the results
Brian's Bottom Line
Brian's Bottom Line

Generate lots of relevant keywords by using this tool. However, the tool needs complimentary insights to get the most out of its output. Plus, it integrates data from other search engines besides Google thus opens more ranking opportunities.


There you have it: 18 of the best free and paid keyword research tools.

Now I’d like to hear your take:

Are there any quality tools here that I missed?

Or maybe you have a question about one of the tools I reviewed.

Either way, leave a quick comment below right now.


  1. So greatfull for this info thanks!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      No problem Carlos

  2. There is no better SEO Keyword Research tool other than Google Keyword Planner and Ahrefs. Other give more keywords but they are more effective (according to my keyword research experience).

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Alan. Have you tried SEMRush? It’s also pretty awesome.

  3. Nicole Avatar Nicolesays:

    How do you feel about mangools?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      KWfinder is pretty cool

  4. Mr. Dean I wanted to drop in and personally thank you for everything you do for us rookies in the online marketing field. I have learned so much from your lessons/guides/articles/videos you name it! I also been using Raven Tools and find it pretty helpful as well in regards to keyword research, what say you? Look forward to all your future posts! Also, it says a lot about you that you actually take the time and respond to the comments that users leave you in your articles, don’t really see that too often these days! All the best!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Daniel. Raven Tools is great, but I haven’t used it for keyword research.

  5. Great stuff Brian! Any recommendations on prioritizing different iterations of keywords within broader keyword themes? Keyword difficulty, search volume etc.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Really good question, Haley. I’d check out this guide that walks you through some of the steps to figuring out the best keywords on a list: http://www.backlinko.com/keyword-research

  6. Nathalie Avatar Nathaliesays:

    Brian, thank you for all of these informative guides! I started out as a digital marketing intern and everything that I learned from your site has helped me land a job as a marketing specialist. I’m truly grateful and enjoy everything that you published so far. If you have a chance, I’ve started using this tool called SEOClarity, I was wondering what’s your take on it? Have you used it before or know anyone that has?

    Thanks again!


    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Nathalie. I actually tried to review SEOClarity a few years ago for my big SEO tools post: https://backlinko.com/seo-tools. I sent them a demo request but never heard from them.

  7. Brian, I´m beyond grateful with this article. It´s really complete and very, very useful, and specially your hint on Google Search Console.
    I’d like to suggest an article: how to index on Bing? And is it worth it?

  8. Dear Brian

    Thank you for this fab article!
    I use Jaaxy (I’m at Wealthy Affiliate, so it comes with the membership), and I like it a lot.
    However, now that I see you recommend the SEMRush – it will be my next investment in keyword research tools.

    Thank you for the amazing info you share with us!

    P.S. Love your YT videos 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Alenka. Happy to help

  9. Sonia Avatar Soniasays:

    SerpStat or Kwfinder (and the mangools suite)? Which one is the better value?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      In my opinion, KWFinder

  10. Thanks for the information. Have you tried Wordtracker keyword tool before? What do you think about it?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome. I have tried it actually. Solid tool.

  11. Hi Brian,

    Thanks for the very comprehensive keyword tools list.

    I am trying to find out anyone tools that can search, generates or suggest alphabetically any keyword *before* the seed (main) keyword.


    any keyword + usa (main or seed keyword)

    Anyone that I missed?

    Again, thanks a lot for your effort 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      I think Keywordtool.io does that.

  12. Great list indeed. Which tool do you use often?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Probably SEMRush.

  13. Asaf Avatar Asafsays:

    Hey Brian, just to let you know – ‘Suggestion Keyword Finder’ is a non secured site. Personally don’t think non secure websites are value.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks. I’ll check it out.

  14. Thomas Avatar Thomassays:

    Thanks for the post. I use Ahrefs myself, but now looking for other tools. Have you tried Windsor keyword optimizer? They have invite-only mode, so looking for the code right now.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Thomas. I haven’t seen that actually.

  15. Awesome stuff, I’ve tried one or two from the list and settled for Keywords Everywhere Chrome Extension. It works like CHARM for me.

  16. Eddie Avatar Eddiesays:

    Hey Dean,

    What tool’s Keyword Difficulty would you say is the most accurate?
    As I understand Ahrefs use a KD score based on the links profile, however that is not always the case. While other tools look more if the keyword is in the title, the number of words of the article etc…

    For me, the most important feature is Keyword Difficulty accuracy.


    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      I say most use links to estimate KD. Which tool uses keyword in the title etc?

  17. Neha Bambalkar Avatar Neha Bambalkarsays:

    It’s a great list. I use Keyword Planner and Keyword Everywhere most of the time, I’ll definitely give a try to other tools. Thanks Brian, your content is really helpful for me.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:


  18. As always great information. Have you tried StoryBase? What do you think about it?

  19. Ubersuggest is also a good tool. I have been using this for a long time. Thanks for this awesome list.

  20. Great list, very helpful. Thank you Brian!
    Do you happen to know of any free tool for monitoring keywords for your website?
    Thank you.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, David. I usually use paid tools for that so I’m not 100% of any free ones that work well.

  21. Hi Brian! Thanks for this awesome list… very comprehensive! But I have a question for you…
    As a small luxury retail business I am of course very keen to get our SEO for the website spot on. My assumption is that one should choose a few options for keyword research and SEO and stick with them. What would be your SEO software bucket list that you would use on a regular basis?
    Thanks! Nisa

  22. Naveen Avatar Naveensays:

    Hi, Brian What about Seobook.com keywords suggestion tool. Is It Good For Researching keywords.

  23. Paul McDonald Avatar Paul McDonaldsays:

    Thanks a lot, this is awesome.

    Would also recommend KeyworX if you get chance to look at it (https://keyworx.org/)

    Not sure if it would factor in your list or not but it’s certainly worth being aware of

  24. Dharma Raj Avatar Dharma Rajsays:

    Hi, Brian 14 th keyword tool showing 404 error. I am following your guides for a long time thanks for your big knowledge sharing.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks. I’ll replace that ASAP.

  25. is there a tool you recommend for seeing how many words of content the top 10 competitors are using?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      I know clearscope does that. I’m surprised it’s not a feature in more tools.

  26. Absolutely great guideline. But each one will not able to pick several tools. So if anyone asks to recommend only one among all, what will be your recommendation?

  27. Eddie Avatar Eddiesays:

    Hello Brian,
    We really need a tool that can support every language for a keyword research. More local – based. And even better if that tool, is a freemium one!
    Do you have any suggestions?

  28. Hi Brian, great piece as usual. I used the Alexa tool for about 3 months. It was steep at $149 a month. Based on your recommendation I cancelled Alexa and subscribed to SEMRush. Is the Alexa tool without merit entirely? Why didn’t you list it? Just curious I geuss. Thanks, Dave

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Dave, thank you. I actually haven’t tried the Alexa tool in years. I haven’t really needed to thanks to SEMRush.

  29. Hi Brian,

    Man I’m just eating up your content more and more I read from you. Such an amazing blog.

    I’m the owner of a relatively new keyword tool called Keyword Supremacy. We give away free accounts so you can get as many keyword suggestions as you like for free, but getting the search volume, CPC and comp metrics are what cost money.

    However, we don’t charge monthly or annually, we sell non-expiring credits as a way to keep our customer VERY happy. Buy some credits, when they are used up, buy some more kind of thing.

    We also have a very unique “Local Search” only keyword search that cross references the populations of all towns and cities in USA, Canada & UK. So you can put in a search like “plumber” then choose to see all the cities in “California” with a population of between 50k – 100k and it will spit out plumber suggestions attached to the locale. Pretty neat.

    Would I be able to give you a personal tour to make it onto this list possibly?

  30. Deshky Avatar Deshkysays:

    Informative content Brian Dean. I appreciate the time and energy spent to make this article exist. But I’m still curious! Could you recommend the top three keyword tools in both paid and free versions (3 free & 3 paid).
    Thanks in advance.

  31. What about Ubersuggest it is good and accurate?

  32. Phil Avatar Philsays:

    No Long Tail Pro anymore? I know it was in a previous list of yours.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Phil, LTP is solid. But not in my top 15 at the moment.

  33. Hey Brian, really great work, as usual. Just the best :-). I’d like to add another great keyword or better ‘question tool’ called “answerthepublic”. Just google it and check out if it fits. Best regards from Germany, Udo

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Udo. I’m also a big fan of that tool.

  34. Hey Brian, Keywords Everywhere just became a paid chrome extension. Is there a substitute that is free. I simply want to see how many searches per month for a keyword if I check a keyword on google. Very simple.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Eran, I just read that. I plan on updating the post with a new tool. In the meantime, your best bet for figuring out search volume is the Google Keyword Planner.

  35. Hi Brian! Thanks for this awesome list… very comprehensive! But I have a question for you…
    As a small luxury retail business I am of course very keen to get our SEO for the website spot on. My assumption is that one should choose a few options for keyword research and SEO and stick with them. What would be your SEO software bucket list that you would use on a regular basis?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome. The thing is, the “best” tools depend on each business, your marketing budget etc. That said, I list my favorites here: https://backlinko.com/seo-tools

  36. Great Article very helpful. What are your views about Longtail Pro?
    I’d be interested in your opinion.

  37. Have you ever tried Marketing Miner? It has more click-stream data than SEMRush, and Cyrus Shepard uses it on Keyword Research.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Tomas, I haven’t tried Marketing Miner. I have to check it out!

  38. Florina Nemes Avatar Florina Nemessays:

    Hi there.
    What’s your take on Keysearch?


    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      I like it!

  39. Great list. I personally use Ahrefs, Google Search Console and Senuto.com

  40. Great list but I can’t believe you left out Ubersuggest which is simply the best free SEO keyword finder tool right now. Or was that intentional…

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks. Ubersuggest is great. I’m actually working on a post that dives into how to get the most out of that tool right now.

      1. Wow! Can’t wait to read that post.

  41. Jay Avatar Jaysays:

    Great list…do you think Google Keyword Planner is really that accurate? Search volume of 10-100,000 seems very broad. Hearing many conflicting views on accuracy of this keyword tool for SEO

  42. Heyy Brian, Looking at your blog post has always inspired me to create quality content. Thank you for not being a generic blog post popping up on Google.

  43. No one is better than Ahref and Google Keyword Planner(According to my experience). Ahref is my primary choice if we come on Keyword Research. SEMRush’s Writing assistant is also a good tool. I always use Ahref, Keyword Anywhere to know all the keyword on any particular page and SEMRush.

  44. Thanks, Brian,

    I always appreciate your thorough information. It’s very helpful!

    I personally use Jaaxy and love it. It gives me everything I need, and many great ideas for future articles.


  45. Tom Avatar Tomsays:

    Hey Brian,
    What do you think about https://answerthepublic.com/ as a KW research tool. – It’s pretty in-depth!
    All the best,

  46. Furqan Ashiq Avatar Furqan Ashiqsays:

    Thank you Brian, you did a great job but nowadays I am finding it difficult to get to know about keyword difficulty. Although Ahref has some cool features regarding KD, but from my personal experience, I don’t think the data is as much reliable as it should be. I have tried many keyword difficulty tools and ahref estimation is better than other tools but still, it needs improvements. So here my question is, can you please recommend us a way to find out KD of keywords that would be exact and super accurate. I would really appreciate if you can refer us any resource.
    Keep rocking…

  47. Hi Brian, this is some great information. My blog is pretty new so I’ve been learning as I go, but I decided to start with using KeySearch as it was in the ‘budget’ category but seemed to offer some good features. Overall it seems to be decent, and I certainly can’t justify the price tags on SEMrush or AHRefs quite yet, but they look really tempting! What would you recommend to be the next step up from KeySearch that I should aim for as my next upgrade? Thanks! Matt

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Matt. I’d look at SEMRush or Ahrefs next. They both have excellent keyword tools.

  48. Hi there! Thanks for providing such valuable and useful information!
    These tools seem really useful!

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