Best Keyword Research Tools to Find the Right Keywords

Keyword research lies at the core of successful search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns. Finding the right keywords to target can significantly impact your online visibility and campaign performance. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of keyword research tools that can help you uncover the most relevant and high-performing keywords for your SEM strategy. From comprehensive keyword suggestion tools to advanced analytics platforms, these tools will empower you to identify the keywords that align with your target audience’s search intent. By leveraging the power of these keyword research tools, you can optimize your SEM campaigns, attract quality traffic, and drive better results. Get ready to unlock the potential of keyword research and take your search engine marketing efforts to new heights. Welcome to the world of Keyword Research Tools to Find the Right Keywords for SEM.

Best Keyword Research Tools to Find the Right Keywords for SEM

Free Keyword Research Tools

1. Google Keyword Planner

Google has a few tools that make it easy to conduct keyword research, and their free AdWords tool, Keyword Planner, is a great place to start — especially if you use AdWords for some of your campaigns. (Note: You’ll need to set up an AdWords account to use Keyword Planner, but that doesn’t mean you have to create an ad.)

When you input one keyword, multiple keywords, or even your website address into Keyword Planner, Google will spit out a list of related keywords along with simple metrics to gauge how fierce the competition is around each one and how many searches it gets on both a global and local search level.

It’ll also show you historical statistics and information on how a list of keywords might perform –, and it’ll create a new keyword list by multiplying several lists of keywords together. Since it’s a free AdWords tool, it can also help you choose competitive bids and budgets to use with your AdWords campaigns.

Unfortunately, when Google transitioned from Keyword Tool to Keyword Planner, they stripped out a lot of the more interesting functionality — but you can make up for it somewhat if you take the information you learn from Keyword Planner and use Google Trends to fill in some blanks.

2. Google Trends

Google Trends is another free tool from Google. It lets you enter multiple keywords and filter by location, search history, and category. Once you enter that information in, it’ll give you results that show how much web interest there is around a particular keyword, what caused the interest (e.g., press coverage), and where the traffic is coming from — along with similar keywords.

The best part about Google Trends is that it doesn’t just give you static keyword volume numbers like most keyword research tools. Instead, it generates colorful, interactive graphs you can play with, download, and embed on your website. It’ll also give you more dynamic insight into a keyword with information like the relative popularity of a search term over time.

Interestingly, its data doesn’t include repeated queries from a single user over a short time, which makes results cleaner. It also groups searches that it infers to mean the same thing, like misspellings.

One way to use Google Trends? If you’re trying to decide between two keyword variations for your latest blog post title. Perform a quick comparison search in Google Trends to see which one is getting searched more often.

3. Keyword

Keyword Tool is a pretty rudimentary online keyword research tool, but if you’re looking for a list of long-tail keyword suggestions related to one you already have in mind, then it can be useful. It’s also free — you don’t need to create an account to use the most basic version.

Keyword Tool uses Google Autocomplete to generate a list of relevant long-tail keyword suggestions. The search terms suggested by Google Autocomplete are based on a few different factors, like how often users were searching for a particular term in the past.

This suggestion tool can help you understand what people search for around your topics. For example, bloggers might use this tool to brainstorm blog post titles that’ll do well in search.

Again, all the free version does for you is generate other keyword suggestions in alphabetical order — it doesn’t tell you anything about search volume or cost-per-click (CPC). You’ll have to upgrade to Keyword Tool Pro to get that information. The Pro version will also let you export the keywords and use them for content creation, search engine optimization, CPC/PPC, or other marketing activities.

Best Keyword Research Tools

4. Term Explorer

Price: $34/mo. For Basic, $97/mo. For Pro: $499/mo. for Agency

Term Explorer offers the deepest research reports of any keyword research tool on the market. From one single seed term, you can get over 10,000 keyword variations.

Best of all, the tool does a great job of keeping the results as relevant as possible and pulling through lots of supporting metrics with them.

It’ll give you data for all the results on page one of search engine results pages (SERPs), including the number of results, link strength, trust score, and keyword difficulty. To help you get a handle on your competitors, you can use the tool to research domain age, page ranking, and links, as well as the word count, page rank, links, outbound links, and the number of keyword occurrences in title, URL, and headers for individual webpages. You can also export all this data into a CSV for your analysis.

5. Moz’s Keyword Difficulty Tool

Price: $99/mo. For Standard, $149/mo. For Medium, $249/mo. For Large: $599/mo. for Premium

The keyword difficulty tool from Moz is one of the most useful components of their paid suite. It’s a fantastic resource for analyzing a keyword’s competitiveness and unearthing low-hanging fruit.

When you input a keyword into this tool, it’ll find the top 10 rankings for that keyword. Then, it’ll assign that keyword a “Difficulty Score” based on the pages currently ranking for that word. You can look at search volume data for your keywords and then pull up the SERP to see the top 10 results for each term.

6. SEMrush

Price: $69.95/mo. for Pro; $149.95/mo. for Guru; $549.95/mo. for Business

SEMrush is a competitive research tool that lets you focus on your competitors’ keywords to find opportunities to increase them for a top position in Google’s and Bing’s organic search results. You can compare several domains against one another to evaluate the competitive landscape, including their common keywords and positions in Google’s organic, paid, and shopping search results.

Position tracking is like a sophisticated version of Google Trends, letting you see a keyword’s position in SERPs and analyze the history of rises and drops. Their colorful visual charts are also super helpful for more quickly understanding trends and analyzing results.

7. Ahrefs

Price: $99/mo. For Lite, $179/mo. For Standard, $399/mo. for Advanced

Ahrefs Keywords Explorer is similar to SEMrush but has extra bonuses and a more intuitive design.

For example, it can estimate how many searches become total page visits. Not all of them do so since Google answers some queries instantly. With Clicks and Clicks Per Search metrics, you’ll figure out traffic-generating keywords and skip dead-end options.

Regarding the number of relevant keyword suggestions, Ahrefs goes the extra mile. It runs the biggest database – 5.1 billion keywords for over 200 countries – which means it can detect opportunities other tools could be missing.

Ahrefs can also help you with competitive research. Their Site Explorer tool lifts the veil on competitors’ keyword strategies, while Content Gap lets you compare competitor keywords with your own to identify your might-have-been.

Ahrefs will also email you about even the smallest ranking progress of your competitors. Backlinks directly impact ranking, and backlink research is one of Ahrefs’ strongest muscles.

Brian Dean, founder of Backlinko, says that Ahrefs is his #1 go-to tool for backlink analysis: “I’ve tested over 25 link analysis tools, and none come close to Ahref’s in terms of index size, freshness, and overall usability.”

8. SE Ranking

Price:  $39.00/mo. For Essential, $89.00/mo. For Pro, $189.00/mo. for Business

Keyword Research Tool by SE Ranking is a comprehensive keyword analytics tool that lets you investigate organic and paid search competitors, monitor SEO and PPC campaigns, and generate thousands of suggestions to expand your keyword list.

SE Ranking puts a strong emphasis on the accuracy of keyword SEO data. The platform uses ungrouping techniques and a unique algorithm to give users accurate search volumes and keyword difficulty. You’ll get a list of similar, related, low search volume terms, long tail, and question-based keywords for one seed term.

You can use convenient filters to select suggestions based on your target parameters and evaluate their efficiency by reviewing metrics, including keyword relevance and more. This lets you understand how well the suggestion fits into your content strategy.

Also read: Keyword Density Tools

9. GrowthBar

Price: 5-Day Free Trial, $29/mo. For Pro: $79/mo for Scale

GrowthBar is an SEO software tool for marketers and bloggers that helps perform keyword research, competitive analysis, rank tracking, and content generation. GrowthBar enables you to explore your competitors’ backlink data, their paid Google ads, organic keyword rankings, and even their Facebook Ads. It also unlocks critical data points and gives recommendations through a simple, easy-to-use dashboard.

What makes GrowhBar stand out is its AI-powered blogging tool. Once you enter a keyword you want to rank for, GrowthBar generates an outline Contentow to write SEO-optimized content. To do this, GrowthBar uses OpenAI GPT-3, the largest language model ever created.

10. Accuranker

Price: $19.95/mo. For Beginner: $29.95/mo. For Pro 300, $44.95/mo. For Pro 600, $74.95/mo. For Pro 1K

Accuranker is a keyword rank tracking tool with a key differentiator: It’s lightning fast while being extremely precise. So, if you’re used to spending hours monitoring your keywords’ rank progression, that’ll save you a ton of time.

Other advantages of this tool? It has built-in proxies to determine whose ranking within the SERPs for any given keyword. If you plan to report keyword metrics to your manager or team, you’ll like its scheduled weekly reports feature.

It’s also among the best rank trackers offering highly localized search engine rankings for your keywords. So, marketing your Business to an international audience is a great tool for analyzing which pages rank in different countries.

Finally, it has integrations with Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Social Monitoring, and YouTube to monitor statistics and estimated search traffic for your keywords straight from your AccuRanker dashboard.

11. HubSpot

HubSpot also has its very own Content Strategy tool within the Marketing Hub. The Content Strategy tool helps you identify and research topics, find keywords or subtopics to go after, and ultimately help grow your content presence to generate more organic traffic.

You can access the ContContenttegy tool by clicking on Content > Strategy if you’re a HubSpot customer.

12. Serpstat

Price: $69/mo. For Lite, $149/mo. For Standard, $299/mo. For Advanced, $499/mo. for Enterprise

Serpstat lists historically profitable keywords used by competitors to make them rank high in search results. It also figures the value of your keywords using different factors, like number of search results and cost-per-click.

The software will suggest more suggestive keywords and provide long-tail, low-volume keywords related to your Business. You can adapt keywords to different countries in the tool’s database if your business is international.

Finally, with Serpstat, you can check the relevancy of your web pages and analyze the trends that might be attractive to browsers.

Serpstat will be extremely useful if you want full analyses of keywords that work well for competitors. It’s also a great tool for ensuring your page has a lower chance of losing a favorable ranking on SERPs.


In search engine marketing (SEM), keyword research is pivotal to success. The right keywords can make or break your SEM campaigns, influencing your online visibility, ad relevance, and conversions. Fortunately, many keyword research tools are available to guide you in finding the perfect keywords for your SEM strategy. These tools provide valuable insights into search volume, competition, and user intent, allowing you to identify the most relevant and high-performing keywords. By leveraging the power of these keyword research tools, you can optimize your SEM campaigns, attract quality traffic, and increase the likelihood of reaching your marketing goals. So, harness the potential of keyword research tools, discover the right keywords, and propel your SEM efforts to new heights. With the right keywords in your arsenal, you have the foundation for search engine marketing success.