Why you should use keyword tools – Keyword research is an essential step if you want to rank well in search results. It’s never about luck. There is lots of work involved in choosing profitable keywords to rank for, or long-tailed phrases that can bring you traffic. Without proper groundwork done, your fantastic written article is going to be buried in the search results. If you are working hard on your content, and yet not getting much results (low pageviews, and number of visits), then you may want to start evaluating on your choice of keywords when writing your articles. Personally, I have used these keyword tools (some more often than the rest) to manage my blog content, help in content creation, and plan out my online marketing activities. Here are the top 10 keyword tools I hope can bring rank, visitors, and money to you:

1. Google Keyword Planner

Keyword Planner by Google is a online tool that gives you an overview of the keywords or phrases that you choose. The keyword tool provides you information on keyword ideas, average monthly searches and the competition level. Since this tool is part of Adwords, and designed for advertisers in mind, you get an indication on how much it roughly costs to advertise that keyword with Adwords. The higher the competition, the higher the cost is.

What’s useful: Google Keyword Planner can give you ideas by suggesting different groups based on the keyword or phrase are doing research for. For example, if I am to do research on “twitter marketing” to prepare for content to create, the tool can give me a list of keywords ideas grouped into different sub-categories. In this case, for twitter marketing, I can consider writing on topics such as twitter tools, twitter advertising, twitter management, and more.

keyword tool

2. KeywordTool.io

keyword tool 2

KeywordTool.io works by suggesting long-tail keywords based on our search term. The concept is similar to what Google does when we are typing our search term. For example, in the process of searching for “facebook marketing”, I get long-tail keywords suggestion from Google such as facebook marketing strategy, facebook marketing pdf, facebook marketing ideas, etc. The keyword tool aids us by giving us hundreds of suggestion (750+ for Google searches) for each of our search term, and the list of suggestion gives plenty of keywords ideas and topics that we can contemplate using.

However the free tool is limited as it doesn’t reveal other information like search volume or CPC to you. In order to gain access to more metrics, you need to purchase their PRO version.

keyword tool 3

What’s useful: the free keyword tool not only offers keyword suggestions on Google. It even provide keyword ideas for Bing, YouTube and the App store. This is useful for website owners who want to try ranking for the same keywords on these platforms. The online tool allows you to achieve higher accuracy and focus, by giving the option to choose which localized search engine and language you want the suggestions to be based on.

3. Yoast Google Suggest Expander

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Yoast has also provided a free online tool that works like Google Suggest. It does not has many features compared to KeywordTool.io, however Yoast Google Suggest Expander can serve as an additional alternative source for you to compare or make reference.

What’s useful: you get to export all the keyword suggestions to a CSV file, and it’s all organized in alphabetical order.

4. Ubersuggest

keyword tool 5Ubersuggest is another keyword tool that similar to the above items #2 and #3. What makes Ubersuggest different is that you get to conduct your research not just on Google, but on Images, Shopping, YouTube and News as well. An interesting feature of Ubersuggest is the Word Cloud function which lets you visually the most common terms associated with your query. What’s worth mentioning is that Ubersuggest provides a filter feature for you to do research quickly too.

What’s useful: you can gain more insight to each of the keywords or phrases by checking Google Trends to find out how certain keywords perform in seasonal periods.


SemRush is more than just a keyword tool. It provides domain and keyword analysis, lets you create projects/campaigns for your website, and generate in-depth reports. You can use it to do keyword research, find out what are the keywords your website is ranking for, how many & where your backlinks are, the organic search positions of keywords, analyze ad strategy, and more. Best of all? You can find out all these information about your competitor too.

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What’s useful: I will probably be doing you a disfavor if I give only one reason why SemRush is useful. Truth be told, SemRush is packed with features to make your SEO routines effective and successful. You get detailed report on any domain, be it yours or competitors’. On the downside, although the tool is free, it is very limited, therefore you may want to give it a trial first before committing to the monthly subscriptions. The monthly fees start from $69.95.

Try doing a quick analysis by entering your URL below.

6. SpyFu

SpyFu has been in the SEO & SEM industry for about 10 years and any successful webmaster will have heard about this keyword research product before. This is a keyword tool you can use to spy on what’s working for your competitors. To do a free keyword and SEO analysis of your website or your competitor’s, just hop over to SpyFu’s home page and enter the URL. The online keyword tool gives you an overview of  the domain that is packed with numbers and charts. Clicking on the relevant sections provides more information, e.g SEO overview, PPC overview, keyword groups, ad history, backlinks, ranking history and more.

keyword tool spyfu

What’s useful: SpyFu specializes in making comparisons on what are your competitors’ strengths and weakness. It also provides insight on the list of keywords that the domain ranks for, and gives you the top keywords (organic and paid searches) that are giving traffic to the domains. I won’t be covering all the features on this post since it’s only meant as an introduction of keyword tools that are available to us bloggers. But in short, use this tool if one of your top objectives is to find out what are the top keywords that you can target (to profit) on both organic and paid searches.

7. Bing Webmaster Tool

If you want to know how to score, or find out what are the popular keywords in Bing, then this is the tool for you. To access Bing Webmaster Tool, login into your Bing account first, then choose from the left navigation bar Dashboard > Diagnostics & Tools > Keyword Research.

Once you are on the Keyword Research page, just enter all the keywords or phrases that you want to research on.

keyword research tool bing webmaster

What’s useful: although the online tool is not packed with many features and brief on details, it nevertheless gives you pretty decent information on your keywords. And you get to define the period of search, country and language to further enhance your analysis.

8. Wordstream

Wordstream offers a free keyword tool, however it is way too limited to be of any use. The only way to take advantage of the keyword tool, is to sign up for their 14-day trial and do as much keyword/PPC research as you can within this period. The trial does not require any credit card, but the tool Wordstream Advisor requires a connection with Adwords; so you need to setup your Google Adwords account if you have not.

keyword tool wordstream advisor

What’s useful: Wordstream Advisor is designed for advertisers in mind. If you are advertising online, or intend to do so, you can use it to target keywords that give the highest return based on the CPC. Using the tool, it makes PPC marketing easier since you can manage your goals and objectives (e.g. optimize ads, optimize bids, review costs, add negative keyword, etc)  from one main dashboard.

9. Majestic

In order to get the best out of the free version, I recommend that you create an account with Majestic. Do note that Majestic imposes a daily limit (for free accounts) on the usage of their tools, so make all your searches/queries count. With Majestic you can find out how well keywords or phrases are ranking, and how strong are the links, so that you can decide whether is it worth spending the time and effort to try and outrank your competitors. If you find that competition are too high based on the keywords you choose, it means good sense for you to re-evaluate and find other alternatives or long-tailed keywords to achieve better results in SERPS.

keyword tool for researching majestic

Other than using Majestic for keyword research, you can use Majestic for the following functions too:

  • site explorer,
  • backlink history checker,
  • search explorer,
  • bunch of link tools

What’s useful: Majestic is one of the leading companies in providing link intelligence of any domain or URL that you are interested in. For example, you get access to metrics such as Trust Flow and Citation Flow, which are not available in other SEO, PPC or SEM tools.

10. WordTracker

WordTracker is one of the best keyword tools to find long-tail keywords to target and rank. Tapping onto WordTracker’s databases, you get suggestions on keywords/phrases that are normally used by real people. The application shines in simplifying the keyword research process. It suggests highly profitable keywords which are based on the users’ commercial intent (i.e. the intention to purchase, or to act on something). Sign up for WordTracker free trial here.

keyword tools wordtracker

What’s useful: WordTracker has an unique feature, or rather metric, that aids you in determining what keyword(s) is good to use. The metric KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Index) grades the potential of the keywords/phrases from a scale of 1 to 100 (highest). The higher the number, the better it is. Using the KEI, you can figure whether is there any potential, risk or benefits, in using the long-tailed keywords based on the competition and search volume.

Final Thoughts

Are you currently using any keyword tools for your content creation, SEO, PPC or marketing activities? What’s your favorite so far, and why?




Lincoln is a fan of Apple products, loves red wine and traveling. He blogs on internet marketing, social media, wordpress tips & guides, and using technology to maximize efficiency. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook for regular updates.

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