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best keyword research tools for seo, ppc and content marketing

Why should you use the best tools for Keyword Research?

Keywords are those words or phrases that people type on search engines like Google and Bing to sort out their queries or problems. 

And the process of reaching out to the audience with the relevant content is keyword research. It leads visitors to the organic search results, where they reach out to your websites to find out their requirements. 

SEMrush

If you select the wrong keyword for your business, you will drive significantly less or zero traffic on your website. All your efforts, resources, and marketing budget will go in vain. You may never get organic ranking, traffic, and leads from any search engine. 

With keyword research, you can exactly analyze the search volume, SEO ranking difficulty, paid difficulty, pay per click (PPC), and the current trend. And once you are done with your keyword research, getting organic ranking, driving qualified traffic, generating leads, and bringing sales will be easy.  

There are many tools for keyword research in the market, but all are not appropriate for your keyword research process. I have done complete market research for you on the best keyword research tools

And as per my experience along with other industry leader’s recommendations, I have listed only the most appropriate keyword research tools that can help you with all types of content marketing such as blogging, YouTube, Infographic, E-book, and PPC ads. 

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Here are the 9 best free keyword Research Tools for SEO, PPC, and content marketing;

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1. Semrush- All-in-One Marketing Toolkit

Semrush (14-day Trial Completely Free) is an undisputed industry leader that can perform all marketing tasks from keyword research, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, technical SEO, local SEO, international SEO to other content marketing stuff.

That is why Semrush is also known as an all-in-one content marketing toolkit and the best SEO, PPC, and social media software and tool.

Find ideas to create new content (Topic Research)

  • Find popular topics, headlines and questions asked online to draw a traffic-driven editorial plan
  • Explore most searchable and trending topics 
  • Keyword research along with insights on Difficulty, Volume, Related Searches, Topic efficiency, FAQ)
  • Content Gap Analysis

Develop an editorial plan (Marketing Calendar)

  • Manage your content marketing campaigns by Social Media Calendar 
  • Invite and collaborate with unlimited team members to join your marketing calendar with different permissions.
  • Create tasks with team members 
  • Tracking of real-time progress of your overall marketing plan.
  • Get notifications of your upcoming tasks and schedules
  • Share the calendar and plans with your client/team via a link, PDF, or CSV file

Get optimized content that resonates in just a few clicks (SEO Content Template) 

  • Get content tips for SEO Friendliness
  • Generate Semantic Related Keywords
  • Get actionable recommendations based on your top 10 rivals in Google that target your keywords
  • Export SEO template in a Google Doc file
  • Semrush Marketplace for Content

Create/Optimize your Content for SEO Friendliness (SEO Writing Assistance)

  • Create SEO-friendly content to be loved by both people and search engines 
  • Check your SEO Score and adjust the tone of voice 
  • Get automated analysis on Readability
  • Get actionable tips in your Google Docs or WordPress Account
  • Check your content for Plagiarism

Find ideas to create new content- Topic Research Tool

We all know that content is king and successful content planning begins with a great idea. And an idea in favor of the interest of the target audience gives you ultimate positive output. 

Choosing the right topic has the potential of a traffic boost on your business, and for this, Semrush’s Topic Research Tool is a treasure chest of content ideas based on your target keyword, trending topics, related searches, questions people may ask, and recent articles. The fantastic part is you can also expand the topic research on the basis of content by backlinks, social shares, and engagement. You can also filter the data on a country, regional, and city basis to see the most popular/recent topics heading for your target keywords.

And using Semrush Topic Research Tool is very easy, and it outperforms every other tool with an all-in-one feature set and database. 

To start finding ideas for creating new content/ update existing content, You first need to Sign-in to your Semrush account

Login to SEMrush
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Now, select the Content Marketing Toolkit from the dropdown menu in the top left corner. 

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Content Marketing Toolkit
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You can click on Topic Research Tab to access this tool or can even enter your targeted keyword/ topic from the existing dashboard on the search box by selecting your preferred Country/Region/City/Language. 

Topic Research
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Once you click on “Get Content Ideas”, Semrush’s Topic Research module will analyze popular content and provide you with winning results on the web. 

You can explore content suggestions from your most comfortable view via- 

  • Cards
  • Explorer
  • Overview
  • Mindmap
Topic Research Content marketing Toolkit
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Note**: You can also enter the domain name to see for which topics a particular website currently ranks in Google top 100 SERP. It helps you to analyze the keywords of your competitors. 

You can prioritize the results by the following parameters:

  • Search Volume
  • Keyword Difficulty
  • Topic efficiency (higher search volume and lower difficulty). 

Note**: 

  1. You can also identify trending topics that are most popular over the last 60 days across the web.
  2. You can enable Trending Subtopics first to view viral topics for higher engagement. 

When you are conducting audience research and creating a content plan, the analyzed data will help you understand your audience’s information.

If you plan to create an article to provide an answer to a user’s question, make sure you add a ‘how-to’ or question mark into your title to get more engagement and shares. This strategy would increase your chance to win a featured snippet, expanding your presence on Google’s SERP.

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Topic Research via Cards:

Card view
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As soon as you perform topic research, the cards view is enabled by default. You will see the most relevant card based on your keyword, choose the card to get in-depth information about it from a Show More dropdown link.  

The expanded version results will show subtopic volume, difficulty, and topic efficiency along with top headlines, questions, and related searches. The bullhorn icon on the left side of the topic illustrates the title’s success in terms of backlinks. The green color represents that more people link to the article with this title. 

Note**: To create your list of ideas, you can add to your favorite ideas section by clicking the + icon (available for all types of Topic research views)

Topic Research via Explorer:

Explorer View
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In the Explorer tab, you will explore the list of Subtopic, content ideas, Facebook engagement, backlinks and total shares on particular topics. 

Topic Research via Overview:

Overview tab
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In the Overview Tab, you have access to explore the set of top 10 headlines by backlinks, 10 interesting questions, top subtopics, and top 10 related searches based on your targeted keyword. 

Topic Research via Mindmap:

Mindmap view
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In the Mindmap tab, you see the graphical representation of content suggestions. 

Mind Map tab works similarly to the “AnswerThePublic” tool for keyword research:

You can quickly analyze the trending subtopics as they are marked in red color. To explore the topic, you can click on your relevant keyword (in strokes) and you get a broad understanding of its related headlines, Questions, and Related searches.  

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Be aware that you cannot mark the topics in your favorite list from the Mind Map view. 

Save data in Favorite Ideas:

In your list of favorite ideas, you can export your data in XLSX format, Create SEO Optimized templates, and even send a task to Semrush Marketing Calendar or Trello.

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Competitor’s Keyword Research:

Competitor view
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As mentioned above (in Note), you can also spy your rivals’ domain to understand their content strategy based on the keywords and topics ranking in the top 100 results of Google. In the card view, Semrush shows the card in green color for the keyword ranking high and you can even see the ranking of the particular keyword by clicking on the arrow link. 

Finalizing your keyword: 

Now, as you are done with finding the content idea, let’s analyze and finalize the profitable keyword on the basis of CPC, volume, SEO difficulty, PPC Competition, and most searched keywords for a successful content marketing campaign. 

And we will perform this activity through my favorite: Keyword Magic Tool (in the Keyword Analytics section).

Though Keyword Magic Tool is not a part of the Content Marketing Toolkit but analyzing from this tool will work like a cherry on your cake for your effective content strategy. 

2. Serpstat Keyword Research Tool

Similarly, like Semrush, Serpstat is also an outstanding keyword research tool that is widely used by marketers across the world. 

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SEO Tool- SERPstat Dashboard
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Keyword Research

Serpstat supplements your site’s content and ads with top-performing keywords and expands your online presence. It gives you the analysis of well-researched keywords to improve your SEO and PPC campaigns. Serpstat gives you access to analyze the list of proven and profitable keywords with the top competitive analysis. Along with the keyword research analysis, it evaluates your keywords on search volume, CPC, competition level or the monthly number of search results. It also gives you the suggested keyword ideas that significantly impact creating high-quality, relevant content. Using appropriate keywords helps you in pumping your domain and site’s particular pages to the top positions in search. 

Search Analytics

 In the search analytics of SERPStat, you can find out your direct organic competitors, research the visibility of your and your rival’s domain, discover your competitors’ keyword rankings, track position changes of domains and universal search results. Also, you can get the statistics for the top pages. 

Content Marketing Ideation

This feature of Serpstat helps you discover and create unique content that is the most suitable in your niche. Serpstat has the feature to search suggestions specific to your audience for content creation where you can use the related keywords database. 

Serpstat also helps you track your content’s number of shares on Facebook to understand how accessible your content is. You can further analyze potential traffic on every webpage.

Competitor Research with Serpstat

For strategic decision making, creating targeted digital marketing objectives and plans, tailoring your services and products to position your business against the competition, the competitor analysis is critically important.  Serpstat automatically identifies your top competitors. When you enter your domain, you get a full list of your most relevant competitors.

Competitor analysis with Domain vs Domain Comparison Tool

You can identify the most common and unique keywords on your and your competitors’ domains. And for each common keyword, you can make a comparison of a domain’s position in organic and paid search results. Serpstat gives you access to batch analysis of up to 200 domains. You have access to research keywords and compare the rankings of multiple domains.

Rank Tracking with Serpstat: Monitor your and your competitors’ webpage rankings daily.

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SERPStat allows you to complete research with advanced analytics to get all the top results for the keywords you’ve selected. You can analyze global city-based tracking and find out exactly how your keywords are ranking. Furthermore, you can track competition dynamics for groups of phrases – instead of individual keywords. You only need to define competitors’ category, for example, clothes and shoes, or phones and laptops. One of the best things in Serpstat is unlimited users at no additional cost. You can share your project with team members, clients or anyone with their login for reporting.

On-Page Website Audit with Serpstat: 

You can discover gaps in a domain’s optimization, find and fix on-site and off-site issues and improve a domain’s crawl rate.

Various types of troubleshoots and issues you can identify with Serpstat. 

Here is the list:

  •  The content of Meta Tags’  
  • Length in title and description
  • Presence of <h1>…<h6> headings
  • Duplicate content
  • Verification of links 
  • Verification interlinking 
  • Robots.txt settings
  • Access missing pages
  • You can create and correct the sitemap.
  • Images issues.
  • You can find hidden content and frames.

3. Ahrefs Keyword Research Tool

Ahrefs is a complete SEO tool that can accomplish all your SEO tasks. If we talk in particular, you can do the complete keyword research and find short-tail keywords, long-tail keywords, topical keywords, supporting keywords, and content gap analysis. 

ahrefs site explorer dashboard - %title%- The Blue Oceans Group
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In Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, you will get information about keyword difficulty, search volume, keyword competition and return rate.

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Another outstanding feature in Ahrefs is “Organic Keywords” and “Organic Search Traffic”. This feature figures out all of the keywords for a domain rank and how much search engine traffic that site is getting right now. In comparison, Semrush provides better results.

4. Moz- Keyword Research Tool

SEO Tool Moz Dashboard
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With Moz, you can perform in-depth keyword and SERP analysis with the industry-leading keyword research tool.

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In Moz, you can analyze keywords by search volume and effectively predict how much search traffic a keyword will drive. Moz has an accuracy rate of more than 95%.

Moz allows you to generate and save keyword lists. Comprehensive scoring helps you prioritize keywords by topic or focus in one place to use as a keyword planner.

To make data handling easier, you can easily export your data of keyword research suggestions, analyses, and lists into metrics-rich, well-formatted CSVs.

Since you will also find the keywords in question format, you can target the long-tail keywords with high relevance and a well-targeted audience. 

Moz has another amazing feature where you can sort by predictive keyword metrics. The keyword difficulty, search volume, and organic CTR scores help predict your ability to rank and drive traffic.

You can review SERP details by keyword and understand why pages rank where they do with a SERP analysis breakdown of the elements and link data at each ranking position.

Even if you want to perform a global SEO strategy, with Moz Search keyword suggestions and ranking keywords by country, you can make better international SEO strategies.

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Last but not least, with Moz, you can also perform competitive keyword analysis. You can check what keywords your site ranks for and discover your competitors’ most important keywords.

5. UberSuggest

pasted image 0 - %title%- The Blue Oceans Group
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UberSuggest is one of the super affordable SEO tools for keyword research and other SEO tasks. It is one of the best tools for beginners. 

UberSuggest is very handy and easy to use to perform all keyword research tasks in just 1 click. 

You only need to enter the seed keyword or the desired keyword and click enter. In the next moment, you will see the overall analysis of all the keywords related to your entered keyword. 

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UberSuggest will give you insights for every keyword that includes keyword trend, search volume, SEO rank difficulty, paid difficulty and CPC. 

Keyword Ideas is the main feature of Ubersuggest where it tends to provide long-tail versions of the keyword term. The cool feature is that you can generate different types of keywords: Related, Question format, Prepositions, Comparisons. It provides great suggestions to cover a topic but not preferred if you are looking forward to new keywords or content ideas as the keywords mentioned are based on the seed keyword. Ubersuggest provides you a Keyword Overview report providing overall trends (search volume, SEO difficulty, paid difficulty, CPC), average Backlinks and Domain Score.

Another fantastic feature of UberSuggest is that it tells you how many domain authority and backlinks you need to rank for that keyword. 

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6. AnswerThePublic

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As the name suggests, this excellent keyword tool generates the question type keywords that people search on the internet. Since the nature of the keyword generated by AnswerThePublic is in question form, it will automatically be in a long-tail phrase. You can also sort the generated keywords into alphabetical orders and download the data as a CSV. 

7. LSI Graph

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LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing keywords. It gives you the list of related keywords that search engines use to understand the web page’s content deeply. Using LSI keywords in your blog post is the next level of On-Page SEO (that we will know in the On-Page SEO chapter in detail). In a nutshell, the LSIGraph keyword research tool helps you to generate semantic, long-tail, and LSI keywords for free. Furthermore, you can find the most appropriate long-tail keyword for SEO and PPC by using this SEO tool. 

8. Soovle

soovle results
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Soovle is another amazing keyword research tool to extract the untapped keywords from huge sites like Amazon, eBay, YouTube, Wikipedia. With Soovle, you can expand the horizon of long-tail keywords.  

Most of the website owners ignore these big websites that have billions of users. It is still an untapped market to find the most lucrative long-tail keywords that can turnaround your business with a considerable profit. 

Now, the only thing is- how can you find those lucrative and commercial long-tail keywords from these channels?

Soovle can find all those relevant keywords from all these websites in just a few clicks. You can use this tool and build an effective your long-tail keyword list. 

9. Google Keyword Planner

SEO Tool- Google Keyword Planner
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If you are not just a beginner and have a decent number of blog posts on your website, then analyzing your site on Google Keyword Planner is one of the best keyword research strategies. 

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Eager to know how?

Identify those keywords on which you are already ranking on the search engine and list it down. Some of the keywords would be ranking on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th pages of Google. These pages need significantly less fuel to get ranking on the first page. You can hook ranking with less effort in on-page SEO and optimizing the content with LSI keywords. 

Cool!

Pro Tip for Keyword Research with $0 investment on Tools

Perform your Keyword Research with Google for Free: 

There are many other smart ways of finding the most suited keywords for your business without using any tool. Marketers use Google as the best weapon to find the keywords. 

Here are some pro-strategies of keyword research on Google for free: 

Strategy #1: Google Autocomplete Suggestion:

Google AutoComplete Suggestion is one of the easiest and effective ways of finding long-tail keywords. When you type for any keyword on Google, it will automatically start suggesting more keywords. These suggestions directly come from Google. 

When you type any keyword related to your business and crawl down on the search results, you will notice a section called “Searches related to…”?.

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This is the hidden gem for your business where you can find the best long-tail keywords. 

To expand your keyword list, pick any keywords from the “Searches related to…” area and type on Google. Then, again check out the “Searches related to…” results for this keyword. You will find a decent number of perfect keywords that can grow and run your business.

Strategy #3: People also ask…” boxes in the SERPs

It is another easiest way to find the appropriate keywords in the form of questions. You can type short tail or seed keywords related to your niche and look for a “People also ask…” box in the SERPs.

The results you will see here are the questions that people ask around the keyword you typed in. 

Strategy #4: Google Keyword Planner: 

Google Keyword Planner is a 100% free tool for keyword research, Competition analysis, Content ideas along with Avg monthly searches and CPC .

If your objective is to search SEO focused keywords for your blog posts, both features of GKP are sufficient to produce thousands of relevant keywords.

Google Keyword Planner gets started with two significant features: 

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1. Discover New Keywords

As the name suggests, the feature gives you access to find useful keywords. Just need to enter your focussed keyword as the Keyword planner is solely based on the information you enter. So you have to think and enter into this field very strategically.

The best feature of Google Keyword Planner is, you can enter more than one keyword in the search field. You only need to put a comma after each of your keywords and press enter. 

It has four sub-features in it. 

Locations: 

You can filter as per your requirements, in which country (or countries) you want to market (You can select more than 1 country simultaneously to cover a single keyword)

Language: 

It allows you to choose the language of the keywords in which you want to see the information.

Search networks: 

Leave as it is and let Google perform its work. It is whether or not you want to advertise only on Google and their “search partners”. Search partner sites include other search engines and Google properties (like YouTube).

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Date Range: “12 months” is okay. So, leave it as the default.

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2. Get search volume and forecasts:

Let’s see the search volume and estimates for your keywords. This is for your existing blog posts. It helps you have a long list of keywords, and you want to check their search volume. 

This tool would not help you generate new keyword ideas.

If you have a long list of keywords, copy and paste that list into the search field, and hit “Get Started” it will tell you the forecasting with search volume, clicks, CPC, impression, costs, CTR, and average CPC.

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Conclusion on Best Keyword Research Tools: 

These are the great listing of best keyword research tools for SEO, PPC and content marketing based on the bloggers, marketers and global leaders’ choice. 

I always choose Semrush over other marketing tools as it not only helps me in keyword research but also other SEO and content marketing stuffs. With Semrush, I can perform keyword research, content gap analysis, competition analysis, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, technical SEO, local SEO, global SEO, create an editorial calendar, and more. 

Other than this, I prefer free keyword-finding strategies such as Soovle, Google AutoComplete, and Google Keyword Planner. 

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