SEO keyword tools

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Formulating your SEO strategy requires that you know how your target audience is searching on Google. This is where keyword research tools come in. While the big tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs provide deep keyword analysis, the price of these tools make them beyond the reach of your average business owner.

A good keyword tool will allow you to input a keyword, and provide you with a list of related keywords, which are analyzed for how many searches are conducted, the level of competition for the keyword, and advertising metrics such as cost-per-click rates.

While results can’t be 100% accurate - as Google’s raw data isn’t available - a reasonable estimate is provided by a number of companies, some of which offer a free trial, or a free tier of usage.

Ahrefs is widely renowned, and near-unparalleled. However this quality comes at a steep price. At the core, they allow you to analyze your competitor's site, learn what factors are effecting their ability to rank on Google, and therefore what you can do to compete. This is primarily done with backlink analysis, but Ahrefs includes an overall competitor analysis, along with keyword, and content analysis. You can analyse your competitor's top pages, and even compare their top keywords with the keywords on your own site, to identify gaps in your content. Ahrefs also includes an advanced keyword research tool, identifying search volumes and cost-per-click.
An all-in-one SEO tool which gives you all the important functionality, with best-in-class data and analysis on a wealth of aspects of your site: organic keyword and pay-per-click advertising research, backlink analysis, and technical optimizations. SEMrush really shines when you enter a competitor's domain - you'll be presented with their best keywords, and performance reports. It also allows you to analyse your competitors' ad keywords and budgets. On top of this it provides an advanced site audit tool, a social media tracker and poster, including post scheduling and analysis, brand mention monitoring and more.
KWFinder provides a detailed keyword analysis and report, including historical trends, search volumes, and cost-per-click information. It also analyzes the sites in the search results for authority and other ranking information. Of particular interest is their long tail keyword analysis which identifies those not targeted by your competitors.
Google's Keyword Planner would have the most accurate data, one would assume. All the same, they don't make the full detail available to everyone - the amount of searches isn't shown as an exact number, but as a broad range, which makes it far less useful. The tool still provides you with excellent keyword suggestions, allows you to monitor keyword trends, and see how the volumes change over time.
If the name didn't give it away, SpyFu is a keyword research tool with a focus on analysing your competitors keywords, showing you what keywords your competitors pay for (or rank for organically), the amount of clicks they get, and how much they pay. It also allows you to monitor your competitors for AdWords campaigns, letting you know when ad spend changes, as well as informing you of competitor's keywords that you're not competing on. One wonders how they come across this data, but they come highly recommended from around the web. Admirably, SpyFu offers a no-nonsense approach to paying for their services, with low costs and unlimited data and downloads.
This one's a bit different, it utilizes the auto-complete feature on Google and Bing to identify and track long-tail keywords, with a visualisation breaking up the queries into who/what/where/why/how categories.
Serpstat is a general SEO tool providing position tracking, backlink analysis, competitor research, and a site audit. The keyword research identifies Google volume, competition, and cost-per-click rates. It also provides analysis on niche questions. For backlink analysis, Serpstat gives a detailed report on referring domains, backlinks with historical charts, and a quality score or rank. Serpstat also provides a site audit functionality, identifying errors and recommendations, analysing meta tags, headings, redirects, accessibility, and inbound links. It's error reports are detailed and instruct you on how to fix them. The cheapest tier provides a generous amount of data at a price that won't put you out of business.
An incredible tool in the form of a browser extension which adds search volume, cost-per-click, and keyword competition data to a variety of websites, like Google, Google Trends, Answer The Public, Google Keyword Planner, and more. This is more powerful than it might seem - it's a great time saver that allows you to see the keyword analysis without switching between your tools, and for free.
Ubersuggest is a keyword research tool by well known industry man, Neil Patel. Based on your input, it provides keyword suggestions, estimations of search volume, CPC rates, and keyword competition in both paid and organic contexts. Best of all, this information is provided for free.
This tool provides a detailed information on keywords, and shockingly, provides a decent amount of information for free. It includes search volumes on [Google](/t/google) as well as Bing/Yahoo, cost-per-click and monthly value information for advertising. It also includes the same data for UK search.