Top 10 Keyword Research Tools You Need to Try - Cover

Top 10 Keyword Research Tools You Need to Know

Keyword research can be a pain in the butt.

However when 44% of online shoppers begin by using a search engine, keyword research is not something you can simply skip.

As an online marketer, SEO is crucial to your business. It goes without saying that finding the right tool goes a long way in the success of your content marketing campaigns, and might as well save a deal of time spent on contents that don’t convert.

Afterall, the right keyword determines your visibility on Google.

Below are the top 10 free and paid keyword research tools that will surely make you life easier. Be sure to go over the whole list, because these tools are best used together.


Jaaxy - Website

Price: $19 per month
Official Website:

Jaaxy is a keyword research tool developed by Wealthy Affiliate. Unlike other tools designed to analyze general keywords competitivity, Jaaxy focuses on finding low competitive, long-tail keywords.

With Jaaxy’s features such as the keyword suggestion tool, you can easily find untapped keywords with low competition (based on exact match results).

The greatest thing about Jaaxy is that, throughout the years, they have been extremely well at keeping up with search engine’s updates so you don’t have to worry about dealing with outdated or black hat solutions that does your business more harm than good.

Jaaxy is especially a good choice for starters. If you are looking for a quick way to rank on search engines without relying on the promotion part, then your best bet are low hanging fruits. In other words, low competitive keywords and it’s what Jaaxy is all about. With a simple user-interface and 24/7 support, it wouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes before you start finding strong commercial intent keywords that are easy to rank for.


Keyword Tool dot io - Website

Price: Free with upgrades
Official Website:

Keyword is a nifty online keyword research tool that uses Google Suggestion to generate hundreds (up to 750 for free accounts) of relevant long-tail keywords.

Google Suggestion is a feature used in Google Search with the purpose of helping users to find relevant information as fast as possible. What Keyword does is to type every letters and numbers combination for any given keyword, and then conveniently extract it into a scanable list.

This in turn helps you find hundreds of related search terms at once.

Note though that you’ll need another tool like Jaaxy or Google Keyword Planner to determine search volume and competitivity for each keywords.

Keyword is used by many leading SEO’s to find long-tail and related keywords.

Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner - Website

Price: Free
Official Website:

Google Keyword Planner is a tool from Google Adwords that provides basic data around any keywords from Google for the purpose of optimizing your advertising campaigns.

Even if you are not interested in using Adwords, Google Keyword Planner is some of the greatest tool (from Google themselves) when it comes to keyword data accuracy. In fact, it’s often called an industry standard.

Google Keyword Planner conveniently lists all information on specific keywords such as their average monthly search volume and estimated PPC costs. This helps to roughly determine a keyword’s competitivity as well as the prospective audience you’ll be exposed to, suppose you rank for it.

They can also give a dozen keyword suggestion, however you shouldn’t rely on them because these results are seen by millions of other online marketer, making them extremely competitive.

As Brian Dean puts it:

Brian Dean

Brian Dean
No wonder so many keywords are next to impossible to rank for: everyone and their mom are targeting the exact same keywords!


Ahrefs - Website

Price: Free with upgrades
Official Website:

Ahrefs is the backbone of our SEO operations. I use it every day to keep track of our site rankings, to brainstorm content ideas, and to find new backlinking opportunities.

It is the ‘Swiss army knife’ of marketing and is nearly indispensable here at Authority Hacker.

Ahref isn’t optimized for keyword research, instead they are a backlink analysis tool. So why is Ahref listed on a keyword reasearch post then?

Because links are arguably one of the most important search engines’ ranking factor.

Being one of the largest (and updating) link directories on the internet, Ahrefs is no wonder the number one link building tool for industry leaders from Brian Dean, Neil Patel to Authority Hacker.

Let’s face it, doing keyword research is sometimes like shooting with your eyes closed – you can pump out keyword-optimized posts on a regular basis, but you are never sure which one performs best.

That’s where Ahrefs comes into play. They are specifically designed to find all backlinks to any pages on the internet.

This in turn helps you find which content tend to attract a lot of links, and even better, where other sites in your industry are getting links from. For example, if another site is getting a link from a resource page, you might as well contact the site owner for a link to yours.


Semrush - Website

Price: $69.95 per month
Official Website:

Similar to Ahrefs, SEMRush is a tool that provides a better understanding on keywords and potentials for improvement on your search engine ranking. SEMRush is known for their exhaustive resource such as:

  • 80 million keywords listed in their database,
  • Rankings records from Google US, 9 non-US Google domains and Bing,
  • 42 million domains on record.

SEMRush tools gives you everyday SEO metrics like keyword rankings and search volumes, but also less common ones like the percentage of traffic gleaned from a keyword, or the number of indexed results Google has for a given term.

Unlike Ahrefs, SEMRush is specifically geared towards international search engine ranking metrics.

SEMRush’s backlink data however, are more limited and may not be as efficient for finding quality long-tail keywords.

While SEMRush is developed small businesses and corporations, it’s robust features are nonetheless helpful for individual bloggers on keyword researching and determining your rank on search engines.


SECocpit - Website

Price: $40 per month
Official Website:

SECockpit is arguably the most professional tool when it comes to keyword research. Considered one of the best research tools in the industry, SECockpit pulls every information for SEO needs from backlinks analysis to social sharing statistics.

With functions like no others, SECockpit is a great choice for all online marketer:

  • For one, SECockpit can pull keywords analysis from Google Keyword Planner for the most reliable information for any given keyword.
  • Their Google Suggest Scraper feature helps you easily find long tail-keywords that may have been overlooked by other tools.
  • Even better, SEO checker allows you to narrow your search even further with the help of the keyword filter function. This is designed to help you find the most profitable keywords by eliminating the low traffic keywords, while highlighting ones that have the most potential.

SECockpit also offers superior competitive analysis functionality like full analysis of the top 10 ranking pages for each keyword. This includes the keywords’ PageRank, on-page optimization factors, backlink counts, and more.


MozBar - Website

Price: Free with upgrades
Official Website:

Inspired from Aaron Wall’s SEO toolbar, MozBar is a highly recommended web browser extension that’s available for both Chrome and Firefox, providing valuable metrics about a website and its link profile for SEO purposes.

As the name implies, MozBar is primarily accessed via your browser’s toolbar. They help save a valuable amount of time by making SEO analysis information such as Domain Authority, Page Authority, Spam score and social sharing statistics one click away.

With MozBar, you can easily access important SEO and social metrics at a glance as you surf the web and in turn see how difficult it is to rank for any given keyword.

While you can get more information with the paid features, like the ability to see keyword difficulties, free users already has access to the most important information regarding any pages’ link profiles.

Google Trends

Google Trends - Website

Price: Free
Official Website:

Launched in September 2012, Google Trends is another unique and useful tool. primarily developed for journalists to keep track of trending topics, Google Trends is also widely used by bloggers and small businesses to analyze consumer interests for the purpose of content creation.

With Google Trends, you can easily search any keywords’ popularity by geography. Or for bigger brands, you can also keep track of your influence by simple searching your site name.

While you can’t get any detailed information like search volume when it comes to Google Trends, there is no other tools out there as precise and accurate as Google Trends that allows you to check whether the keyword you’re targeting is gaining or losing popularity.


BuzzSumo - Website

Price: Free with upgrades
Official Website:

BuzzSumo is a tool designed for content research, mainly focused on social metrics such as social shares. This means you can easily find the most viral posts for any given keywords with BuzzSumo.

It’s no wonder BuzzSumo was highly recommended and praised by industry leaders, including Search Engine Land.

That’s not all BuzzSumo is, though. Being the kind of project that never stops developing over the year, they have created a handful of features that makes keyword research a breeze:

  • There are features such as Content Alerts, a handy feature allows you to set up custom alerts to notify you whenever someone mentions a specified keyword. This can be really helpful information for content outreach via link building on topics on specific topics that are currently in the news.
  • Another great tool from BuzzSumo would be the Content Analysis Reports that allows you to visualize in details all social shares information such as average shares by social network, by date published, even shares by content length.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics - Website

Price: Free
Official Website:

You are likely familiar with Google Analytics, an industry standard for tracking site traffic and visitors behavior.

So how does this relate to keyword research again?

With features such as the “Queries and Search Terms report”, you can quickly learn about what keywords are working well for your site in particular and focus on them.

This keyword research strategy is not for new bloggers though, but something you’d definitively want to look into once you racked up some good rankings on search engines.


Rand Fishkin

Rand Fishkin
It all begins with words typed into a search box.

Keyword research is one of the most important, valuable, and high return activities in the search marketing field.

By researching your market’s keyword demand, you can not only learn which terms and phrases to target with SEO, but also learn more about your customers as a whole.

I hope this post helped you discover or rediscover new keyword research tools for your next online marketing campaign.

Before you ask about my most recommended, they are Jaaxy and Keyword

Then again, you don’t want to just stick with just one or two tools, because keyword research is like gold digging. There is no one way to find them.

Whether you are a blogger or business owner, optimizing your content for the right keyword goes a long way in landing targeted traffic that actually converts.

Feel free to drop a comment if you have any questions about the keyword research tools mentioned in the post, I’ll try my best to answer!

Ready to start an online business? Check out my recommended resources.

Anh Nguyen is a blogger and minimalist who's crazy about design and content quality. Learn more about him here, or connect with him on Twitter.

Leave a Reply


  1. Alex

    I am amazed by this post. This is a comprehensive list of keyword research tools! I am relatively new to the world of blogging and I know keywords are so critical when it comes to SEO.

    Jaaxy seems to be top-rated by you. I am still trying the free version and it does an amazing job. I am still considering if I should go for full version. Do you think it is worth paying that much for a keyword research tool?

    • Anh Nguyen

      Alex, there are many ways to go about keyword research. If you find Jaaxy to be the perfect solution for you, then go for it. Keyword research is really at the heart of online marketing.

      However if you find yourself short on budget, I’d recommend you find another way, such as using Google Keyword Planner or Wealthy Affiliate to find out keyword traffic potentials and manually research competitiveness on your own.

  2. Chris

    Great post here Anh. I didn’t know there were that many keyword tools out there. Jaaxy is my favorite though, along with Google Keyword Planner. Those low hanging fruits are certainly getting picked with Jaaxy. I think though that once you have a good one like my favorite here, you don’t really need another. What do you think?

    • Anh Nguyen

      Chris, it’s always worth looking around as keyword research is a creative game. But if you are new, I’d recommend you stick to 1 or 2 that helps find low hanging fruits.

  3. Joe

    Hey Anh,

    Love your post and how thorough it is! I personally use Jaxxy myself but It was very nice to see how many more websites are out there for Keywords. You did such a great job at going into detail on each one. Keep up the great reviews and the great content!


  4. Dominic

    Thanks Anh. I have always found keyword research hard, but along with quality content it is one of the most important things we can do to get our information out there. I have used Jaaxy and Longtail Pro in the past but it’s helpful to see how many other options are available.

    • Anh Nguyen

      Dominic, keyword research can be daunting for sure. But it goes hand in hand with content creation if you want to receive highly targeted traffic from Google.

  5. Benjamin

    I’ve been looking into using more than just Jaaxy and Google Keyword Tool, but I haven’t had the chance financially to add more tools than I’ve already got. Ahref’s is going to be my next tool for sure though. It looks like it would be the most useful tool I could invest in for my business ventures.
    What do you think? Is Ahref’s the next best tool to use?

    • Anh Nguyen

      Benjamin, Ahrefs focuses strongly on backlink analysis and is quite expensive for starters (starting at $99). What you want to think when using new keyword tools is what you are looking for.

      Whether you are looking to go hard on promoting a post to rank or are you looking for low-competitive keywords. Ahrefs is good if you want to try link building techniques such as the Skyscraper technique otherwise, I only recommend you use the free version.

  6. Michel

    Interesting comparison of all the keyword tools. I personally use Jaaxy as I find it easy and quick. Some of the others you mentioned here I haven’t even heard of.

    The only other one I have used is market samurai which was good as well but took far longer to dig out the best keywords.

    • Anh Nguyen

      Michel, I think Jaaxy is a nice tool to find low competitive keywords. And until you feel the need to find out how to rank for more competitive keywords (via viral marketing or backlink building, for example) you don’t really need anything else. 🙂

  7. Margaret

    I find keywords a struggle but Jaaxy has helped me a lot. I haven’t tried many of the others but I do think Jaaxy is best for price and performance don’t you?
    I have looked for Keywords on Bing but now on Google Analytics. Do you use this as a verification or as a search? I never realized BuzzSumo did so much. I will take another look at it. Free always sounds good to me.

    • Anh Nguyen

      Margaret, price-wise and for starters, I think Jaaxy is a very good choice. While it’s not helpful if you want to target highly competitive keywords (then you’ll want to use something like Ahref).

      Other than that I recommend Keyword and BuzzSumo is nice too, but with its’ focus on social sharing metrics, it’s more optimized if you are into viral marketing, making contents that goes viral.

  8. Steven

    I’ve been using Jaaxy and love it. Unfortunately I am running out of my initial 30 free searches but I will probably upgrade to the paid plan because it seems worth the investment. Its true what Brian Dean says, everyone and their mom and their grandmom are flooding the search results. What do you think of using video to acquire good SEO rank? And is there a way to use google images results to rank well?

    • Anh Nguyen

      Steven, Youtube videos have certain advantages when it comes to Google. I wouldn’t say Google images is a great way to rank on Google as it usually doesn’t bring in highly targeted traffic though.

  9. Mark


    I can’t stress enough how important keyword research is. That’s probably the number one reason why people fail online because they neglect this part. I agree that it requires a lot of work, and without the proper tools it can be a nightmare. I really appreciate the time you spent on this article highlighting some of the most prevalent keyword researching tools on the market. Your research will indeed come in handy for my next article.

    Great Post.

    • Anh Nguyen

      I’m happy to help, Mark!