Home » 8 of the Best Keyword Research Tools for 2018

Looking for a Good Keyword Research Tool?

Look no further. I’ve compiled a list of eight tried and tested keyword tools for you right here.

 

find the best keywords for your campaign
.     Keyword Research is Absolutely Essential     .

Keyword research has to be possibly the single most important aspect of successful internet marketing. Unless we get the keyword research sorted before we even begin to write, we’re going to be behind the eight-ball from the start.

 

If you’re new to internet marketing, I suggest you read this post first. In it I discuss and explain just what a keyword tool is, and why you should be using one.

I can’t stress strongly enough how much emphasis we need to place on good Keyword Research. It’s no use spending hours researching and writing a new article if it’s never going to see the light of day. Most niches these days are already populated by well-established and authority sites. This makes it all so much harder for a new website to be found. Unless, that is, we find a few good low competition Long-Tail Keywords to base our articles around.

This is where a good keyword tool can help. There are free tools and there are paid tools. (And some that fall somewhere in between)

 

This post deals with Paid, or Subscription, Keyword Tools.

 

I’ve also written this post on free keyword tools. If you haven’t already done so, feel free to check it out.  It’s OK, I’ll wait here for you.


The reviews here are fairly brief. There’s simply no way I could do in-depth reviews and demos of every tool on this list in the one post. I’ve tried to include all relevant details though, and provided links for each in case you want more information.

 

So let’s look at some of the better Keyword Tools available.

 

1. KW Finder

You can test drive KW Finder here.

The first thing that struck me with KW Finder was the easy to follow layout and easy-on-the-eyes color scheme. But it’s the sheer simplicity of use combined with its speed and accuracy that made the biggest impression.

You simply enter a seed keyword, select your language and location (yes, location, right down to your target city) and the program spits out a range of K/Ws along with metrics like search volumes, competition analysis, PPC and CPC details and a color coded guide to competitiveness.

Not all keyword research tools give you this option of selecting a specific location. In fact, many tools don’t even allow you to search a particular zone or country.

It also shows you, in graph form, a breakdown of the search volumes month by month.

You can use this tool for free, and as far as I can see there’s no time limit. The only restriction is that you only get 5 searches every 24 hours and 50 results per search.

What does KW Finder cost?

KW Finder is part of a suite of SEO research tools. Also included in the bundle are 3 other tools; SERP checker, SERP watch, and Link Miner to complete your package.

The cheapest paid option gives you 100 keyword searches per day and 200 suggestions per search. Prices start from $49 on a monthly basis or $29.90 pm if you pay annually.

Check out the finer details here.

My Rating?        9 out of 10

 

2. Moz Keyword Explorer                    https://moz.com/explorer

This well-respected keyword tool has been around since May 2016 (that I know of)

So far it’s apparently become quite popular with many SEOs out there. Moz themselves are a force to be reckoned with in SEO circles. But what about this tool?

If you visit the location given above you will be presented with a search box where you simply enter your seed keyword and Moz Keyword Explorer will quickly show you search metrics for the keyword, keyword suggestions (for long-tail research), and SERP analysis for the leading competitive pages/posts.

The first thing that struck me was that we can only search in one geographical region at a time. I couldn’t even find a generic English-Anywhere option.

The other negative point was that search volumes are displayed as a range only. And a fairly broad range at that.

It also shows Difficulty as a scale of 1 – 100, an expected CTR which I personally feel is very much guesswork, and a Priority Score based on all the metrics taken together. In this case, the higher the better.

Nowhere do they show the actual competition for a particular keyword. You have to simply trust their metrics. Of course, many feel that’s no big ask, given Moz’s reputation.

What will Moz Keyword Explorer cost you?

You can use the tool straight from the website for free, though with limited options. As has become standard practice, you can get a 30 day free trial with all features.

Should you wish to buy, you’ll need to subscribe to Moz Pro. Moz Pro is a suite of SEO tools and prices start at $99.00 USD up to $599.00 USD per month.

Looking at the packages, if you’re serious about your website you’ll need to spend at least $149.00 per month. The basic level just doesn’t offer much value at all. (for example, 150 searches pm on Standard Vs 5,000 pm on Medium)

My Rating?          7 out of 10.

 

3. Keyword Magic by SEMrush       

SEMrushSEMrush is considered by many to be the “Big Gun” of keyword and SEO tools.

Keyword Magic is the keyword research tool in their suite of SEM (search engine marketing) tools.

Learning to properly make use of all the data this comprehensive suite of tools can deliver will take a little time. Time well spent, however.

As a keyword tool, it works initially much the same as most tools. You enter your seed keyword and Keyword Magic delivers all the metrics you need to properly evaluate your chosen keyword. It also provides 100 results per k/w.

If you then scroll down to “Phrase Match Keywords” and then “View Full Report”, you get a list of keyword phrases containing your seed keyword. Perfect fodder for your long-tail research.

This will show you Search Volume, Keyword Difficulty, Cost per Click, Competition etc.

There are filters that will show K/Ws within a certain range of search volumes, (you choose) or even specific exact volumes.

You can select K/Ws with or without certain words in them, K/Ws with a specific word count, in fact Keyword Magic gives so much info you’ll be dazzled at first. If you learn to master this “Mother of All” keyword tools however, you may wonder how you managed without it.

If all this sounds impressive, then be ready to be blown away with what else SEMrush has to offer.

The real value in this suite of tools comes when you start exploring and analysing Searching for scams and Legit Schemesyour competitiors’ websites. Sounds like cheating, right? Well, you can be sure most of your competitors are using tools like SEMrush or Jaaxy to do exactly the same thing! Using them to not only find good competitive long-tail keywords, but to work out which ones are ranking best on your website!

The list of features of SEMrush is actually so impressive that I’ll be devoting an entire blog to this in the near future.


What does SEMrush cost?

 

SEMrush entry level prices are fairly comparable with Moz, except that you get much more bang for your buck!

SEMrush’s basic offering will give you more searches, and in my opinion, better options.

On a monthly subscription, SEMrush Pro will set you back $99.95pm, Guru $199.95, and Business $399.95.

As usual, you’ll get big discounts by paying annually.

The only cons with SEMrush are the fairly high price and the fact that there’s a pretty steep learning curve involved.

This link will show you all the features and prices in detail.

My Rating?                             9 out of 10

 

4. KeySearch Pro   

 

 

Keysearch’s features fall mainly into five categories.

• Keyword research:

Here you simply enter your seed keyword and you are presented with up to 1,000 niche relevant keywords with monthly search volume, CPC, and PPC info. In addition, you can use YouTube Suggest to get keyword ideas for YouTube as well.

If you insert the URL of your competitor you can see what keywords they are ranking for. You can then analyse both their site and your own to decide which long-tail keywords to base your content around.

• Competition analysis and difficulty checking:

KeySearch ranks keywords on a difficulty rating from 1 to 100. This will easily tell you whether you have a decent chance to rank for that keyword. To do this, KeySearch takes into account a combination of on-page and off-page factors of the top 10 ranking URLs for the said keyword. These are going to be your main competition, so you need to be aware just who or what you’re up against.

• LSI keywords suggestion:

KeySearch gives you the ability to perform deep analysis on your choice of keywords. It will generate LSI keywords which you can include within your content to give you that extra edge you need to rank faster and higher in the SERPs.

• Rank tracking:

In addition to being a valuable keyword research tool, KeySearch also functions as a rankings tracking tool. You simply enter your URL and a set of keywords for it, and KeySearch will check the URL’s rankings for each of those keywords.

This Rank Tracking feature also can include the tracking of your domain’s Moz and social statistics alongside a secondary URL (which could be your main competitor) so you can keep an eye on them as well.

• Reporting:

All the data generated within KeySearch can be easily compiled into detailed reports as either CSV files or white label PDFs. These can be not only for your own use, but if you are doing SEO for a client these reports can be passed on to them.

As a combination of keyword research and competition tool, it’s hard to fault KeySearch. Especially for the price.


How much will KeySearch Pro cost?

You can get the usual free trial, of course, but that’s very limited. It’s really only so you can get a feel for the way it looks and behaves.

The basic level will set you back just $17 per month. (Or around $14 pm if you pay annually)

KeySearch Pro is just $34 monthly, or $279 annually. (That’s about $23 pm)

As a special bonus, you can use this code – KSDISC – to grab yourself a 20% discount, making this an even better offer!

I’m not sure how long they’re going to continue this introductory offer, but make sure you enter it in the box if you decide to buy.

This pricing makes KeySearch possibly the best value-for-money keyword tool on the market. The more I use this tool the more I’m impressed by it.

You can Check out more details here.

My Rating?                     9 out of 10

 

5. Keyword Supremacy                   keywordsupremacy.com

Now here’s a tool that really has something new to offer.

Not only does Keyword Supremacy do everything that most other keyword tools will do, but it takes it a step or two further.

Most K/W tools get their metrics from Google, Moz, or similar sources. With this tool you can select to search with Google, Yahoo, YouTube, or to do a Local Search. (These local searches can be filtered by region, population, and other metrics) There’s an optional add-on that allows you to access the data bases of Amazon, Alibaba and Ebay.

You can then mix and match these results to find the best keywords for your preferred market.

In search mode, K/W Supremacy allows the use of a wildcard feature (% sign anywhere within the search phrase) to dig up great long-tail keywords you might never have thought of.

This tool is ideal if you wish to set up an Adsense website targeting non-buying keywords (yes, I know, we’re always told to stay away from them) In fact, Herc Magnus, one of the creators of Keyword Supremacy, gives a great video lesson here on using the tool, and also shows just how he used it to build a profitable Adsense site.

 

The other really major difference with Keyword Supremacy is the pricing structure.

With most keyword tools you’re charged a monthly fee to access the program at whatever level you choose to buy into. You have a maximum number of searches, but if you don’t use your quota, you lose it!

With Keyword Supremacy, you buy a number of non-expiring credits and these are simply deducted from your balance as you use them. When you look like running out you can simply top up.

For those of us who don’t spend many hours per month (each and every month) on keyword research this has to be a better system.

Unless you run an agency or manage a large number of sites I can’t see this tool costing anywhere near as much as you’d spend on some of the competitors’ products.

What does Keyword Supremacy cost?

The cheapest package will set you back just $47 for 50 credits. Other levels are $197 (750 credits) and $297 (1500 credits)

Obviously the value increases the more you buy. If unsure, I’d just buy 50 to start. Once you’ve used it for a while you’ll soon know if it suits you. Then you can buy in bigger packages.

My guess right now is that you’re thinking “what do I get for one credit?”

Well, let’s assume K/S gave you 300 suggestions from one seed keyword.

It will only cost you one credit to get all the metrics for all those suggested keywords.

That’s monthly search volumes, Adwords CPC, competition volume, top 10 data analysis, and domain name availability for almost every domain type. (in case you wanted an exact match url)

And all this comes with a 30 day, no questions, money-back guarantee! (Makes the bigger packages look even more appealing)

You can check it all out here.

My Rating?       9 out of 10

 6. Long Tail Pro

Long Tail Pro is a long time favorite with many internet marketers out there. (Myself included)

They did have a few hiccups back in 2016 when they were making the transition from a desktop format to a cloud-based system. Quite a few users went looking elsewhere, but they seem to have resolved these issues now.

One big improvement with the new format is a much faster interface. Around 10X faster than the old system. It’s also more intuitive and much easier to navigate. Word is that many former users are starting to return to LTP.

Long Tail Pro does all the things you’d expect from a good keyword research tool. It will give you up to 800 results per seed keyword, analyse competition for you, find suitable domains, etc etc.

The folks behind this well respected tool recently swapped their metrics source from Moz to Majestic. The reason? A MUCH bigger database.

Moz has a database of around 162 billion URLs where Majestic has 875 billion. (At the time of writing)

Majestic also has a much more comprehensive backlink index.

What does Long Tail Pro cost?

You can buy Long Tail Pro for just $97.00. This is a one-off payment. For extra features, you can get access to Platinum for an extra $27 pm.

Long tail pro pricing

 

For further details, or to check out their free trial offer click here.

My Rating?          9 out of 10

 

 7. Power Suggest Pro

Power Suggest Pro uses the combined search databases of Google, Yahoo, Bing, YouTube, Ebay, and Amazon.

With this tool you can choose to use any, all, or any combination of these databases in your search.

Results are generated live, from millions of searches worldwide. The resulting keyword suggestions are gleaned from actual searches that people are typing into search engines now.

These suggested keywords will contain some of the most relevant buyer keywords you’ll find.


With Power Suggest, you only have to pay a one-off lifetime access fee. No ongoings, no memberships.

The only downside with this keyword suggestion tool is that it is a desktop application, and so far only available for Windows PCs. If you have a Mac, however, you can use it in conjunction with VMware Fusion or Parallels. These programs allow us Mac owners to use any Microsoft programs from within our Apple Mac.

What will Power Suggest cost?

The normal advertised price is $97.00.

If you visit the website now though, there is a special limited-time offer of just $57.00. I can’t say how long this price will be available for, but you can visit their site here for details on this and further in-depth info on the program itself.

My Rating?               8 out of 10

8. Jaaxy.                                      

I’ve saved this one ’til last for a good reason. Jaaxy was the first keyword research tool I ever used. In fact, prior to seeing Jaaxy I didn’t know such a tool existed!

So therefore you’ll forgive me if I have a soft spot for Jaaxy. (I still don’t know where they came up with that name though – to someone in the UK or here in Aussie Land it has a completely different connotation)

I joined Wealthy Affiliate University some time ago to learn all I could about internet marketing. In particular, affiliate marketing.

Jaaxy was created by the founders of WA, firstly for their own use, and later as a part of the membership package.

When I test other keyword research tools I use Jaaxy as my yardstick.

So what will Jaaxy do for you?

Jaaxy is a web-based program. It is super fast, easy to learn and use, and super accurate.

It’ll give you all the metrics and information that the “big guns” do, but at a much lower cost. This includes the ability to spy on your competitors and effectively “steal” their ranking keywords.

With one click you can access data such as monthly search results, expected hits on first page, QSR, which is the number of sites competing for that keyword, a difficulty score (1 – 100), and more.

It’s brilliant for seeking out those long-tail keywords we’re all after, and showing in a flash whether they are worth tackling.

Jaaxy is another one that will be getting a post dedicated to it in the near future.

For now, if you want to see more detailed info you can follow this link to a post written by Carson Lim. Carson is one of the co-founders of Wealthy Affiliate and a co-creator of Jaaxy. Straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

What does Jaaxy cost?

 Jaaxy Starter is free. You get 30 free searches and access to most of Jaaxy’s features.

Jaaxy Lite is a level especially created for WA Premium members. We get it included in our membership at no cost. (We also get reduced prices on upgrades to higher levels)

Jaaxy Pro is $49 per month. (Big savings on annual memberships)

Jaaxy Enterprise is $99 (Annual discounts also apply here)

My Rating?            9 out of 10

The only negative thing about Jaaxy is that at the moment we can’t search by location. I’m told this feature is to be included in an update soon. Maybe then they’ll get a 10/10

 

Should you decide at any time to consider joining the merry band here at WA, you can get Jaaxy Pro or Enterprise at around half price!

If you buy Enterprise, that discount equals more than our membership fee. So in effect you get all the membership benefits for free!

Want to know more about Wealthy Affiliate University? Click Here.

 


 

So there you have my series of “mini reviews” of eight of the best keyword tools you’ll find. If you can’t find something to suit your needs here, you’re just playing hard to get.

The Wrap-up

 

So what is my recommended keyword research tool?

It all depends on exactly what your personal situation is, but I’ve summarised the list below.

 

KW Finder: Part of a suite of tools. At $49 pm, it falls into the mid-price range, and will do pretty much all that is required. Details here.

Moz: Fairly good, but very pricey. Not my best recommendation.

SEMrush: Top of the tree where keyword tools are concerned, with a price to match. Best suited to high volume users like agencies or those with multiple websites producing large volumes of content.  SEMrush prices again, via this link.

KeySearch Pro: At $34 pm, probably the best value tool in the list. Even better if you use the code KSDISC with this link.

Keyword Supremacy: Best tool for light usage, due to the credit-based pricing structure. If you perform regular, moderate to heavy keysearches, you may be better off with a monthly subscription tool. Details here.

Long Tail Pro: A well-established keyword tool with a good reputation. High upfront price, but medium ongoing cost. Well worth considering on reputation alone. Their website here.

Power Suggest Pro: This is a keyword suggestion tool, not an in-depth competition analysis program. It does just what it says, and does it well. The best part is that you get all features for a one-off fee, which is backed by a 60 day no questions money back guarantee. Details here.

Jaaxy: I love this one, but I admit I’m biased. It’s a mid-priced keyword tool with top-end features. It compares favorably with SEMrush, but Jaaxy really comes into its own when bundled with Wealthy Affiliate membership.

eg. Jaaxy Enterprise cost $990 annually. WA Premium membership is $359 annually. Members’ discount on Jaaxy Enterprise = $495. (Similar discount on Jaaxy Pro)

Total cost for WA membership plus Jaaxy Enterprise (top level) = $854.00. (A bit over $71 pm)

For that you get possibly the best keyword tool on the market, website hosting for up to 25 of your own domains, plus 25 sub-domains, and also the absolute best training and support, affiliate resources etc etc…

 Jaaxy Website  here, and details on the WA University here Wealthy Affiliate Review


 

So that’s it. I hope you found this post valuable. Any feedback will be most welcome.

What’s your favorite keyword tool? Is there another you think I should include?

Please leave a comment or message below.

Cheers for now.

Your friend.

Thomas. (AKA Busy Bee)

2 comments

  1. Stefan Vogt says:

    Hi Thomas, I love your review.

    I haven’t yet checked all these keyword tools. I didn’t even know there were so many.

    As a Wealthy Affiliate member for me, the choice is made, I work with Jaaxy.

    I now see that Wealthy Affiliate premium membership including the Jaaxy keyword tool costs me less than if I use another tool and have to pay for it.

    I think even if I didn’t have Jaaxy already my choice would be the same. All the features provided by Jaaxy are incomparable.

    Alphabet soup, keyword search, keyword suggestions, domain checker, Site rank checker etc, just to name a few.

    • Thanks, Stefan.

      I agree with your comments re Jaaxy. For us it’s a no-brainer.

      I wanted to compare keyword tools for my own benefit so I thought I may as well write it up as a post.
      I have to say I learned a lot in the process.

      I was amazed just how much some tools cost.

      Most seem to get all their metrics from the same sources, mainly Google. Jaaxy have their own system,
      so you’ll often find the results a bit different. It’s built from the ground up as a tool for affiliate marketers.

      Thanks for dropping by, and adding your two cent’s worth.

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