Keyword research tools Which ones to use?

If you want to do high-quality keyword research, you’ll need a lot of time. Keyword research is a process which requires you to get inside the heads of your audience. You want to find out which words they are using. After that, you’ll need to analyze which keywords you should go after first. What’s more, you need to assess the competition: focusing on long tail keywords could be a good strategy, especially when trying to rank in a highly competitive market. Doing all that is difficult, as well as time-consuming. Luckily, there are several tools out there to make things a little easier. This post will give you some handy tips and keyword research tools to boost your keyword research.

Repeat keyword research regularly!

Keyword research is an activity you should undertake every now and then. If you have a clear definition of the product or service you offer on your website, you should be able to come up with keywords, related keywords, and even more relevant keywords to make your awesome website (more) findable. As your product and the market will evolve, your keyword strategy should, too.

Resemble the vocabulary of your audience

The keywords you want to focus your SEO on should closely resemble the vocabulary of your audience. In order to come up with the proper keywords you really have to get inside the heads of the people who search for your website. What terms will people use? How do people search and what is their intent? Which question does your website answer? You should create a list of all search terms people could use and think of combinations and nuances within these search terms.

Keyword research tools to use

Making a list remains hard. Up until a few years ago, doing your keyword research was much easier. You could simply check Google Analytics to see which terms people used to find your website. That is no longer possible. So you’re pretty much left in the dark about the terms people use in search engines to end up at your website. Luckily, there are some other tools which can make your keyword research a bit easier, and could help you speed up the process a bit:

Google Adwords Keyword Planner

Use the Google Adwords Keyword Planner to find new and related keywords, but ignore the search volume data! The search volume data in the planner is really only useful for keywords that you’re actually spending money on to advertise. Otherwise, these volumes are not reliable. While not really helpful to decide which keyword is most used by your potential audience, Google Adwords Keyword Planner is a useful tool to help find ideas for potential keywords!

Yoast Suggest

Joost developed his own keyword research tool to come up with keywords as well! Yoast Suggest uses the Google Suggest functionality you know from searching in Google. It finds the keyword expansions Google gives and then requests more of them. So if you type ‘example‘, it’ll also give you the expansions for ‘example a…’ till ‘example z…’ etc. Just go on and try it! Fill out some of your potential keywords and see what comes up. It’s a great way to quickly find more long tail keywords you can focus on.

Answer the public

Another tool we love is Answer the public. It’s a bit like our suggest tool, but it really focuses on questions people have about a certain topic. It shows all kinds of combinations with prepositions and comparisons. And its visualization is pretty awesome!

Google Trends

Google Trends allows you to compare the traffic for sets of keywords. You can even see the difference between keywords for numerous geographical regions. It’s very important to check Google Trends if you expect that some of your keywords are seasonal, for instance, due to regulations, holiday seasons etc.


Moz has a very nice tool which gauges how competitive your keyword is. Keywords that are very difficult to rank for, are probably not the ones you want to go after (unless you have a very authoritative, high-ranking website already). The Moz tool will probably help you speed up your keyword research. It does come with a little price tag, however.

Your internal search engine

What are people looking for on your site? These terms are keywords in the vocabulary of your actual audience and should definitely be added to your keyword list. Do not forget to look at the keywords people filled in that didn’t yield any results: this was stuff people were expecting but didn’t find. You can look into the results of your internal search in Google Analytics at Behavior → Site Search → Search Terms.


These keyword research tools should make it easier to create a list of relevant search terms. You should make sure to create awesome landing pages for keywords you want to be found on. You should also think about cornerstone content articles and a great internal linking structure in order to make your SEO strategy complete. In our keyword research training, we dive much deeper into keywords, landing pages, and long tail keywords.

Read more: Keyword research: the ultimate guide »

18 Responses to Keyword research tools: which ones to use?

  1. Halal IT
    Halal IT  • 1 year ago

    i using ‘keyword planner’ and ‘ubersuggest’. Both are awesome tools

  2. Digital Marketing Agency
    Digital Marketing Agency  • 1 year ago

    Thankyou for this information. I use “ubersuggest” by neilpatel or “keyword planner”

  3. Wes Cardwell
    Wes Cardwell  • 1 year ago

    I am struggling to develop keywords for my large scale commercial landscaping company that weed out small time residential landscaping search traffic. Like many businesses, the landscaping industry specific terms are not common knowledge. But the common knowledge search terms for landscaping tend to yield results for small companies that specialize in small residential projects (people who want these companies are not really my audience).

    I suspect that the common lingo about landscaping is actually driven more by the residential market than the commercial market. Such that even people who really want a large commercial landscaping company will still use the same search terms that bring up small residential landscaping companies.

    So my question is this: Do I optimize for keywords that I know will bring residential traffic but are more popular and common, or do I optimize for less common keywords that are more true to my business but will exclude much of the landscaping related search traffic?

  4. saumya
    saumya  • 1 year ago

    Thankyou for this information. I use “ubersuggest” by neilpatel or “keyword planner” for suggestions on which keyword should I use for my website.

    • Hanneke
      Hanneke  • 1 year ago

      Awesome! How do you like those tools?

  5. Pedro
    Pedro  • 1 year ago

    I use Keysearch dot co, and I think it helps me a lot. I’ve never used any others, but will give some of these a go.

    • Hanneke
      Hanneke  • 1 year ago

      Great to hear that you found something that helps you. We would love to know how you like the others!

  6. countee
    countee  • 1 year ago

    There are lots of keyword research tools like long tail pro, key word reveler, ahref etc. Usually they take search volume from adword API. Google ads keyword research tool is more authentic and free for all.

  7. Lisa Jones
    Lisa Jones  • 1 year ago

    This is the first time I am hearing about Yoast Suggest & Answer the Public. Thank you for giving that info, I will try them right away.

    • Hanneke
      Hanneke  • 1 year ago

      Hi Lisa,
      You’re very welcome. Good luck!


  8. ify
    ify  • 1 year ago

    i use “Ubersuggest free keyword tool” of neilpatel. And also take some form google search console query and some suggestions form LSI keywords. thanks

  9. iphonesmsbackup
    iphonesmsbackup  • 1 year ago

    Google Adwords keyword planner is the best keyword research tool for everyone free, Google trends is the wonderful tool in helping to choose the right keywords among the bucket of your keywords

  10. arjun
    arjun  • 1 year ago

    Thank you so much for writing. i have been using “Ubersuggest free keyword tool” of neilpatel. And i also take some help form google search console query and some suggestions form LSI keywords.

  11. Vishesh
    Vishesh  • 1 year ago

    Yoast suggest is definitely a great tool for keywords planning, obviously there are many tools but I personally rate it higher

  12. تور لحظه آخری
    تور لحظه آخری  • 1 year ago

    What are your suggestions for finding quality keywords and high searches?

  13. Prosperity O Kenneth
    Prosperity O Kenneth  • 1 year ago

    I have been using MOZ and yoast suggest. Awesome tools!!!

  14. 24techsoftaustralia
    24techsoftaustralia  • 1 year ago

    A great many tools for keyword research, but the article seems to miss the Pros and Cons of a particular individual tool.

  15. Mike
    Mike  • 1 year ago

    Thanks for tips and sites that offer help in finding keywords. I have no affiliation with this but I have used LongTailPro in the past and really like their software. Another way to find good keywords is through Ahrefs. On Ahrefs I search my competitors backlink profile and view what words they are ranking for.