The Best Keyword Research Tools That You (Yes, You) Should Be Using

A man is only as good as his tools. In the same vein, a marketer is only as good as their keyword research tools. 

Keyword tools are, as the name suggests, essential for SEO experts to pinpoint effective keywords. 

These are often used to source content ideas or form the backbone of a salient strategy, which is why finding the best one for you, your clients or your brand is so important. 

Often the key between solving ranking difficulties and driving traffic to your website, we figured that a handy guide to the most useful keyword tools. 

Here, we’ll give you the best tools used by our in-house SEO experts and content creators, used to pinpoint the most optimum keyword opportunities to send your organic search rankings skyward. 

Houston, we have a stonker. 

Sounds good?

When we aren’t busy taking our client’s strategies into the stratosphere (see what we did there?) – we’re scoping out (and creating) tomorrow’s industry-leading tools. 

Want to see how we can help your digital marketing campaigns?

Speak to our sales team by phone at 0161 327 2635 or email [email protected].

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Ok, So What Is a Keyword Research Tool?

Sure, we can start right at the beginning. 

For those wanting a refresher course, a keyword research tool offers analysis and optimisation opportunities on topic ideas. These topics are what people are searching for (and are thusly deemed important) in the eyes of search engines such as: 

  • Google
  • Bing
  • Edge
  • and more! 

Sure, that’s cool – but how does this apply to marketing?

Well, it can aid research that helps you find, source, and plan engaging content ideas that will resonate with the customers you’re hoping to target. In fact, it can not only help you create fantastic blog posts, landing pages, and more – but generate ideas that can change the game from quarter to quarter.

You can even use keyword tools to get a little naughty. 

Using keyword research tools, you can see where your competitors are ranking for both seed keywords and long-tail keywords.

By targeting these with a tailored content strategy, you could effectively steal their traffic by boosting your website with these themes – helping you nab extra eyeballs. 

C’mon. You know words have power. 

So, Which One of These Keyword Research Tools Is Right for You?

No two websites are the same – so why should the same keyword tool fit the bill every time? 

You can tailor your keyword tool and put them to work in different ways, but the one that suits you best might come down to a few factors: 

  • Budget 
  • Longtail vs Short Keywords 
  • Questions 

And, of course, who your audience is. 

So let’s take a closer look at the contenders. 

Answer The Public

For question-based keywords, which is handy if you’re looking to target SERP-based enquiries, Answer The Public is a great place to start. 

To find questions people are searching for, Answer The Public uses autocomplete. All you have to do is enter a broad topic, choose a country, and press the “search” button.

If you search for a particular term, you’ll find ideas split into five categories:

  • questions 
  • prepositions 
  • comparisons 
  • alphabeticals

Other than alphabeticals, Answer The People visualises the keyword ideas in a huge wheel, splitting them into grouped sections for easier navigation. 

For question-based longtail keywords, which are catnip for service-sector audiences, this makes it easy to find new and interesting ideas. 

Any Downsides?

The only issue is that, unlike other methods, it doesn’t showcase keyword search volumes. So if you’re looking to tactically pursue a low-ranking keyword or figure out the competitive ones duking it out at the top, you’re fresh out of luck. 

However, the red circles next to each keyword (supposedly) tell you whether it gets a high, average, or low number of monthly searches.


A favourite for Embryo SEOs, SEMrush is a very popular all-in-one SEO tool that provides detailed keyword metrics, search volume trends, and competitor analysis, allowing users to identify profitable keywords.

In terms of a complete suite, it has pretty advanced keyword research features, making it one of the most comprehensive tools on the market. 

With organic and paid search data available, such as cost per click and monthly search volume metrics, it is a handy kit for any agency to have on deck, with useful shortcuts such as keyword difficulty analysis helping out in a pinch. 

That also includes competitor research, site auditing and even backlink analysis.

Neat, huh?

Any Downsides?

The data for SEMrush only covers Google, which means you might miss numbers coming in from competitor search engines such as Microsoft Edge, Bing and more. 


Robust and fueled with an extensive backlink database, this toolset is great for all your topline needs keyword research, backlink analysis, and competitor research.

As well as your usual run-of-the-mill keyword ideas, Ahrefs also provides search volume data, keyword difficulty scores, and insights into top-ranking pages.

This content gap analysis and competitor analysis is powerful stuff, especially when it’s paired with rank tracking, site auditing, and more.

Any Downsides?

If you’re on a budget, you might find that certain features, such as the SEO audit, are out of bounds. The free version is a great taster, but unfortunately, you miss out on some of the deeper features that can make amazing things happen. 

If you’re looking to stick with this one, go big or go home. 

Moz Keyword Explorer

It’s nice to be friendly.

With a focus on user-friendly metrics and unique angle pulls, Moz is another keyword explorer that works on providing valuable suggestions for SEO experts. 

Unlike its siblings, it aspires to be a little different, boasting unique metrics: 

  • Keyword Difficulty Ranking
  • Organic CTR 

These features can help you prioritise the best keywords with a glance. 

Features: Keyword suggestions, search volume data, keyword difficulty analysis, organic click-through rate (CTR), SERP analysis, and more.


Another simple but powerful tool, KWFinder from Mangools does what it says on the tin: it finds long-tail keywords and judges them by level of difficulty. 

Designed with the user in mind, it’s all about stripping back complicated tabs and trickery with intuitive visuals and useful metrics to sniff out long-tail keywords with low competition.

With features such as search volume data, keyword difficulty analysis and suggestions, SERP analysis and location-specific keyword research – this is a great little allrounder. 

Conclusion: It’s Makin’ Your Mind Up Time

In the immortal words of Buck’s Fizz,  it’s all about ‘makin’ your mind up!’

In the SEO industry, keyword research is indispensable, and these tools are among the best you can find.

Choosing the right SEO and marketing tool depends on your specific needs as well as your budget – as each option has unique features and strengths.

So the first port of call is to identify your brand’s primary focus and your budget in order to find the SEO strategy that works for your business.

Whatever you choose, finding a great SEO tool is paramount to a great strategy. Much like Ant and Dec, you can’t have one without the other.

So if you’re looking for help driving organic growth, or want to explore a multi-channel approach to your digital marketing efforts, get in touch with our team of specialists today!

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