I recently decided to go with ahrefs after using spyfu for a couple years and trialing secockpit. I was a moz client for awhile too about a year ago. I found spyfu data to be sketchy (or just plain wrong) fairly often, and moz, I don’t know, just didn’t seem like they were really into supporting what I wanted to know. secockpit was achingly slow for a trickle of data. ahrefs isn’t nearly so graph-y as spyfu, but they are so blazing fast and the data is so deep. I enjoy it a great deal, even if it is spendy.


I think people's aresenal of keyword research tools are mostly the same: 1) You need a tool to examine search volume, most likely Google Keyword Planner 2) A tool to help you generate more keyword ideas. Tools that work with the search engines' autosuggestions are very popular such as KeywordTool.io and Ubersuggest 3) Then people might add a tool broaden the depth of their data, maybe including something like Google Trends or Moz's Keyword Difficulty tool.


Great Top 10 keyword research tools list. Thank you for posting Robbie! I really appreciated the feedback from the experts. There are a definitely a few tools here worthy of taking note of. I have also been using DYNO Mapper (http://www.dynomapper.com) as a keyword research tool. DYNO Mapper is a visual sitemap generator that delivers keywords on all pages of any site. The user simply inputs any existing URL into the system and it will scan thousands of pages.
Pro Tip: the more love your website needs to be optimized, the more you should consider investing in a website redesign or a whole new website built with SEO in mind from the start. Key Medium can conduct a thorough technical website and SEO audit and walk you through recommendations to develop an action plan customized to your business goals, needs, and budget.

An SSL certifcate is an absolute must. Even if you are not giving visitors a login, for them to access certain areas of your site - getting an SSL is essential now and does help in boosting your trust and help in ranking higher. For ecommerce sites and other sites that provide login areas - its an absolute must, or users of chrome will see a "red screen" while they access your site.

KWFinder is one of those tools I use multiple times throughout every single day. Whenever I come up with an idea for a post or am writing a post I always make sure to check on the keyword volume and difficulty. It makes the process for keyword research way easier than other tools! I am always surprised by how fast the tool returns the results. Especially if you compare it to alternatives like Long Tail Pro, which I stopped using a long time ago. Whether you are blogging, creating landing pages, or writing any kind of content for the web, I highly urge you to try KWFinder. It is become a crucial part of my toolset and I would not be as good of a marketer without it.


One important strategy for getting specific enough to rank is researching long-tail keyword phrases. For instance, instead of searching for travel agent, a user may prefer the specificity of “Disney travel agents for European cruises.” Seventy percent of Google search are long-tail queries. Long-tail presents the opportunity to optimize for your target audience. As you research keywords, look for long-tail keyword phrases you can prioritize.


1) SEMrush - I believe that among all the 3rd party software, SEMrush has the largest keyword database. Their search volume data is pretty accurate and aligns with the Google keyword planner. Also, based on the type of content that needs to be produced (i.e. informational, transactional, etc.), one can utilize different filtering options available in it.

If the pages you’ve created don’t rank for the keywords you’ve selected, you should re-evaluate your content strategy and adjust. If your page isn’t generating organic traffic, focus on less competitive keywords. Unfortunately in reality this is pretty common. The good thing is, you’ve collected a lot of actual keyword data at this stage. Adjust your keyword strategy and use this data in your advantage.      
One important strategy for getting specific enough to rank is researching long-tail keyword phrases. For instance, instead of searching for travel agent, a user may prefer the specificity of “Disney travel agents for European cruises.” Seventy percent of Google search are long-tail queries. Long-tail presents the opportunity to optimize for your target audience. As you research keywords, look for long-tail keyword phrases you can prioritize.
Anjali, I think you should start with the Keyword Planner from Google. As a free option it is one of the best. SEMRush is great but you need to pay for it to be really effective. After GKP (Google Keyword Planner) I would also take a look at the other, more unknown suggestions Ankit talked about like KWFinder or Keyword Eye – they are quite good and will sometimes reveal keywords you wouldn’t find otherwise (for free).

Once you’ve profiled your customers, it’s time to brainstorm what topics your target audience is interested in. What topics are people searching for related to your business? “Google suggest” is a wonderful resource for brainstorming keywords. Google will predict queries based on audience patterns and, by doing so, reveal popular search queries. Social media, YouTube and Wikipedia also similarly reveal search trends by attempting to complete your queries. Do not forget about on-site search! You may have a wealth of topic data in your own analytics. Your website analytics will reveal what your customers are searching for on your website.
We need a metric to compare our specific level of authority (and likelihood of ranking) to other websites. Google’s own metric is called PageRank, named after Google founder Larry Page. Way back in the day, you could look up the PageRank for any website. It was shown on a scale of one-to-ten right there in a Google toolbar that many of us added to our browsers.
By quality of the post we are basically talking about the overall authority and ability to engage. A post with low quality will eventually get lower engagement levels by users and that signal will be passed down to Google eventually - that will result in loss of overall quality score of the site. Churning out content that is put out for the sake of driving blog post numbers and not the users - is a failing strategy.
Thanks so much for offering this helpful tool. It is very useful. In case you want feedback, I think it would be great if you could please also consider including another column to display the linked page (i.e., the actual page that the backlink goes to on the domain). When selecting “All pages on this domain” it is difficult to know which page each backlink is going to on the domain. Thanks for your consideration.
XML sitemaps are especially useful because it lists your site’s most important pages, allowing the search engine to crawl them all and increase understanding on your website’s structure. Webmasters use the XML Sitemap to highlight the pages on their sites that are available for crawling. This XML file lists URLs together with additional meta-data about each of these links.
I recently decided to go with ahrefs after using spyfu for a couple years and trialing secockpit. I was a moz client for awhile too about a year ago. I found spyfu data to be sketchy (or just plain wrong) fairly often, and moz, I don’t know, just didn’t seem like they were really into supporting what I wanted to know. secockpit was achingly slow for a trickle of data. ahrefs isn’t nearly so graph-y as spyfu, but they are so blazing fast and the data is so deep. I enjoy it a great deal, even if it is spendy.
I have been using KWFinder for over a year now and can’t believe I haven’t shared this with you guys yet. It is hands down the best keyword research tool out there! It’s one of those rare tools you find that just never closes in your browser. It’s fast, the UI is amazing, and it is what I use to base my keyword research on for every blog post I write on all my sites. I haven’t used Google’s Keyword Planner for a long time, and to be honest I always hated it. If you are looking for a good Keyword Planner alternative, then look no further! Check out my in-depth KWFinder review below.
After diagnosing your site through the different facets of the search engine (Google), it’s time for you to check your website as an entity. The tool we’ve always used to check on our site’s onsite status is Screaming Frog. We’ve always used it as the websites we handle grow larger as the months pass by. You set the parameters and it’s even capable of crawling/compiling outbound links to let you know if you have broken links. Here’s what the overview looks like:
The pages on your site that are long form content or are the key pages - must have Outbound Links to other "authority Sites" and pages in your industry or niche. By no means should you link to your competitors pages - but Google is rewarding pages that understand which other authority pages exist in its niche - and pull them into a "link cluster". back in the days we were all scared to link out to ther sites - fearing that our link juice will leak out. However, this is not the case and Google is rewarding people for sharing other authority and relevant content online.
Given you have a good idea of where to start and are fairly confident you are speaking the same language as your client, jump start research by generating related keyphrases and long tail variants with the ever so easy to use Google Autocomplete. This tool makes predictions based on what you are typing that are a reflection of Google search activity.
You can improve your site speed by a ton of methods, but the overall goal should be to test your site from different geo-locations using a tool like pingdom and then attend to issues. You could go for a CDN provider like Cloudflare or install caching plugins that speed up your site by reducing database queries and therefore the server load. Choosing the right hosting company for you is a critical decision and is based on many factors including your CMS, expected site traffic, and what your goals are for the site amongst others.
You can also indicate which pages don't need to be crawled or are not important. You call the Googlebot to crawl and index your site from inside the Google Search Console. However, do note that although Google "looks" at your sitemap - Google is more interested in doing a raw crawl of your site - jumping from one link to another to spider all the pages in its database. By doing that, it also forms a link map of your site into its own index - which tell it which pages on your site are the most important pages (they are the ones that have the most links - the most prominent links).

To answer your final question, yes but not really. You can definitely use AdWord keyword planner tool to get solid organic search volume estimates. However, don’t just stop there. Leverage other tools to find longer tail variations you can map against various stages of the buyer journey. I like to use SEMrush, Keyword Tool.io and Google autosuggest.
KWFinder is one of those tools I use multiple times throughout every single day. Whenever I come up with an idea for a post or am writing a post I always make sure to check on the keyword volume and difficulty. It makes the process for keyword research way easier than other tools! I am always surprised by how fast the tool returns the results. Especially if you compare it to alternatives like Long Tail Pro, which I stopped using a long time ago. Whether you are blogging, creating landing pages, or writing any kind of content for the web, I highly urge you to try KWFinder. It is become a crucial part of my toolset and I would not be as good of a marketer without it.
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SEO Power –This takes into account the three other metrics above and determines if your keyword is a good candidate to get ranked, the indicated number is a % chance of ranking on page 1 for your keyword provided you have good content. If you can get ranked, you WILL make money online as long as you provide quality content when people find your article.

Internal duplicate content is when you have more than one URL address pointing to one and the same page. A great example for such duplicate content is e-commerce websites. Usually, online shops use multiple filters (for price, color, size, etc.) in order to help their users find the right products easily. The problem occurs when this internal duplicate content has not been taken care of properly (noindex tags, canonical tags and robots.txt rules). This can have a devastating effect on your SEO.
What is KWFinder? Well, KWFinder is really an alternative to Google’s keyword planner, which just sucks. Anyone that uses AdWords or any of Google’s tools on a daily basis know that they are just very clunky and the UI is lacking. But of course, it is free so sometimes you can’t be too picky. But in my opinion, if a tool provides real value and speeds up my work, then it is worth every penny.
Keyword research is a constant process. Trends change. Seasons change. Popular terms and catch-phrases change. SEO and marketing agencies are a great resource for ensuring that keyword research is done on a regular basis. You should refresh your research at least quarterly, ideally monthly, to stay ahead of your competitors. Partnering with a reputable SEO agency is a great way to ensure you’re always ahead of your competition.

Note - at this point Google already has baseline metrics from other search results. So, if your site beats them by a factor of say 3x then Google thinks - hey.. this page looks to be way better - so why not stick its rankings in the long term and why not even bounce it up higher and see what happens and measure again how users engage with the site?

Once I have a list of phrases, rankings, and volumes from these tools, I'll look to internal tools (maybe Excel, Access, or another database) to organize, classify, and forecast opportunity. This is where I'll estimate a competitor's traffic based on volume & position CTR, set goals for a target position, and estimate traffic based off that position's CTR and keyword volume.
So after seeing the keyword “blogging” is hard to rank for, what should you do? Well, this is where I use another free tool to even more quickly generate long tail variations. KWFinder does this as well, but not as quick. So I launch a tool called Ubersuggest . It is 100% free and no subscriptions required unlike keywordtool.io. So I input the keyword “blogging” into it and I search for a better long tail variation. I see one that catches my eye, “blogging away debt.”
If you have an "Action against Site" notice - then your site drops out totally from the SERPs and you have essentially been de-indexed. There will be a notice from the manual webspam team (real person) inside Search Console messages. If this happens, you cannot do much other than fix things and then send a plea and appeal to Google literally begging them to put your site back in their index - because you have cleaned up everything you do (or your SEO company did to your site).
Thanks so much for offering this helpful tool. It is very useful. In case you want feedback, I think it would be great if you could please also consider including another column to display the linked page (i.e., the actual page that the backlink goes to on the domain). When selecting “All pages on this domain” it is difficult to know which page each backlink is going to on the domain. Thanks for your consideration.

Search volume based on trends is ever-changing. Twitter, YouTube and news aggregators are great resources for identifying popular trends. Take advantage of trends in your field as well as trends in business, technology, local, pop culture and world events to promote your product. You can garner significant web traffic by beating your competitors to the punch.


I used to work on Youtube and blog at the same time. But when Neil Patel removed keywords research option for Youtube from Ubersuggest. I was shocked. Currently, I am working on the education board result and using free tools because I am new and have not enough money to consume paid tools. But your article taught me about more free keywords research tools. I will try them all. Thanks.
Jaaxy is an online keyword finder owned by Kyle Loudoun and Carson Lim that promises to help you find low-competition keywords that will help you improve your rank in the search engines. Other Jaaxy features include alphabet soup, which allows you to brainstorm for keywords; saved list, which allows you to save your list of keywords so that you can view them later; and search analysis, which lets you search what is already on search engines such as Yahoo, Google, and Bing. Jaaxy offers a free trial as you get started, and you can also choose between the pro version and the enterprise version if you like how it works.
Checking if your site is indexed properly is essential. You can do this inside Search Console. You need to make sure that all your pages are crawled and indexed and that you don't have any 404 errors or other page indexing issues - which includes the AMP (Accelerated Mobile Page) indexing issues - should you already have submitted your AMP powered site for the mobile index.
Thanks so much for offering this helpful tool. It is very useful. In case you want feedback, I think it would be great if you could please also consider including another column to display the linked page (i.e., the actual page that the backlink goes to on the domain). When selecting “All pages on this domain” it is difficult to know which page each backlink is going to on the domain. Thanks for your consideration.
Jaaxy analyzes two metric variants to determine the SEO quality of your chosen keyword. The first one is traffic, while the second one is competition. It will then give you a score from 1 – 100. When the number is high, it means that other sites you are competing with have poorly optimized their websites, and you’ll get an acceptable number of visitors. Anything over 80 is really good.
We also have a very unique “Local Search” only keyword search that cross references the populations of all towns and cities in USA, Canada & UK. So you can put in a search like “plumber” then choose to see all the cities in “California” with a population of between 50k – 100k and it will spit out plumber suggestions attached to the locale. Pretty neat.
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