The Google Keyword Tool is SUPER helpful for building a foundation for your keyword research strategy. At the end of the day, these search numbers are coming straight from the horses mouth. You can filter down to a hyper-local level and see which keywords are getting the largest search volume. Plus, with it’s integration with PPC you can get a quick idea about commercial intent by looking at the bid and competition metrics. How much are people bidding on KWs, higher = more likely to generate a return. Usually its aligned with search intent. That said, the trending data is a little less reliable. I would still use Trends to analyze the popularity/ seasonality of KW search volume.
KWFinder was developed and created by Peter Hrbacik. He is amazing at providing great support for the tool. They have live chat on their website, which I have used quite a few times during the day. Also, their email support is also awesome. Below are a couple email conversations I have had with Peter. In this first email I suggested that they make the category headers clickable. Peter responded within 24 hours and said they will probably change it. And a couple days later, the change was implemented.
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.
2) SEMrush- This tool offers fantastic competitive research around domains to find what keywords could be driving traffic for your competitors. Looking at paid keywords ad spend can also help you know which keywords might have monetary value worth pursuing organically. If a competitor is willing to spend a high ad budget on terms and you think they do a good job running their ad campaign, then its a good indication it is worth organic ranking effort.

Internal Links can spell the difference between leads that you can encourage to convert to a customer. Internal Linking Audit should make you well-versed in determining which URLs are relevant to your site. Check it by making sure that you are linking to the correct page version, most of which are in an HTTP/HTTPS format. Link on absolute URLs and do not forget to link to canonical page versions.
The highest number is the one that would give you the most potential return. If you have a big-time domain and can rank pretty easily on competitive keywords, start at the top. If you’re a newer, smaller site and can’t really play with the big guns yet, it might make more sense to start in the middle of the sorted keyword research list – these aren’t the “monster” keywords in your niche, but they’re also less competitive, and therefore easier to rank on.

I will be creating a resources page with a massive set of links to the best tools. Please do subscribe to get the alert when I post it. I’ll also put up my live audit series shortly on my new Youtube Channel. That has a ton of stuff in it! There’s some neat look over the shoulder audits. A lot of the stuff has to be done manually and by just using a handful of tools. You don’t need too many weapons!


To find keywords which generate traffic and conversions, try to use modifiers that are appropriate for your niche. If you run a business that sells on a large scale, modifiers such as the words ‘wholesaler’ or ‘retailer’ can help you find your ideal client. People looking for quality use modifiers such as ‘best’ or ‘elegant,’ while those looking for the best price use ‘cheap’ or ‘discount’ to find your product.
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.
I like to start with Google first, because Google looks at more of the words within our blog post and tends to keep content evergreen longer. This method is so simple and I learned it from Lena over at WhatMommyDoes.com. Simply go to Google and start typing in a couple words related to your blog post. It will give you suggestions of what people are searching for – hello, keywords!
To find keywords which generate traffic and conversions, try to use modifiers that are appropriate for your niche. If you run a business that sells on a large scale, modifiers such as the words ‘wholesaler’ or ‘retailer’ can help you find your ideal client. People looking for quality use modifiers such as ‘best’ or ‘elegant,’ while those looking for the best price use ‘cheap’ or ‘discount’ to find your product.
Keyword research is an important part of SEO, because it will help you to understand the interests of your customers. Based on this knowledge, you’re able to identify  keyword opportunities in your industry that will help you to write successful online content. By doing your keyword research the right way, your able to have a positive impact on your content performance. Translating into higher rankings, better content engagement and a higher conversion rate. 
All these need to be looked at individually and then compared to the current top ranking competitors. A site which as excessive amounts of backlinks as compared to the competition and that is not ranking, indicates that the backlinks are too spammy or the site content and user experience is very poor or there has been spamor a penalty associated with the site.
Hi, Great article! the tools you listed in this article are great. I tried only Keyword planner and at present I’m using a long tail pro for Keyword search but I didn’t try the other tools you said. Because I’m new to this and now only I’m learning one by one. At this time, I thought this guide will help me to know more about keyword search tools. It’s wonder and thank you so much for this nice guide.
Are you a business owner, online marketer or content creator? If so, most likely you would like more people to visit your website, read your content and buy your products or services. The easiest way to achieve it is to find out what your potential customers or readers are searching for on Google and create content on your website around these topics.
Hey Alex – this is a good question. No tool is going to be spot on. My advice is to not look too much into the accuracy of the metrics, but look at it more as a relative measure. I’m finding Ahrefs to be a good barometer for keyword competitiveness, but I’ve also heard great things about KW Finder lately. I think it’ll more come to personal preference. Both are solid options.

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.
The higher the search volume for a given keyword or keyword phrase, the more work is typically required to achieve higher rankings. This is often referred to as keyword difficulty and occasionally incorporates SERP features; for example, if many SERP features (like featured snippets, knowledge graph, carousels, etc) are clogging up a keyword’s result page, difficulty will increase. Big brands often take up the top 10 results for high-volume keywords, so if you’re just starting out on the web and going after the same keywords, the uphill battle for ranking can take years of effort.
In Chapter 2, we learned about SERP features. That background is going to help us understand how searchers want to consume information for a particular keyword. The format in which Google chooses to display search results depends on intent, and every query has a unique one. Google describes these intents in their Quality Rater Guidelines as either “know” (find information), “do” (accomplish a goal), “website” (find a specific website), or “visit-in-person” (visit a local business).
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.
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. 

What this does is give you an idea of how realistic it is for you to target keywords with high commercial value. You want to go after keywords with some volume, because they’ll have a better return in terms of traffic. But you don’t necessarily want to go after the most competitive keywords, because you’re less likely to be able to rank for them. You’re looking for a sweet spot.
2) SpyFu: I suggest to have paid account on SpyFu. I just need to find my competitors who using Adwords and review them using this tool. It will show me what ads and keywords they are using. Note that my competitor who paid for that particular keyword knows exactly that it is important for his business including recent trends. Also using SEO feature you can input any URL and find our which keywords they are ranking for.

I like to start with Google first, because Google looks at more of the words within our blog post and tends to keep content evergreen longer. This method is so simple and I learned it from Lena over at WhatMommyDoes.com. Simply go to Google and start typing in a couple words related to your blog post. It will give you suggestions of what people are searching for – hello, keywords! 

Yes Jaaxy has it all really. Not just Keywords and an Awesome new Rank Checker but also competition information and other methods for searching. Much More under the hood than what is a first glance..Highly recommend getting in with Pro Or Enterprise BEFORE SEPTEMBER so you can keep the current price structure. Those in after September will be subject to new prices..I am Glad you like jaaxy, keep using it and you will see how accurate the data really is.
Brian, thank you for all of these informative guides! I started out as a digital marketing intern and everything that I learned from your site has helped me land a job as a marketing specialist. I’m truly grateful and enjoy everything that you published so far. If you have a chance, I’ve started using this tool called SEOClarity, I was wondering what’s your take on it? Have you used it before or know anyone that has?
Your local listing in Google is your “Google My Business” page. To improve the ranking of this listing in the local search results, make sure that your business information is up to date in Google My Business, within all of the Internet Yellow Pages websites (IYPs) and anywhere else where your business name, address and phone number (NAP) appears. An instance of your NAP is called a “citation.”
Its important that you setup your social channels and interlink them and then engage with your users on social with the right content and drive traffic to your site through these channels. Racking up fake signals and fake followers who do not engage or visit your site through the channels, is easily detected by Google as false and it does not help your rankings.
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.
When you go about doing your content marketing and spreading your content online, you must post the right content in the appropriate social channel - for example video on Youtube about new product line vs business anniversary on Twitter or Linkedin. This also ensures that people engage at higher levels with your content and are not spammed with content they do not want.
Of all the tools listed in this article, Moz Link explorer is an old one & quite popular.  If you want to compare backlinks between two or more domains, Open Site Explorer is worth trying. This tool works best when you have a paid account of SEOMOZ though a free version of this tool is good enough to get you started checking the backlinks of your site and the sites of your competitors.
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.
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