The WA Keyword tool works well also and I am glad you like it. I use it as well. The reason I prefer Jaaxy is because it is an entire suite of tools in one package for an affordable price. Good choice to wait until you can budget for it. The free version gives a good taste of what is available but the paid versions both Pro and Enterprise are truly game changers. Once you make the leap you wont go back.
1) Ahrefs to quickly see “the big picture” when it comes to any keyword I'm researching. I can instantly see the top holders in the SERPs. I then immediately take the top holders list and go check out their sites. I need to make sure I can beat them content-wise, otherwise I will search for another keyword to try and rank for, or perhaps go down the long-tail route. The Ahrefs tool and data quality get better and better every year. It's one of my favorite tools.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Moz Keyword Explorer - Input a keyword in Keyword Explorer and get information like monthly search volume and SERP features (like local packs or featured snippets) that are ranking for that term. The tool extracts accurate search volume data by using live clickstream data. To learn more about how we're producing our keyword data, check out Announcing Keyword Explorer.
Ext: The number external do-follow links that are on the page linking to you. Having a link on a page with only 3 do-follow external links can be a stronger signal than a link on a page with 100 external do-follow links. You'll notice the numbers are color-coded. Green means it's a good number of external links, black means neutral and red means there are too many other links on the page.
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QSR (Quoted Search Results) – This is your competition. This is the number of websites using the same exact keyword you searched for.  If you aim under 400, you have a good chance of getting ranked (300 is ideal). I try and keep mine below 150 so I have a much better chance of getting results much quicker  The opportunities are truly endless for keywords and having this information is extremely helpful
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.
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?

Competitor analysis should be an important part of your keyword research. It’s important to know how your competitors are ranking. Competitor analysis can reveal holes in your own content. Also, you should steal ideas from your competitors. However, never use the same content. Duplicate content will also be penalized by Google and is frowned upon generally. Emulate success, but be cognizant of keyword difficulty, which measures your chances of ranking with a keyword phrase due to significant competition. Also, be aware that Google almost always rewards brand keywords to the owner. You’re unlikely to trick Google into ranking you with your competitors’ brand names.


We do a weekly checkup of our traffic count and once we saw the sudden drop, we knew something was wrong. The problem was, we didn’t do anything. I just published a new post and it suddenly became that way. I won’t go into how we investigated and fixed the cause of the drop, but this just goes to show how important it is to do a regular check of your traffic in Google Analytics. If we didn’t do the regular checks, then our traffic count might have just stayed that way until it becomes a crisis.
To check your sitemap for errors, use Screamingfrog to configure it. Open the tool and select List mode. Insert the URL of your sitemap.xml to the tool by uploading it, then selecting the option for “Download sitemap”. Screamingfrog will then confirm the URLs that are found within the sitemap file. Start crawling and once done, export the data to CSV or sort it by Status Code. This will highlight errors or other potential problems that you should head on out and fix immediately.
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