SEO 101: My Favorite Keyword Research Tools

How do you find the best keywords for my business? This is a question that clients always ask me.

They want to understand exactly how keywords work, and how they will make back their money from search engine optimization and pay per click campaigns.

One of the most fundamental steps when starting your search campaign is finding targeted keywords that prospects will use when buying a product online.

The tools below help you do this more effectively. While using tools is not a cure all for search engine marketers, it definitely optimizes your chances for success.

Keyword Research Tools for SEO

Remember, the tool is only as good as the person using it. The more you know and understand how to place keywords in search campaigns, the more qualified traffic you receive.

I have a more expansive SEO tools list, but here are seven of the best keyword research tools that I use to help research keywords for SEO and PPC.


Which keywords are the best for SEO? What are the best ways to perform PPC keyword research and choose the best keywords for AdWords or Bing Ads? How do you find the appropriate keywords for your target audience?
With the SEMrush Keyword Research feature, you can easily answer all of these questions.


This is a free keyword suggestion tool to provide you with up to 750 alternative keywords to use for your area of focus. You can use this to create similar articles to ones that are already ranking on Google, or find comparable buying keywords on your ad campaign.

You still need to make sure that these keywords rank well with your audience with some of the other tools that we discuss below. However, is a great site to start coming up with ideas.

Go through their list of keywords, and determine which keywords are the best fit for your campaign. Do your best to choose the top 10-20 keywords. Otherwise, you will be overwhelmed with choices of what to do.

Continually add more keywords as you improve your skills with keyword marketing.


WordStream has a complete set of tools to help you with your keyword research. Many of these are premium tools. They are most well-known for their Free Keyword Tool.

While the pro account comes with an entire suite of additional programs, the Free Keyword Tool is great when starting your search for great keywords. Enter in the keyword you want, and 30 different keywords appear with the relative frequency of usage for each keyword.

Additionally, the paid version comes with some nice tools like the AdWords performance grader and the 20 minute PPC work week to help business owners easily manage their AdWords campaigns. Normally, ad managers spend hours running these campaigns.

Market Samurai

Unlike the other tools, we mentioned above, Market Samurai only has a premium keyword research tool. They do provide you with a 30 day free trial to test out Market Samurai for your business.

This is a great product if you plan on doing keyword research on a continual basis. You can save searches for future use, and you have the ability to do the following:

  • Run keyword generation campaigns,
  • Analyze SEO competition
  • Track your website rank for specific keywords
  • Search for keyword-rich domains.
  • Publish content onto your WordPress blog
  • Promote your site by finding quality backlinks

This application has it all when it comes to search engine marketing. The best part about the pricing for Market Samura is that the product only has a one-time fee, and has continual updates throughout the year.


Have you ever wanted to know what your competition is doing? Then you will want to check out Spyfu. This is the where you can learn what keywords your competitors are using to discover the “secret marketing formulas of your most successful competitor.”

Part of keyword research involves understanding exactly what your competitors are doing, so you can find a profitable niche. However, another part of keyword research involves modeling what successful companies do, so you can get similar results.

Spyfu makes this possible. They help you evaluate the successes and failures of other companies search engine and pay per click strategy.

Keyword Eye

A great tool to segment your keywords into a word cloud to help you visually understand how much traffic and competition you will face for each keyword.

The basic version (free) gives you up to 10 searches for keywords per day. When you search on Keyword Eye, the site gives you a word cloud with the 100 top results.

The cool thing about the cloud is that the size of the keyword reflects the number of searches queries, as well as marking how much pay per click competition there is by color. Red, yellow, and green show the high, medium, and low competition searches respectively.

The idea being that the redder the color, the more you should avoid the specific keyword. The competition might be too intense for small and medium size businesses to compete for that specific keyword.

Final note: While they show only PPC competition here, Keyword Eye is also a good indicator for how much search engine competition you will face.

Therefore, a large, green word almost has a bulls-eye that says write great content for that keyword.

Google Keyword Planner

Most keyword research is not complete unless you use the Keyword Planner tool from Google. Intended initially for AdWords campaigns, this also helps search marketers plan their campaigns accordingly.

A number of the other search tools that we discussed here today like Market Samurai and Wordstream get a lot of their data from this tool. The benefits of using the specific tools that work with Google’s Keyword Planner is that the information is organized more effectively to help search marketers succeed.

Additional Keyword Tool Resources

Additional articles writing about keyword research tools.

Final Thoughts

Investing in search can be a major commitment for many small and medium size businesses. Truly, the use of these campaigns can be the major difference in your success.

That is why the tools we discussed today are some of the best we found to help you obtain your goals. Whether you are blogging, optimizing your website for keywords, or running a pay per click campaign, these keywords can be a tremendous guide for your business.

Let me know in the comment section below, which keyword research tool is your favorite.

43 responses to “SEO 101: My Favorite Keyword Research Tools”

  1. […] 7 Keyword Research Tools You Should Be Using for SEO Research […]

  2. […] 7 Keyword Research Tools You Should Be Using for SEO Research […]

  3. Very useful list for finding keyword search. I was using only google. But these other tools are also friendly.

  4. Charlie Rose says:

    Hi Gayatri,

    Thanks for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment. I appreciate your positive feedback! Here’s another blog post you might find interesting: The 40 Best SEO Tools and Search Software (Free and Paid Tools)


  5. Solidworks says:

    That was a great article.I learn lot of new things about keyword research tools.Thanks for sharing.

  6. Charlie Rose says:

    Hey Guys,

    Thanks for taking the time to read the article and leave a comment!


  7. Dorothy Simons says:

    Great post!
    And thanks for bringing awesome tools here. SerpSTAT is my favorite all-in-one tool for SEO but I would still double check results with KW Planner.

  8. Charlie says:

    Hey Dorothy, Thanks for taking the time to read my post and leave a comment! It’s funny how everybody has their favorites but we all overlap in some areas. Have a great day! – Charlie

  9. Charlie says:

    Hey Aarti, It really all depends on the task at hand. But my favorite overall goto tool would be Google’s Keyword Planner. Whats yours? ~ Charlie

  10. Dave Lynch says: is great – particularly cos of the Fiverr results. My current favourite is Keywords Everywhere, especially in conjunction with Ubersuggest and Answer The Public.

  11. Charlie says:

    Hey Dave,

    Thanks for taking the time to read my post and leave a comment! I am in agreement with you! Thanks for the insight. ~ Charlie

  12. prasad says:

    Very useful list and i add one of my favorite keyword suggestion tool is and wordstream also my favorite as mentioned in this list. nice sharing article.

  13. Charlie says:

    Hey Prasad, Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! Also great minds think alike! – Charlie

  14. this is nice article for readers.

  15. Charlie says:

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! Whats your favorite keyword research tool?

  16. UMBS Studio says:

    Man, glad I came across this. I’ve been looking to compare different tools and thought I had a good grasp on everything that was out there. I have a broad idea about the SEO competition. I have tried quite a few but have not come across to one that seems to both give an accurate prediction and at the same time scalable. But I lean heavily on manual review (not real scalable, I know). But, once I have found a decent opportunity using a tool like SEMrush, I’ll run the query through Google and analyze the first page results by MOzbar domain authority. Not the most accurate metric, but a solid directional cue.

    This post is such amazing! Most of them are really useful.. Thank you!
    Keep with the good work… Nailed it

  17. Your article on Keyword Research Tools is good and informative. thanks for guide new SEO learner and i hope all new student must follow your blog.

  18. Ramin Faizy says:

    Keyword Research: I really love this one; I considered being the most important element for the success of your business online, if you fall in this one you will fall in every thing else. This consist in discovering really hot and attractive keywords that the people are already using to search for what they are looking for and even buying because of that search. The next two elements completely depend in this one.

  19. Ivan Palii says:

    Thanks, Charlie! It’s one of the biggest list of keyword research tools, I’ve ever seen in web. Can you share your opinion about also free keyword research tool as

    Our team has developed it for own needs. But our colleagues have loved it in one day. So, we are happy to share it with everyone seo master.

  20. Raymond Grey says:

    Great article and very well explained. I believe in professionals so this is a very useful article for everyone. Many thanks for your share.

  21. Thanks, CHARLIE ROSE, Amazing article. It contains lots of useful information. Thanks for sharing.

  22. Mahan says:

    Hi Charlie,
    Keyword Eye is new for me. I know it from your article. Thank you for that.
    But, I have a problem. Whenever I am going to use these tools show only 7 days trial.
    I’m a little bit confused. How I use this tools without any hassle?

    Thank you,
    Khairul Abedin Mahan

  23. […] easy to rank for irrelevant keywords in search engines. It’s hard to rank for keywords that are profitable for your […]

  24. This is great information for students. This article is very helpful i really like this blog thanks. I also have some information relevant for online dissertation help.

  25. These are an amazing article. please I really want to help me with my own website am having issues with keywords and google search

  26. tom alex says:

    Thanks for amazing guide and tips! it will increase my blog seo. your website is also on Top i visited from there maybe eveybody.

  27. Syed Ali says:

    Thanks, well i believe Alexa is better than Semrush.


  28. Great list of Keyword Research tools. Really helpful article. I am using different keywords research tools. Google keyword planner is really good, it is free. This tool is beginner friendly. But SEMrush is the most powerful keyword research tool. It is really easy to find the profitable keywords using SEMrush. Thanks for your article.

  29. Jautulus says:

    You can also use DeepMiner tool from They give great keyword suggestions. I subscribe to your blog, thanks.

  30. Charlie Rose says:

    Thanks for the seo tip Jautulus!

  31. Your information is keyword research tools is very useful and reliable for new SEO learners. Thanks for sharing with us

  32. Charlie Rose says:

    Thanks for the words of encouragement. Glad my SEO tips are helpful!

  33. spandana says:

    great post ! this article is very useful and gain the knowledge about keyword tools.

  34. Charlie Rose says:

    Great! What tools have you used?

  35. Anjali says:

    I still think google Keyword planners great, the only downside is that their reporting is somehow delayed. If they had a real-time keyword search recording ti will be perfect

  36. […] can then use keyword research tools like SEMRush and Google Keyword Planner to see which product names or variations drive the most […]

  37. ramakrishnan says:

    Thanks for sharing the list of keywords research tools. These tools are very useful to find appropriate keywords which is very useful for ranking.

  38. […] Keyword research is crucial to any content marketing strategy. Since the launch of Google Hummingbird, our idea of keyword research has changed dramatically. […]

  39. […] 1: Use a Keyword Research Tool: Discover keyword opportunities including less obvious terms that could potentially drive traffic […]

  40. Nasir says:

    I use screamingfrog site auditor a lot along with Website Auditor from linkassistant. And the only tool I love using daily is ahrefs and Serpstat (for rank tracking).

    Thanks for your list Charlie.

  41. […] 1: Use a Keyword Research Tool: Discover keyword opportunities including less obvious terms that could potentially drive traffic […]

  42. […] Keyword Planner is a wonderful tool for figuring out the right keywords to target. When people search for local […]

  43. Reena says:

    Ubersuggest and SEMrush are the tools used.

    Subscribing to the newsletter!

    Thanks for sharing