Keyword research is an important piece of the puzzle for anyone who conducts business online. Once an online business has decided on a target market and figured out who its main audience is, it needs to focus on getting targeted people onto its website. That’s when keyword research becomes crucial.
Keywords, also known as search queries, are the terms entered by the users into their search engine of choice, to find things online. Hence, online businesses need to spend some time researching the keywords their target audience is most likely to use, as ranking high for these terms will increase targeted traffic to their website.
Before we talk about the alternatives to Google Keyword Tool, let’s first discuss what Google Keyword Tool actually is.
It enables three types of keyword research:
1. Keyword research based on a main keyword: with this method, we need to add the primary keyword and select a location we are looking to target. Then, in the results section, we can view keyword ideas, keyword ad groups, their search volume and how they’re trending.
2. The second section lets you find and research the keywords of another site. With this method, you need to enter the site URL, and Google Keyword Planner will extract all the keywords for that site, their search volume as well as keyword trends.
3. The third one is enables you to enter two sets of keywords, and Google Keyword Planner makes out new keywords on the basis of different permutations and combinations.
Aside from Google Keyword Planner, there are various other free and paid tools that help SMEs and big agencies to undertake keyword analysis. Some of them include:
SEMRush is one of the most advanced keyword analysis tools, having a database of over 106 million keywords. This professional keyword and competitor analysis software is widely used by marketing professionals and SEO agencies.
SEMRush gives you details about the organic and paid keywords of a given site. You can also research the traffic it receives, and break it down in terms of organic/paid traffic, as well as demographics.
You can also find organic and paid competitors, as well as ad copies used by competitors in both text and media.
Other features of SEMRush include organic and paid search positions, keyword volume, trend and CPC. You can even find the backlinks of a site and conduct a site audit.
Pros: It is one of the best tools for competitive analysis. Provides detailed organic and paid search research, as well as keyword research.
Cons: Although affordable, still a bit on the mid-range in pricing.
Rank Watch is a professional SEO management platform.
When it comes to keyword analysis, Rank Watch provides keyword suggestions based on existing organic traffic. It gives you search volume and trend of different keywords that might be useful to you, but you aren’t targeting yet.
Another useful feature of this tool is “Low Hanging Fruits”. This gives you keyword suggestions based on existing keywords, which you are already tracking. It suggests additional keywords you should track and target to increase your ROI.
It also provides you details regarding the total search volumes of these keywords, and shows rankings of keywords which are not currently tracked, but rank in the 2-3 page of SERPs.
Trusted by many big companies, Rank Watch offers Rank Tracking, Keyword Analysis, Competitor Analysis, Backlink Analysis and Web Analyzer.
Other important features of Rank Watch include a 100% white label interface, and reporting and automated email alerts for ranking updates.
Pros: All in one SEO Management platform. Simple, easy to use and provides detailed information.
Wordstream Keyword Tool
Wordstream Keyword Tool is an integrated tool designed for keyword research. It has a huge database, and provides keyword filter options as well to make it easier to find what you’re looking for.
This tool also offers many other features, some of which include: negative keywords discovery, long tail keywords, keyword analysis and more. The free version is limited to 100 results, whereas with the paid version you can get thousands of results.
Pros: Offers a free, 7-day trial.
Cons: Not designed for Adwords Professionals. Does not provide detailed information.
Word Tracker is one of the most often recommended keyword suggestion tools. It has a simple interface and generally gives you hundreds of profitable keywords that you can target to increase your market reach.
Enter any keyword, and Word Tracker will search through its database and show you related keywords. You also get search volumes to better ascertain which keyword can be profitable if targeted.
Digging deep into the analysis, you can also find the competition level for each and every keyword. This helps you understand how difficult it is to rank for a particular keyword, and whether you should spend your resources on going after it or not.
Finally, Word Tracker also gives you the “KEI level” of different keywords. KEI, which stands for Keyword Effectiveness Index, is one of the most accurate and reliable means to find out the effectiveness of a keyword. It ranges from 0 to 100. The higher the value, the more valuable is the keyword.
Pros: Easy to use and understand. Low priced product.
Cons: Sometimes the keywords suggested by Wordtracker have zero searches in Google Keywords Planner.
Ubersuggest is yet another alternative to the Google Keyword Tool. You enter a primary keyword, select the language and the Google search type (i.e. Web, images, news, Shopping, videos or recipes).
Ubersuggest then takes your main keyword and adds a letter in front of it to generate new keyword suggestions.
Below is the section that shows the related keywords for cars:
Pros: Free keyword suggestion tool.
Cons: Provides very limited set of information. Not very accurate.
Keyword Eye is an excellent keyword tool to research quality keywords quickly. It adds a visual report to keyword analysis and also enables you to spy on your competitor’s keywords, both in the organic and paid section. It also analyses the keywords of the top ranking pages of your site to find more related keywords, thereby indirectly increasing your market reach if you choose to act on the data.
There are also several other valuable features offered by Keyword Eye:
1. Keyword research for PPC and SEO campaigns
2. Monitoring anchor text of links
3. Find competitive keywords with ease
Pros: Less costly compared to some of the competitors.
Moz is one of the most highly regarded SEO tools. It offers tools for all the aspects of Internet marketing, i.e. Brand, Search, Social, Links and Content, all in one place.
When it comes to keyword analysis, MOZ offers two tools:
MOZ Keyword Difficulty – This tool presents a keyword difficulty score based on the top 10 results for a particular query. It helps you ascertain whether a keyword is actually viable to target or not. It also gives you search volume and trend for the keywords.
MOZ On-page Grade – This tool analyses the on-page optimization of a page in relation to a specified keyword, and gives you suggestions on how you can change your page to potentially rank higher. It analyses over 30 factors and gives you tips and recommendations about how you can improve your ROI.
Pros: Easy to use. Provides comprehensive and detailed information.
Cons: At $99/month, small businesses might find it a little costly.
Keyword Spy is a keyword research tool that gives you keyword suggestions for your SEO and PPC campaigns. It gives you the most profitable ad copies of your competitors, and provides great insights for optimizing your Adwords campaigns.
Other than this, Keyword Spy also gives you details about the keywords used by your competitors, and information regarding how much the site is spending on Adwords.
They have a database of over 125 million keywords.
Pros: It has one of the biggest keyword databases.
Cons: It is more expensive than many of the competing products.
Keyword Discovery is a very powerful keyword research tool. It combines keyword results from all the major search engines (Google, Bing and Yahoo), and creates a master database of keywords.
Keyword Discovery also helps in analyzing keywords of your competitors, so that you can grow your target market, reach more people and increase sales.
It offers various other features as well. These include: spelling mistake research, seasonal search trends, KEI analysis, keyword density analysis, domain research tool, etc.
KEI, also known as Keyword Effectiveness Index (same as on Word Tracker), is a value that ranges from 0 to 100. A higher value implies that you should target that keyword and that it will improve your traffic significantly.
Keyword Spelling Mistake gives you details regarding the search of misspelled keywords and their similarity percentage.
Seasonal Trends give you the details on the 12 month search trends of a given keyword. This is useful particularly if you are targeting seasonal keywords, such as Christmas or Halloween.
Pros: The results are very detailed and accurate.
Cons: Subscription plans are expensive compared to the competitors.
Advanced Web Ranking
Advanced Web Ranking provides a comprehensive keyword research analysis that combines input from Google Adwords, GWT API, Google Trends, SEMRush and more.
It helps you identify which keywords you need to target to increase your reach in the overall market, and also gives you suggestions based on your competitors.
Some of the other features it offers include content optimization and keyword priority.
Cons: Provides only limited features for standard users.