With keyword tools, you can perform perfect keyword research and analysis. Find a keyword tool that suits you best from our top keyword tools.
Keyword research: why you need a keyword tool
It is considered to be one of the most important tasks in search engine optimization: the research and analysis of relevant keywords for which you want to be found on Google with your own website.
Keyword research is therefore also the basis for creating suitable content for your website. This is because the SEO content to be produced is directly dependent on the selection of target group-relevant search queries.
Successful and efficient keyword research is hardly possible without a professional keyword tool. Because only with suitable SEO tools you can find good keywords with traffic potential in the ever-increasing competition for top rankings and at the same time keep an eye on your competition. Our tool overview helps you to choose the right keyword tool!
What a good keyword tool must be able to do?
A good keyword tool helps you to find the really important keywords. Usually, most tools offer two different ways of keyword research:
- New keyword suggestions based on existing keywords.
- New keyword suggestions based on rankings of your own website or the competition
- Keyword tools should therefore be able to derive a large number of new suggestions for other similar keywords or synonyms or long-tail keywords based on existing keywords or keyword ideas.
However, existing keywords with which you or your competitors already rank on Google are also very helpful in the search for new SEO keywords. You can then consciously use these search queries for your own SEO strategy by creating suitable content for them. Such a keyword competition analysis is done as part of the ranking analysis, for which usually a special ranking tool is used. You can learn more about this on our page about ranking tools.
Functionality of keyword tools
Most of the professional SEO tools currently available on the market have all the important functionalities to perform a professional SEO keyword analysis. However, these functions are often designed differently, so that not every tool meets all requirements equally.
When choosing a tool for keyword analysis, you should pay particular attention to the fact that
- you can perform sufficient keyword research,
- the tool can derive suggestions from existing keywords and
- number of possible suggestions is sufficiently large,
- available languages for keyword research match your target markets,
- monthly search volume for selected keywords is displayed,
data on the competition and, optimally, an SEO difficulty level are provided, and
- functionalities such as “autocomplete” or “W-question function
are part of the functionality of the keyword tool. In the following, we present all essential functions in detail, where keyword tools can differ from each other.
Number of keyword searches
An important criterion when choosing the right keyword tool is the number of possible keyword searches you can perform. The number you need depends largely on the nature of your business: if you run an SEO agency that works for several clients, the number of possible searches should be large. On the other hand, for single-site operators, who perform analyses less frequently and usually only for one project, significantly fewer queries per month are enough.
The number of possible keyword analyses varies from tool to tool. Therefore, when selecting a keyword analysis tool, make sure that the number of keyword searches meets your requirements. Also take into account the planned development of your company, so that you do not suddenly reach capacity limits and therefore have to change the tool.
The limitation of keyword researches can refer to different time periods: Some tools have a certain amount of queries available daily, while other tools limit the number monthly.
Number of keyword suggestions
In addition to the number of possible searches for existing keywords just described, keyword tools usually also differ in the number of suggestions for new search terms or synonyms they provide.
The larger the keyword database of a keyword tool, the more keyword suggestions are delivered. Keep in mind that there can also be immense differences in the number of keyword suggestions here, depending on the researched language.
However, avoid a purely quantitative approach, because the quality of the suggested keyword ideas also plays an important role! SEO tools that play out a smaller number of keyword suggestions, but deliver potential search queries with real added value for you, are to be preferred over a high number of irrelevant keyword ideas.
If website operators offer their products or services in different countries, SEO measures should be carried out individually for each country. This is because these measures can only be truly successful if the country specifics are taken into account.
When selecting a keyword tool, it is therefore important to ensure that keyword analyses are possible in the national language of the target market. For this reason, the tool should have a multilingual keyword database that covers your most important target markets.
The majority of keyword tools available on the market are already offered in multiple languages. When choosing the right tool, you should therefore check whether the languages that are important to you are included.
Search volume plays a major role in keyword research. This is because it shows how high the number of monthly search queries on Google is for a particular keyword or keyword combination. This in turn allows conclusions to be drawn about the traffic to be expected as soon as the targeted top rankings on the Google search results pages are achieved.
Based on these values, it is also possible to estimate approximately how high the effort for content creation may be. After all, the income from the traffic generated (via sales, leads, advertisements, etc.) must exceed the effort invested in keyword research and content creation, i.e. generate a positive return.
The search volume displayed in keyword tools is mostly based on Google data, which in turn are estimated values based on historical search volume. Therefore, the displayed values can also change over time.
The display of the monthly search volume, therefore, provides you with valuable information as to whether the effort invested in SEO measures is worthwhile. At the same time, you can use the search volume – in combination with data on the SEO difficulty level – to determine which keywords should be given higher priority for a fixed budget.
Google Ads CPC
Google Ads is Google’s AdWords advertising system, which allows advertisers to book ads in Google’s search results for individual keywords or keyword combinations.
The ads are placed above the organic search results. Google Ads is a good tool to be found quickly for specific search queries. However, unlike organic search, advertisers have to pay a certain price to Google per click on the ad.
This Google Ads CPC (Cost per Click) is specified in most SEO tools for each keyword and tells how high the average click price is for a particular keyword. Here, the click price depends in particular on the type of search intent and the competition.
In general, it can be said that the higher the Google Ads CPC, the higher the purchase intention behind a search query. The same is often true for the revenue potential: high average click prices suggest that a lot of money can be earned with a particular keyword.
Google Ads competition
In addition to the average Google Ads click price, many keyword tools also indicate the level of Google Ads competition for a search query. The higher this value, the greater the number of competitors for paid ad placement for that particular keyword or keyword combination.
For keyword research, it can be deduced from this how difficult it will probably be to achieve front rankings in the organic search results on Google for certain keywords. This is because with increasing Google Ads competition, the competitive pressure in the natural search results usually increases as well.
A common mistake in search engine optimization is to focus on very well known and popular keywords without having done an appropriate keyword analysis beforehand. It is diligently written on it and nevertheless, the created pages do not manage to rank on the first Google search results page despite good content. In this case, the SEO difficulty level was probably disregarded.
The SEO difficulty level indicates how great the competition is for the top rankings in Google search for a particular keyword. It is calculated, among other things, from the backlink strength of the ranking URLs. The value thus shows how great the competition – and thus also how high the effort – is to achieve top placement in the search engine ranking.
The SEO difficulty level helps you to distribute your resources reasonably. Because to return to the initial example: Sometimes it makes more sense to work on a keyword that is not so attractive at first glance than to fight for a very popular keyword with a large number of strong competitors.
By the way, not every keyword tool provides an SEO difficulty level. So if you find it difficult to correctly assess the competition for a particular keyword, this metric can add a lot of value. However, never rely exclusively on this value, but also check the content quality of the competitor pages. After all, content is king!
Many people will already be familiar with the auto-complete function: If you enter a search term in the Google search bar, suggestions for possible keywords or keyword combinations that could follow further input appear after a few letters. These suggestions are context-related and are searched for particularly frequently.
In keyword analysis, this functionality can be used to obtain ideas for so-called long-tail keywords for existing keywords, which can be incorporated into one’s own keyword strategy.
However, the manual input of all keywords from the first results of one’s own keyword analysis into the Google search bar would require a lot of effort. That is why most keyword tools have the auto-complete function, which makes use of the Google Suggest system.
Through the functionality, also known as autocomplete or auto-suggest, among others, the user receives a list of relevant keywords or keyword combinations related to the original search query.
The W-question function derives questions that users frequently ask about the keyword in Google searches based on a keyword entered.
A W-question function is a good tool for finding out what questions users have about a particular keyword. This can be a great help when creating content, for example: Because if you know your users’ questions, you can answer them directly in the text. Also, the W-questions are very suitable for text structuring and are often used for “h2 to h4” headings.
Besides, the W-questions also give you many first-class long-tail keywords that can also be used for optimization on individual sub-pages, depending on the search volume.
Especially for very text-heavy websites, such as guidebook pages, you should therefore make sure that the W-questions function is provided by the software when selecting a keyword tool.
This is how keyword research works: with a system to success
What do good keywords look like?
A keyword is the search query of a potential customer via a search engine such as Google. A keyword can consist of one word, but also of several words.
Since search engine optimization measures usually involve quite a lot of effort, the choice of good keywords is very important from the very beginning. Keywords should match the content of your page and be relevant to your target audience. Optimizing for a specific keyword also only makes sense if there is a sufficiently large search volume and you do not have to fight for top positions against competition that is hard to win.
So you should pay special attention to the following factors when choosing good keywords:
- Target group relevance:
Target group relevant keywords are search queries that potential customers would use in your Google search to research your service or product directly or indirectly. Such keywords need to be found within the keyword analysis.
- High search volume:
A keyword should be searched for by as many people as possible. The more often a certain keyword is used, the more potential visitors are possible on your own website. However, keywords with low search volume can also be relevant if you can satisfy the search need with your website and generate sufficient sales with the traffic generated.
- Low (SEO) competition:
How much competition is there for a search query? The lower the competition for a keyword, the greater the chance of achieving front rankings on Google search results pages with a manageable budget. The SEO difficulty level of a keyword tool can give a first indication of the level of competition.
Procedure for keyword research
For successful keyword research, a structured process should be defined, which is cleanly run through and documented for each analysis. This is the only way to ensure long-term success and avoid mistakes in the process.
The following steps will help you conduct a successful keyword analysis:
The first step to finding good and suitable keywords is to intensively study the topic. A good tool for this is brainstorming, preferably in a team. Ask yourself what you specifically want to present to the target group and work out the central keywords here. These can be individual products, services, or even a brand. However, do not focus exclusively on your product, but put yourself in your customer’s shoes and discuss their possible search queries on Google.
- Use of SEO tools:
Once you have found various keywords that best describe your company’s offering, the second step is to derive related keywords, synonyms, or entire questions for these keywords. This is most efficiently done with a keyword research tool, as here the keyword search is greatly facilitated via the functions keyword suggestions, auto-completion, or W-questions. This will save you a lot of time and work. Also, analyze your competitors’ rankings and website content to generate more valuable keyword ideas.
- Keyword cleanup:
Using a keyword tool, now check the found keywords to see if there is enough search volume. After that, you still need to take a look at the competition. These two pieces of information can be read easily and quickly via a keyword tool from the table columns Search Volume, Google Ads Competition, or SEO difficulty of each keyword.
The result is a shortlist of keywords for which you can now create high-quality content and plan appropriate SEO actions.
Keep search intent in mind during keyword analysis!
An important criterion in keyword analysis is the search intention or user intention of a keyword. It describes the intention that a user has when he reaches a website via a specific search query.
The search intention plays a major role in the context of search engine optimization. Google itself defines the following four categories of search intent in its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines (item 12.7. Understanding User Intent):
- Know and Know-Simple searches (Informative search).
- Do-Searches (Transactional / Commercial Search).
- Website-Searches (Navigational Search) and
- Visit-in-person searches (Local search).
Besides, search intent can also be a mixture of the aforementioned categories; this is referred to as multiple user intent searches.
Informative search intent
If the search query is an informative search intention, then the user wants to receive information on a specific topic or have questions answered. This can be business news, instructions, or definitions of certain terms.
Examples of an informative search:
- Mona Lisa
- Making paper airplanes
- Apple share price
Transactional/commercial search intent
If, on the other hand, a search has a commercial/transactional search intention, the user wants to buy something, download a program, or, for example, register somewhere. This type of search intention is particularly relevant in the context of keyword research if, for example, one operates an online store or wants to persuade the user to fill out a contact form.
Examples of a transactional/commercial search:
- Buy Laptop
- Tax consultant London
- iPhone 11 contract
Navigational search intent
With navigational search queries, the user searches specifically for pages that he already knows or assumes exist. These can be brands or companies, e.g. also in connection with a special sub-page to which the user wants to navigate.
Examples of a navigational search:
- Zalando contact
Local search intent
The search intention is local if the search queries have a regional reference, e.g. if the user is searching for a workshop or a car dealer in the vicinity. It is important to note that the search query does not necessarily have to contain a place name. Search queries without a regional search keyword can also be local in nature if the user expects regional search results with their search.
Examples of a local search:
- car dealer New York
- restaurant Malta
So, before you start with the actual keyword analysis, you should deal with the desired search intent with which users should arrive at your site. This is what determines the content you provide.
Just as search intentions can be mixed, on the other hand, it is also possible for a website to serve multiple search intentions. Therefore, each keyword should be checked for the individual search intent and then compared with your own strategy. For example, if you only want to attract users with commercial search intentions to your site, you should avoid keywords with informative search intentions as part of your keyword analysis.
Long-tail vs. short-tail keywords
In the previous text, we have often distinguished between single keywords and keyword combinations consisting of several words. This distinction plays an important role in search engine optimization.
We speak of so-called short-tail keywords when the keyword consists of a single word. They bring a topic quickly to the point and are generic. Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, usually consist of three or more words and describe a topic in more detail.
With short-tail keywords, the search volume is often high, and such generic terms are correspondingly fiercely contested. The disadvantage of short-tail keywords is the imprecise search intent, which can rarely be assessed exactly and varies depending on the user. To rank here on the front Google pages is usually associated with great effort, but in case of success also with a correspondingly large amount of traffic.
Examples of short-tail keywords: “pizza”, “shoes” or “health insurance”.
Longtail keywords are search queries that consist of three or more words. Compared to short-tail keywords, these don’t bring nearly as much traffic because they are usually very specific search queries. However, visitors who come via search queries from long-tail keywords are usually of significantly higher quality, as the exact wording makes it easier to identify the search intention. Accordingly, more relevant content can be created. In most cases, the competition for long-tail keywords is not so great, which is why it is often possible to achieve top rankings with less effort.
In your keyword research, you should therefore pay attention to a healthy mix between short-tail and long-tail keywords.
Keyword tools with top ratings
- Keyword Planner
The cost of a keyword tool
There are numerous free and paid keyword tools on the market. For private use and beginners, a free tool can definitely be an interesting alternative. However, if your business model is largely based on online activities, e.g. as a sales channel for your products or services, then you should definitely not shy away from the costs of a professional keyword tool. Because you will urgently need many functionalities, which mostly only paid tools offer, for your success.
For beginners: free keyword tools
Most of the free keyword tools only offer a very limited range of functions, which is mostly limited to the display of related search results for certain keywords. Some tools still show values on search volume and competition for the keywords, but the number of monthly queries is usually severely limited. Also, the data on search volume and competition is often rather inaccurate.
Some keyword tools also offer the option of performing a very simple keyword competition analysis, but this is nowhere near the scope of paid keyword software.
If you need a professional keyword tool for your business with a large set of important functionalities, a large database, and extensive research functions, you should therefore definitely opt for a paid keyword tool.
For professionals: What a good keyword tool costs
As a search engine professional, you should definitely rely on a professional keyword tool for your keyword research. Many SEO programs now position themselves as all-rounder tools and support not only keyword analysis but also other SEO activities.
Unlike the free tools, almost all paid keyword tools have the option of displaying information on search volume or data on the competition for individual keywords and keyword combinations. For keyword research, these tools draw on huge keyword databases, which usually contain several million entries. The query of keyword suggestions is almost always possible in almost unlimited numbers.
Also, as part of a larger SEO tool, most keyword tools offer many more functionalities for search engine optimization, such as ranking analyses, on-page, and off-page analyses, social media monitoring, or extensive reporting and interface functions. Our SEO tool comparison provides you with a good overview.
Due to these mostly additional functions, a price comparison exclusively for keyword tools is difficult. However, you should expect prices of about 30 – 50 euros per month for pure keyword research. For the all-rounders among the SEO tools, on the other hand, monthly costs can range from 50 to several hundred euros.
Best free keyword tools
If a free keyword tool is enough for you to get started with search engine optimization, then we have picked out what we consider to be the best tools with which you can take the first steps towards improving your Google rankings.
For each of the presented tools, we have compactly summarized the most important functionalities as well as any existing limitations in the user scope below.
Google Keyword Planner
The Google Keyword Planner at a glance:
- Find new keyword ideas based on existing keywords
- Forecast search volume and Google Ads competition for individual keywords
- Unlimited number of queries possible
- Country specific queries possible
Google AdWords account with active campaigns is required
Probably the best known free keyword tool is the Google Keyword Planner. By entering existing keywords or search criteria, new keyword ideas are generated. It is also possible to get suggestions for new keywords or keyword combinations by entering the URL of a website.
In addition to the keyword suggestions, the Google Keyword Planner also displays the monthly search volume and information about the Google Ads competition. Since these values are based on data that Google calculates from historical search queries, they are usually quite accurate.
Since Google Keyword Planner is a part of Google Ads, you need to have a Google Ads account to use the tool. Besides, at least one active campaign is required, otherwise, no specific search volume is displayed and the information is therefore of limited use to the user.
Ubersuggest at a glance:
- Determination of keyword ideas for a search term or domain
- Prediction of search volume and Google Ads competition for individual keywords
- Unlimited number of queries possible
- Country-specific queries possible
Almost as popular as the Google Keyword Planner is Ubersuggest. Especially since it requires no registration for use, unlimited queries are possible and Ubersuggest uses the data of the Google Keyword Planner.
With Ubersuggest, you can quickly get new keywords or keyword combinations based on a search term. In addition to the displayed keyword suggestions, the monthly search volume, the CPC, and the competition in the organic search are also displayed.
With Ubersuggest, any number of queries are possible. Since Ubersuggest is available in numerous different languages, country-specific keyword queries can also be performed.
keywordtool.io at a glance:
- Determination of keyword ideas for a search term or a domain
In the free version no display of search volume and competition
- Max. 750 keyword suggestions
- Country-specific queries possible
- Keyword queries also possible for Amazon, eBay, YouTube, and Instagram
The basis for the results of Keywordtool.io is the suggestion data of the Google Keyword Planner. When entering a search term, hundreds of keyword suggestions are displayed. Queries in the free version are limited to a maximum of 750 keyword suggestions. However, to obtain data on search volume or competition, the paid version must be booked.
In addition to normal Google searches, keyword queries for Amazon, eBay, YouTube, or Instagram are also possible.
Hypersuggest at a glance:
- Determination of keyword ideas for a search term
- In the free version only a limited display of results
- Country-specific queries possible
- Keyword queries also possible for Amazon, eBay, YouTube, and Instagram
Hypersuggest also uses the database of the Google Keyword Planner. From this, keyword suggestions are derived based on the entered search term. Hypersuggest also offers a W-question tool and keyword queries for Amazon, eBay, YouTube, or Instagram.
In the free version, Hypersuggest does not provide search volume or competition data for the keyword suggestions. Also, only the first 10 results are displayed in the search results.
Those who want to use the full range of functionalities can book individual paid packages separately.
AnswerThePublic at a glance:
- Generates questions around the keyword entered
- Provides information about the target group
- Unlimited number of queries possible
- No further information e.g. on search volume or competition
- Country-specific queries possible
With AnswerThePublic you receive W-questions on a keyword entered in the search mask, which users frequently ask around this topic. The results are displayed in the form of a mind map and arranged in a circle around the keyword entered.
AnswerThePublic is therefore particularly suitable for learning more about one’s own target group. The W-questions supplied help in the creation and structuring of texts, so that subheadings can be derived from them, for example. AnswerThePublic is available in numerous different languages.
In short: A really great keyword tool!
Bonus tip: Google Suggest
Probably the easiest way to get new keyword ideas is to use Google Suggest or Google Autocomplete. By entering a word in the Google search bar, Google already shows supplementary search suggestions around the entered term while typing. This gives the user a quick overview of the most common long-tail searches for a keyword.
Conclusion Keyword tools: A must for successful keyword research
Anyone who wants to be successful with their website today cannot do without the use of a professional keyword tool. This is because SEO tasks such as keyword research, the identification of suitable keywords taking into account the search intention, or the determination of search volume and competition are hardly possible without tool support.
Although free keyword tools are also available on the market, it is recommended to use a professional tool for your keyword analysis. The monthly costs of perhaps 30 to 100 Euros are an important investment in the success of your online activities and are more than compensated by the numerous valuable functionalities of a keyword analysis tool.
The long-term success, e.g. through growing user numbers, higher conversions, and ultimately more sales, will confirm this.