Updated August 2018
Keyword research is a crucial phase of any digital marketing strategy.
It doesn’t matter if you’re preparing for SEO, PPC, or content marketing. Targeting the right set of keywords will ensure that your messages are visible to the right audience.
Unfortunately, keyword research can also be a repetitive and tedious time suck especially if you’re ill-equipped for the job. After all, there are endless amounts of keywords out there that you can mix, match, and integrate into your strategy.
Some of them are in-demand but overused, while others are utterly worthless.
What you do want, however, are keywords that are still in demand, yet have a decent level of competitiveness. Of course, with a powerful keyword research tool, you’d be able to uncover these keywords in minutes.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the best keyword research tools in the market today.
We’ll kick it off with a couple of free options first and then look into why you should use LongTailPro.
Let’s get started.
1. Google AdWords Keyword Planner
The Google AdWords Keyword Planner is perhaps the most popular keyword research tool in the market. It’s completely free to use for those who have a Google account — which is basically everyone at this point.
In the new Google interface, the Keyword Planner can be launched through the “Tools, billing, and settings” button.
Keyword Planner generates keyword suggestions based on specific information, such as your landing page URL, business category, and terms that are relevant to your brand or niche.
You can also filter results by location, average monthly searches, language, and date range.
The results page will then provide you with a bird’s-eye view of potential keyword ideas along with important metrics, namely, the average searches per month, competition level, and suggested bid price.
- Fast Results
When it comes to keyword research, the Google Keyword Planner is as simple as it gets. It can pull in hundreds of keyword suggestions using only tidbits of information.
- Combining Keyword Lists
The Keyword Planner also allows you to “multiply” two or more keyword lists to generate more ideas.
- It’s Free
- Too Basic
The Keyword Planner can provide you with keyword suggestions, but it’s definitely not designed for in-depth comparisons or competitor research.
- Your Competitors are Using it Too
If you’re using the same keyword tool as your competitors, then you will most likely end up targeting the same keywords.
- Results Are Limited
Google Keyword planner will not give you an exact search volume for the keywords you are targeting. In fact, the search volume will be a huge range. Ex. 1K – 10K searches monthly. It will be nearly impossible to develop a content plan based on these results.
Next up is Ubersuggest, another straightforward keyword research tool that can provide hundreds of suggestions based on a single phrase or term.
As far as features go, Ubersuggest works similarly to AdWords Keyword Planner. It does, however, leave out critical information such as search volumes and competitiveness.
Ubersuggest also automatically generates a “word cloud” that can help you detect words with high usage, which you could combine with the others you’ve collected from the main search results.
Not only will this help you find more unique keywords, but it also enables you to have a deeper understanding of what people are searching for.
- Simple and clutter-free
Ubersuggest promises and delivers hundreds of keyword ideas in every niche — nothing more, nothing less. As such, the keyword research interface is the only thing you’ll find in the tool.
- Loads faster
Compared to AdWords Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest lets you do your keyword research right off the bat. It’s also consistently faster when loading results or navigating to other pages.
- Easy Keyword Expansion
If you happen to find a keyword idea you like, you can quickly expand it to uncover variations literally just two clicks.
- It’s Free
- Very Limited Functionality
Just like AdWords Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest is not ideal for more extensive research tasks.
- No metrics.
Ubersuggest only gives you keyword suggestions — that’s it. You won’t find average monthly searches, competitiveness, or anything else that can help you gauge profitability.
As a marketer, you should never settle for a mediocre keyword research tool.
It’s true that AdWords Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest can give you a wealth of keyword ideas in a flash, but that’s only the first step of keyword research.
Remember, you need to find keywords that get a reasonable amount of monthly searches while making sure that the level of competition you’ll get for targeting the keyword is manageable.
With the wrong keyword research tool, it could take you hours upon hours digging up keyword variations and taking a look at what competitors are doing.
But if you have a tool like LongTailPro, you can cut through the number-crunching and obtain profitable keyword ideas within minutes.
Unlike the free tools mentioned earlier, LongTailPro is armed to the teeth with features that can help you find profitable keyword ideas within minutes.
It’s arguably the best tool for keyword research out there.
For example, after producing a list of keyword ideas based on your “seed keywords,” LongTailPro also provides crucial metrics such as the competition level, search volume, and rank value for SEO.
With LongTailPro, you can also sort the results by word length, which is useful if you’re looking for long-tail keywords.
This will help you find low-hanging fruit keywords. These are keywords that generate a decent amount of traffic without being too competitive for smaller brands.
Furthermore, LongTailPro comes with “Competitor Keyword Suggestions” for conducting competitor research in their Agency Plan.
Simply type in your competitor’s page or domain URL to scout out their top-performing keywords and absorb them into your own strategy.
Benefits of LongTailPro
Here’s a quick breakdown of the specific advantages of using LongTailPro:
- In-Depth Keyword Research Metrics
To help you select keywords, LongTailPro also presents their competitiveness level, SEO rank value, search volume, and suggested advertiser bid.
- Competitor Research
The convenient “Competitor Keyword Suggestions” in the Agency Plan can help you outmaneuver your competitors by targeting their top-performing keywords.
- Advanced Search Filters
To refine your keyword search, you can use the built-in filters to scrape the ones that match your specific needs.
- Rank Tracker
LongTailPro can assist you on the SEO front by tracking your website’s rankings for specific keywords. Apart from Google, it also covers Bing and Yahoo Search — local and international.
- Free Trial
Finally, LongTailPro comes with a free 7-day trial that you can use and examine in any way you want.
Tools to marketers are like brushes to an artist.
You can have all the talent in the world, but without the right kinds of brushes for specific types of material, the artist’s capacity to create a masterpiece would only be hampered.
While the first two keyword research tools are amazing in their own way, they cannot compete with LongTailPro when it comes to efficiency and benefits.
If you’re looking for a keyword tool to help you find the best keywords to target, check out LongTailPro’s free 7-day trial now.
But a question. I am a user of longtailpro. Each time you say that Google Keyword Planner is not good for a search for advanced keywords, we all use the same tool and then use all the same keywords. And it’s a fair objection. But if your software pulls data from the Keyword Planner, where is the advantage in using it (I’m just talking about research?), I have many more metrics to help me understand which ones are the easiest, but the keywords you give me are the themselves.
Actually, we do not pull keywords from Google Adword Planner. Good keyword research is the first part of it, but content optimization and SEO will play a role too. The winning formula is finding a low competition keyword, then writing great content around it & promoting that content.
I haven’t used Long Tail Pro as yet but I’m going to jump on the trial. I like to use different keyword tools to generate ideas and the other two you’ve mention get used regularly in addition to others like AnswerThePublic and browser addon Keywords Everywhere.
I’m just a bit confused: the post is less than a month old, and your UberSuggest analysis looks outdated. I’m not sure when Neil Patel acquired it, but it now offers metrics and has a new UI.
This being said, I considered for a while to stick just with UberSuggest and the GKP, but I’ll take your plan after all. The advantages of LTP are obvious, and the price is the smallest among most competitors with a similar value.
Thanks Cristi! Glad you’ve found LongTailPro to be useful. Yes, Ubersuggest was acquired by Neil Patel. We have an article with the new interface being published this week 🙂
Another question: your own UI changed. I see no longer “Page or Domain”, it’s just keywords. Are you sure we can still add a URL as a keyword, to collect competitor’s keywords? I tried it and it returns a bunch of keywords, of course. I just don’t know why you no longer have this in the UI. I think this was also in a previous tab with competitor’s keywords that is no longer there…
The feature you are referring to is the “Competitor Keyword Suggestions” feature & that is available in the Agency Plan.
Excellent article, but my favorite tool is the Long Tail Pro.
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
Really informative article and a great set of points. These are ideal for the beginner but also for anyone who has an existing channel as, like you mentioned, old videos can be made to work harder for you as well. I am launching a YouTube channel to supplement my personal lifestyle blog very soon so I’m excited to get started with some of these points.
It’s great to hear from the expert sharing their favourite tools with us for doing keyword research. However, I have a question relating to the Google Keyword Planner. It contains information on the keywords used on Adwords right? How is that helpful for getting information on SEO keywords? For that we would use Google Trends isn’t it… or am I getting it wrong?
I mean, keywords for Adwords is different from keywords for SEO… right?
By this tool, you have made Blogging much easy to work. Thanks