Best Keyword Research Tools: Free and Paid 2020 List

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Your blog is going to fail spectacularly unless you know One Big Secret.

Your blog could be the most informative, easy-to-read and engaging blog on the whole entire internet, but if you don’t know the one big secret then your blog isn’t going to reach an audience. If your blog can’t find an audience, all the work you put into creating it will be for nothing.

So, what’s the One Big Secret to blogging success?

Using the Best Keyword Research Tool

Best keyword research tool

But why are keywords so important?

Keywords are the words that signify what a webpage (and a blog) is all about.

They’re the words which search engines use to determine what pages are going to be the best ones to display when people search for a topic.

If you identify the right keywords and use them in your content correctly, your site will rank high in the search results. When you’re near the top of the first page of results, you’ll gain a ton of visibility from people searching for what you’re providing.

Now you also need to know that there are two types of keywords, namely broad keywords and longtail keywords.

Here are some example of broad keywords:

  • Marketing
  • Skis
  • Rental Cars

As you can see, these are one or two words that describe a general topic. Now let’s take a look at some long-tail keywords:

  • B2B Marketing
  • Skis for Beginners
  • Cheap Rental Cars

Long-tail keywords contain up to six words and are more specific. SEO pros concentrate more on long-tail keywords than broad ones.


  1. Long-tail keywords rank higher in the search results. You’ll get more traffic from a smaller audience looking for something specific then you’ll get from the general one you’d reach with broad keywords.
  2.  Your audience will be more responsive to your content. If someone is searching for “skis for beginners” but you only sell skis for professionals, ranking for just “skis” is going to be a huge waste of time. Your pool of potential customers is too large.
  3. Long-tail keywords have a snowball effect. As your site grows in popularity, you’ll be found for more keywords than you even originally targeted. You’ll want to target many different long-tail keywords across a variety of articles.

How to Identify Keywords

There are three different ways to find the best keywords for your site:

1. You Can Find Keywords by Guessing

This is a terrible way to do it. But, believe it or not, people simply throw all analysis out the window and choose keywords which they just “feel” will work.

You probably already know this but just to be clear: You need to have some data behind your keyword selections. Otherwise, you’re just stumbling around in the dark.

2. You Can Find Keywords with Google

Google Adwords has Keyword Planner Tool which many people use. This shows the search volume and suggested bid for whatever keywords you enter.

But there’s a problem. Google’s Keyword Planner Tool is designed for paid ads. If you want to buy some ads, this tool is a great resource. But we’re looking for keywords we can use in our content in order to boost traffic organically through search. The results provided by the Keyword Planner are going to be too vague.

3. You Can Use a Keyword Research Tool

Most SEO Pros recommend the use of a Keyword Research Tool. In fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an internet marketing professional who doesn’t use some type of tool for researching keywords.

A keyword research tool does most of the work for you. It identifies the keywords in your niche which will work best for your needs. Plus, you’ll get a ton of info about each keyword so you can make super-informed marketing decisions.

Best Keyword Research Tool 2020 List

  • SEMRush
  • SECockpit
  • Ahrefs
  • SpyFu
  • Google AdWords Keyword Planner
  • KWFinder
  • Serpstat
  • Keywords Everywhere
  • long Tail Pro

There are tons of keyword research tools out there, but which one is for you?

Here are some of what we think are the best keyword research tools available at the moment:

1. SEMRush

This tool shows you which keywords your competition is currently ranking for. While this is a great way to find keywords other tools won’t show you, I don’t think this is the overall best keyword research tool because the scope is too narrow.

2. SECockpit

This provides all the standard features found in many keyword research tool – and then some. Truthfully, SECockpit is very technical. You can find the same features elsewhere on other platforms without having to face such a high learning curve.

3. Ahrefs

This a premium tool that many marketers use as a Swiss Army knife for SEO. It’s keyword research abilities are extremely good, but the price tag may put it out of reach for new bloggers.

4. SpyFu

This tool is more geared towards spying on what your competitors are doing, but with that said, that is one of the best ways of finding great keywords with minimal work!

5. Google Adword Key Planner

Some pros rely solely on the Google Adwords Planner. To be honest, I don’t understand why. This is a great tool for paid ads, but you’re going to much better results with a tool designed for organic traffic.

6. KWFinder

Although these guys are relatively new, they are doing a great job of providing great keyword information. For those who are willing to invest, they have a whole suite of tools.

7. Serpstat

Serpstat is very comparable to Ahrefs and SEMRush in many ways, it’s a bit more clunky and doesn’t quite have as much data as the other two, but the price is much lower.

8. Keywords Everywhere

This is a great little addon/extension for Firefox or Chrome which gives you keyword information as you search in Google (amongst other places). The price? $0 making this best free keyword research tool choice for entry-level bloggers.

9. Long Tail Pro

My top pick is Long Tail Pro. Let me tell you all about why Long Tail Pro is my favorite keyword research tool and a valuable resource your blog needs in order to succeed:

The Purpose of Long Tail Pro

Spencer Haws created Long Tail Pro because he was tired of traditional tools geared more towards advertising than organic traffic.

To use Long Tail Pro, first, you enter seed keywords. Then you click generate. The tool takes about one to three minutes to generate a keyword list.

This list is similar in appearance to the Google Keyword Planner. You’ll see Page Authority, Domain Authority, the number of inbound links, PageRank, site age and more. You can also remove any keywords from the list with the touch of a button.

The main reason Long Tail Pro is my favorite is because of their Keyword Competition Feature. This automatically analyzes the top 10 search engine results for any individual keyword. Results include:

  • URL
  • Title
  • Domain Authority
  • Page Authority
  • Page Links
  • Moz Rank
  • Page Rank
  • Site Age

These data points give you clear guidance on determining a keyword’s effectiveness. Plus, the info is presented in an easy-to-read table.

For more info on using Long Tail Pro, check out this quick 3 minute video:

I’ll be honest: Without a keyword research tool, your blog’s going to be in real trouble. While there are a lot of keyword research tools to choose from, I recommend Long Tail Pro. In my opinion, Long Tail Pro is the best keyword research tool available.

Long Tail Pro is easy to use but powerful. You’ll gain a deep understanding of what keywords you need to target with your content. Plus, the Keyword Competition Feature gives you a unique edge.

The right keyword research tool will take your blog to the next level and help you connect with more people than ever before.

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