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5 Best Keyword Research Tools For 2018

Aug 13, 2018 | SEO

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If you think creating great content is all about comprehensive writing, perfect spelling, and grammar, you will be short-selling your efforts. Writing online content isn’t the same as writing a college term paper or a piece for the school newsletter. It’s about creating content that can be searched, indexed, and found by your target audience. In other words, your content needs to be optimized. And this is why you should use the best keyword research tools on the Internet.

Keywords: What They Are And Why They Are Important

How did you find our article? What words or phrases did you use to launch your search query? Chances are you used the phrase “best keyword research tools 2018”.

Those four words as well as the identifying year of 2018 are called keywords. They are the most popularly used words or phrases people type in the search box to launch a query.

Keywords are valuable in that they help web crawlers find content that are relevant to the search query. If your content does not have the right keywords, the web crawlers will not be able to find and index it during a search.

Thus, your content will fail to rank in the search engine’s SERP or Search Engine Results Page.

Why is this so important?

According to a study conducted by Chitika in 2010, websites that appear on the first page of the SERP gets 91.5% of online traffic. The ad company ran a similar study in 2013 which essentially validated the importance of moving up the search rankings.

In Chitika’s 2013 study, the website that secures the top position on the first page of the SERP claimed 33% of online traffic. The difference in search traffic between positions 1 and 2 are very significant at almost 50%.  

The same studies have been referenced in 2017 and the results have not changed. If you want your website to move up the search rankings, you absolutely must optimize content.

Keywords are the cornerstones of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you want to embed the right keywords in your content, you need to use the best keyword research tools to find them.

5 Best Keyword Research Tools For 2018

Keyword research may seem like a daunting task. It does take time. You have to establish clear parameters of your search. For example, your audience in Australia may be searching for different topics than those from the United States. To do proper keyword research, you should allocate at least one hour of your time.

The good news is, there are several effective and easy-to-use keyword research tools online. Likewise, these tools are very popular with several content marketers and writers.

We have used a good number of them when writing content for our clients. Here is a shortlist of 5 of the best keyword research tools that you should consider for your content writing process:

1. SEMRush

Hands down, SEMRush is one of the easiest keyword research tools you can ever use. This is why SEMRush is very popular among bloggers and content marketers. It also gives you highly-detailed reports that provide data other than just search volume.

All you have to do is copy and paste the URL and click “search”. Within a few seconds, SEMRush will retrieve all the ranking keywords for that specific website. You can have the report presented in a spreadsheet format.

From there copy and paste the keywords and the search volume on a separate spreadsheet. Repeat the process and run another keyword search on 3 to 5 websites.

It is advisable to have a good number of keywords to choose from. Generally, if the keywords list falls below 300, you should launch another search. Once the keywords list is completed, you have to organize the spreadsheet.

You do this by removing the duplicate keywords and ranking them in order of highest to lowest volume searches.

2. Google Keywords Planner

Let’s start with the number one reason why Google Keyword Planner remains a valuable component in the content writer’s tool box.

It’s free!

Second, it allows you to fine- tune the parameters of your search. You can specify which regions in the world your audience is from so that the keywords results list will be more accurate.

Google Keyword Planner is particularly useful when used in combination with SEMRush.

First, set the parameters of your search. Once you launch the query, pick out the keywords that have the highest search volumes. These keywords will be potential topics.

From there, run a quick Google search on a keyword that you plan to write about. For example, if you did a keyword search on “most popular apps” and “lifestyle apps” came on top, you can launch the following search query, “best lifestyle apps”.

Use SEMRush to pick out the keywords from the top 3 or 5 websites that are found on Google’s search results page.

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3. Ahrefs

Ahrefs is another favorite tool among content writers because it gives them data on the number of clicks from a search engine. Why is this important?

Most content writers tend to create content about topics that have the highest search traffic. However, how many clicks does the website actually get? Sometimes a search query may terminate without the user actually visiting the website.

The primary reason is because the user already found the answer for his/her query on the search results page.

For example, if you run a search query on “best social media networks”, the first website on Google’s SERP may present a summary in the form of snippets. You will see right away the rankings of the best social media networks in a bullet list format.

Knowing the number of clicks gives the keyword as well as the website greater value. You will be able to choose the best websites to search for keywords using SEMRush.

4. Long Tail Pro

LongTailPro is a favorite keyword research tool of many marketers because it gives you detailed analysis on the best keywords you can possibly use to create content.

This is the best keyword research tool for you if you have a niche or micro-niche site. Niche sites are those that focus on a specific area of interest. For example, instead of searching for “best appliances”, a niche search would be for “best kitchen appliances”.

A micro-niche tightens up the search parameters even more. Thus, rather than “best kitchen appliances”, you might do a long tail keyword search such as “best kitchen appliance for baking chicken”.

This is one of the advantages of LongTailPro. It generates long tail keywords from the seed keyword that you want to search on.

For example, if you are in the health and fitness business, the keyword “weight loss” would be a popular seed keyword. LongTailPro will generate a list of long tail keywords that would include the following:

  • Weight loss exercise
  • Weight loss supplements
  • Weight loss diet
  • Weight loss program
  • Weight loss surgery

Now you have a prospective list of topics to write about. LongTailPro is a bit expensive with a $47 per month subscription fee but it will help make the keyword research process much easier.

5. KWFinder

Compared to the other keyword research tools in our list, KWFinder is still quite new in the industry. However, it has become one of the most popular keyword tools because of its simplicity and ease of use. In fact, many SEO professionals have KWFinder in their optimization arsenal.

KWFinder is basically a pure keyword research tool. It is no-frills; it will help you find the best, most targeted keywords that generate the highest volume of traffic for a website.

A unique feature of KWFinder is its “Questions- Based Keyword Research” option which uses an intuitive approach to the process.

Essentially, by going through a problem- solving process, KWFinder selects the best long tail keywords that can provide the solutions. This makes sense as consumers run searches to find answers to problems or persistent issues.

KWFinder offers both a free plan and a paid subscription. The free plan has the basic features which are good enough to get your keyword research activity off the ground.  


Research is an important part of creating content. It is used in every aspect of content creation from finding the best titles, searching the most reliable references, and choosing the right keywords.

In many cases, research begins with finding the best keywords. If you want to know what to write about, keyword research will show you which topics people in your niche are searching on.

Keyword research makes the entire process of finding topics much easier.

Always keep in mind that when creating content, the rule of thumb is to write about topics that interest your audience. Keyword research gives you immediate insights on what your audience is searching the Internet for.

While these online keyword research tools are convenient, effective, and easy-to-use, it would be better to delegate the task to an expert so you can focus more time and energy to matters that are directly related to your business.

As we mentioned, keyword research does take time. There will be certain searches that will not generate enough keywords.

For example, if you have a website dedicated for running, your search may not yield enough high-ranking keywords for topics like “how to train for a half marathon” or “treadmill running vs outdoor running”.

The process may leave you stumped. In the meantime, the clock is ticking. Every second that has gone by is productivity lost.

We have done keyword research with great success. If you want great content that generates high traffic for your website, please feel free to give us a call or send an email. We can help you get started and drive more people to your website.

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