10 Best Free and Paid Keyword Research Tools for SEO

Free and Paid Keyword Research Tools

As a digital marketer, you know that keyword research is a crucial first step in any SEO strategy. Finding the right keywords to target can make or break your ability to rank well and drive qualified traffic to your site.

In this article, we will provide you with an overview of 10 of the best keyword research tools for SEO, covering both free and paid options. With the help of these tools, you will be able to uncover valuable keyword data to inform your content and on-page optimization efforts. Whether you need to perform initial keyword exploration or conduct ongoing keyword tracking and management, this list offers top tools to suit your budget and needs. Read on to start utilizing these keyword research powerhouses and take your SEO game to the next level.

Introduction to Keyword Research and Why It Matters for SEO

Keyword research is one of the most important elements of an effective SEO strategy. Keywords are the words and phrases that people enter into search engines to find information on a topic. By optimizing your content for the keywords that your target audience is using, you can improve your rankings in search results and drive more organic traffic to your website.

Finding the Right Keywords

To find the right keywords for your business, start by making a list of topics, products, and services you cover. Then use free keyword research tools for SEO like Google’s Keyword Planner or Moz’s Keyword Explorer to see how many people are searching for terms related to those topics each month. Look for keywords with a high search volume that you can realistically rank for.

Optimizing Your Content

Once you’ve identified valuable keywords, you need to optimize your website content for them. Use your target keywords in page titles, headings, content, image alt text, and meta descriptions. The keywords should appear naturally and read smoothly to provide a good user experience.

Measuring Your Rankings

Check your rankings for target keywords regularly to ensure your optimization efforts are effective. Use tools like SEMrush, Moz, or Ubersuggest to track your rankings in Google and other search engines. Make adjustments to your content and technical SEO as needed to continue improving your rankings over time.

With an ongoing keyword research and optimization strategy, you can achieve higher rankings, increased traffic, and more conversions. Keyword research is well worth the effort for any business looking to build a successful online presence.

importance of Keyword Research in SEO

Top Free Keyword Research Tools for SEO

Keyword Generator

If you’re looking for ideas for what to write or talk about online, a Keyword Generator can help. All you have to do is type in a general topic, pick which country you’re targeting, and then press a button to see a list of up to 150 different words and phrases related to your topic. It’s an easy way to come up with new ideas for your blog, website, or social media posts.

Google Keyword Planner

Google’s Keyword Planner tool is a free keyword research tool for SEO that allows you to get search volume data and find new keyword opportunities. You can enter seed keywords to find related keywords and view metrics like search volume, competition, and suggested bids for paid search campaigns. The planner also provides keyword ideas based on your website content and product/service categories.

Answer The Public

Answer The Public is a free keyword research tool that provides search query data from Google’s autocomplete API. You enter a seed keyword or topic and the tool generates a visual map of questions and phrases people are searching for related to that topic. This can uncover new long-tail keyword opportunities and help you better understand what people are searching for.

SERP Checker

SERP Checker is a simple but useful free tool for analyzing Google search results pages (SERPs). You enter a keyword or URL and the tool shows you the top 10 organic and paid results for that search. It displays metrics like domain authority, page authority, and keyword density to help you evaluate the competition and optimize your content. SERP Checker also tracks how rankings change over time so you can see how Google’s algorithm updates may impact your site.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free SEO tool from Google that provides data about your website’s visibility in Google Search. It shows metrics like your top-performing keywords, pages with the most impressions and clicks, manual penalties, and more. Search Console is a helpful resource for monitoring your overall SEO progress and ensuring your site complies with Google’s webmaster guidelines. The tool does require you to verify your website ownership before accessing data.

best keyword research tools for SEO

Top Paid Keyword Research Tools for Improving SEO

Several paid keyword research tools for SEO are available to help improve your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) and increase organic traffic. These tools provide in-depth insights into keyword search volume, difficulty, and optimization suggestions to help you choose high-value keywords for your content.


Ahrefs is an all-in-one SEO toolset that includes a keyword research tool providing metrics on search volume, keyword difficulty, and optimization tips. It offers keyword ideas based on your target keywords and competitors’ rankings. Ahrefs is a popular, powerful tool for SEO professionals and agencies and uses data from 10 different search engines.

Cost: $83-999 per month


SEMrush is another full-service SEO platform with keyword research tools for SEO that provides insights into search volume, trending keywords, and keyword difficulty. It offers keyword suggestions based on your target keywords and competitors. SEMrush is used by over 6 million SEO and marketing professionals worldwide.

Cost: $99.95-450 per month


Moz is an SEO software company providing the Moz Keyword Explorer tool for conducting keyword research. It shows metrics for search volume, difficulty, and optimization opportunities. Moz focuses specifically on SEO tools, education, and resources to help businesses improve their search engine rankings.

The tool provides you with lots of useful information about how your website ranks on search engines. It helps you find good keywords that people use to search for things online and gives you suggestions to improve your website’s ranking globally.

Cost: $79-599 per month


SpyFu is a competitive intelligence tool providing a keyword research tool to analyze the keywords your competitors rank for. It provides search volume and difficulty data to help you identify high-value keywords to target. SpyFu specializes in helping businesses gain insights into their competitors’ SEO and paid search strategies.

Cost: Start at $33 per month

Keyword Surfer

Keyword Surfer is a tool that can be added to the Google Chrome browser. It helps you study and understand the search terms that people use on the internet. It also helps you group these search terms into different categories, making it easier to analyze them.

With Keyword Surfer, you can quickly see what people are looking for, identify patterns in their searches, and find out how many times a particular search term is used. It’s a handy tool for anyone who wants to understand what people are searching for on the internet.

Cost: Start at $49 per month

While there are many free keyword research tools for SEO available, paid tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, Moz, and SpyFu provide much more in-depth insights and analysis to improve your SEO strategy. The investment in one of these paid tools will be well worth the benefit to your search rankings and organic traffic.


You now have a solid list of both free and paid keyword research tools for SEO to help optimize your website and content for search engines. With keyword research being one of the most important aspects of an effective SEO strategy, having the right set of tools at your disposal can set you on the path to online success.

As you conduct your keyword research and experiment with these platforms, remember to focus on relevancy and search volume to attract visitors who are truly interested in your offerings. The time and effort spent researching the right keywords will pay dividends in the form of higher rankings, lower cost-per-click, and increased organic traffic. Use these tools strategically and consistently to gain valuable insights that will strengthen your SEO game.