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Here’s A List Of Our Favorite Keyword Tools

Every year, people talk about whether or not SEO is dead. However, anyone out there working in the real world knows SEO is more vital now than it ever has been before.

The pandemic has seen people spending more time online than at any other time in human history. The survival of many businesses now depends on their ability to bring targeted traffic to their digital door. Owners are scrambling for a solution.

SEO exists solely to bring targeted traffic to your website. Your business provides solutions. How people search for those solutions, while different than it used to be, is still the essence of search engine optimization (SEO)

Therefore, a strong keyword strategy is the critical component of a digital campaign. You need this before you even start looking at a content strategy. Even though Google has made some recent advances in understanding language, you still need to know which keywords, and related terms that you want to target.


What Is A Keyword?

The most basic definition of a keyword is a single word or phrase searched on a search engine. If your website or page contains this keyword, the search engine will return it as a result of the search. So, for example, if someone types “how to tie shoelaces” into Google, and your site has that phrase, your site is more likely to appear somewhere on that search result.

For a keyword to work for you, it has to bring the right people to your business. So let’s look at the three points your keyword needs to cover.

•      The word or phrase should be relevant to what you do, so you can find customers looking for what you’re selling. If you’re an Italian restaurant in Boston, you want people searching for Italian restaurants in Boston. This should be your keyword phrase. If for some reason, you’re showing up in searches for Italian travel, you’re not going to get many customers. That’s all about relevance.

•      In addition, you need a search term that has a large enough volume to generate sufficient traffic to your site. For example, you may have a keyword specific to your business, but if only two people a week are searching for it, generally speaking, you’re going to struggle to make a profit unless you charge a lot of money for what you do.

•      The third aspect is you want a keyword that will bring customers who are looking to purchase. There is not much point in getting a massive traffic volume if none of them are customers who will buy from you. This is why you want what we call “conversion-friendly” keywords.

For a good keyword, you will need at least two of these three points working for you. If you can get all three working, you have laid a foundation to build success.


So What Is A Keyword Strategy?

Keyword strategy determines how you’re going to use keywords to hit the goals contained in your overall SEO strategy. It is often confused with keyword research, but they are two different things.

For example, let say that your goal is to be on the front page of Google for people searching keywords involving your specific business in your local area. You might go to a digital marketing firm that plans to create content that will boost your rankings.

You do some research that tells you what keywords will draw the customers you’re looking for. Then, keyword strategy outlines how you will use the results of that research in your content to get the results you’re after from that keyword search.

If your research tells you that the keyword “Italian Restaurant in Boston” will draw a lot of people to your site who are looking to book a dinner, the keywords strategy will look at how you are going to use that phrase on your site and in your content so that they find you.

Of course, the most vital part of a keyword strategy is keyword research. There is nothing to work with without it.


The Best Keyword Tools For Research

There are many tools out there that will help you research the best keywords for you. Below is a list of our favorite paid, free, and hybrid tools.

Google Trends

Just like the Google search box, simply go to Google Trends, type in up to 5 keywords and compare their popularity. You can even click on your particular state to see how the trends may differ more locally than nationally.

You can use Google Trends to search on a specific keyword and see the related queries and the popularity of each one. This can really help you if you’re trying to decide between different keywords. If “content marketing” is trending up, and “inbound marketing” is trending down, it is obvious which one you will choose.

Google Keyword Planner

Google keyword planner is a free tool that comes with Google Ads. You may have to create an Adwords campaign to get access to it, but you can create a nonsensical campaign and pause it to maintain access to the Keyword Planner. It give you a list of keywords and will tell you how many searches a particular keyword has. It will also provide a list of related keyword ideas for you to consider.

Google is always experimenting and often displays search “ranges” instead of hard numbers. For instance, you may find relevant keywords with a monthly search volume range of “0-10” which means there are 10 or less searches for that term or phrase a month. Not good.


Ubersuggest is a free SEO tool that provides search volume data, keywords suggestions and will give you a keyword difficulty score. The tool will also give you content ideas and show you how content related to your keyword performed, including shares on social platforms like Facebook and Pinterest.

Developed by Neil Patel and his team, it’s an excellent way to collect a lot of solid information about terms and phrases. You can even get local search data, so if you need to know how often “plumbers” are searched for in Suwanee Georgia, you can simply change the geographic target to Suwanee and put in your term.

Answer The Public

Answer the public is a great tool to use if you’re trying to brainstorm different approaches to your content strategy.

When you enter a keyword, it will bring up related searches. It lets you see what users in your category are searching for. This gives you an insight into the questions your content should be answering.

This is great for coming up with FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) pages on your website which can add user-friendly content to your website.

SEM Rush

SEM Rush provides a full set of SEO and paid search features. Its domain lookup feature will give a complete view of a domain’s organic and paid search activity. It provides a clear picture of a paid search or SEO strategy at a glance.

The Keyword Magic tool not only gives you a host of information about the search volume of the term or phrase, but also gives you the Keyword Difficulty (KD), related terms you may consider and other data.

They also provide an SEO Writing Assistant which allows you to paste your content into and point out the keywords you want to rank for. Click “Get Suggestions” and the system will provide a score and feedback on how to improve your content.

It’s no wonder SEM Rush is one of the best SEO tools on the market.


Spyfu is a strong go-to choice for uncovering your competitor’s keyword strategies. This tool is sensational at discovering virtually unused keywords, making it extremely valuable if you’re in a competitive niche. It also has features that analyze backlinks and rank tracking.

At just $33 a month, if you do quite a bit of content writing, this tool can help you look at competitors to get ideas on terms they are targeting and why.


Moz is a complete SEO suite of tools featuring site crawl, keyword tracker, and backlink analysis. It is perfect for a quick domain lookup and can provide data on competitor’s keywords and even their most frequently asked questions. In addition, it will provide data on expected click-through rates, search volume, and difficulty to help you choose the best option for your circumstance.

Although somewhat complex to use for beginners, their keyword tools can provide some of the best related terms you’ll find anywhere on the web. Their tool will generate keywords that are semantically related that you may have never thought of before.

Moz has been an industry leader for years in SEO with their “White Board Friday” lectures and the host of tools they provide.


What To Look For In Good Keyword Research Tool

Keyword research involves going through several stages to understand what searches your audience performs and how to use them. It’s essential that you put yourself in the mind of your target market to consider what he or she will type into the search box to find you.

Keyword research tools come into their own to discover keywords, break them into categories, and build lists.


Finding the right words or phrases relies on imagination as much as it does data. Some tools will help you gain insight by adding layers of data you might not have thought of. They will also throw up some questions you might not have considered.


Keyword research is about more than finding the right words to match your business. You also need to understand how much traffic they drive, their frequency and how competitive it is to rank on a particular keyword. If you’re going down the paid advertising route, you will also need to know how much it costs to appear on them.

Keyword Difficulty

Many factors determine how hard it is to get a good ranking on a particular keyword. For example, how many other sites are trying to use the same keyword? Getting competitive keyword data will shed light on ways to improve your strategy. What is the strength of links and domains you are up against? If you’re using PPC (pay per click), what sort of budget do you need? Are you up against a multinational company or a “Mom & Pop” shop? A keyword research tool that shows you how hard it is to rank will allow you to find softer targets that are still effective.

Diversity And Geography

Most tools work best on English language keywords used on Google or Bing for the U.S market. Some tools will have access to other search engines like Amazon or Youtube and international search engines like Yandex and Baidu for research outside these areas.


Other Ways To Find Keywords

There are other ways to find keywords. Google likes to help its users out by offering them some popular suggestions when they begin to type search keywords. If you start typing a relevant keyword into Google, it will often provide you some suggestions. This is called Google autocomplete and is an excellent insight into what is popular on Google.

Entering an obvious keyword into Google will also see several alternate suggestions at the bottom of the page, which is another valuable insight.

Spy On Your Competitors

If you’re up against someone who consistently outranks you, it is possible to take their site and run it through a program like Spyfu to see what keywords they’re targeting. This could also help you avoid going head to head with them and carve out your own keyword territory.


SEO Can Be Crucial For Your Success

SEO is the process of putting a 10,000 piece puzzle together. It requires constant refining and tweaking as the environment, and your competitors change. However, the one thing that does stay the same is that SEO is more crucial than ever before for the success of your business.

When you want help getting more visibility for your business, call the experts at Make It Loud. For 17 years, we’ve been helping business owners just like you with web design, SEO, Google Adwords and more. We do consulting as well as all the heavy lifting in digital marketing. Call us and find out why we’ve been around so long.


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