best keyword research toolsEffective online marketing starts with thorough keyword research. The right keywords help you attract more visitors, make more sales, and rank higher and appear more often in search engine results.

But knowing the keywords your prospects use to find you online is more than just good SEO — it’s also good market research. By learning what your target market is looking for and what kind of language they use to find it, you can create products and content that are more attractive to them and that truly deliver what they want. That leads to a better reputation and more traffic and customers.

As long as you put in the work to maintain your SEO, find the right keywords, and understand your market, this becomes a self-perpetuating business-boosting cycle.

Finding the right keywords takes time and effort, but a good keyword research tool makes the process much faster and easier. To help you find the best keyword tool for your business, we’ve reviewed some of the most popular options.

Google Adwords Keyword Tool

This free tool is the most basic option, and most other tools pull their keyword data from this tool. GAKT shows you the competition level of each keyword and offers several filters and match types to help you discover the most profitable keywords. And since Google is the largest search engine by a good margin, this keyword research tool should definitely be in your repertoire, especially if you use Google Adwords to advertise.

SEOMoz Keyword Difficulty Tool

This paid option is one of the best keyword tools for analyzing key phrases. While it doesn’t necessarily help you discover keywords, it offers valuable insight into each keyword you enter, including:

  • profitability
  • estimated traffic
  • ranking difficulty
  • competition analysis

You can choose to analyze keyword data from Google, Yahoo, or Bing, making this tool more versatile than others. And easy reporting makes tracking competitors and your ranking progress a snap.

Market Samurai

One of the most popular paid keyword tools available, Market Samurai is best known for its powerful competition tracker and keyword research modules.

It also includes several additional modules to help you find the best domains, monetize your site, and find, create, and promote content.

While many users agree that other tools may be more useful than these additional features, Market Samurai offers a fast, comprehensive keyword and market research solution.

Long Tail Pro

By focusing on finding long-tail keywords and testing niche viability, this popular keyword research tool helps users get the most SEO and business benefits possible. It also offers several unique benefits over other tools, including:

  • fast setup
  • scalable research and growth
  • easy-to-use wizards that make research painless
  • simplified workflow

Long Tail Pro also finds domains, researches competition on multiple search engines, and generates 800 keywords per seed phrase you enter. With a 10-day free trial, multiple price points, and endorsements from several well-known internet marketers, this tool is definitely worth looking into.


One of the first keyword research tools, WordTracker boasts one of the most accurate competition analysis algorithms to help you understand what your competitors are doing right and steal their keywords. This tool also uses a proven Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI) to show you which keywords are worth the most for your business, and it offers an easy-to-use keyword map to plan out your website without the stress and hassle of spreadsheets.

Keyword Discovery

What makes this option one of the best keyword tools to consider is the number of databases it pulls its data from. While other tools rely on Google’s numbers, Keyword Discovery also uses:

  • Yahoo’s search data
  • global, regional, and country-specific databases
  • industry keyword lists
  • specialty databases
  • eBay and shopping keyword lists

Along with all these databases, this tool offers lots of keyword research options, including filters, keyword permutations, misspellings, trends, translations, and more.

Which is the best keyword tool?

There are tons of keyword tools out there, and we’ve only reviewed 6 of the most well-known options. Most keyword and market research tools offer the same service with only a few minor differences, so it’s up to you to compare your options and determine which tool is best for your business and keyword strategy.

In fact, many businesses use multiple keyword tools to compare numbers and gather as much competitive intelligence as possible. While doing so may cost more, the benefits of increased traffic and ROI are definitely worth the monthly fee.

Which keyword research tools do you use? We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!