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14 Best Keyword Research Tools in 2024 [Free and Paid]

If you don’t know what topics your audience is interested in or what information they’re searching for, you could end up wasting your time creating pages that never attract any traffic. Thankfully, keyword research for search engine optimization (SEO) can help you solve that problem.

Today, many keyword research tools — both free and paid — are available to help beginner-level SEOs and content writers find keywords to target. We sorted our list for you, so you can jump into the tool category you’re eyeing:

Free keyword research tools

Not ready to pay for a keyword research tool yet? These free keyword research tools are excellent choices to get started with your strategy:

Free keyword research tools Best feature
KeywordsFX – User-friendly
– Includes keywords in question format
Google Trends – Shows the keywords’ volume growth in percentage
Soovle – Lets you download keyword suggestions from various sources

1. KeywordsFX

Price: Free

Best feature: The tool is user-friendly and includes keywords in question format for your content ideas.
using keywordsfx for keyword research

KeywordsFX is one of the best free keyword research tools you can use. It’s also simple to use and doesn’t require signing up.

Type in your starting keyword, and it’ll suggest related high-value keywords. This free tool also includes keywords in question format, so you get content ideas.

You can export the results as a CSV file, or you can copy and paste the terms into your software of choice.

Price: Free

Best feature: The tool tells you the keywords’ volume growth in percentage compared to a time period.

google trends

Google Trends is a tool that analyzes a keyword’s popularity in Google searches. It provides related topics and Google search queries, informing you of related terms that your audience might be searching for.

The tool informs you how popular a keyword phrase is by telling you its percentage of growth from a previous time period. When “Breakout” is indicated, it means the search term has grown from the previous period by over 5000%.

3. Soovle

Price: Free

Best feature: Soovle lets you download the results as a CSV file.
using soovle for keyword research
Soovle is a free keyword research tool that shows you related keyword phrases from different sources.

Type in your primary keyword, and you’ll get suggested keywords from search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. You also get suggested topics from YouTube, Wikipedia, Amazon, and other websites.

Freemium and paid keyword research tools

Many keyword research tools offer free trial versions or free limited versions. These tools let you try them and their advanced features before you purchase them. That way, you can test them and see if the features will help you with your keyword strategy.

Below, we round up the best freemium and paid keyword research tools you can try before you make a purchase.

Freemium and paid keyword research tools Pricing Best feature
SEO.com Free version and free trial version available (Starts at $19 per month) – Discovers keyword topics using competitor data
– Tracks your site’s keyword rankings
Keyword Tool Freemium (Starts at $69 per month) – You can include negative keywords to filter out terms that aren’t useful for your company
Moz Keyword Explorer Freemium (Starts at $79 per month) – MozBar browser extension shows a page’s instant metrics like Page Authority and Domain Authority
Semrush Freemium (Semrush’s suite of tools starts at $108.33/month) – Users can filter keywords by broad match, phrase match, exact match, and more
BuzzSumo 30-day free trial available (BuzzSumo’s suite of tools starts at $159 per month) – Provides you with context about a keyword through content ideas and the top influencers related to the term
Keywords Everywhere Freemium (Starts at $6 per month) – Provides a list of relevant long-tail keywords along with search volume and CPC data
Ahrefs Keyword Generator Freemium (Starts at $119 per month) – The free version shows relevant keywords from various search engines and platforms
Mangools KWFinder Freemium (Starts at $19.90 per month) – The free version shows you a keyword’s difficulty score and SERP overview
AlsoAsked Freemium (Starts at $12 per month) – Generates “People Also Ask” data
Jaaxy Free trial available for 30 keyword searches (Starts at $49 per month) – Provides keyword information, such as volume and number of visits to your website if you rank for the keyword
Backlinko’s Keyword Tool Freemium (A Semrush account is required to access the full list of keywords) – Provides search volume and keyword difficulty data

4. SEO.com

Price: Free version and free trial version available (Starts at $19 per month)

Best feature: Discover content ideas from competitors, plus track your rankings for these topics. You’ll also have access to SEO audit tools for greater insight into SEO performance.

SEO.com results while doing SEO

SEO.com delivers an effortless experience for consultants, freelancers, and contractors. Besides compiling keyword ideas from competitors, it’s also possible to track your keyword rankings over time and access insights from SEO audits.

If you’re looking for a lightweight tool that cuts your SEO time in half, consider SEO.com.

5. Keyword Tool

Price: Freemium (Starts at $69/month)

Best feature: You can opt to include negative keywords in order to filter out terms that aren’t useful for your company.

using keyword tool io

Keyword Tool is one of the best keyword research tools you can use for free. It creates an extensive list of keywords that add terms both ahead of and after the keyword you searched for, allowing for a range of different options.

In the free version of this SEO keyword research tool, you’ll be able to get a super long list of keywords that range from short-tail to long-tail. This tool is great for generating keyword phrases that you may not have considered, due to the fact that the words placed before and after the keyword allow the topic range to extend immensely.

If you sign up for the Pro version, which costs between $69 and $199 per month depending on the plan you choose, you get even more keywords and more data about each keyword, including search volume and competition.

6. Moz Keyword Explorer

Price: Freemium (Starts at $79 per month)

Best feature: This tool’s best feature is the huge amount of information that you can export to a CSV file. You can also download the MOZ bar, which shows up at the top of your screen, allowing you to see the page and domain authority, the spam score, and the shares of any website that you are currently viewing.

moz keyword explorer

Though many of Moz’s tools are only available with a subscription, their Keyword Explorer allows you to run three free searches per day if you sign up for a free account. When you perform a keyword search with MOZ, you receive not only a list of keyword suggestions but also the search volume, difficulty, opportunity, and potential. You can also view search engine results page (SERP) analysis reports for each keyword, which is extremely helpful in your search.

Your query also allows you to see the top organic results for that keyword along with each page’s page authority, domain authority, Facebook shares, and links to the page and domain, respectively. This keyword planner tool also allows you to see how difficult (or easy) any given keyword will be to rank for.

Bonus Read: 14 Chrome Extensions for SEO

7. Semrush Keyword Magic Tool

Price: Freemium (Semrush’s suite of tools starts at $108.33/month)

Best feature: In the Keyword Magic Tool, you can filter your keywords list by broad match, phrase match, exact match, related, questions, and more. You can even filter phrases by the words they include. The best part is that you can export all the lists!

semrush keyword magic tool

Semrush is another paid research tool for keyword advertising, but it’s definitely worth the cost. When you type a keyword into the keyword overview field, you receive a live update of the volume, keyword difficulty, cost-per-click, and more.

You will also see lists of keyword variations, questions, and related keywords with their volume, CPC, and other data, along with a SERP analysis.

8. BuzzSumo

Price: BuzzSumo’s suite of tools starts at $159/month (30-day free trial available)

Best feature: The tool provides you with context about a keyword through content ideas and the top influencers related to the term.

BuzzSumo keyword analysis of digital marketing

BuzzSumo is best known for providing lists of the top-ranking content for a given keyword, helping creators come up with new ideas for content. It also introduced a keyword research tool that provides related keywords and data about those terms, including search volume and CPC. When you search for a keyword, you also get:

  • An overview of how many articles were published on a given topic in the last year by month
  • Content ideas
  • Questions related to your keyword
  • An overview of the SERP for your keyword
  • The top influencers for your keyword on social media

BuzzSumo is great when you aren’t quite sure how to utilize the keywords you find because the content ideas and articles provided give you potential contexts for your keywords.

9. Keywords Everywhere

Price: Freemium (Starts at $6 per month)

Best feature: The tool provides a list of relevant long-tail keywords along with search volume and CPC data.

keywords everywhere tool

Keywords Everywhere is a web browser extension that shows you a list of keywords a page is ranking for. It includes the following information:

  • Estimated traffic
  • SERP position
  • Search volume

When you activate the extension when using Google search, it shows a list of related keywords along with their search volume and CPC in the SERPs. It also provides you with a list of long-tail keywords and other search terms that people use.

10. Ahrefs Keyword Generator

Price: Freemium (Starts at $119 per month)

Best feature: The free version shows you relevant keywords from various search engines and platforms like Google, Bing, YouTube, and Amazon.

ahrefs keyword generator

Keyword Generator is one of Ahrefs’s freemium SEO tools. It gives you relevant keywords in question format and phrase match.

The free version shows the following data:

  • Keyword difficulty: It is a grade within a 100-point scale that indicates how hard it is to rank on the first page of the SERPs for a keyword.
  • Search volume: It is a keyword’s estimated number of monthly searches for the past 12 months.

It also shows you keyword data from different locations, and various search engines and platforms, such as:

For a free Ahrefs alternative, consider Ahrefs vs. Ubersuggest.

11. Mangools KWFinder

Price: Freemium (Starts at $19.90/month)

Best feature: The keyword research tool’s free version shows you a keyword’s difficulty score and SERP overview.

mangools kwfinder

Mangools KWFinder is a freemium keyword research tool that provides you with relevant search terms based on your seed keyword. You can filter the list of keywords based on location and language.

Do you need to know the competitive landscape of a keyword? Mangools shows you a term’s Keyword SEO Difficulty score on a scale of 0 to 100.

It also gives you the SERP overview of a keyword, providing a list of the ranking pages and their key metrics, such as:

  • Domain authority
  • Page authority
  • Number of external links leading to the page

12. AlsoAsked

Price: Freemium (Starts at $12 per month)

Best feature: Generating “People Also Ask” data

using alsoasked as a keyword research tool

AlsoAsked is a freemium keyword research tool that organizes “People Also Ask” data on Google’s search results. You can use this tool to look for opportunities to rank in P0 for certain topics.

Enter your keyword, and this tool will generate clusters of related topics. You can click on one of the topics to generate further topics.

The free version lets you download a PNG file of the results, while the paid plans enable you to download them in spreadsheet formats like CSV, XLSX, and Google Sheets.

13. Jaaxy

Price: Starts at $49 per month (free trial available for 30 keyword searches)

Best feature: Provides keyword information, such as volume and number of visits to your website if you rank for the keyword

using jaaxy as a keyword research tool

Jaaxy is a freemium keyword research tool that provides you with keyword ideas and valuable data on these terms:

  • Keyword volume
  • Number of visits to your website if you rank on the first page of the keyword
  • Quote search results (QSR) or the number of websites competing for the search term
  • Keyword quality indicator

Just type in your primary keyword, and it’ll provide other related terms along with important data. It also provides a list of related long-tail keywords you can explore using.

14. Backlinko’s Keyword Tool

Price: Freemium (A Semrush account is required to access the full list of keywords)

Best feature: Provides search volume and keyword difficulty data

backlinko keyword research tool

Backlinko offers a keyword tool that provides keyword suggestions for free. It also provides you with the search volume of each related keyword and keyword difficulty.

You also get to see the search trend for the keyword and its CPC, informing you of how competitive the search term is.

The free version gives you 15 keyword suggestions. When you sign up for a free SEMrush account, you get access to more keyword suggestions and data.

FAQs related to keyword research tools

Got more burning questions about keyword research tools? Find the answers in our FAQs.

1. What is keyword research?

Keyword research is a strategy of finding, analyzing, and selecting search terms that your prospects use when looking for your business, offerings, or competitors.

2. Why is keyword research important for SEO?

Keyword research is important for SEO because it fuels your SEO and content strategies. With keyword research, you uncover other relevant terms that your target audience uses and related topics that they’re searching for.

You can then create content that your audience finds useful and optimize your site for keywords they use. As a result, you’ll rank for these search terms.

When you perform keyword research, your SEO and content strategies are backed by data on what your target audience searches for, enabling them to find your business.

3. What is a keyword research tool?

A keyword research tool is software that identifies relevant queries that online searchers use. These tools also provide keyword data and metrics, such as:

  • Keyword search volume: the number of times the keyword was used on search at a given time, telling you how popular a keyword is
  • Keyword difficulty: a metric that tells you how difficult it is to rank for the keyword in an organic search
  • Search trends: data on a search term’s popularity by location or volume over time
  • Cost per click (CPC): a valuable metric when you’re researching keywords for your pay per click (PPC) advertising and SEO campaigns. It tells you how competitive the search term is and how much an advertiser pays to get a click on their ad.

4. Can I perform keyword research for free?

Yes, you can do keyword research using free or freemium tools when you’re just starting out.

The best free keyword research tools mentioned in this post can provide keyword suggestions and relevant search terms that your prospects may be using. If you’re using a freemium tool, you may upgrade to paid plans when necessary, which leads us to the next question.

5. When should I upgrade from a free keyword research tool to a paid one?

The best free keyword tools in this article are great options. You may need to upgrade to a paid tool or the paid version of a freemium tool when:

  • You always go over the search limit of your freemium tool.
  • You need access to more keyword metrics that will inform your strategy and are only available in paid tools.
  • Your SEO and content strategies need more data, which are available in all-in-one paid solutions.

The freemium tools on this list are excellent choices as your keyword strategy evolves. For one, our app SEO.com has a free version and a 10-day free trial.

When you upgrade to a paid plan, you can track up to five of your competitors and get access to valuable metrics like estimated search traffic and keyword CPC.

6. Which SEO keyword research tools are right for you?

Looking through all of these keyword research tools, you may be overwhelmed with the thought of choosing the one that is best suited for you and your SEO efforts. My best advice would be to test them and see what works for you!

Here are some tips when choosing the best keyword research tool for your needs:

  • Identify your keyword research needs
  • Determine your budget
  • Try the free and freemium tools on this list
  • Get your team’s input on the tools

There is no single correct choice as far as the tools that you use. One may work better for your technique than others. There are plenty of free options that work great if you are just getting started and aren’t interested in shelling out any cash. You never know until you try!

Get started with the top keyword research tool for DIY SEO

Make do-it-yourself SEO easier (and more cost-effective) with SEO.com, the free keyword research tool for freelancers, consultants, and contractors looking to surface keyword ideas while tracking keyword rankings.

Try SEO.com today to start streamlining your keyword research!

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