7 Keyword Research Tools You Need (Updated 2024)

Keyword research is the most important part of any SEO campaign, it dictates the direction of the campaign and the terms you target will make or break the campaign. Great SEO tools can help take all the confusion out of keyword research, making it clear to see exactly which keywords you should be targeting, for both long term and short term results.

These are the only tools we use and each has its own use case. Some are better for finding content marketing opportunities and trends or for generating thousands of ideas from one keyword, others for finding niche keyword variations or synonyms to see how your target user searches. Either way, with this list of useful tools, you’ll be equipped to find all the possible keywords you need.



Ahrefs is our number one keyword research tool and has been our go-to for over 5 years. It does come with a price tag, but the cost is well worth it when you compare the features and what it provides compared to some other tools. This is one of two paid tools on the list that is perfect for freelancers and essential for businesses that rely on Google for their presence and sales.

With a new version recently becoming available, one of our favourite things about this tool is how easy it is to use. The interface is clean and simple, and it returns a wide scope of keywords with minimum effort on your part. It does offer additional functionality and it’s more than just a keyword research tool, but the keyword explorer is its most helpful feature. Simply enter a keyword or topic that you want to explore ideas for and it will provide targeted suggestions and data surrounding each recommended keyword, including a score for ranking difficulty and traffic potential for regional and national locations. It also allows you to look at different types of keywords as well as search term questions.

Here you can see the keywords explorer, with an example keyword of ‘SEO’.

ahrefs keyword ideas


As you can see, the explorer then provides keyword ideas, as well as questions with the search volume for each term or question.

ahrefs questions


You can also see the difficulty rating for each keyword, which will give you an indication of how hard it will be to rank for that keyword. However, take this with a pinch of salt and do your own due diligence.

Keyword difficulty ahrefs


Ahrefs - Keyword Research


You can add the keywords you want to target to a plan, extract them and much more.

Organic position


Another great feature is that you can view the organic traffic of your competitors and the organic keywords they are targeting. It’s great for getting an overall feel of the competitive landscape of your industry.

Tool: https://ahrefs.com

Cost: from £79 per month (discounted annual plans available)

Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is often where someone new to SEO might start with when it comes to keyword research. However, the tool is intended for pay-per-click (Google ads) campaigns, so you’ll see a lot of PPC stats which aren’t relevant to SEO. Our personal preference is to use a tool that’s built specifically for SEO, such as Ahrefs, but a major benefit of Google Keyword Planner is that it’s free. 

When you first open up the planner, you’ll see two options – Discover new keywords and Get search volume and forecasts. ‘Discover new keywords’ will provide feedback on keyword ideas and topic clusters if you already have some keywords in mind. For example, “sheds” will return thousands of popular variations of keyword ideas such as “metal sheds”, “garden sheds”, “plastic sheds”, etc. For the ‘search volume forecasts’, you’d use this if you already have a long list of keywords that you want to view the search volume for.

As you look through keywords and search volume, you can select the keywords you want to target and add them to your plan, making it easy to keep track of your chosen search terms.

This is what you will see when you first open Google keyword planner – ‘Discover new keywords’, and ‘Get search volume forecasts’:


Google keyword planner - find keywords


Using the ‘shed’s example again, the ‘discover new keywords’ option will return thousands of popular variations of the main keyword:


view all keywords keyword planner


You can select the keywords you want to focus on and add them to your plan:


add keywords to your plan


You can then extract your chosen keywords.


keyword planner extract


Tool: https://ads.google.com/intl/en_uk/home/tools/keyword-planner/

Cost: Free

Google Webmaster Tools

Another free option is Google Webmaster Tools. One of the main benefits of this tool is that it can help you uncover some hidden gems, as it will show you the keywords that your site is already ranking for and will provide you with the search terms that users are searching for when finding your website. In our experience, the results can often be surprising and insightful. You can also filter the keyword searches by page, to see how users are finding your content.

This tool can provide valuable insights into your existing SEO, to help you make improvements. For example, if you discover that users are finding your blog via specific keywords, it could be worth optimising your content for them to attract even more clicks. 

Below you can see how you can filter the keyword searches by page, to see how users are finding your content:


search console keywords


Tool: https://search.google.com/search-console/about

Cost: Free

Answer the Public

Moving away from Google’s own tools, Answer the Public is another great free (paid plans are available) keyword research tool. Particularly good for blogs and content marketing websites, this tool provides data on Google, Bing and YouTube search results across a huge variety of different countries. Simply input your current keywords, or the keywords that you think best align with your business, and you’ll get a huge list of ideas to help you broaden your campaign. 

The results will be presented in an easy to digest diagram. The only downside to Answer the Public is that it doesn’t show keyword search volumes. It does, however, give an indication as to which keywords get a high, average or low number of monthly searches, making it easy to learn which search terms you should be targeting. 

This is where you can input your keyword, as well as your target search engine and country:

Answer the public questions


You can view the results in list format or as a wheel:


keyword overview




Whichever view you choose really depends on how you prefer to digest information and which format you find easier to understand.

Tool: https://answerthepublic.com/ 

Cost: Free

Google Trends

Another helpful tool from Google is Google Trends. This tool is easy to use and will help you plan ahead for your business and your SEO campaign. Simply enter your keyword into the search bar and get access to data surrounding trends and popularity within a specific location. Google Trends will return your keywords interest over time from 2004 up to the present for any keyword. You can view the trends for any date and region using Google’s live data. You can also compare keywords, but this will only give you results surrounding trends, and not search volume. 

This is the first thing you will see when you land on Google Trends. It’s here that you will enter your keyword:

Google trends homepage


This graph shows the search trends for your keyword over a certain time period – here it shows a period of 12 months:


google trends graph


You can view the trends for any date and region using Google’s live data:


keyword popularity by country


You can also compare keywords, which will give you a better idea of which to prioritise:


google trends graph comparison


Tool: https://trends.google.com/trends/ 

Cost: Free


Chat GPT

There are lots of ways in which you can use Chat GPT to help you grow your business – including keyword research. More specifically, it can be used to find topics, long-tail keywords and questions, to help create keyword plans and content strategies. 

You simply have to know what sort of prompt to input in order for the tool to provide you with the information that you need. For example, we might enter ‘generate 100 keywords for ‘sheds’ for general keyword ideas, or ‘generate 10 long-tail keywords for sheds’, to be a bit more targeted. Be as specific as possible when creating your prompts, as the more specific you are, the more accurate the results will be. 

Chat GPT is also a useful tool, as it can provide connected words and search terms that otherwise may have been overlooked.

Here you can see the results for the prompt ‘generate 10 keywords for sheds’.

Generate keyword ideas chat GPT

And here are the results from the prompt ‘find 10 long-tail keywords for sheds’:

Chat GPT long tail keywords

It’s worth noting that when using any AI-based tool, you need to review and check the output to ensure accuracy and relevance to the results you’re looking for. AI tools are really handy to give you some ideas to start with, but will rely on the expertise and knowledge of the person using them for the best outcome.

Tool: https://chat.openai.com/

Cost: Free

Keywords Everywhere

Keywords Everywhere is a little bit different to the above tools as it’s a browser extension. This is another great option for discovering hidden gems while you browse online – it supports your keyword strategy, without you having to do any work. Every day you could be looking at potential keywords with huge volume potential without even realising. This tool makes you aware of those potential keywords, providing you with a list of search term ideas that you’d otherwise be missing out on.

You can install the extension here: https://keywordseverywhere.com/ 

Simply enter the API key that will be emailed directly to you on setup. Once the extension has been installed, whenever you are searching online you’ll be generating loads of data, which Keywords Everywhere will then turn into helpful and useful information. The tool is compatible with YouTube, Bing, Yahoo, Ebay, and Etsy too.

Below you can see how the extension works. Once you’ve installed it, you’ll automatically be able to see trend data for your searches:


Keywords everywhere



Cost: starts at $6 per month


So there you have it – there are a wide variety of keyword research tools available, many of which serve different purposes. It’s likely that you might use more than one of these tools to create a highly targeted SEO campaign, with each tool providing different data and information, to help you create the best SEO results possible.


Our team of SEO experts have years of experience in using these tools and developing hardworking, results-driven campaigns. If you’re looking to see substantial growth in traffic to your brand or business, get in touch with us to see how we can help.

Call: 0114 2212121 or Email: [email protected] or Contact Us

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