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If you’re a blogger, you  know how important it is to include keywords in your articles. They say “Content Is King,” but without the best keyword research tools, your content won’t receive the attention it deserves on major search engines like Google.

Fortunately, there are both free and paid versions of keyword research tools to help you start creating content, whether you’re a newbie or established blogger. The free versions typically reveal common keyword phrases, while paid tools give you insight into monthly volume (how often a keyword is searched) and how competitive it is to rank for.

To help you choose the right tool to help you generate content ideas and increase your traffic, we’ve reviewed the 11 best best keyword research tools in 2021.

Table of Contents

Best keyword research tools in 2021 (free)

1. Google

You can always count on Google to give you an extensive list of high-ranking keywords to inspire your content and generate traffic. You can get a list of keyword suggestions from Google by typing your preferred keyword into the search bar.

To give an example, let’s look for keywords related to “dating tips.”

best keyword research tools

When looking for the best keyword research tools for free, keep in mind that you are not the only blogger in need of these. You should always be prepared to face stiff competition for the specific keyword you’re targeting.

To stay above your competitors, you may have to dig deeper into Google to find relevant keywords. Utilizing the “People also ask” section on Google can help.

Let’s continue using “dating tips” as an example.

Here are some questions you will get under the “People also ask” section after typing “dating tips” into the search bar on Google.

best keyword research tools

You’re not done yet; by scrolling to the bottom of the page, you will see a set of other related keywords.

best keyword research tools

Using the keyword provided in the search bar, the related questions in the “People ask for” section, and the long tail keywords found at the bottom of the first page of Google, you should be able to create high ranking content by stringing these sets of keywords together.

For example, some content ideas for “dating tips” could include:

  • Dating tips for shy guys
  • 10 dating tips for new relationships
  • Dating tips for introverts who want serious relationships
  • Dating tips for men with busy lifestyles

Using the questions found in the “People also ask” section, some great content ideas for the “dating tips” keyword would include:

  • Dating Tips: What are the 5 stages of dating?
  • Dating Tips: Top 5 things you should not do while dating
  • Dating Tips: How to make your new relationship last

Pros of using Google for keyword research

  • Google is the world’s most visited website and provides comprehensive data on trending searches
  • Free to use and available worldwide
  • Always up to date with the latest search terms
  • Contains real keywords and suggestions searched by users

Cons of using Google for keyword research

  • There is high competition (because it is free, reliable and accessible)
  • You won’t see monthly volume or competition score

2. Keywords Everywhere

Keywords Everywhere is one of the best free keyword research tools in 2021. If you haven’t started using it, you’re missing out! This popular tool is free to use, but you’ll need to upgrade to the paid version in order to enjoy certain features.

To use the free version, follow these steps.

  1. Go to the Keywords Everywhere website
  2. Click Install for Chrome (or Firefox) depending on your web browser
  3. Follow the installation instructions
  4. Go to the website again, click GET API Key
  5. Provide your email address and agree to the terms of service and privacy policy
  6. Click EMAIL ME THE API KEY
  7. Check your email for the API key
  8. Click on the provided link to fetch the API key
  9. Follow the set-up instructions

Once you have enabled Keywords Everywhere on your browser, type the keyword ‘dating tips’ into Google. Here’s what you’ll see:

best keyword research tools

You can use these long tail keywords from Keywords Everywhere to formulate a content strategy and generate high traffic to your blog.

One thing I love about this option is even though it has a paid version, it is affordable. You can easily purchase 100,000 search credits to view the keyword volume of any search term.

Remember I mentioned that I’ll show you how to view search volume using Google? You simply need to purchase search credits on Keywords Everywhere, and then use Google Search Console to view keyword volume.

I’ll demonstrate by using “dating tips” as our primary keyword. Here’s what you’ll see on Google after purchasing search volume credits from Keywords Everywhere.

best keyword research tools

It even shows you the Cost Per Click rate and the monthly search volume for your specific country.

best keyword research tools

Pros of Keywords Everywhere

  • Provides a list of long tail keywords on your browser after typing in the primary keyword
  • Free to use
  • The paid version can be as low as $10 per 100,000 credits
  • Easy to use
  • Ideal for bloggers on a budget

Cons of Keywords Everywhere

  • You can’t see keyword volume unless you subscribe to the paid version

3. KeywordTool.io

This tool works almost the same as Keywords Everywhere and has a similar installation process.

But here’s the thing that makes KeywordTool.io stand out; it offers keyword ideas for the following platforms:

  • Google
  • YouTube
  • Bing
  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Play Store
  • Instagram
  • Twitter

If your content focuses on Amazon products, for example, you can simply view a list of suggested keywords by typing in your primary keyword into the search bar on KeywordTool.io, and then clicking on the Amazon tab at the top of the table.

I’ll explain this even further.

Assuming that our primary keyword is still “dating tips” and you are targeting Amazon related traffic (through affiliate marketing, for example), you just need to type “dating tips” into the search bar on KeywordTool.io, and then click on the Amazon tab.

When you click on the Amazon tab, you will notice that the suggested keywords are a little bit different from the ones available on the other tabs.

One keyword that I bumped into was “dating tips book.”

best keyword research tools

This tells you that someone somewhere is searching for a book on Amazon about dating tips, which gives you an idea of how to structure the next article for your blog. For example, some Amazon-related blogging ideas based on the research above would be:

  • Best books for dating tips on Amazon
  • Dating tips book review on Amazon
  • The best books on dating tips to buy on Amazon
  • Dating tips: 5 of the best books to buy on Amazon

The same case applies to other tabs on the KeywordTool.io website. Let’s click on YouTube for example after typing “dating tips” into the search bar. You will see that the search results are similar to what some users may type into a YouTube search bar, for example “dating tips videos.”

Using the same concept, you can actually draw traffic to a YouTube channel by writing a blog post on ‘The best dating tips videos on YouTube right now.”

Then sit back, relax, and watch your traffic hit the roof. 🙂

Pros of KeywordTool.io 

  • Provides a comprehensive list of long tail keywords based on the primary keyword
  • Easy to install and use
  • Provides keywords based on real data

Cons of KeywordTool.io

  • To see the keyword volume, you must subscribe to the paid plan

4. Answer the Public

This is one of the best keyword research tools for SEO available on the internet. If you are looking for a keyword research tool that provides comprehensive data about a specific keyword, I recommend Answer The Public.

Here’s how it works.

Sticking to our initial keyword of “dating tips,” head over to Answer The Public. Then type the keyword into the search bar. You may need to select your language if necessary, before hitting search.

Now, it’s time to witness the magic!

This keyword research tool provides hundreds of long tail keywords, including questions, prepositions, comparisons, alphabetics and related keywords.

I know this is a little bit confusing, so I will explain further.

  • Questions: These are questions related to the keyword. Example: What are the best dating sites in 2020?
  • Prepositions: Answer The Public actually adds prepositions to your primary keyword to generate more ideas for your content. Some good examples of prepositions for the “dating tips” keyword would include dating tips in college, dating tips for shy guys, dating tips with anxiety, and so on.
  • Comparisons: The keyword “dating tips” is not the best example to use for this specific part. To give you a clearer understanding of how keyword comparison works on Answer The Public, let’s choose the keyword “Tesla,” assuming that you want to write a blog about the famous electric car.

When you type the keyword “Tesla” into the search engine on Answer The Public (ATP), and then scroll down to the comparison section, you will notice keywords such as “Tesla vs Toyota” or “Tesla vs Mercedes” and so on. You can then use this info, coupled by other keywords generated by the tool, to create a high-ranking blog post.

  • Alphabetics: These are basically keywords that are arranged in an alphabetical order. Using the keyword “Tesla” as an example, the keyword “Tesla after hours” appears first because the letter ‘a’ in ‘after’ comes first in the alphabet. Please note that the keyword “Tesla” does not count in terms of alphabetic positioning because it is the primary keyword. Using the same example, the keyword “Tesla battery” comes second because the letter ‘b’ in ‘battery’ is positioned at second place in the alphabet.

Here is a quick example of keyword results in alphabetic order after typing in ‘Tesla’ as the primary keyword in Answer The Public:

  • Tesla After hours
  • Tesla Battery
  • Tesla Car price
  • Tesla Driving speed
  • Tesla Electric car
  • Tesla For sale

Related: This is pretty much self-explanatory. It is a compilation of a set of keywords that are related to the primary keyword. Using “Tesla” as our primary keyword, the list of related keywords on Answer The Public would include:

  • Tesla share price
  • Tesla UK
  • Tesla models

Pros of Answer The Public

  • One of the most comprehensive free keyword research tool out there
  • Allows users to download CSV file containing the keyword results
  • Easy to use
  • Free to use

Cons of Answer The Public

  • The free search feature is limited to a certain number of searches
  • The tool does not warn you in advance that there is a certain limit for free searches (you may get carried away too easily by performing random searches, which draws you closer to the limit with every search)
  • To view the keyword volume, you will have to subscribe to the paid version

5. Ubersuggest

Neil Patel’s’ Ubersuggest is another free keyword research tool that you can use to generate great ideas for your blog post.  This tool lets you search for your preferred keyword, and provides comprehensive results such as search volume, SEO difficulty levels, Cost Per Click, and more.

Using ‘dating tips’ as our primary keyword, here is what you will see when you search for this term on Ubersuggest. Note that these keywords are marked in green, meaning they’re relatively easy to rank for. More competitive scores will be marked in yellow (medium competition) or red (highly competitive).

best keyword research tool

Besides typing in keyword ideas, you can also enter the URL of a competitor in your niche to see what keywords it’s ranking for.

However, note that when you use the free version of Ubersuggest, you can only perform three searches per day. Many users aren’t aware of this rule and end up searching for random keywords to test the tool, eventually running out of search credits.

To get the most out of this tool without spending money, it is advisable to research three keywords or URLs in advance rather than typing random ones into the search engine.

As soon as you enter your third keyword, you will not be allowed to search for the fourth without signing up and subscribing to one of their plans as shown below:

best keyword research tools

Pros of using Ubersuggest for keyword research

  • Provides free keyword research
  • Shows keyword volume, cost per click, competition score, and more
  • Allows users to research what keywords a competitor is ranking for 
  • The paid version is a little bit affordable compared to other keyword research tools
  • Offers a free seven-day trial for new users
  • Features a nice and clean user interface
  • Updates you about the status of your free search credits

Cons of using Ubersuggest for keyword research

  • According to some reviews, users find it difficult to find results related to a specific niche via Ubersuggest
  • Does not have a mobile application

6. YouTube

Yes, you read it right! YouTube can actually help you find high ranking long tail keywords just by performing a quick search on its search console.

For example, if you want to create content about “dating tips,” you can simply type the keyword into the search bar on YouTube. You’ll get a list of long tail keywords that you can utilize to create some brilliant content for your blog.

best keyword research tools

With these keyword ideas, you can easily fill your content calendar up with article ideas. Since these keywords specifically reflect YouTube searches, they’re best for blog posts geared toward generating traffic for a specific YouTube video or channel. Some great blog post ideas may include:

  • Best YouTube Channels for Dating Tips
  • Best Youtubers to Watch for Dating Tips
  • Where to Find Dating Tips on YouTube

If you’re running a YouTube channel, you can also use these keyword ideas to boost your videos’ SEO on YouTube.

Pros of YouTube as a keyword research tool 

  • Free to use
  • Owned by Google, which makes it authoritative
  • Contains high ranking keywords
  • Contains real keywords searched by millions of users

Cons of YouTube as a keyword research tool

  • Works best for boosting YouTube SEO or driving traffic to a YouTube channel
  • Does not display traffic information about the keywords
  • It is competitive (lots of content creators already use this option for keyword research)

7. Pinterest

Not so many people use Pinterest for keyword research — and that’s the best thing about it. As a blogger, you want to use tools that are not so popular because they give you a chance to find unique keywords and search terms.

For example, when you search for “dating tips” on Pinterest, here’s a list of keyword suggestions that could help design your content:

best keyword research tools

When you take a closer look at the search results, you will realize that long tail keywords such as “dating tips for women over 30” are not so common in other keyword research tools for SEO. This is the kind of uniqueness you want to focus on as a blogger.

Also, keep in mind that the keyword results on Pinterest may be very different from those found on Google. The results on Pinterest specifically include search terms from Pinterest users, and not general users on Google.

Given that there are over 300 million people who use Pinterest every month, you can easily create a blog post targeting Pinterest users based on the keyword results on its search console. While your post might not rank highly on Google, you could create a popular Pinterest pin that brings in a large volume of traffic to your blog.

If Pinterest is part of your traffic strategy, make sure to do Pinterest keyword research and incorporate keywords into your pin descriptions and hashtags.

Best Keyword Research Tools 2021 (Paid)

8. Ahrefs

Ahrefs has consistently been one of the best keyword research tools for SEO for so many years. This tool is trusted by top digital brands such as Adobe, Facebook, Linkedin, Netflix and Uber.

But there’s a catch; you’ll have to pay a certain amount of money to maximize its true potential. Quite frankly, this is not the cheapest keyword research tool out there.

Ahrefs offers a seven-day trial for $7, just to give you an idea of what to expect when you subscribe to one of their plans. Some notable features of Ahrefs keyword research tool include:

  • Site explorer
  • Rank tracker
  • Content explorer
  • Keywords explorer
  • Alerts

Speaking of plans, Ahrefs pricing is a little bit on the higher end, and this may not be the best option for bloggers with a low budget, or those who are just starting their careers in blogging. However, if you have the money, it can be a great boon to your SEO.

Here’s a screenshot of their pricing, as of the time of writing.

best keyword research tools

Pros of Ahrefs keyword research tool

  • It is highly popular and effective
  • Trusted by leading digital brands
  • Performs in depth keyword analysis
  • Provides regular reports on keywords, competitors and more

Cons of Ahrefs keyword research tool

  • It is expensive
  • It does not offer a free trial

9. SEMRush

This popular tool performs keyword research and complete website audits for its users. SEMRush lets you “spy” on your competitors in order to create better content for your blog. For example, if your blog is based on dating and relationship advice, this tool will provide you with a list of competitors and the type of keywords they are ranking with.

While SEMRush offers a wide range of features, these ones specifically can be very useful for your keyword research:

  • Organic Traffic Insights
  • OnPage SEO Checker
  • Site Audit
  • SEO Writing Assistant
  • Keyword Magic Tool
  • Keyword Difficulty
  • Keyword Research
  • PPC Keyword Tool

Unlike some other tools I have mentioned in this list, I noticed that SEMRush does not let you perform a free keyword research without first signing up. You will also need to sign up for a seven-day free trial or subscribe to a monthly plan.

Here’s their pricing, as of the time of writing.

best keyword research tools

Pros of SEMRush

  • Features comprehensive keyword research tools
  • Lets you spy on your competitors to help create killer content for your blog
  • Claims to have the largest keyword database in the world

Cons of SEMRush

  • May be a little bit costly for newbie bloggers
  • May not be the most user-friendly for those who are new to SEO research

10. KWFinder

This tool is ideal for bloggers who are just starting out their blogging career. Compared to other paid keyword research tools in 2021, KWFinder is relatively cheaper and easier to use.

Here are some key features of this tool.

  • A user interface that is easy to use and navigate
  • Keywords available in any language
  • Precise keyword statistics and reports
  • Comprehensive SERP overview and suggestions
  • Lets you find hidden long tail keywords
  • Organizes keywords with keyword lists
  • Filters non-profitable keywords
  • Provides SEO metrics

As of the time of writing, KWFinder pricing is as follows:

best keyword research tools

What I love about this tool is the fact that it provides comprehensive keyword research for an affordable price. Compared to other paid keyword research tools on the internet, $30 is not that bad for beginner bloggers.

Pros of using KWFinder for keyword research 

  • Offers a 10-day free trial (most tools offer a 7-day trial period)
  • Has multiple features
  • Easy to use interface
  • Users can disable auto-renewals for their paid subscriptions
  • Offers several discounts and coupons to help save money
  • Comes with free SEO tools such as SERP Volatility checker, SEO Browser extension and SERP simulator

Cons of using KWFinder for keyword research

  • Has a 48-hour refund policy (should have been longer)
  • Their monthly plans are a bit expensive compared to their annual plans

11. Long Tail PRO

This keyword research tool claims to help users find less competitive keywords that generate tons of high traffic regardless of their niche. One thing I noticed about Long Tail Pro is that new users need to sign up first before conducting any keyword research.

For example, when I typed “dating tips” on the search bar available on its home page, the page redirected to a Sign Up form, instead of displaying long tail keywords related to the search term.

Once you sign up, you are eligible for a seven-day free trial, after which you can select either the monthly or yearly plan. The monthly plan is more expensive compared to the yearly.

Here’s a preview of Long Tail PRO pricing and plans:

best keyword research tools

Long tail keywords may have lower search volumes than shorter keyword phrases, but they also tend to have lower competition. Finding long tail keywords you can rank for is one of the main points of using Long Tail PRO. For instance, using ‘dating tips’ as an example, some suggested long tail keywords include:

  • Dating tips for women over 40
  • Dating tips during Covid19
  • Dating tips for shy guys

Pros of using Long Tail Pro for keyword research

  • Provides keywords that have low search volume and even lower competition
  • Practically guarantees traffic to your blog because of low competition
  • Gives your blog a chance to be an authority in a certain keyword (for example, instead of blogging about “dating tips” in general, you may create something more specific e.g. “dating tips for shy guys”)

Cons of using Long Tail PRO for keyword research

  • The tool does not let you perform a free keyword research before signing up
  • Even after signing up, you will still be required to subscribe to one of their plans before researching any keyword
  • The monthly subscription seems a bit expensive

Choosing the best keyword research tool for your blog

While there are even more keyword research tools out there, these are some of the best to kickstart your blog and increase your traffic.

If you are a newbie blogger with a tight budget, you might start with the free versions for keyword research, create a few high-ranking blog posts, and then upgrade to the paid versions later for more comprehensive data.

Some of the best keyword research tools such as Keywords Everywhere let you upgrade to their paid version for $10 per 100,000 credits, which is a great place to start if you’re looking to keep costs low.

Once you start making money from your blog, investing in a keyword research tool could help you explode your traffic and beat out the competition in your niche.

Are you ready to get your content ranking on page 1 of Google? Click here to learn how to write a blog post that ranks #1!