5 Best Keyword Research Tools for Startups

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5 Best Keyword Research Tools for Startups

Andrew Raso
5 Best Keyword Research Tools for Startups

No startup can build an effective SEO strategy without a strong keyword research foundation.

Here are the five best keyword research tools I recommend for startups to begin a well-rounded keyword foundation for SEO.

1. Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is the best place to begin keyword research.

It’s designed for advertising, but you can use it to research organic keywords by customizing your results for one of your competitors.

Enter your product or service, your competitor’s landing page and product category. Customize your search for certain kinds of keywords.

Google Keyword PlannerGoogle Keyword Planner

With Keyword Planner, you can:

  • Search for new keyword and ad group ideas
  • Get search volume for a list of keywords or group them into ad groups
  • Get traffic forecasts for a list of keywords
  • Multiply keyword lists to get new keyword ideas

You should pay attention to keyword ideas and ad group ideas, as both can help with SEO. Ad group ideas contain a set of related keywords that might not show up in general keyword ideas.

Pay attention to average monthly searches, competition, and other available metrics to determine relevant keywords to target.

If you plan on doing SEO and PPC together, Keyword Planner can help you determine which keywords are better to target organically or with advertising.

You can also use Keyword Planner’s suggestions as a base to build long tail keywords with the help of some of the other tools below.

2. KWFinder

KWFinder is a long tail keyword research tool with a great interface. It shows you trend, search volume, CPC, and level of difficulty in results.

But if you click on an individual keyword, a second pane pops up showing its difficulty level (from one to a hundred) and the current Google search results:


This shows you what domains are targeting the keyword, the page’s backlinks, social shares, and traffic. These extra dimensions of the keyword can be relevant, especially when integrating SEO with content marketing.

KWFinder also helps you dig into local keyword research – you can target your search results by city, state or country. 

3. Moz’s Keyword Explorer

Keyword Explorer is a new tool by Moz that adds some extra dimensions to keyword research. In addition to Volume and Difficulty, Keyword Explorer offers:

  • Opportunity: Relative CTR of the organic results on a SERP
  • Importance: How critical the keyword is to your campaign
  • Potential: A combination of all keyword metrics to help you prioritize

Moz Keyword ExplorerMoz Keyword Explorer

The tool draws on Keyword Planner, Google Suggest, and Related Searches. If you’ve already developed a list of keywords with a different tool, you can easily upload them to Keyword Explorer to get more insights and start prioritizing.

Keyword Planner also offers deeper understanding of why certain pages rank in SERPs based on link and social data as well. This can help you in planning your SEO strategy beyond keyword research.

4. Keyword Tool

Keyword Tool is a great starting point for keyword data mining. The tool uses Google Autocomplete data to create its database of long tail keyword suggestions. 

Anyone using Google’s Keyword Planner for keyword research should also use Keyword Tool. Since Keyword Planner is designed for advertisers, it won’t always show lucrative long-tail keywords that Keyword Tool manages to capture. 

This tool is free for the first 750+ keyword suggestions; sign up for the pro version to see data such as search volume, CPC on AdWords, and competition. It also allows you to export your results to CSV.

Another cool feature of Keyword Tool is that it also helps you find long tail keywords for YouTube, Bing, Amazon, and the App Store.

Keyword ToolKeyword Tool

You can use these databases to tap into even more relevant search terms that your search engine competitors might not be aware of.

5. SEMrush

When it comes to keyword research, SEMrush is a one-stop shop with an impressive list of features. 

SEO and PPC research

Search for keywords that perform well on both Google and Bing. Gather in-depth information, including CPC, volume, trend, number of results and ad copies. 

Find related keywords and phrase matches

Use the Full Search Report to find relevant alternative search queries for latent semantic indexing or alternative targeting.

SEMrush also analyzes the common keywords found on the top 100 domains for a search term on Google and Bing. These related keywords come with synonyms and other suggested variations.

Research long tail keywords

Take advantage of their bank of low-volume keywords if you’re looking for less competition. SEMrush collects all keywords that have a search volume of at least ten queries per year.

Use regional databases for international SEO

SEMrush helps you adapt keywords to different international regions by offering 28 regional keyword databases. And if your website’s multilingual, the tool also has keyword research capabilities in 16 languages.

SEMrush DashboardSEMrush Dashboard

Competitive analysis

You can find the keywords your competitors are ranking for and estimate the value of these keywords based on several web performance indicators.

SEMrush also helps you dig into your competitor’s landing pages to brainstorm your own content optimization.

Use their Competitive Positioning Map and Organic Competitors Report to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your direct competitors’ SEO strategies.

Know any other great SEO tools for startups? Please comment below.

Images: Backlinko, KWFinder, Moz, Keyword Tool.io, SEMRush

Andrew Raso is the co-founder and director of the Online Marketing Gurus, a fast-growing, award-winning search company working with some of the world's leading brands, including Coca Cola, Salesforce and Freshbooks. Follow him on Twitter @andrewraso1.
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Some great suggestions. I use both free and paid tools. The free tools I use are
Ubersuggest and Soovle (which I find good for buyer keywords. I use two paid versions
that are great in uncovering target keywords with decent search volume and little competition
they are market samurai and Webfire 3.0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5W_ufXBvjg
I use these softwares for Website SEO and Video SEO.
kanheya singh
The Google Keyword Planner one of the best tools for keyword research and it's integrated with many more features. that is Keyword research is one of the most important, valuable, and high return activities in the search marketing field. Ranking for the right keywords can make or break your website.
Gangadhar Kulkarni
Hey Andrew,
Informative post indeed......!!!
Mentioned keyword research tools really helpful to select right keywords for your website. Specifically, SEMrush is one of the best tools I used ever for competitor keyword research.
Overall your post is a feast for newbies who in search of keyword research tools.....Merry Christmas......!!!
Gangadhar Kulkarni
Kat Heart
The Google Keyword Planner used to be great it's now frustrating to use.... and almost impossible to get in to without setting up your first ad. Big shame google big shame. I would love to share more info about your tool over on my website http://2fishwebdesign.com.au for my local business clients - have you got something you can send over for me to add to the site?
Ahmad Shahzad
Hi andrew,
Very useful list for finding keyword search. I was using only google. But these other tools are also friendly.
Nancy Jones
SEMrush one of the best tools for keyword research and it's integrated with many more features. Other great SEO tools for startups is majestic SEO, Raven tool and also ViduPM Tool.
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