Keyword tools: 12 resources for researching keywords

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Good keyword research is the base for any good SEO or PPC campaign, so here are a few research tools you might find useful.

Google keyword tool

The ol’ Adwords favourite, although it’s absolutely riddled with flaws. Don’t trust the search volume figures to be anywhere near accurate, and remember Google won’t show you the ‘niche’ terms that actually get a lot of search traffic unless you type them in (in which case you already know of them). Remember, because it’s an Adwords PPC tool they want you to bid on the nice expensive generic terms…


PPC search query reports

While we’re on the subject of Adwords, always mine your search query data from your search campaigns (broad or modified broad keywords) to see what people are actually searching for. There’s nothing better for getting an understanding of the SEO landscape than a information-gathering PPC campaign.


Microsoft Advertising Intelligence

Microsoft Advertising Intelligence is a keyword research and optimization tool that operates in Microsoft’s Excel add-in provides similar keyword research data to the Google keyword tool but based upon Bing and Yahoo! search data.


Google Insights for Search

While finding out up-to-the-minute, socially-discussed keywords is a whole different ball game that I won’t delve into here, Google Insights can give you a nice idea of changing search volumes and rising keyword searches.


YouTube keyword tool

The no.1 video site has a huge amount of search traffic and data ready for your consideration. As with any tool you’ll need to weed out the irrelevant stuff but don’t forget about it.


Google Suggest and Ubersuggest

You know when you type one word in Google and it suggests a few relevant longer queries? That’s Google Suggest, and Ubersuggest is a great tool for grabbing these in a nice, usable format for research.



Have a quick lookie at your competitors’ top keywords (both natural and PPC). You’ll only get the full data with a paid account but the free level with still give you some nice data to be going from.


Anchor text

Talking of competitors, why not see what anchor text people are linking to them with? Tools like OpenSiteExplorer or MajesticSEO have all the backlink and anchor data you need, but you’ll need to have a paid account.


LSI keywords

Scrapes search results pages and crunches together popular reoccurring one, two and three-word phrases from the ranking pages and results.



Want a visual representation of the keyword market but can’t be bothered making a Wordle? KeywordEye can help, and with a paid account will allow you to scrape and see competitors’ keywords too. The data is taken from SEMRush.


Internal search

Do you have search functionality in your website? You track it, yes? Well use that data right now! Find out what your existing site users are actually searching for.


Alchemy Excel

Warning: this one’s a bit more complicated and is for the Excel educated. A bit of Excel trickery from Richard Baxter at SEOgadget that uses the Alchemy API to crawl competitor URLs and scrape keywords, you can find it here: Excel Alchemy script


Creative Commons License photo credit: jetheriot


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