The Top Keyword Research SEO Optimization Tools

The Top Keyword Research SEO Optimization Tools - SEO optimization tools

“The Top Keyword Research SEO Optimization Tools” written by Mike Marko.

If you’re looking for SEO optimization tools for keyword research, I’m guessing you already have a sense the importance of keywords in SEO.

Keywords, also called keyphrases, are among the building blocks of search engine optimization.

They guide content ideation, content production, ad strategy, and more.

But of course, for all of these to go smoothly, you need the right keywords. And for that, you need the right keyword research tools.

The best keyword research tools not only facilitate your discovery of keywords. They also help you sort through those keywords, analyze them for potential, and make use of them.

In today’s article, I’m going to list the top SEO optimization tools for those purposes. These are some of the tools I myself use when doing keyword research for SEO.

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The Best SEO Optimization Tools for Keywords

What separates the best SEO optimization tools for keyword research from the rest?

That’s probably something we should address before we get into my list of the best SEO optimization tools for keyword planning.

In the main, the best keyword research tools have the following:

  • A well-designed, user-friendly interface.
  • Reliable data for keyword-related metrics.
  • Access to a large keyword database.
  • Site or content analysis features.

All of these can prove very valuable when you’re doing keyword research for SEO.

In any case, you’ll see most of them showing up in nearly all of the SEO optimization tools I’ve listed below. So if you’re ready, let’s get started with the top keyword tools right now.

Google’s Tools

All right, so these are technically several separate tools under the Google brand. However, they work well together, so I might as well put them all in one section.

As far as SEO optimization tools for keyword research are concerned, these are my favorite Google utilities:

The Keyword Planner is no surprise, of course. It’s pretty much the main tool for advertisers planning PPC (pay per click) campaigns on Google.

As for Google Trends, it’s fairly popular for keyword research too. After all, you can use it to figure out which keywords are trending (whether up or down).

But the inclusion of the Search Console in this SEO optimization tools list probably confuses some.

Well, it shouldn’t. You can use this tool to find the pages on your website that get the most traffic from Google’s search engine results pages or SERPs.

The tool also tells you which keywords brought people to those pages.

So, you can use this to discover keywords for which you are ranking in or near the first page of the SERPs. Then, you can do SEO around those keywords to get your pages to rank higher for them.

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SEMrush has an amazing Keyword Analytics feature. Among other things, it gives you deep insight into the competition and various metrics useful for PPC planning.

It would be a mistake to think this one of the SEO optimization tools that are only useful for ad research, though.

SEMrush also offers a lot of data useful for organic keyword research.

The information it reveals gives you a better idea of whether or not you can break into the top SERPs for a keyword.

It also extracts keywords from sites (like your competition) in a flash.

Moreover, this is one of the SEO optimization tools with the largest keyword databases.

If only for that alone, it’s worthy of being considered when you look for SEO optimization tools for keyword research.


Ahrefs is another of the must-have SEO optimization tools for keyword planning.

You can gauge the competition for keywords using metrics like its keyword difficulty score, and its report of the top sites for a keyword.

Part of what makes Ahrefs so good is that its data tends to be top-tier. You can generally trust the information it returns to you during your research.

It’s also one of the best SEO optimization tools to use to learn if a keyword is more competitive for paid or organic search.

Besides, Ahrefs also comes with a Content Explorer feature. This lets you see the actual content that you’ll be competing with for a keyword, so you can analyze it and plan your content strategy better.

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This is one of the most useful SEO optimization tools available nowadays. is nothing short of amazing for keyword research.

For one thing, the tool scrapes up a lot of keywords for every search you run on it. It’s fairly common to get around 1,000 keywords when using this for research.

Now you might think that makes this one of the SEO optimization tools that can easily become overwhelming. Too many options can actually be a problem sometimes, after all.

But it avoids that pitfall by giving you a lot of sorting and filtering options. That way, you can focus only on the precise keyword suggestions you need for a campaign or SEO technique.

Furthermore, the tool delivers a lot of great keyword suggestions based off a particular domain you submit to it for analysis.

That can be a great way to get new keyword ideas from competitors.

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AnswerthePublic remains one of the best SEO optimization tools for keyword research this year.

Frankly, what’s not to like about it? It’s one of the easiest SEO optimization tools you can use, it delivers a ton of actionable data, and it’s free.

For those new to this tool, it works much like Google Autosuggest. You enter a topic or keyword and the tool returns a slew of queries that people are asking about or related to that topic.

How can you use this? Among other things, for content ideation.

You can also use it to come up with further ideas for keyword research paths using one of the other SEO optimization tools given here.

On the whole, this is a great tool that you’ll find yourself using more and more for content marketing. It even segregates its suggestions into particular queries, e.g. “X vs Y” queries, “how” queries, “what” queries, etc.


Ubersuggest is among the oldest SEO optimization tools in this list. It remains one of the best, though.

It can scrape up a surprising number of keywords for every topic search. It’s particularly good at bringing up long-tail suggestions you might not come up with yourself, even.

Admittedly, those suggestions don’t come with metrics like keyword difficulty or competition. However, you can export them and check for those metrics on other SEO optimization tools.

For example, you can take the suggestions it comes up with and run them through Google’s Keyword Explorer for competition data.

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Final Thoughts on Keyword SEO Optimization Tools

That concludes my list of the best keyword research SEO optimization tools. Any of these could greatly improve the way you do keyword research and planning for your SEO.

Let’s go over them again quickly. I began with a trio of Google’s own tools, namely the Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends, and the Google Search Console.

Those three utilities do an excellent job of dredging up keywords for SEO purposes. It doesn’t hurt that the data they supply comes straight from Google as well.

Then there are the third-party SEO optimization tools for keyword research, like SEMrush. SEMrush in particular offers keyword analytics and access to a massive keyword database.

Ahrefs is another example of these SEO optimization tools. It also has industry-standard data, as well as a handy content explorer function.

Then there’s, which can provide a startling number of keywords on demand. It also provides tools for drilling down into keyword research results.

Finally, there are the simpler but still indispensable SEO optimization tools for keyword research. The ones I included in my list are AnswerthePublic and Ubersuggest.

Both of these can give you superb ideas for keywords or content ideas. Some people use them as the starting point for keyword research.

Now keep in mind that each of these tools has its strengths and weaknesses. Even if they’re the best of the bunch, one tool may still serve you better than others, depending on your campaign or purposes.

So don’t be afraid to try out more than one of these SEO optimization tools for keyword research. That’s the best way to tell which one best suits your style or needs.

If you have any questions about these tools or want to offer your own suggestions, leave a comment below! I’m always eager to learn about more SEO optimization tools.

You should also check out the blog post, Common Website SEO Mistakes Made by Consultants and Small Business Owners.

If you need help with your SEO, be sure to check out the SEO services offered by IM Consultant Services.  They are a top notch company that can get the guaranteed results you are looking for.

If you need help in getting traffic to your website or ranking in Google, then feel free to contact me and we can talk about the different consulting options we offer.  Or use the link below to apply for your “Results in Advance” free consultation and let’s get started right away:

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The Top Keyword Research SEO Optimization Tools - Mike Marko

Author: Mike Marko
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