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2 Tools to Help You Conduct Better Keyword Research

A magnifying glass over the Google homepage.
  • Mar 09, 2017
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  • by A2 Marketing Team

You can create the most amazing content on the web, but if you don’t know how to perform Search Engine Optimization (SEO), chances are most people will never find it. Choosing the right keywords, for example, is half the battle. However, strong keyword usage requires strategy.

Most SEO experts recommend using tools to gauge which keywords you should incorporate into your articles. If you know what the best tools are, how to use them, and how to interpret their results, your keyword strategy will be more effective.

In this article, we’re going to talk a bit more about the importance of using the right keywords. Then we’ll introduce you to our two favorite keyword research tools (and how to use them). Let’s get to work!

Why Keyword Research Is Essential

An example of a Google search.
Using the right keywords enables you to get more traffic from search engines.

SEO is an integral player in the growth of any website. You can always complement organic traffic with paid advertisements, but SEO usually leads to more consistent growth. To use an example, you could have a gorgeous website with dozens of in-depth posts readers would love. However, without proper keyword research and usage, chances are very few people would ever see them.

On the other hand, if every single one of those posts was optimized to target different keywords, you’d have dozens of opportunities for people to find your website via search engines. Knowing that, it’s hard to argue against spending some time conducting keyword research.

If you want to be as effective as possible, you’ll want to use dedicated SEO research tools to help you out. Most of them provide far more information than you could ever find on your own, and there are plenty of options to pick from.

2 Tools to Help You Conduct Better Keyword Research

For the best possible results, you may want to use more than one tool to conduct your research. Plus, it pays off to take your time and find as many great keywords as you can. That way, you can build content around those keywords, and tap into sources of traffic you haven’t touched yet. While Google Keyword Planner is always a good starter tool, we are going to look at two others that you may not currently use.

1. Moz

The Moz homepage.

Moz is one of the largest online communities built around SEO. On top of being an excellent resource for learning about how to attract massive amounts of traffic, it also offers several tools to help you get the job done. One such tool is its keyword explorer, but there are also services to help you find link-building opportunities, track your website’s rise through the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs), and more.

Key Features:

  • Learn about SEO through dozens of well-crafted tutorials.
  • Connect with experts through Moz’s community.
  • Find potential keywords for your website through a simple explorer.
  • Check how your listings show up on local search engines and directories.

Price: The basic Moz Pro plan starts at $99 per month. However, you can perform up to 20 free keyword searches per month using Moz’s Keyword Explorer.

How to Get Started With Moz’s Keyword Explorer:

The great thing about using Moz’s Keyword Explorer is that you don’t need to create an account to try it out. All you have to do is choose a starting keyword, indicate which language you want to target, and hit Search:

The Moz Keyword Explorer.

In this example, we used best keyword research tools as our starting point. What this service does is take the keyword you provide and tell you how popular it is, as well as suggesting alternatives:

Your Moz keyword research results.

As you can see, the keyword we chose isn’t particularly popular, since it doesn’t have a high search volume. However, that means the competition or difficulty is low, so it’s easier to rank highly for. If you take a look under Keyword Suggestions, you’ll find information on related keywords and their search volumes. Right next to those, you’ll see the top related articles for the keyword you chose:

An example of Moz's keyword suggestions.

You can use this information to write posts that are longer and better than those you’re competing with, as well as to incorporate keyword variations to get more traffic. Alternatively, you can also try searching for other keywords until you find one you think has more potential (and a higher search volume).

2. SEMRush

The SEMRush homepage.

Just like Moz, SEMRush offers you an all-in-one platform for your SEO needs. Using its suite of tools, you can conduct keyword research, see how much it would cost to target specific terms for paid campaigns, check out your competitor’s campaigns, and more. In other words, SEMRush can come in quite handy if you’re also interested in attracting paid traffic (on top of your other SEO efforts).

Key Features:

  • Conduct in-depth keyword research.
  • Check out how much it would cost to run ads for specific keywords.
  • Study all the top SERP results for your keywords.

Price: SEMRush plans also start at $99 per month. However, you can perform up to ten free searches per month without registering, and you get an additional ten queries with a free account.

How to Get Started With SEMRush:

Performing your first SEMRush keyword search is very straightforward. Just type the keyword you want to look into, and hit the Search button:

An example of a SEMRush keyword search.

In this case, we went with best keyword research tools once more, so we could compare these results with the ones Moz gave us. Right off the bat, SEMRush’s volume estimates are a lot less conservative:

An example of a SEMRush keyword volume analysis.

Likewise, SEMRush provides you with a lot more options when it comes to researching related keywords and their respective volumes:

Some SEMRush related keyword suggestions.

Finally, you get access to the top 100 search engine results related to the keywords you look into. With this information, you’ll easily be able to create longer and better articles than your competition.


Finding the right keywords requires a bit of work – there’s no way around it. However, a little effort can mean the difference between languishing with little to no traffic and success. If you can set aside a couple of hours every week or month to do keyword research, you’ll be in an excellent position.

There are a lot of options when it comes to keyword research tools. However, we’re partial to the two below, because they’re easy to use and provide you with actionable results:

  1. MozA beginner-friendly tool that provides you with conservative search volumes.
  2. SEMRushThis tool offers you with a lot more data than the competition, but it’s a bit harder to interpret if you’re new to SEO.

Image credit: Pixabay.

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