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105 Experts Reveal Best Tools For Keyword Research in 2017 (With Leaderboard)

105 Experts Reveal Best Tools For Keyword Research in 2017 (With Leaderboard)

105 Experts Reveal Best Tools For Keyword Research in 2017 (With Leaderboard)


Best Keyword Research Tools for SEO in 2017

Think you need dozens of tools for keyword research? Think again.

I asked 105 search marketing experts a simple question:

If you could only use 3 tools for keyword research, which 3 would you choose?

Keyword research is at the core of any SEO, PPC or content marketing campaign. If you aren't bidding on or using the right keywords, you're not serving the right content to the right audience at the right stage in the buyer journey. This means less traffic, leads, customers...and dollars.

I wanted to know which keyword research tools the experts were using to get a leg up on the competition and build profitable online marketing campaigns.

There are a ton of top 10, 20, 30...100 lists out their floating around the web. Often, after reading, you're nowhere closer to finding the best tools for your business. That's why I decided to go straight to the source and ask the experts and see if the best keyword research tool would rise to the surface...

Here are the top keyword research tools recommended by the experts...

Best Tools for Keyword Research (As Voted by 105 Search Marketing Experts)

#1: (61 votes) ... [Get One Month of SEMrush PRO for free ]
#2: (54 votes)
#3: (18 votes)
#4: (15 votes)
#5: and (12 votes) [Start $1 trial or read ]
#6: (11 votes)
#7: (10 votes)
#8: , and (8 votes)
#9: (7 votes)
#10: (6 votes)

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Read on to discover each expert's top 3 keyword research tools.

Responses are listed in the order they were received.

​If I had to choose three keyword research tools that I use the most regularly, I'd have to choose:

1) - Hands down for the competitive insight. Finding what your competition are ranking for is invaluable when building out a strategy to improve organic visibility.

2) - Similar to SEMRush, SISTRIX is great for competitive research, it's also good to identify historical keyword performance on certain domains which is translated into client-friendly visibility chart!

3) - for the more long-tail variants of keywords identified by the above tools. SEO has moved on from just targeting an exact-match, vanity keyword, you've got to build long-tail context around such terms.

Luke Monaghan - Koozai

​1 - : Who doesn't want to know what their competitors rank for? That's my #1 way of finding keywords (see how here)

2 - r: No matter how many fancy keyword tools there are out there, the keywords planner gives you the trends and allows you to enter landing pages (from your competitors) to extract high volume relevant keywords.

3 - : The best (free) tool to expand on a base keyword and find long tail variations to talk about / include in your article.

The three tools that I use most frequently for keyword research are, KeywordTool.io, SEM Rush, and Excel. While each of these are useful tools, they all serve very different purposes. is great for discovering variations of keywords to built pages around. Frequently, I use this the most for developing content. I will use the tool to pull in a lot of keywords related to a theme and group them into relevant topics. These topics will either become their own content page or will be combined with other topics to create a page. KeywordTool.io is similar to other tools out there such as Uber Suggest, which I've used for a long time, but it tends to produce more keywords and it provides search volume for the keywords.

is great for competitive keyword research. If you look at the organic competitors section of the tool, it will show you who you're competing with for common keywords. You can then go in to each of those competitors and identify keywords that you might not be targeting now, but you should be. In addition, you can dig into the paid side of search and find out what keywords your competitors are bidding on, and then leverage those keywords for your own organic benefit if you're not already doing so. does this as well, but I've found SEM Rush to provide a greater range of keywords and they save more historical keyword data than Search Metrics.

Excel serves a couple different purposes in my keyword research projects. Most simply, I've found Excel to be one of the most effective ways to simply and actionable present keyword research data. I use Excel to create keyword mapping documents where I provide the URL along with the associated keywords, titles, etc. I've also found Excel to be very useful when you are working with a site that offers services in different areas. Using the concatenate or & formulas, you can easily create permutations of keywords and geographic regions to generate keywords for different services and geographies served.

Chris Dreyer - Rankings.io
Charlie Williams - Screaming Frog
Everett Sizemore - Go Inflow
Andrea Lehr
Eli Schwartz - Survey Monkey
Connor Wrenn - Bankrate
Kevin Cotch - SEO professional
Shane Barker
Maggie Cerciello - Seer Interactive
Tom Demers - Cornerstone Content
Brian Lang - Small Business Ideas
Aaron Agius - Louder Online
Emily Yost - Superscript Marketing

A big thanks to everyone who contributed to the roundup. Please share if you found it useful!

And, just to recap, here are the results one more time...

If you could only use 3 tools for keyword research, which 3 would you choose?

Let me know in the comments below...

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