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Top 5 Keyword Research Tools to Buy in 2022

If you’re really going to take your SEO content to the next level, investing in one of the best keyword research tools to help you optimize your content strategy may well prove to be one of the best decisions. So, we have dug out for you in this article the 5 Best Keyword Research Tools to Buy in 2022. 

Best Overall

SEMrush

SEMrush

The most comprehensive keyword planning tool around, SEMRush combines advanced-level features with beginner-friendly simplicity to make effective research effortless.

Best for Beginners

KWFinder

KWFinder

Proving that you don’t need experience or expertise to make the most of your keywords, KWFinder is an ideal choice for those at the start of thier SEO journey

Best Multi-Platform Tool

Ahrefs

Ahrefs

The best tool for platforms other than Google, Ahrefs gives you the most detailed picture of how your content is performing right across the web.

Best for PPC

SerpStat

SerpStat

Serpstat helps you to use paid search to its full potential with detailed analysis of both yours and your competitors’ PPC keywords.

Best for Competitor Analysis

Spyfu

Spyfu

SpyFu is a top choice for keeping a close eye on your competitors and identifying potentially profitable keyword gaps to fill.
Top 5 Keyword Research Tools to Buy in 2022

If you’re really going to take your SEO content to the next level, investing in one of the best keyword research tools to help you optimize your content strategy may well prove to be one of the best decisions you make for your website in 2022.

Put simply, Keyword research tools like the ones I’m about to show you today allow you the opportunity to identify the best SEO keywords to target with your content so that you can plan your blog posts, landing pages, and other content around the topics your audience actually want to read about.

Not that finding the right tool to use is always an easy process.

There are literally scores of popular keyword planning tools out there, some relatively simple and beginner-friendly, others extremely advanced and best suited to more experienced SEO pros.

So how do you determine which one of the multiple options out there is the best fit for you and your site?

Simple: 

You start with my guide to the absolute top tools currently on the market.

I’ve spent the past few years building up a growing content website portfolio from zero to several million dollars, and found that effective keyword research was – and remains – crucial to my success.

I’ve tried out dozens o f SEO keyword tools over the years, with the following five proving time and time again to be the very best of the best.

Top 5 Best Keyword Research Tools for 2022

1. SEMrush

Best Overall
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Ask anyone in the know to recommend the best keyword research tool to use in 2022, and you can well expect SEMrush to feature heavily in the conversation. 

For a number of years now, the platform has earned an enviable reputation as the preferred all-in-one Search Engine Optimization tool for SEO professionals who take their content optimization seriously. 

Along with a plethora of features to help you do everything from analyzing your organic traffic to auditing backlinks, SEMrush features comprehensive keyword planning tools that are among the very best in the business. 

Whether you need to know the search volume for a particular keyword, its current popularity (whether that keyword is being searched for more or less than usual), or need suggestions for related keywords, this comprehensive platform can tell you all of that and more. 

It can also help you identify the kind of keywords your competitors are using, how they’re ranking for those keywords, and even look at Google Ads, which feature a particular keyword for PPC advertising. 

What’s more, although SEMrush is a little more advanced and in-depth than other platforms, I’ve still found it very easy to use, with well-organized navigation and intuitive dashboard, which ensures that even absolute SEO novices can quickly get to grips with the same kind of SEO tools used by the experts.

1. Key Features

  • Competitive keyword gap analysis
  • Detailed traffic analysis
  • Organic keyword research
  • Backlink analytics and audit
  • Backlink gap analysis
  • SERP ranking tracker
  • On-page and technical SEO tools
  • Keyword manager
  • Social media toolkit
  • Content auditing
  • Online reputation tracking for both you and your competitors

2. Pricing

SEMrush is available in three plans suitable for bloggers and businesses of different sizes.

These include:

PLAN NAME PLAN DESCRIPTIONPLAN PRICE
Pro PlanBest plan for solo bloggers and small businesses Includes:
Manage up to 5 projects
Track up to 500 keywords
Up to 3,000 reports per day
Up to 10,000 results per report
250 keyword metrics updates per month
Crawls 100,000 pages per month
$119.95 p/m
($99.95 p/m if paid annually)
Guru PlanBest plan for growing SMEs, agencies, and marketing consultants Includes: 
Manage up to 15 projects
Track up to 1,500 keywords
Up to 5,000 reports per day
Up to 30,000 results per report
1,000 keyword metrics updates per month
Crawls 300,000 pages per month 
$299.95 p/m
($191.62 if paid annually)
Business PlanBest plan for large-scale enterprises and agencies Includes: 
Manage up to 40 projects
Track up to 5,000 keywords
Up to 10,000 reports per day
Up to 50,000 results per report
5,000 keyword metrics updates per month
Crawls 1,000,000 pages per month
$449.95 p/m
($374.95 if paid annually)

The Pro and Guru plan comes with a seven-day free trial, though you have to enter your credit card information to access the trial. Though that does mean you’ll need to be mindful to cancel your plan before the week is up if you decide not to use it, I should tell you that SEMrush does allow you to cancel and get a full refund for up to seven days past the payment date. 

3. Pros and Cons of SEMrush

Pros

Cons

4. How to Get Started With SEMrush?

Step 1: Head to SEMRush.com and enter your domain name in the text box on the homepage.

How to Get Started With SEMrush

Step 2: Select your country and click ‘Start Now’ to begin creating your account.

Step 3: Create your account by signing in with Google or entering an email and password and choosing whether or not to opt-in to the SEMrush mailing list.

Create your account by signing in with Google

Step 4: Check your email for the verification code and enter it into the box provided.

Check your email for the verification code and enter it into the box provided.

Step 5: Decide whether to access the Pro or Guru plan and click ‘Get Free Trial.’ You can always skip the trial and go straight into paying for SEMrush if you prefer.

Decide whether to access the Pro

Step 6: Enter your payment details and select ‘Place Order’

Enter your payment details and select 'Place Order'

Step 7: Choose whether to invite your team members to use SEMrush with you or go straight into the SEO dashboard to start using SEMrush.

Choose whether to invite your team members to use SEMrush
VISIT SEMRUSH

2. KWFinder

Best for Beginners
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

While SEMrush may be a great choice for more experienced SEOS, if you’re new to the world of Search Engine Optimization and discovering the most effective ways to promote your blog, you may prefer something a little more beginner-friendly.

That’s where KWFinder really comes into its own.

The visual-based dashboard lays everything out as clearly as you could ask for, so you never have any problems finding exactly the feature you need, while the handy beginner’s guide may prove invaluable if you’re just learning how to do keyword research for your blog

In terms of actually doing that research, the one thing I really like about this one is that it makes it a breeze to find those low-hanging fruits, the kind of low-difficulty keywords that can be well worthwhile targeting when you’re first starting your new blog.

I’m also a big fan of the unique way that KWFinder presents all of the relevant information about any given keyword. 

Search for a particular domain, for example, and you get a long list of all the organic keywords people use to search for content like yours. 

Click on any one of those keywords, and data including keyword difficulty ranking, search volume, SERP overview, and other essential details are all presented in the same window, making it easy to get an at-a-glance overview of every keyword that you can then drill down into. 

All in all, this proves to be a highly effective way for new bloggers to learn all about keyword research hands-on while accessing all the information they need in just a few quick clicks of a mouse. 

1. Key Features

  • Advanced filters to refine keyword suggestion lists
  • Search for keywords in multiple languages and locations
  • In-depth SERP analysis
  • Competitor keyword analysis
  • Search for seasonal keywords and trending topics
  • Extensive historical search volume data
  • Location-specific keyword research tools
  • Backlink auditing.

2. Pricing

KWFinder comes to us from SEO specialists Mangools, so if you do decide to use this one, you’re actually signing up for a Mangools account.

Three different plans are available here, which are all among the most affordable around, just another good reason why this is one of the best keyword research tools for beginner bloggers.

Plans include: 

PLAN NAMEPLAN DESCRIPTIONPLAN PRICE
Mangools BasicIncludes:100 keyword searches per 24 hours
200 keyword suggestions
25 competitor keyword searches
100 search lookups per 24 hours
200 tracked keywords per day
100,000 backlink rows per month.
$49 p/m
(or $358.80 if paid annually)
Mangools PremiumIncludes:500 keyword searches per 24 hours
700 keyword suggestions
Unlimited competitor keyword searches
500 search lookups per 24 hours
700 tracked keywords per day
500,000 backlink rows per month.
$69 p/m
(or $478.80 if paid annually)
Mangools Agency1,200 keyword searches per 24 hours
700 keyword suggestions
Unlimited competitor keyword searches
1,200 search lookups per 24 hours
1,500 tracked keywords per day
1,200,00 backlink rows per month.
$129 p/m
(or $958.80 if paid annually)

Includes:

The platform also offers a 10-day free trial so that you can try out the service without restrictions before deciding whether to buy it.

3. Pros and Cons of KWFinder

Pros

Cons

4. How to Get Started With KWFinder?

  • Head to KWFinder.com 
  • Select ‘Start 10-day free trial.’
  • Create your account by entering your email and choosing a password
  • Activate your account by clicking on the confirmation link sent to your email
  • Continue to the dashboard to start using Mangools
  • Choose one of the three plans if you decide to upgrade
VISIT KWFINDER

3. Ahrefs

Best Multi-Platform Tool
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Ahrefs is a widely-used keyword research tool that gives SEMrush a serious run for its money in terms of popularity and brand recognition.

This is hardly surprising when you consider that its Keyword Explorer is one of the most all-encompassing tools of its type that you’ll find anywhere on the internet.

Powered by the world’s biggest third-party search query database, the platform pulls in keyword data from Google and Bing and platforms such as Amazon, YouTube, Baidu, and five other popular sites.

With some tools focussing exclusively on Google search results, this alone gives Ahrefs a strong advantage, but it doesn’t end there.

Like KWFinder, the service also gives you a keyword difficulty score so that you can determine how easy it’s going to be to rank for your chosen keywords, along with an invaluable “clicks” metric that tells you how many people actually clicked on links when searching for your keywords.

Though the pricing is far from the most affordable, this is another good-value-for-money option for anyone who really wants to up their SEO game in 2022.

1. Key Features

  • 1,000+ keyword suggestions per search term
  • In-depth SERP analysis
  • Supported in 171 countries
  • Ability to segment keywords into lists and save them for future reference
  • Identify the “parent topic” for target keywords
  • Advanced SEO metrics, including return rates, click percentages, and more
  • Keyword volume search for 10 different platforms
  • Advanced keyword filtering
  • Ranking history for search results

2. Pricing

I would have been very tempted to rank Ahrefs higher were it not for the expensive pricing, which may put it out of the reach of some bloggers. 

One of the few keyword planning tools that don’t offer a free trial, the service charges you $7 to test it out for up to 7 days, after which you’ll need to upgrade to one of the four following plans: 

PLAN NAMEPLAN DESCRIPTIONPLAN PRICE
Lite PlanIncludes:
Single user
Unlimited verified projects
Five non-verified projects
10,000 site crawls per month
Three months of data retention
500 tracked keywords
Research 175 domains per week
Research 700 URLs per week
10,000 rows per report
$99 p/m
(or $990 if paid annually)
Standard PlanSingle user
Unlimited verified projects
Ten non-verified projects
500,000 site crawls per month
Three months of data retention
1,500 tracked keywords
Research 700 domains per week
Research 3,500 URLs per week
Six million rows per report
$179 p/m
(or $1,790 if paid annually)
Advanced PlanThree user
Unlimited verified projects
25 non-verified projects
1.25 million site crawls per month
Six months of data retention
5,000 tracked keywords
Research 1,750 domains per week
Research 14,000 URLs per week
50,000 rows per report
$399 p/m
(or $322 if paid annually)
AgencySingle user
Unlimited verified projects
100 non-verified projects
2,5 million site crawls per month
Six months of data retention
10,000 tracked keywords
Research 7,000 domains per week
Research 35,000 URLs per week
100,000 rows per report
$999 p/m
(or $832 if paid annually)

Includes:

It’s also worth noting that if the number of users isn’t enough for you, you can also add an additional user for $300 per user per year, a price that may make this a significantly expensive option for some users.

3. Pros and Cons of Ahrefs

Pros

Cons

4. How to Get Started With Ahrefs?

  • Head to Ahrefs.com 
  • Select ‘Start Trial’ 
  • Choose your plan, accept the terms and conditions, and select ‘Continue
  • Enter your billing and account information to start using Ahrefs. 
VISIT AHREFS

4. SerpStat

Best for PPC
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

SerpStat bills itself as the ultimate growth hacking tool for content marketing, and having given this one a good run for its money myself, I’m happy to report that they’re well on the mark with that boast. 

Though it serves as an excellent all-in-one SEO tool, for me, the highlight is the way Serpstat provides you with a visual overview of the top-ranking Google results for any given keyword, along with an in-depth competitor analysis for that keyword. 

For those investing in PPC, the platform also allows you to extend your competitor analysis to paid search. In contrast, the batch analysis of keywords and domains proves to be a fast and effective way to generate an extensive list of compelling blog post ideas. 

Combine this with affordable pricing and an extensive array of features, and what you’ve got here is a solid alternative to professional-grade options like Ahrefs and SEMrush. 

1. Key Features

  • Organic and paid search competitor analysis
  • Contextual advertising analysis
  • Batch analysis for keywords and domains
  • Rank tracking
  • Site and page audits
  • SERP crawling
  • Search volume crawling
  • Custom reports
  • Backlink analysis.

2. Pricing

SerpStat offers a basic free plan which lets you try out most of the essential features. Although this is good for giving the tool a test run, this free plan comes with such strict restrictions that it’s not really suitable for long-term use. 

If you do decide that this is the service for you, your best option is to pay for one of the following four plans: 

PLAN NAMEPLAN DESCRIPTIONPLAN PRICE
Lite PlanIncludes: 
4,000 searches per day
10,000 results per report
Ten projects
15,000 search position checks per month
Single user.
$69 p/m
(or $55 p/m if paid annually)
Standard Plan5,000 searches per day
30,000 results per report
50 projects
60,000 search position checks per month 
Three users.
$149 p/m
(or $119 p/m if paid annually)
Advanced Plan8,000 searches per day
50,000 results per report
75 projects
150,000 search position checks per month 
Five users
$299 p/m
(or $239 p/m if paid annually)
Enterprise Plan12,000 searches per day
75,000 results per report
100 projects
300,000 search position checks per month 
Seven users.
$499 p/m (or $399 p/m if paid annually)

If even the Enterprise Plan doesn’t quite fit your needs, Serpstat also offers bespoke plans tailored to large-scale companies. 

3. Pros and Cons of SerpStat

Pros

Cons

4. How to Get Started With SerpStat?

  • Head to Serpstat.com 
  • Click ‘Sign Up.SERP,.’ 
  • Create an account using either your Google account, Facebook account, or by entering a username and password
  • Activate your account by clicking on the verification link sent to your email 
  • Enter a domain into the box provided to start using the basic free version of Serpstat
  • If you want access to more features and increased limits, head to your user dashboard, click ‘Upgrade Plan’ and select the plan you want.
VISIT SERPSTAT

5. Spyfu

Best for Competitor Analysis
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Last but not least, we come to Spyfu, which, as the name somewhat suggests, is designed primarily to help you “spy” on your competitor’s SEO efforts

If you’ve made the bold move to launch a blog in an already saturated market, this will help you to identify the most profitable keywords and PPC campaigns used by competing websites dating back for the last 15 years. 

The platform is particularly adept at automating this process by keeping a close eye on every website in your chosen niche and sending you regular reports so that you can identify trends and seize on opportunities that you may have otherwise missed. 

SpyFu even provides Google Ads keyword advice and other suggestions and recommendations so that you’re fully empowered with everything you need to make the most of those opportunities and finally beat the competition at their own game. 

1. Key Features

  • Google Ads competitor keyword spy tool
  • PPC competitor monitoring
  • Competitor Google Ads campaign and ad test history
  • PPC negative match recommendations
  • PPC ad rank tracker
  • Multi-competitor keyword tool
  • Complete keyword ranking history
  • Search for competitor backlinks by keyword
  • Bulk uploading of keywords
  • Organize keywords into groups
  • SEO SERP analysis
  • Backlink recommendations.

2. Pricing

To be honest, Spyfu is a little misleading with their pricing as on their homepage; they promise “unlimited SEO and PPC data starting at only $33/mo.”

Dive into their actual plans, however, and you learn that’s not actually the case.

Sure, said plans do technically start at $33 per month, but that doesn’t get you unlimited data. 

Instead, it gets you the following plan:

PLAN NAME PLAN DESCRIPTIONPLAN PRICE
Basic PlanIncludes:
10k row search results
10k row data exports
100 domain overview PDFs
Six months historical data
250 sales leads & domain contacts.
5k weekly tracked keyword rankings.
$39 p/m
(or $33 p/m if paid annually)
Professional PlanIncludes:
Unlimited search results –
see all the data
Unlimited data exports,
All you can eat.
Unlimited domain overview PDFs
10+ years of historical data
500 sales leads & domain contacts
15k weekly tracked keyword rankings
API access
Custom branded reporting
$79 p/m
(or $58 p/m if paid annually)

If you do want access to unlimited search results, you need to opt for the professional plan, which is as follows: 

At the time of writing, SpyFu also had a limited-time-only deal in which you could get the Basic Plan for $9 per month (or $8 per month if paid annually) as long as you sign up for a free trial of ClickCease, a fraud protection tool for Google Ads and Facebook Ads.

3. Pros and Cons of Spyfu

Pros

Cons

4. How to Get Started With SpyFu?

  • Head to Spyfu.com
  • Click ‘Sign Up’
  • Choose your preferred plan and click ‘select’
  • Create an account by entering your name, email, and payment details
  • Click the confirmation link in your email to start using SpyFu
VISIT SPYFU

What to Look for When Choosing the Best Keyword Research Tools? 

What to Look for When Choosing the Best Keyword Research Tools

In fairness, any one of the tools above may be an excellent fit for you and your content platform, but let’s be honest, you’re only looking to buy one tool to help you create the kind of content that will drive more traffic to your blog in 2022 and beyond.

So, how do you decide which one of these five is the right one for you?

Below, I’ve outlined some of the most important factors that I considered when making my top five picks, as well as explaining how each one may ultimately influence your final purchasing decision:

1. Restrictions and Limitations

If you were paying attention to the reviews above, you likely noticed that nearly every SEO tool out there limits the number of keyword searches you can do and other actions you can take.

While these typically tend to be on the high side (we’re talking thousands, rather than hundreds here), it’s still worth paying attention to them and working out whether the imposed limits are going to be enough for you to collect the kind of keyword data you want to collect.

Keep in mind too that some plans will also limit the number of projects and domains you can work on, so if you’re running a large-scale content website platform like mine, you’ll need to be sure that the tool you’re considering is capable of supporting all of your projects.

2. Accuracy

Search for the same keyword in three or four different research tools, and you may well find that each one gives you a different search volume for that keyword.

That’s because the majority of tools rely on a “best estimate” approach rather than precise hard figures.

So, while you may never get a tool that’s 100% accurate all the time, it is important to read up on which tools have the best reputation for producing accurate results so that you can base your SEO decisions on as close to actual figures as possible.

3. Search Platforms

Given its dominance as the undisputed king of search, you’d be hard-pressed to find any halfway decent keyword planning tool that doesn’t provide you with search results from Google. 

Though that may be good enough for some users, you may prefer to opt for a tool that searches other major platforms too. 

If you’re using your blog to generate revenue via the Amazon Associates program, for example, then it will undoubtedly be helpful to use a tool such as Ahrefs, which will provide you with keyword data from that platform. 

Likewise, those using video as part of their content strategy would be wise to use a tool that pulls in YouTube searches, while other platforms such as Bing and Baidu can also provide invaluable data that will help come up with the most effective keywords to use in your blog posts. 

4. Ease of Use 

Choosing a keyword research service that offers a massive range of features, generous limitations on search queries, and all of the proverbial bells and whistles is all well and good, but if it’s a complicated chore to use, then what good is it really?

When making my choices, I mainly went for those tools that were relatively straightforward to get to grips with, though I do admit that what may be straightforward to me may not be to you. 

Ultimately then, it all depends on your experience.

If this is your first time dipping your toes into the vast waters of keyword research and Search Engine Optimization, then a high-level tool that is aimed primarily at SEO professionals may be too overwhelming or confusing. 

Likewise, if you’re an old hand at SEO, then a more beginner-friendly platform may not provide the kind of complexity and advanced features that you really need to help you sink your teeth into your keyword analysis. 

5. Pricing 

There’s simply no getting around the fact that keyword research tools aren’t exactly the cheapest things to invest in. 

Even the most budget-friendly option in my top 5 (SpyFu) start their plans at $39, while other plans on other platforms can run in excess of $400+ per month

With that in mind, it’s really important to consider how much keyword research you’re actually planning to do and how much you’re willing to spend to do it. 

If you’re running a small-yet-growing blog, for example, and you may only search for a couple of keyword suggestions per month at best, then spending $100 plus for a plan that allows for hundreds and thousands of keyword searches is going to be both excessive and unnecessary. 

Of course, there’s always the chance that you may want to pay more anyway to enjoy additional features like custom reporting or better backlink auditing, but keeping an eye on the cost/value ratio of each plan you’re considering is only going to help you out in the long-run. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Keyword Research Tools 

Q1. What is the most accurate keyword research tool?

Ans. SEMrush consistently proves to be the most accurate keyword research tool out there, though KWFinder and Ahrefs are not far behind.

Q2. What is the best free keyword research tool?

Ans. The SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool and Google Keyword Planner are among the best free keyword planning tools currently on the market right now. 

Q3. How do keyword research tools work?

Ans. Keyword research tools work by collecting data about search results to present you with the most helpful keyword suggestions for your blog so that you can optimize your content and drive more traffic to your website.

What is the Best Keyword Research Tool to Buy in 2022?

So, by now, you’ve seen what I consider to be the top five very best keyword research tools currently available, but, of course, that just leaves one very important question: 

Which one should you invest in if you plan on taking your blog to a whole new level in 2022?

The answer, quite simply, is that it depends on what’s most important to you. 

If pricing alone is a priority, you might find Spyfu a good fit as they offer the lowest-cost plans, though KWFinder isn’t too far behind. 

However, if the only thing you’re really concerned about is using the absolute best keyword research tool out there today, look no further than SEMrush.

Though its pricing is a little steep compared to my two budget-friendly picks above, it offers an impressive array of features, an almost impeccably-high level of accuracy, and user-friendliness, which makes professional-level SEO accessible to even the most novice of SEO newcomers. 

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Forrest

Forrest Webber is an ordinary businessman who stumbled upon the lucrative world of blogging by accident. Forrest founded Wander Media LLC in 2017 and has led the company through ups and downs to a recent watermark of $40,000 in monthly revenue. He’s most passionate about imagination and the positive futures it can create.

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