The Best Keyword Research Techniques & Tools in 2021

In 2021, no business or e-commerce site can afford to skip out on keyword research.

The benefits of implementing effective keywords that will allow you to increase your search engine rankings, and ultimately reach more customers, are undeniable.

Failing to implement keywords within your website is like trying to ride a bike without wheels.
You’re going nowhere!

You may understand the importance of keywords, and you may even have made some effort to include them in your content, but how do you really know if what you’ve included is actually attracting your target audience?

What do you do if you’re not seeing the type of growth or conversions that you would expect to by now?

We understand that for small and medium-sized businesses, you are likely going to be short on time and resources.

You may not have the manpower or the hours spare to spend performing a site audit to identify and correct those issues, or even know how to go about the technical aspects of auditing your keyword performance.

Well, we’ve done the hard work for you, and have discovered the best online tools you can use to carry out that all-important keyword research.

Better yet, you’re guaranteed to find a keyword research tool that will work for your needs.

We’ve included free versions for those businesses just dipping their toes in with initial search engine optimization, and premium versions for any businesses ready to take the next step in their SEO journey.


What Type of Keywords Should I Be Using?

Before you can effectively research the keywords you should implement within your content, you should be aware of the type of keywords that will provide the most benefits to your business.

As you can imagine, most standard keywords these days are in use by many different websites and businesses.

This increases the competition you face when attempting to use those keywords to attract your target audience. It also means standard keywords are far more difficult to rank for within search engines, in today’s current oversaturated climate.

To have a chance of ranking highly, content must be of exceptional quality and preferably written by a skilled SEO specialist in order to give you the best chance of outranking the competition. The technical SEO aspects of your website’s backend should also be optimized to fit Google’s standards.

So, how do you gain the edge over the competition within your niche or industry, without those specialist skills?

‘Long-tail keywords’ can be a fantastic driver of traffic to your website when implemented effectively. Long-tail keywords provide more context to a customer query, and usually encompass three or more words.

For example, ‘search engine optimization’ is a keyword; but ‘what is search engine optimization?’, is considered a long-tail keyword.

These keywords may have slightly less competition vying for a customer’s attention, and could better match your customer’s search intent.


Free Online Tools for Performing Keyword Research

1. Google Trends
The first free online tool to help you in your keyword research is Google Trends.

Any tool created by Google themselves is going to be in line with the search engine’s ethos and practices, and Trends is no different.

The benefit of using Google Trends for keyword research is that it allows you to see the popularity of your chosen keyword and how it changes over a given time period, helping
you to plan your content accordingly.

It allows you to see an average search volume for your chosen keywords over an indicated period of time, which ensures you use the most effective keywords at the best possible time to attract customers.

2. Keyword Tool
The second tool which has proven useful for businesses carrying out keyword research is

This tool generated hundreds of standard and long-tail keywords gleaned from Google Autocomplete technology.

This ensures the keywords you are using are relative to what customers are actually searching, and also bases the keywords it presents off data like search volume over time, and trending popularity.

Keyword Tool is also a great option for business owners who don’t have a considerable amount of experience with coding or technical SEO. It presents the data to you in a very understandable interface, allowing you to waste no time in optimizing your content.

Keep in mind, the free version of Keyword Tool only displays data for the first five keywords. You can opt for the Premium plan for a more in-depth analysis.

3. Answer The Public
Another free tool for keyword research that we have discovered, is Answer The Public.

Answer The Public shows you an in-depth breakdown of customer questions relating to your chosen keyword, to ensure you are covering all bases in your content and copy.

It will also show you terms relating to your keywords, like similar terms customers are searching for, or alternative versions of your chosen keywords.

It will go into even more depth and show you comparisons of your keywords, and even your keyword with prepositions added (such as for, near, without, with, etc).

Answer The Public is an expansive tool that helps any small business to expand it’s keyword portfolio and simplify the process of keyword research.

Answer The Public also derives its data from Google’s Keyword Planner, so you can ensure the keywords you’re using are accurate and truly will benefit your business.


Premium Online Tools for Performing Keyword Research

1. Ahrefs
For businesses ready to take the next step in their SEO keyword research, and really jump-start traffic and conversions within your website, Ahrefs is the first of the premium keyword research tools we like.

Ahrefs gives you a fantastic overview of the performance of your target keywords and shows you precisely which keywords you and your competitors currently rank for. It even goes so far as to show you these rankings within Search Engine Results Pages!

When you search your chosen keyword within Ahrefs, you will also be presented with an in-depth analysis of your keywords.

This analysis will include the level of difficulty it perceives these keywords are to rank for, and the cost-per-click and return rate associated with them.

Other platforms that offer this level of insight are few and far between, which is why Ahrefs is a premium tool.

2. SEMRush
SEMRush is another fantastic keyword research tool, which allows you to generate different ‘reports’ based on your chosen keywords.

These reports include data for search volumes, current trends, and keyword ranking difficulty.

SEMRush also gives you the option of implementing a ‘keyword manager’, which allows you to perform a deeper analysis of your keywords, to include the potential traffic associated with them, and more in-depth SERP features.

SEMRush offers both free and premium tools, with their free keyword tools appearing slightly more limited.

For small and medium-sized businesses, SEMRush can be a tool that grows with you, and your use of its features may expand as your company does.

3. Moz
Moz is a tool widely used by webmasters interested in improving their SEO, and for good reason. It is a leading resource for business SEO needs and offers a mixture of
free and paid features.

Moz has a tool called their ‘Keyword Explorer’, which allows web owners to view their site metrics in relation to keywords. It goes in-depth to show the distribution of your keyword rankings with SERPs, and who your top competitors are within the rankings.

Moz will also give you a wealth of keyword suggestions which include data such as search volume, click-through percentage, and ranking difficulty.

You have the option of trying Moz’s premium features before you take the plunge and purchase, by availing of a 30-day free trial.


Using Keyword Plug-Ins To Benefit SEO

Small and medium-sized businesses looking to expand their knowledge of SEO should also consider using an SEO Plug-in, like Yoast, to simplify the SEO process.

Yoast is a WordPress plug-in, so implementing it within your WordPress site is seamless.

This makes it especially easy for small businesses with no background in technical SEO to implement keyword features, as Yoast comes with a SEMRush integration that displays easy-to-understand keyword and phrase data.

It couldn’t be easier for small business owners to optimize their content for SEO by utilizing Yoast and it’s simple interface.


Final Word

We hope you have gleaned some valuable information about the SEO keyword research tools available to you, and how to go about implementing them.

There’s no excuse not to ensure your website is optimized for SEO, or performing that all-important keyword research!

We’ve given you the tools to make the process of keyword research seamless, easy and effective.

How will you implement these tools within your website? Do you already use any of these tools? How have they improved your SEO experience?

For further assistance with keyword research, and to implement it effectively within your website, reach out to us! Avail of a free consultation call to see exactly how we can help you
with the process.

Get a FREE Quotation

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