KeywordsAny serious SEO worth his or her salt knows that keyword phrases are still an essential part of everyday SEO, even if some say that keywords for use in SEO are dying (and in my opinion this just isn’t true at this moment).

So stop listening to the naysayers of SEO, researching the phrases, and their intent from a user’s perspective, is still an important SEO task.

In the past when I was asked what the best tools for researching your keywords are, I’d reply your brain, Excel and a brainstorming session.

But in 2015 we’re pretty spoilt for choice with keyword research tools so I thought I’d give a brief list of some of my favourite tools. They’ll allow you to hunt down those all-so-useful phrases we should look to target in our website copy to help ensure searchers find our sites on search engines.

Please note I’d recommend you use these tools to help you use natural language when writing for web pages. Back in the good old days you might have got away with just repeating a keyword phrase across a page in a bid to get it to rank, but I would strongly recommend you now use these tools to look for keywords and their variations. Keyword spamming your pages is certainly not recommended these days!

Google Keyword Planner

Located in Google AdWords, this tool digs up keywords used by Google users and gives an indication of search volumes as well as competition from other advertisers bidding on that keyword in the AdWords system.

In my experience you should take the search volume figures with a vast pinch of salt, treat with caution and think carefully. The Planning tool is useful for coming up with ideas for a wider selection of phrases to use in your SEO efforts.

You can enter in a “seed keyword” to allow Google to return Keyword ideas, though don’t forget to use the Keyword Filter tool to really help!

The tool is free to use but you’ll need to set up a Google AdWords account to access it.

Score: 7/10


Making use of Google Suggest, this is a great tool to find a huge variation in keywords you can use on your website.

You can choose to search by language, either English/USA or English/UK as well as a raft of other languages. Once selected you can then choose to search by Google vertical, including Google Images, News, Video, Web and more. You’ll likely want to stick with the “Web” option.

All you need to do is plug in your keyword and then click the “Suggest” button. Within seconds you’ll get a list of keywords from A to Z. For example, if you choose a keyword like “Document Scanning” the results will provide you with a vast list. However, what you won’t get is any idea of search numbers but it allows you to get some idea of the variations – i.e. the previous phrase we get to see:

Document Scanning apps

Document Scanning and Storage

Document Scanning and Indexing

Document Scanning Costs

The really clever thing with Ubersuggest is that you can add keywords to a list allowing you to copy and paste into a spreadsheet but there is one feature you might miss out on all together

If you click directly on “Document Scanning Costs” Ubersuggest will drop down another list which will break down variations of that phrase i.e. we will see:

Document Scanning Cost per page

Document Scanning Cost Estimator

Scanning Document Costs

This can help you look for even a greater number of niches, something really useful in your SEO efforts!

Score 6/10 (only as there are no search volumes)

I really do like this tool for discovering new keywords for clients. The free version doesn’t allow you to see search volumes but the difference with this tool is that it doesn’t just append search terms to the end of a phrase; It will also return results with keywords at the start of a phrase i.e enter in “Document Scanning” and you’ll get results like:

Starting a Document Scanning Business

Scanning a Document into Word

Importance of Document Scanning

Future of Document Scanning

10 Best Practices for Document Scanning

This is useful as it gives you a wider view of the types of keywords users are searching for and a better indication of their intent.

What it does not give you is related phrases to widen your keywords, so I’ll move onto one of my favourite tools (when it works!)…

Score: 8/10

 SEM Rush

We’ve used SEM Rush for around 18 months now and have always been impressed with the data it returns when we start looking for new keywords for clients to target. It offers a free version that you can try but the paid version is only $69.95 which for many firms is highly affordable.

A couple of features we really like are the ability to plug in a competitor site which shows not only the keyword phrases they rank for, but they’re ranking position in Google as well as search volume.

You can also plug in a keyword to find related keywords – i.e let’s search for “internet marketing” and SEM Rush offers up:

39 Exact Match “internet marketing” keywords –what is useful though is that it has also provided 264 related phrases such as:

Digital Marketing

Online Marketing

Online Advertising

Internet Marketing Strategies

This really is a useful tool for all SEO’s, however it can be frustrating to get little results returned which is more likely if your clients and their competitor’s online presence is on the somewhat small side.

Score 9/10 (would have been higher if they can provide more data on smaller, less well ranked online sites)

So what tools might you recommend for keyword discovery?

Still Stuck on What Keywords to Use?

If you are not still not sure what keywords you should be targeting in your web marketing or you would rather outsource the research to the experts then why not give the team a call today on 01793 766040.