The secret of having your content found online is using the right keywords. Keywords are the driver of every internet search, whether someone is looking for someone to repair their iPhone or in need of data security help.
The keyword that you *think* someone may be using to find your MSP services may not actually be on target with what someone types into a search bar.
How do you know the short-tail and long-tail keywords to use to get found online? We’ve got 10 great tools to help you!
Find the Best Keywords & Improve Your “Findability”
When someone fires up the browser or app on their PC or mobile device, what’s one of the first things they do? It’s typically a web search for their next destination.
93% of all online experiences start at a keyword search. The key to ensuring your business website is front and center for your potential customers is to decode the mystery of keywords and know exactly which ones are being used to find the services and products you sell.
As a local service provider, IT business owners also need to be aware of how local keyword searches are done and make sure they’re tailoring keywords accordingly.
For example, if you simply optimize your webpage for “computer repair” it’s going to be much harder for you to connect with the customers you want than if you use “Cleveland computer repair” or “computer repair shops in Cleveland.”
Google uses approximately 200 different factors within its ranking algorithm to get searchers the most relevant results, and the keyword is at the center of everything.
Where do keywords get used in your own content marketing engine? Here are a few relevant places that can all be picked up by search engines:
- Webpage URL, title tags, descriptions, headers
- Throughout webpage text
- As hashtags in social media
- As link anchor text
- As image titles and ALT image tags
- In YouTube videos and video descriptions
- In downloadable PDF documents
- In targeted paid search
Trying to find the best keywords for your business – the ones with the least amount of competition (hidden gems) and those that will bring you relevant site visitors – can be difficult if you’re doing it on your own.
Using one of these top keyword research tools can save you time and make all the difference in your SEO and digital marketing efforts.
KWFinder is straight-forward and easy for beginners to use. This keyword tool allows you to search by country and language. You can also search on domains to do some competitor research.
Search results show you companion keywords based upon your query, along with the following metrics:
- Keyword difficulty (how hard it is to rank for)
- Monthly search volume
- Average CPC (cost per click in PPC)
- Top ranking sites for that keyword (SERP analysis)
Some of the helpful features include:
- The ability to save your keywords lists and filter them.
- Local keyword research capabilities
- Ability to organize keywords into different lists
- Locate hidden long tail keywords
Plans range from $29.90 to $79.90 per month.
For the lowest priced plan, which would be fine for most MSPs, you can do 100 keyword and SERP lookups within a 24-hour period and get 200 keyword suggestions per search. You also get 25 competitor keywords per search.
SEMrush is one of the more popular keyword research tools out there. It’s a heavy hitter when it comes to doing all types of market research beyond keywords, including analyzing a domain’s backlink profile and tracking your SERP positions.
- Detailed keyword research
- Ability to optimize your site for local SEO
- Analyze each keyword’s value and competition
- Review a complete list of your competitor’s organic keywords
- Find the best-performing keywords
- Compare your keyword profile to your competitors’
- Analyze up to 1,000 keywords at one time to find the best match
One issue many IT business owners have with SEMrush is that it’s the “Luxury Cadillac” of keyword search tools, and costs quite a bit more than some others.
Plans range from $119.95 to $449.95 per month.
For the lowest priced plan, you get 10,000 results per report and as many as 3,000 reports per day. You also get 250 keyword metrics updates per month. Things like a competitive intelligence add-on cost more, and you don’t get any historical data with this plan.
3. Google Keyword Planner
If you’re looking for something more reasonably priced, or even free, then Google Keyword Planner will be right up your alley. This tool allows you to search on a keyword or just enter your site address and it will bring up suggested keywords for you to use.
- See keyword monthly search volume
- See how searches on a keyword have changed over time
- Identify which keywords are high or low competition
- See suggested keyword bid estimates for PPC
- Ability to filter and save your keywords to a list
While this tool doesn’t have some of the competitor insights of other tools, it works well if you want to only do keyword research and not get lost in a sea of other options.
One of the best parts of Google Keyword Planner is that it’s free.
You do have to sign up for a Google Ads account to access it, but you don’t have to spend any money with it to gain access to the tool.
Jaaxy is billed as the industry’s “only keyword and research platform” developed by affiliate marketers. The tool is designed to give you a lot of robust keyword research tools, but in a very easy-to-use interface, so you’re not drowning in reports.
Features of the tool include:
- 99.7% of search engine coverage, with Google, Yahoo!, and Bing results pulled in
- See average monthly search volume
- View traffic and competition
- Get a KQI (keyword quality indicator) score for each keyword
- Identify domains ranking for keywords and see SEO results
- Get a list of keywords your competitors are using
- See how your pages are ranking in Google, Yahoo!, and Bing
The site offers a free trial and plans range from $49.00 to $99.00 per month.
The free trial gives you 30 keyword searches and 20 search results. You can also use a website analyzer, get 30 SiteRank analysis scans, use a keyword list manager, and more.
5. Ahrefs Keywords Explorer
Keywords Explorer by Ahrefs supports keyword searches for 171 countries and returns results from 10 different global search engines. One of the benefits of this tool is its advanced SEO metrics that you won’t find in other keyword tools for IT businesses, such as % of clicks and % of paid clicks.
- Seeing hundreds of closely related keywords to your parent topic
- SERP overview and positions history
- Save and segment keywords into lists
- Get suggestions based upon the autocomplete function of Google
- Get suggestions for keywords phrased as questions
- View metrics like search volume and keyword difficulty
Plans range from $99.00 to $999.00 per month.
The tool offers a 7-day trial for $7.00. On the lowest priced plan, you get 1 user, 10,000 site crawls per month, 500 tracked keywords with an update frequency of 7 days.
Another more affordable option for keyword research is Wordtracker. This tool is designed for SEO and has several benefits over Google’s Keyword Planner, such as returning actual (not grouped) keywords, incorporating Amazon keywords, and proving SERP comparisons with competitors.
Features of this keyword planning tool include:
- Find metrics for keywords and related terms
- Results from multiple sources, including Google, YouTube, and Amazon
- SERP preview that gives you competition details
- Negative keyword search
- IAAT (in anchor and title) use volume
- Search volume and competition
- Ability to filter and save keyword lists
Plans range from $27.00 to $99.00 per month.
Wordtracker has a free “risk free” 7-day trial. For the lowest priced plan, you get 1,000 keyword search results, searches over 7 territories and competition metrics.
7. Keywords Everywhere
Keywords Everywhere is a browser add-on tool that can install directly into Chrome or Firefox. The tool is designed to save time by eliminating the need to copy and paste a URL into an application.
Features of this tool include:
- Ability to find long tail phrases
- Details on search volume, competition, and CPC averages
- Data pulled from “People Also Search For” used by Google
- Historical search volume for keywords (which helps identify seasonal trends)
- Page and website level keyword-related traffic metrics
- Download keyword lists for websites in Excel, CSV, or PDF
Keywords Everywhere has a somewhat complicated pricing structure. You buy credits and each credit = 1 keyword. Credits expire after a year.
You can buy 100,000 credits for $10. Pricing goes down the more volume of credits you buy. While this payment structure is unorthodox in this space, it might be a good option for someone not wanting to pay for a monthly plan.
8. Keyword Tool & Keyword Tool pro
Keyword Tool is a site that offers both a free and paid (Pro) version of a keyword search tool. The free version gives you up to 750+ long-tail keyword suggestions per search term and you don’t even need to create an account to use it.
Features of the paid version, Keyword Pro, include:
- Get Google Ads competition data
- See search volume and CPC data
- Get a keyword analysis for competitors
- Use to find keywords for 47,035 different individual locations
- Get keyword results from search engines as well as YouTube, Amazon, and eBay
- Create and export your keyword lists
Plans for Keyword Pro range from $69.00 to $159.00 per month.
For the lowest priced plan, you get one user account and 7,000 keywords per day. It does not include Google Ads competition or CPC data.
SpyFu is built for competition keyword research to help you gain a competitive edge. Some of the additional features you’ll find are sales leads and domain contacts which can be helpful for B2B MSPs.
Features of this keyword tracking tool include:
- No limits on searches for any of the plans
- Weekly tracked keyword rankings
- See top list results
- Backlink searches
- Domain keyword comparisons
- Metrics on volume, competition, and more
- Custom SEO and PPC reports
Plans range from $33.00 to $299.00 per month.
For the lowest priced plan, you get unlimited search results, unlimited data exports, and unlimited domain overviews. You also get up to 250 sales leads & domain contacts, and up to 5,000 weekly tracked keyword rankings.
10. Long Tail Pro
Long Tail Pro is a keyword tool that is designed to help companies find those rich long tail keywords that are the key to driving relevant traffic (especially if you’re a local business). The tool also helps you find keywords with less competition, that you can actually rank for.
Benefits of the tool include:
- Get hundreds of suggestions based upon your keywords
- Run keyword and competitor analysis based on 13 metrics
- Get reporting on keyword profitability and rank value
- Use keyword filters for volume, rank value, and more
- Get up to 400 long tail keywords from a single seed keyword
- Do competitor research based upon domain URL
Plans range from $25.00 to $98.00 per month.
For the lowest priced plan, you can look up 800 keywords and SERPs in a 24-hour period. You can also track the page ranking for up to 30 keywords and get unlimited tracked domains.
The tool offers a 7-day trial.
Supercharge Your Content Marketing with the Right Keywords
Knowing the right keywords to use, and those that have the least competition, can completely change your content marketing results for the better.
Do you have a favorite keyword research tool you use? Share your recommendations in the comments!