Using Keyword Tools

Choosing the right keywords for your website should be one of the first steps when you design or redesign your website. It continues to be important as you work on content marketing and add fresh SEO-focused content to your website. Is it worth using keyword tools to help automate the process?

Google Ads Keyword Planner Tool is the basic go-to for us. You can check search volume and competitiveness for lots of keywords. You can specify a geographic area and a number of other variables. What’s more, the data is based on actual searches. You’ll need to set up a Google Ads account, but you don’t need to buy ads in order to use the planner.



Another good keyword suggestion tool is Ubersuggest, Neil Patel’s keyword suggestion tool. While it says it uses Google’s Keyword Planner for data (and we have no reason to disbelieve that), it gave us a completely different list. Since this list is in alphabetical order, it may actually be a similar list, but at first glance we’re seeing a lot of bad choices for our particular project. Fortunately, Ubersuggest allows you to download the data as a spreadsheet. This tool has improved a lot since we last tried it out. We’ll be using it more.




Wordtracker is an old favorite. They offer some additional data and filters that could help narrow the options. Much of their additional information is grayed out if you use their free tool, and you can only use it a few times without registering for a free trial or subscribing.




Trellian Keyword Discovery tool distinguished itself by giving us zero suggestions. We tried a few other searches, and most gave zero results.


Wordstream is another tool that gives you a handful of suggestions for free, but requires a subscription for full results. I like WordStream, but wouldn’t recommend this free tool. It is basically a sales tool for WordStream services. Nothing wrong with that.



WP Keyword Suggest is a free WordPress plugin. It provides a simple list of suggestions with no additional data. The great thing is that it does this in your WordPress editing screen. If you’re not looking for a spreadsheet for long term planning but just want a quick brainstorming as you work on a blog post, this is just what you need.

One thing that bothered me a bit, especially with the tools that limit access for their free versions, is the number of geographic variations they included. If I can’t think up “pemf therapy Vancouver” for a client who sells pemf therapy in Vancouver, I probably need more than a keyword suggestion tool. Tools like this should automatically ignore those options.

Bottom line for this search, at least, is that Google Adwords Keyword Suggestion Tool continues to be the most useful, with Ubersuggest as runner up. Otherwise, it’s hard to see any reason to go with paid tools, and hard to see the value of their free versions.







2 responses to “Using Keyword Tools”

  1. Rachael Avatar

    Incredible quest there. What happened after?

    1. Rebecca Haden Avatar

      We use keyword tools in our linkbuilding and in keyword discovery for the web content we write. We generally use Google’s Keyword Suggestion tool, and our quest for alternatives didn’t change that.

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