The following list is the result of weeks of researching and testing over 15 keyword research, management and analysis tools. It is the only list I know of for keyword tools that is this extensive. Below this list is an explanation of my overall keyword research process.

Features / Benefits Of The Ideal Tool

  • Bulk Upload – sometimes I use other tools to generate raw keyword lists, and then simply want to get the data for them. Bulk upload with a tag or categorization feature would be ideal.
  • Exporting or Reporting – Don’t need anything fancy, but some sort of ability to turn the results and data into something presentable to clients would be ideal. Even a simple excel sheet would be great.
  • Search Volume – I work with anywhere from 7-15 clients at a time on a project basis, or ongoing. Some jobs are ending as others begin. Point is, there’s overlap – and I could potentially have needs for 10,000+ keywords at a time.
  • Keyword Analysis – The ability to filter, sort, search, mix and match would be fantastic. I suppose this could be done after export via Excel or Google Docs, but would love to have these features internally.
  • Keyword Categorization – I’m a categorization freak. But as you know, this is super time consuming, especially when dealing with thousands of keywords.
  • Keyword Suggestion – this is not as important, but anything would be nice. I mainly am doing all of my own generation of the actual words on my own first.

Important Data

The ideal tool would pull the following data.

  • AdWords – volume, CPC, competition – all the usuals.
  • Rankings – this is HUGE. I’m pretty bored of doing vlookups!
  • Google Analytics – this would be huge too. Would love to pull in the good ones such as visits, bounce rate, revenue.
  • Competitive Metrics – some sort of competition metric would be great! Not 100% essential though.

That’s the big stuff. Anything else would be a bonus. I’m really looking for a solution that eliminates a lot of the work I’ve been doing manually and speeding up the stuff that’s just grunt work.

The List Of Keyword Management Tools

Note that these are mainly NOT free tools or tools that just do one little thing (like ubersuggest). I was looking for an integrated all-in-one type of solution that not only helped with research but with the data analysis and management as well. So I hope this helps you!

Other than my chosen solution, they are in no particular order. Also, don’t miss the bonus Google Spreadsheet at the bottom!

My Choice: Advanced Web Ranking

Cost: $99 – $1499 (one-time payment)

Free Trial: 30 Days

Keyword Suggestions: Yes

Import Keywords: Yes, Bulk

Fetches Data: Yes

Management: Yes

Export To File: Yes

Site: http://www.advancedwebranking.com/

Details: http://www.advancedwebranking.com/tour/research.html

 

Raven Tools

Cost: $99 – $249 monthly

Free Trial: 30 Days

Keyword Suggestions: Yes

Import Keywords: Yes

Fetches Data: Yes

Management: Yes

Export To File: Bulk CSV

Site: http://raventools.com/

Details: http://raventools.com/tools/research-central/

 

Long Tail Pro

Cost: $0 – $97 a month

Free Trial: 10 Days

Keyword Suggestions: Yes

Import Keywords: Up to 10,000

Fetches Data: Yes

Management: No

Export To File: Not sure

Site: http://www.longtailpro.com/

 

SEM Rush

Cost: $70 – $499 a month

Free Trial: Free limited account, but no “trial”

Keyword Suggestions: Yes

Import Keywords: Not sure

Fetches Data: Yes

Management: Not sure (don’t think so)

Export To File: Yes

Site: http://www.semrush.com/

Details: http://www.semrush.com/prices.html

 

Keyword Discovery

Cost: $69 – $495

Free Trial: Yes

Keyword Suggestions: Yes

Import Keywords: Up to 5,000 a day

Fetches Data: Yes

Management: No

Export To File: Yes

Site: http://www.keyworddiscovery.com/

Details: http://www.keyworddiscovery.com/keyword-plans.html

 

Keyword Project Manager

Cost: $20 a month

Free Trial: 7 Days

Keyword Suggestions: Yes

Import Keywords: No

Fetches Data: No

Management: Yes

Export To File: Not sure

Site: http://www.keywordprojectmanager.com/

Details: http://www.keywordprojectmanager.com/pricing/

 

Keyword Eye

Cost: $0 – $15

Free Trial: Yes (the limited level)

Keyword Suggestions: Yes

Import Keywords: Not sure

Fetches Data: Yes

Management: No

Export To File: Not sure

Site: http://www.keywordeye.com/

 

Moz

Cost: $99+ a month

Free Trial: 30 Days

Keyword Suggestions: No

Import Keywords: Cut and paste 25

Fetches Data: Yes

Management: No

Export To File: Yes

Site: http://moz.com

 

Wordstream

Cost: Free

Free Trial: N/A

Keyword Suggestions: Yes

Import Keywords: No

Fetches Data: No

Management: No

Export To File: Yes

Site: http://www.wordstream.com/free-keyword-tools

 

Wordtracker

Cost: $69 a month

Free Trial: 7 Days

Keyword Suggestions: Yes

Import Keywords: Yes up to 1,000 at a time

Fetches Data: Yes

Management: No

Export To File: Yes

Site: http://www.wordtracker.com/

Details: http://www.wordtracker.com/order.html

 

Keyword Spy

Cost: $90 – $140 monthly

Free Trial: None

Keyword Suggestions: Yes

Import Keywords: Not sure

Fetches Data: Yes

Management: No

Export To File: Yes

Site: http://www.keywordspy.com/

Details: http://www.keywordspy.com/signup.aspx

 

SEO Gadget

Cost: Free

Free Trial: N/A

Keyword Suggestions: No

Import Keywords: Yes

Fetches Data: Yes

Management: Yes

Export To File: Yes

Site: https://seogadget.co.uk/google-adwords-plugin-excel/

 

SEO Effect

Cost: $0 – $54 a month

Free Trial: Yes

Keyword Suggestions: Yes

Import Keywords: Yes (I think small amount)

Fetches Data: Yes

Management: Yes

Export To File: Yes

Site: http://www.seoeffect.com/

Details: http://www.seoeffect.com/pricing/pricing-for-our-on-line-seo-tools.php

 

Hittail

Cost: $0 – $80 a month

Free Trial: Yes, 21 Days

Keyword Suggestions: Yes

Import Keywords: Not sure

Fetches Data: No

Management: No

Export To File: Yes

Site: http://www.hittail.com/

Details: http://www.hittail.com/plans.asp

 

SERP IQ

Cost: $49 – $149 a month

Free Trial: Yes, 7 days

Keyword Suggestions: Yes

Import Keywords: Not sure

Fetches Data: Yes

Management: Yes

Export To File: Not sure

Site: https://serpiq.com/

 

Market Samurai

Cost: $149 (one time cost)

Free Trial: Yes

Keyword Suggestions: Yes

Import Keywords: Yes

Fetches Data: Yes

Management: Yes

Export To File: Yes

Site: http://www.marketsamurai.com/

Details: http://www.marketsamurai.com/full-version/wdcu5b/

 

Which Did I Choose?

After hours of research, free trials, playing around testing out tools on current project – I found an answer to my needs in Advanced Web Ranking. This might not be the solution for everyone, but it’s the one for me! I encourage you to try a bunch of them out and see what works best for your situation.

BONUS: Google Spreadsheet w/ 16 Data Points

In the course of my research I made a Google Spreadsheet. Wasn’t going to share it, but why not! Here’s the link: http://bit.ly/danskeywordtools - I thought it might make it easier for you to compare the different features etc.

As always, please let me know if you have any additional tools or if you see any information needing updating! Thanks!!

A Few Words About My Process

If we take a quick look at a basic keyword research process, it might go something like this;

kw research process. research, gather data, analyze, manage

I’ve good a pretty good process for research and analysis that really works for me I think (I spoke at SMX about the research piece Fall 2013).

My problems though have been with gathering data and management. These parts take. me. FOREVER.

i have trouble with gathering data and management

Note, that if you want to learn more about the keyword research process check out this definitive guide by Nick Eubanks.

Reasons For Researching & Upgrading

  • First and foremost, I wanted to provide even better quality of work to my clients.
  • I wanted a reliable tool I can recommend to people. Occasionally clients, colleagues, business owners ask me for a tool that they can use to do keyword research themselves.
  • I also wanted to provide a complete, unbiased list of ALL of the tools out there, so people can check them out and make their own decision. No one tool is for everyone.
  • Despite a few references listed at the bottom of this post, I could not find a list that compared all the features, benefits, pricing etc of all the paid keyword research tools in one place.
  • Lastly, and the most interesting I think. I will eventually switch to an affiliate link for my chosen tool. A little extra cash would be great, but I can’t think of a better way to have empathy for some of the clients I help who make some or part of their revenue from affiliate or lead gen methods. Probably will do a whole post on this in the future – and more on why I’m not just dropping one in there right away.

Special Thanks & Mention to these resources, which I referenced during my research;

http://www.iacquire.com/blog/the-best-free-premium-keyword-research-tools/

http://www.annielytics.com/hundreds-of-tools-for-marketers/

Disclaimer: Only the Advanced Web Ranking links are affiliate links. I may receive a small percentage of any purchase made via clicking one of those links. All other links are not affiliate links.

About Dan Shure

I'm Dan (Google Plus Profile). I've been helping businesses improve their websites since 2007. Improving your bottom line is my number one goal. My obsessive nature and love for SEO as a true craft doesn't hurt either.

13 Comments

  • November 22, 2013 Reply

    Jerry

    I have found Micro Niche Finder by James Jones to be an excellent tool, as good or better than Market Samurai. Can you tell us why it is not on your list?

    • November 23, 2013 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Hey Jerry

      Thanks – I just didn’t know about that tool, it didn’t come up on any searches or in any other articles/references for keyword tools. Hopefully I can get around to updating this post soon, and I’ll definitely add it.

  • December 15, 2013 Reply

    Marian

    That was a great list. Thanks… For those people that don’t have a budget I still recommend Google Planner.

  • January 14, 2014 Reply

    Alin

    Thank you very much, It was a very useful read. Also there is the Colibri tool that is worth checking out. I think you can upload up to 5500 keywords at once on the best plan they have ( 400$ a month or something like it). My feeling is that the tool is more oriented towards seo rather than keyword research. And Traffic Travis Pro is another great tool

  • January 14, 2014 Reply

    Alin

    I will try Advanced Web Ranking and see how it goes. I am trying to find a tool that lets me upload bulk keywords (anywhere between 3000 and 10 000) and has a display column for the monthly search volume, where I can click and order the keywords from high to low based on the searches. Does the Advanced Web Ranking have that option?

  • May 6, 2014 Reply

    Rakesh Desai

    Thanks Dan for this wonderful list of tools. I would prefer to go for Raven tools to get some help from the list of facilities that is being offered. Once again thank you.

  • May 7, 2014 Reply

    Aki

    I would also suggest http://MarketMuse.co. It’s a tool that measures keyword relevance — i.e. ‘broad match’ keywords but with added controls.

  • October 29, 2014 Reply

    Kelsey

    Great article, very well thought out. So, I’m looking primarily for a Keyword Categorization tool. I noticed that Keyword Categorization was listed in your “FEATURES / BENEFITS OF THE IDEAL TOOL”, but never came up again in your summaries of any of the tools you reviewed… Can you let me know which of these offers a robust categorization tool? We need to be able to upload thousands of keywords, and have the tool categorize them for us. Did any of these tools even offer that service?

    Thanks

    • October 30, 2014 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Hmmm that’s a good point. Pretty sure what I meant was any tool with ‘management’ allows some degree of categorization but I’ll have to take a dive back into them before I can say for sure!

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