Keywords are the foundation to success in any Search Engine Marketing (SEM) or PPC advertising campaign. This is how the people searching will discover you and using these very keywords you will attract those who are in need of your product or service.

Many clients come to us wondering how to search for the right set of keywords when these are so crucial. This post will help you familiarize with 10 of the best keyword research tool for PPC marketing.

We’ll start at the tool most everyone is familiar with and move to others in no particular order that marketers often turn to when they build out extensive and creative keyword lists.

  • Google Keyword Planner

The Google keyword planner needs no introduction. It’s the best tool to start with when it comes to keyword research for whatever objective you have in mind. It lays down an effective groundwork for a successful AdWords campaign. The Keyword Planner is a free tool within Google AdWords. This is a tool for generating keyword ideas, discovering new keywords that are more relevant to your business, comparing the keyword trends in terms of CPC bid, search volume, and traffic generated, etc.

Additionally, Google keyword planner provides you a platform to create, save and share your plan. Once done you can set up the ad groups and set the bids for each of these keywords. The aim of the keyword planner is to help you reach the right customers with the most appropriate keywords.

While it’s good at suggesting keyword variations, sometimes you need a little more help to build a better scope of keywords. That’s where most of these others come to play.

  • UberSuggest

UberSuggest [] is a free keyword research tool. You can use it to find new keywords that are not available in the Google Keyword Planner quickly. The best part is that along with keyword search UberSuggest also provides you with the keyword analysis and more keyword suggestions. To make things easy they have added negative keywords and filtering to their tool so that finding for that needle in the haystack becomes easy. On UberSuggest you can also check the expensiveness of a keyword along with how hard it is going to be to rank organically. Similarly, you can also check who ranks organically for a given keyword and who is spending on it using, PPC.

A complete guide on how to use UberSuggest is shown in this video

  • Ispionage:

If you wish to aggressively go after your competitor’s traffic and find out their conversion strategy then Ispionage [] is the tool for you.

Let your competitors do the hard work for you. Discover who is your top competition in Google, Bing, and Yahoo and just download their SEO keyword list to get an estimate on how much they are paying per month for AdWords. Identify their most profitable terms using the Proprietary Keyword Effectiveness Index. After doing this simple work, study their offers and the landing pages for each. Using all this information, plan your keywords, determine the budget and come up with better offers than your competition.

The Ispionage monthly pricing plan is as follows:

Ispionage is one of a favorite keyword research tool for PPC marketers as it provides a thorough list of keywords that your competitor is using for paid campaigns and also the organic keywords they are ranking for.

  • SpyFu

SpyFu [] is another competitor keyword research and SEO tool which gives you the overview of the competition. You just need to enter the competitor’s URL in the search bar to see all the data about your competitors such as every keyword that they have purchased on AdWords, every ad variation and every organic rank in the past 11 years.

You can do both PPC Competitor research and SEO Competitor research for any keyword. This helps you get a jumpstart tapping into your competitor’s success without committing as many of their mistakes.

Pricewise, SpyFu offers the following plans:

SpyFu is a well-designed tool but like any of these competitor tools, the ad spend data can be a little inaccurate. The ad metrics can be a little confusing for a novice. Still, if you are looking to compare your keywords to your competitors, they provide nice Venn diagrams and give you a simple look at the big picture. They also have helpful videos to explain techniques using the tool.  

  • SEMrush

SEMrush keyword planner [], also known as the Keyword Magic Tool can be found in the “Tools” tab on the “features” page.

On entering your seed keyword you get over 2 million keyword ideas to choose from. You can further sort and filter them on the basis of keyword difficulty, search volume, competitive density, CPC data and SERP features. Keyword magic tool allows you to pick the best possible keywords and save them in the keyword analyzer.

This tool will compile them all into one listing which will reflect their search volume, top competitor, click potential, etc. When organizing your workflow for many projects you can create up to 50 target keyword lists which can later be assigned to each client, website page etc.  

  1. Moz’s Keyword Explorer

One of the best features of Moz is their keyword explorer []. It’s visual dynamite. Moz Keyword Explorer comes free with the Moz Pro edition.

However, if you are not willing to pay and are looking for a free option then you can do just 2 free search queries a day. This fact is a turn-off for the average user. Ideally, you will have to search for more than just two keywords and hence purchasing the pro edition would be more beneficial.

It will then provide you not only keyword suggestions but also SERP analysis, competition ranking, the difficulty for the keyword to rank higher, potential to attract more traffic, etc. Another major attraction is that you can use it for organic searches as their algorithm is adjusted to make allowances for skewed data.

  1. KW Finder

KW Finder [] is yet another keyword research tool that has caught the attention of many marketers. Its features include finding hidden long-tail keywords, importing keywords in bulk, organizing keywords with proper lists, filtering out unprofitable keywords, providing local results for local keywords, reveal keywords missed by competition, etc. Along with these unique features, you can do the usual search for keyword difficulty, search volume, and keyword metrics.

KW Finder is a part of the Mangools package that offers 4 SEO tools at the price of one. The

pricing plan is attached below:   

  1. Keyword Tool

The Keyword Tool [] helps you find those keywords that users are typing into the search box. The free version of this tool can help you generate 750+ long-tail keyword ideas for each search term. It is claimed that this tool works 99.99% of the time and hence will never let you down. More importantly, this tool can be used for free even without creating an account.

Keyword Tool uses Google Autocomplete to generate numerous long tail keywords for any subject or theme. It also helps you to use Google Suggest for researching the keyword.

The advanced version of this tool will give you twice the number of keywords when compared to the free version and a few more additional features. The pricing plan for this pro version is given below:

  1. Long Tail Pro

Long Tail Pro [] is a relatively simple way to discover the best keywords to rank in Google. Its plethora of features will help you: score the keyword competitiveness; find out the level of keyword difficulty that you should target; view metrics; calculate the profitability of the keywords that you are planning to use; sort the genres by different sets of keywords; filtering keyword results by CPC, etc. Along with this, you can do the usual i.e., have a look at the competition data, export keyword lists and so on.

The monthly pricing plan of Long Tail Pro is:

Its annual pricing plan is as follows:

  1. HitTail

For e-commerce business sites HitTail [] is a very useful keyword suggestion tool. It studies and analyzes those keywords that you are using currently and suggests their more relevant long-tail keywords. This tool does away with the necessity of using tracking codes as it can be directly installed on your website. It uses a complex algorithm to make sure that the keyword options suggested are all based on real and actual data. With HitTail you need not guess what your audience is searching for. It will give you a list of keywords that attract the maximum traffic.

HitTail comes with a free 21-day trial period but after that, you will have to buy one of its plans the details of which are given below:

And finally, some general keyword advice. If you are advertising on PPC, you generally have 4 match types that you will be dealing with: exact, phrase, modified broad and broad match. These latter two can also be sources for additional keywords. As the search engines match you to keywords they think are relevant, pay close attention to those exact search queries. They can be impressive in their creativeness, but they can also be wildly off at times. You can refine this by pulling out good keywords into their own ad groups or adding negative keywords to avoid bad broad matches.

Ultimately, the above tools are just the starting point. The more time you spend carefully optimizing your keywords and their match types (in addition to the thousand other tweaks you can make to PPC campaigns), the more profitable and effectively the above tools will work for you.