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Definitive – Best Keyword Research Tool to Determine Keyword Competitiveness

My last post reviewed how effective MarketMuse was at predicting the overall success of content in Google. This post will now dig deeper into many other keyword research tools to try and show which keyword planner and tools can help provide us with more of a competitive edge when it comes to mastering high-quality content and improving our rank in search engines.

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing the best keyword research tool to determine keyword competitiveness is keyword relevance. The more specific you are with your keyword choices, the better it will be. You want to use keywords to attract a more specific audience, rather than a large and more generalized audience.

A good keyword research tool will be able to help determine keyword relevance and it will also help you gain that advantage over your competitors, so you can build a more profitable and relevant marketing campaign.

Keyword research is one of the primary factors when it comes to SEO (search engine optimization), PPC (pay per click), and any type of content marketing campaign and strategy. Therefore, you want to be able to find the best, so you can provide the best high-quality and the most searched content that you can for your audience. Having the right content can lead your company to more leads and more customers.

A Bit of Info Relating to Keywords and Their Importance

Long-tail Keywords: These are three or four-word keyword phrases that are specific to whatever it is you are selling. With longtail search engine optimization, you are using a technique that targets highly specific niche search terms.

Keyword Suggestion Tools: These tools will provide you with better data that leads to better results. Remember, keywords are the building blocks of your SEO campaign and using keyword suggestion tools like WordStream keyword tool and Free Keyword Tool can help find relevant, accurate, and actionable data for paid and organic searches.

Keyword Difficulty: Otherwise known as keyword competition, this is a metric that is used when doing keyword research as you will see in the results below. The higher the value is, the harder you will find that it will be to compete with others using that keyword. This keyword data should be analyzed next to monthly search volumes and SERP analysis.

Analysis Summary – What Keyword Tools Competition Score Correlated with a Higher Google Rank

The list below was generated to give you a more in-depth view at what keyword tools competition scores correlated with a higher-ranking position on the Google search engine. They are ranked from the best, to the mediocre, to the worst.

 

 

The results surprised me with both Ahrefs and SEMRush underperforming my expectations and LongTailPro overperforming my expectations. I expected SECockpit to do terrible because I never find the competition score that it provides to be a very reliable analysis of the keyword I am inputting.

Additionally, the accuracy of this keyword tool analysis essentially means that the top 3-KWFinder, LongTailPro, and CognitiveSEO were tied. The margin of error would be larger than the difference between the results.

Based on this analysis, I recommend using one of the top 3 tools as listed above when identifying keywords to create content. It is also now what we do at ContentRefined.com so we can achieve the absolute best results possible.

The rest of this post will provide you with the ability to choose the right keyword tool available to give you to offer you a competitive advantage in targeting keywords. Doing so will result in successfully ranking articles on search engines.

There are so many different websites and companies that have or are starting to develop keyword difficulty or SEO difficulty tools. But once you input a phrase and determine the existing competition and window of opportunity, what weight should the number or percentage that they provide actually hold?

Previously in “Rank in Google with Certainty,” I only analyzed Ferzy, SEMRush, and SECockpit on a very basic level. For this article, I expanded that research to include Ahrefs, LongTailPro, and CognitiveSEO while also including search volume influence (based on feedback from you in my last article).

I have also analyzed competition domain authority, trust flow, headline click-through-rate, and more; but look for that to be shared in another post!

Now for the Fun Stuff (if You are a Data Geek!)

Using some articles from my various money site portfolio and all of ‘Content Refined’ created content, I have been able to compile enough data points to provide some statistical insight into predicting the performance of ranking an article around a certain keyword.

I have broken down the six different keyword tools into two tiers and you will find that the results within the tiers are statistically indifferent.

So here are the results…

Worst Performing Group (Worst Ability to Predict)

  • SECockpit

Best Keyword Research Tool

SECockpit keyword difficulty tool uses a percentage system. The percentage systems that show scoring below 30% and as close to 10% while maintaining a reasonable search volume, is a typical metric we use when determining if the keyword tool is effectively predicting. However, with only a moderate correlation of 17%, SECockpit has shown the very least predictive tendency of the tested tools.

  • Ahrefs

Best Keyword Research Tool

Ahrefs provides an absolute number score out of 100 to determine the difficulty you would encounter to rank for a searched keyword. While it only held a statistical correlation relevance of 23%, I do like that it provides a suggested required number of backlinks to go with the score.

I was actually surprised by this result. The guys at AuthorityHacker, who always do great work, had found AHrefs tool to be the best when it came to Keyword Difficulty, but we found it to not perform very well.

  • SEMRush

Best Keyword Research Tool

With SEMRush, you get a percentage score out of 100 with being below 70-75% as a target. Still only holding a moderate 25% correlation, SEMRush is the best of the tools found in our 2nd tier.

Best Performing Group (Best Ability to Predict How an Article Will Rank)

  • Ferzy

Best Keyword Research Tool

Ferzy is a newer tool on the market and will provide an absolute score out of 100 with varying levels of ratings categories. At a 35% statistical correlation, it offers to be one of the strongest predictors of keyword difficulty and ability to rank of the tools tested.

  • CognitiveSEO

Best Keyword Research Tool

CognitiveSEO is new to me and they recently came out with a new keyword difficulty and content analyzing tool. Both of these tools seem to work great and at a 37% correlation rate, it compares and competes well with some of the more well-known tools.

The content analyzing tool offers MarketMuse some competition and it comes at a more reasonable price. However, the difference in effectiveness is still to be determined…(more to come on this in the future).

  • LongTailPro

Best Keyword Research Tool

Behold the LongTailPro, the final keyword research tool we analyzed. Coming in with a statistical correlation at just under 40%, it is the most predictive keyword tool, however, it is not by much.

I was surprised by these results because LongTailPro has been around for a long time and I would have thought one of the newer tools would have come out with a better predictor.

  • KWFinder

Mangool’s KWFinder had not been used by me or the team until it became the most popular and most suggested and asked-about tool in the comments. Based on the recommendations I have received, I have gone back and completed the analysis to wrap up assessing the various keyword difficulty tools.

KWFinder’s tool assesses the keywords on a scale out of 100 while also giving the user a very user-friendly dashboard that provides additional search volume and SERP charts.

Best Keyword Research Tool

In my short time using KWFinder, I am very impressed with the value. In our statistical analysis, the overall correlation was 43% with keywords that have >1000+ monthly searches having a correlation of 41%. KWFinder has shown the highest correlation so far of any keyword tools researched and this remains true across various search volumes.

The tool instantly becomes an intriguing option for any level of operation with its variable pricing and added SERP Tracking features. More time spent using the tool will provide more insight, but this tool is the absolute leader of all the tools we have so far analyzed.

  • Term Explorer

Based on recommendations, here is the statistical analysis for Term Explorer keyword analyzer difficulty. Term Explorer provides a score out of 10 to its users and this score is what can then determine the level of competition of the keyword in terms of using the keyword to rank. From our brief analysis, it appears a score below 2.00 is a good number to reference for researching and is a number you will want to maintain and stay below.

Best Keyword Research Tool

Overall, the correlation was 28.16% for Term Explorer; a moderate correlation that places the tool somewhere between the 1st and 2nd tiers. Its ranking scale makes it an attractive tool to operate and its ability to maintain projects and track given keywords regularly is also a plus.

Question – What if we Adjust for Search Volume?

When the varying search volumes for a keyword were separated, the results varied by little. The three successful tools we reviewed before held their ground in being the most successful predictors.

Summary

In conclusion, the results shown offer that there is a significant competitive advantage available if you are using the right keyword suggestion tool to find relevant keywords. Ensuring that you follow a keyword data strategy of 500-1000+ monthly searches and a low recommended score from the varying scoring systems from tier 1 tools, you can start your content creation process on the right foot and provide it with a stronger chance of ranking well in the end!

But remember, when looking to rank your content, there are so many factors involved that this one step of the process can only provide so much insight and competitive advantage.

While it is necessary to find good keywords, the rest of the process must be completed at the same level of effort and quality to maintain the opportunity to rank. So, combining a keyword difficulty tool with a content analyzer tool, backlink analyzer tool, and so on, is essential to maximize opportunities.

Look forward to an upcoming post where I will wrap up this round of statistical analysis by exploring additional tools and factors that help you rank such as domain authority, trust flow, and headline score. Finding out that there may be an auxiliary tool for helping rank could make all the difference.

Hope you are enjoying these more statistically driven posts!

If you have any questions or ways we could expand on this analysis, please let me know!

About the Author Jon

I am a 33 year old husband, father of 3, engineer and a huge fan of developing systems to build useful and profitable websites. The reason I build online businesses is to provide financial independence for my family and yours AND so I can spend time outside skiing and biking with my family.
Jon Gillham, Online Entrepreneur

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