- Basic Plan costs $26.91/month, and allows for 100 keyword lookups per 24 hrs
- Most popular plan is $35.91/month, and allows for 500 keyword lookups per 24 hrs
- Agency Plan costs $79.90/month, and allows for 1200 keyword lookups per 24 hrs
Table of Contents
- What is KWFinder?
- How to Use KWFinder
- What I Like About KWFinder
- KWFinder Weaknesses
- Is KWFinder Right for you?
If you want to promote your business online and build organic traffic to your site, there's no shying away from keyword research.
Conducting effective keyword research is one of the most important aspects of SEO, although it's an area where many people struggle. Beginners often target keywords that are way too competitive (leaving them with little chance of ranking organically), or choose keywords with minimal search demand (which results in negligible additional traffic).
Fortunately, you don't need to waste time (or money) building content around keywords that never get results. With the right tools, you can efficiently identify long-tail keywords, analyze the competition, and make an informed decision on whether to tackle a particular keyword or not. And one of my favorite tools to do this is KWFinder.
What is KWFinder?
KWFinder is an intuitive keyword research tool design developed by Mangools. It's a popular alternative to other options on the market, such as Moz and Long Tail Pro, due to its strong focus on simplicity and its ability to help find and evaluate long tail keywords that are easy to rank for.
While KWFinder is Mangools' flagship product, the company has expanded their suite of SEO tools to include SERPWatcher (rank tracker), SERPChecker (Google competitor analyzer), LinkMiner (backlink analyzer), and SiteProfiler (website analyzer).
How to Use KWFinder
Signing up for an account takes just 30 seconds. I'm currently using the free plan, which limits the number of keyword lookups to just five per 24 hour window (and 50 suggestions per search). Below, I'll go through a brief overview of how to use KWFinder to research and evaluate keywords.
Enter seed keywords
The first step is to enter your "seed" keyword in the search box. The seed keyword is the keyword for which you'd like to explore related keywords or phrases to try to rank for. You have a few different tabs available, which can help you find more long-tail keywords. For example, you can use:
- ****Suggestions****: The default search option. This option pulls suggestions from the Google Keyword Planner and applies an internal algorithm to find the best phrases to match your main seed keyword.
- ****Autocomplete****: Adds different words to the start or end of your seed keyword. This helps to find long tail keywords based on the Google "Autosuggest" feature.
- ****Questions****: KWFinder adds question prefixes to your seed keyword (e.g. what, where, when, which, how, etc.). Highly useful for informational content.
You can also change the location for your search (down to the city level), and specify the language. The location feature is particularly helpful for local businesses that want to find low-competition keywords targeting specific geographic regions.
Review Keyword Search Results
Once you've run your search, you'll be taken to the main dashboard to analyze your results. KWFinder has a pretty impressive interface that displays almost all of the necessary data on the main dashboard. You can view your search results on the left side (your list of keywords), and individual keyword data on the right (SEO difficulty score, search volume trend, first page SERP analysis).
Apply filters to find relevant keywords
To improve your query and to find better long tail keywords, you can apply various filters. For example, if I'm setting up a new blog and want to find low-competition keywords that still have search demand, I can enter a maximum keyword difficulty score of 29 (Easy) and a search volume of above 200. There is also the option to set cost-per-click (CPC) and pay-per-click (PPC) limits, and add included/excluded keywords. However, one limitation is that you can only apply filters to your results, not your initial search, which can be a little frustrating.
Analyze the competition
While the keyword difficulty score is often enough for beginners to go on, more advanced users may want to review the SERPs manually. From the main dashboard, you can click on the "Analyze SERP" button to access the SERPChecker tool. SERPChecker provides a neat color-coded summary of key metrics (using Moz and Majestic data), in addition to social shares. What I really like is that you can customize the table with metrics you want to see, making it a great add-on to analyze the SERPs down to a granular level.
What I Like About KWFinder
KWFinder is a great tool for conducting basic, and even more advanced, keyword research. The software has some excellent features, which I'll discuss in more detail below.
Multiple Seed Keyword Search Options
One of the best features of KWFinder is the ability to pull unique keyword ideas using the "Autocomplete" or "Questions" search options. These options can provide lots of new content ideas, different topic angles, and essentially help you uncover more keyword opportunities related to your niche.
While these search tabs provide new options that other keyword research tools don't, the number of search results you get back can be a bit limiting. For example, you only get 200 results on the Basic Plan, which doesn't provide a large data set to work with. You can also get some of this information for free from other sites such as UberSuggest (for Autocomplete) or AnswerThePublic (for Questions), and import your results into KWFinder. However, I still found myself using these additional tabs as it's much easier to manage everything with one tool.
Keyword difficulty score
A popular metric to assess the level of competition and determine how easy it will be to rank on the first page of Google for any given keyword is the difficulty score. KWFinder provides a single number ranging from 1 to 100, classifying anything below 29 as easy, and anything above 50 as hard. The difficulty score is calculated using ranking metrics from Majestic, including domain authority (DA), page authority (PA), citation flow (CF), and trust flow (TF). It's a great metric for any beginner that needs a bit of guidance on choosing a low-competition keyword.
KWFinder claims to have one of the most accurate scores on the market (highest correlation with real rankings in Google) and based on reviews from authoritative sources, this looks promising. However, it's worth mentioning that the difficulty score will vary significantly between tools, as each software has its own proprietary algorithm and calculates this metric in a different way. Therefore, you should only use one tool for consistency and accuracy (e.g. don't compare KWFinder's difficulty score with Long Tail Pro's Keyword Competitiveness score, since they're not directly comparable).
KWFinder has an extremely user-friendly interface. The layout is clean and straightforward, making it ideal for bloggers and beginners that don't want to get overwhelmed with data. Compared to other keyword research tools I've used, I'd place it at the top of my list in the UI department.
What I really like is that you don't have to click around to find information. Everything you need to evaluate a keyword is displayed on the central dashboard. For example, I can view keyword results on the left side of the screen (search volume, CPC, PPC, KD score) and quickly assess the Google SERPs for a given keyword on the right (DA, PA, and external backlinks). I can also open the SERPChecker if I want to view more data points from Moz and Majestic. However, it would be ideal if there was a way to customize the SERP snapshot table on the main dashboard somehow.
Free SEO extension
One tool which I've recently started using is the free SEO browser extension for Chrome. Essentially, the plugin enables you to view important metrics of any website with one click; including a website's authority, backlink profile, and on-page SEO. You simply need to open the extension on the webpage you want to analyze to view high-level metrics.
I find the plugin extremely useful for evaluating prospects for guest posting. For example, I can quickly assess the domain authority of a website and analyze their backlink profile to determine if contributing a guest post is a viable opportunity. There are many different ways to use this tool, and it's a good alternative to the popular Mozbar.
KWFinder is a robust keyword research tool with a lot of advantages. However, I did have a few concerns while using KWFinder on a regular basis.
Limitations with search results
The biggest drawback I found with KWFinder (and generally most keyword research tools these days) is the restrictions placed on either lookups or search results. KWFinder limits the number of search results you can view for a given seed keyword, with the Basic Plan capped at 200 suggestions per search, whereas its most expensive paid plan has a max limit of 700. You are also only able to make 100 lookups per 24 hours.
While this is far more generous than Long Tail Pro's daily cap of 800 keywords total, it does severely restrict your ability to evaluate a keyword properly. I find the limitations frustrating, especially since I can use other tools for free, such as Ubersuggest, to get many more options for my seed keyword. To put things into perspective, Ahrefs and SEMRush both offer 10,000 keyword results per search.
Unable to conduct competitor-based keyword research
Competitor-based keyword research involves finding keywords your competitors are ranking for and assessing whether you can outrank them with better content. It's a great way to target proven keywords without validating them yourself, and is a strategy I use regularly.
Unfortunately, you can't do this at all with KWFinder. KWFinder focuses solely on traditional keyword research and doesn't include the option to plug in a competitor's URL and reverse-engineer their search rankings. While you can combine it with other software such as SEMRush or Ahrefs, these tools are expensive, and not the ideal solution for the budget-friendly beginner. I would love to see competitor keyword research included in KWFinder in some form, as it would make it a much more versatile and well-rounded tool.
Is KWFinder Right for you?
KWFinder is a powerful tool that simplifies keyword research. It offers a clean and easy-to-use interface, making it ideal for beginners to find new keyword opportunities and quickly assess their viability.
The user-friendly interface is a step up from Long Tail Pro and offers a wide array of data in a concise format. I found it easy to gather unique keyword ideas using the additional search functions (Autocomplete and Questions) and am impressed with the ability to refine my search down to city level.
While KWFinder is geared towards beginners, Mangools has also created other SEO tools to enable you to dive deeper into the data and analyze backlinks, track rankings, and manually assess the SERPs. Personally, I don't find too much use for these additional tools (with the exception of the browser extension which I use regularly).
Overall, KWFinder is an excellent option, especially at the lower pricing tiers, which should suit most peoples' needs. However, if you work with many clients and require a large search volume (1200+ keyword lookups per 24 hrs), then you'll need the Agency Plan, which costs $79.90/month. In that case, you may want to also consider purchasing a more versatile tool like Ahrefs instead.