It’s no secret that keyword research has a huge impact on the success of any SEO campaign. That being said, SEO professionals need a capable keyword research tool to know which terms to target.
Today, we’re looking at two powerful keyword research tools — Ahrefs and KWFinder.
How can either of these tools help you with keyword research? And do they live up to all the hype?
Let’s find out, shall we?
- What Is Ahrefs?
- What Is KWFinder?
- Ahrefs vs KWFinder: How Are They Similar Similar?
- How Are Ahrefs and KWFinder Different?
- What’s Better About Ahrefs?
- What’s Better About KWFinder?
- Who Should Get Ahrefs?
- Who Should Get KWFinder?
What Is Ahrefs?
Ahrefs is a cloud-based SEO tool with multiple features that focus on improving your online presence.
Aside from its Keyword Explorer feature (which we’ll cover at length in a later section), Ahrefs’ comes with solutions to optimizing one’s website through on-page analysis, content improvement, and competitor analysis.
Let’s run down Ahrefs’ key features.
Site Audit is responsible for finding on-page bottlenecks that prevent your site from ranking higher in the search engine results pages or SERPs.
There are a couple of reasons why Site Audit can do wonders for you:
- Automation — You can configure Site Audit to scan all your pages for you. It eliminates the need to check each page one by one.
- Score — This feature presents you with an SEO score so you can determine how good or bad your page health is in one glance.
- Checklist — Site Audit checks for over 100 pre-defined SEO issues that relate to site speed, content quality, links, and other known SEO factors.
- Customization — You can enter your own parameters and play with Ahrefs data to get more complex and detailed results.
- Suggestions — After Site Audit crawls through a page, you’re not only provided a list of errors but you’re also shown steps on how you can fix the problems.
With Site Explorer, you can see crucial details about any site — whether it’s yours or your competitor’s.
What kind of data will you see through Site Explorer?
- Ranking Keywords — Know what keywords your competitor ranks for as well as which pages bring them the most page views.
- Backlinks — Site Explorer shows you which domains link back to your competitors. This is especially useful for link building campaigns.
- Paid Advertising — This will help you better understand your competition’s paid search advertising strategy.
Your content is just as important as the keywords you optimize your site for. So having the right feature to help you address any content-related concern is crucial.
Thankfully, Ahrefs comes with a feature called Content Explorer that’s built for that very purpose.
At a glance, you’re able to see a page’s Domain Rating, number of referring domains, its organic traffic, social media stats, and other relevant information that you might need.
And yes — you can also use it to understand what kind of content works best for your competition.
What Is KWFinder?
KWFinder is just one of five products under the Mangools suite of SEO tools. Since our focus today is on KWFinder itself, we’ll dive into that more extensively later on.
For now, why don’t we talk about some of the other products that come with a Mangools subscription? I mean, you’re getting them anyway. You might as well make the most of them.
SERPChecker makes it possible to look at your competitor’s rankings for a given region whether it be on mobile or desktop.
This is a handy feature to have at your disposal especially if you or your client is a local business that’s looking to improve its presence in local listings.
Just enter your target keyword and you’ll see the top-performing pages alongside key information like the page’s Domain Authority and Page Authority.
Need to track how well your pages perform in the SERPs? Then you’re in luck. Mangools plans come with SERPWatcher. Now you can monitor your site and see if your pages rank for the keywords you want to target.
All you need to do is enter your keywords (or import them through KWFinder). After SERPWatcher compiles the data, it will show you which position your pages rank in. You’ll also know if your pages moved up or down the SERPs (and by how much).
LinkMiner is Mangools’ backlink tool. Here you can find link building opportunities for your domain.
You can even see where the linking domain placed the anchor text so you can understand how your competitor managed to secure the backlink.
And should you find domains worth contacting in the future, you can mark the URLs and compile them in a list for reference.
Domains with high authority place higher on search results. If you want a quick glimpse of a site’s essential SEO metrics, you can use SiteProfiler.
You can enter any domain and you’ll see its Domain Authority, Page Authority, Citation Flow, and Trust Flow immediately.
Put simply, this feature combines the functionality of all the previously mentioned Mangools products. You can check the domain’s backlink profile, top content, and competitors. But with SiteProfiler, you can access all this information from one location.
Ahrefs vs KWFinder: How Are They Similar Similar?
Before jumping into their keyword research capability, let’s get a few other similarities out of the way. Both Ahrefs and KWFinder share features that can improve your SEO.
- Backlink Research — Both of these tools have the ability to perform backlink analysis so you can discover which sites link to your competitors.
- Rank Monitoring — You can monitor where your pages rank in the SERPs. This lets you know if your current strategy works or not.
- Competitor Analysis — Ahrefs and Mangools have tools you can use to find more information about your competitor’s domain and pages.
That said, let’s talk about their biggest similarity and the main point of this post — keyword research.
It’s true: Ahrefs and KWFinder are two of the best keyword research tools in the business. And if you want to understand why, you should take this opportunity to read up on all of their key features.
Let’s start with Ahrefs.
Ahrefs Keyword Explorer
Keyword Explorer is one of the most widely recognized keyword research tools online. Ahrefs has built a stellar reputation and this specific feature is probably the basis of its popularity.
For starters, it has a database of over 7 billion keywords that’s updated every month. That means you could get thousands of suggested results for every seed keyword you enter.
And that’s a lot.
You could come up with a comprehensive list of target keywords in a matter of minutes. Keyword Explorer even supports results from specific regions. If you don’t live in the United States, for example, you can ask Ahrefs to show keywords from a specific country.
Even better, you can select which engine you want Ahrefs to draw keywords from. Not only can you see results from Google, but you also have the option of selecting Bing, Baidu, Amazon, YouTube, and more.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The perks of Keyword Explorer go beyond keyword availability and region specificity.
It has so much more to offer.
Keyword Explorer Metrics
It’s not just about the quantity of the results; The metrics that come along with the keyword results are equally important.
Just look at the Keyword Difficulty (KD) Score. You can immediately assess whether a keyword would be difficult to rank based on how high or low its KD is.
If the KD is too low, you may want to consider targeting other terms instead. But that’s not the only metric that matters when it comes to choosing target keywords.
You also have the Clicks metric that tells you how many people clicked on the pages that ranked for your search term. That way you can forego keywords with low keyword difficulty but have little to no clickthrough.
But what if you want to rank a specific parent page and not some random page you have on your site? This is where Parent Topic comes in. This will let you know if your broader pages can rank for your target keyword.
These are just some of the metrics you’ll discover as you use the Keyword Explorer feature.
Along with them are SERP overviews and positions history which will help you understand how these terms have performed over time.
For larger companies and freelance SEOs with multiple clients, their main concern is that they need a keyword tool that can handle large volumes of data. If you belong to the same camp, you’d be glad to know that Keyword Explorer can accommodate up to 10,000 keywords.
Simply upload your keywords into the system in bulk and watch Ahrefs do its thing.
Keyword Explorer will even go through the hassle of categorizing these terms for you. This will help it populate your keywords list with even more ideas.
Ahrefs will assign keywords in one of six categories:
- Phrase Match — It will find phrases that include your keyword.
- Having Same Terms — If the keyword contains all the words in your search term regardless of the order they are in, it will be assigned here.
- Also Rank For — These are keywords where the top-ranking pages also appear in.
- Search Suggestions — These are results that appear through a search engine’s autocomplete feature such as the one in Google.
- Newly Discovered — These are keywords that have just been added to Ahrefs’ database.
- Questions — These are search terms that come in the form of a question. These are great when you need title ideas for a post you’re about to publish.
With all the data Ahrefs can process, how can you stay on top of things? Is that even possible?
Well, of course, it is.
Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer has one of the best filter options among keyword research tools. Controlling all your keywords is easy as you can eliminate results that don’t meet the criteria you set.
As previously mentioned, Keyword Explorer categorizes your results into several categories. But on top of that, you can refine your results further through metric filters.
You can set what KD you need, search volume, the search term’s word count, and SERP features. If you want to see results that include a specific word or phrase, you can use the Include option. Ahrefs also lets you remove entries that have terms you don’t want using the Exclude option.
Use the Clicks metric to specify how many clicks you want the search terms to have. Or you can filter the results using other metrics like Clicks Per Search, Cost Per Click, and Return Rate (an Ahrefs metric that shows which keywords get repeat searches).
For even more control, arrange the results in ascending or descending order using whichever metric makes the most sense.
These filter options will make sure you only get the exact results you need for your keyword research. Feel free to download the final list through the Export feature.
We briefly talked about Ahrefs’ Parent Topic earlier. It does this by looking at your top-ranking page based on your target keyword. From there, it looks at the keyword or phrases that got it the most views.
Keyword Explorer can set the parent topic for you. However, it’s also possible to do so manually.
This helps you group keywords together under a general topic and organize your keyword list.
SERP Overview and SERP Position History
Do you want to get a better sense of the SERP entries for your target keyword? The SERP Overview feature can certainly help.
SERP Overview not only shows you the top results for your keyword, but it also provides relevant information about these pages such as their domain and URL ratings, backlinks, traffic, volume, and top keyword.
And with the SERP Position History feature, you can observe how these pages performed over a set period of time. This should give you a better idea of whether it’s worth investing in a keyword or not.
Keywords Explorer lets you save keywords that you might want to come back to at a later time.
That does about it for Ahrefs. But what about KWFinder? How similar is it?
KWFinder works just as well as Ahrefs. But unlike Ahrefs which can claim that it’s a more well-rounded product, Mangools is more focused on keyword research with its other tools acting more as complementary features.
How Does KWFinder Work?
It starts with a seed keyword. Once you enter the term, KWFinder will look for keywords you could explore. The number of keywords it’ll show will depend on your plan so do keep that in mind when you subscribe.
KWFinder will gather results from three sources: suggestions, autocomplete, and questions.
To understand the data better, KWFinder will provide metrics like:
- Trend — Tells you the search volume trend for the past year.
- Search — Shows you what the average monthly search volume for the keyword was for the last 12 months.
- Cost Per Click (CPC) — Presents the average CPC value in Google Ads.
- Pay Per Click (PPC) — Gives you an idea of how competitive the term is in Google Ads.
- Keyword Difficulty — Lets you know how tough it is to rank a keyword based on its link profile strength.
What Keywords Do You Find With KWFinder?
With KWFinder, expect to find long-tail keywords that are not easy to discover. It’s also great for localized search queries regardless of your niche.
You can search up to 50,000 local SERPs so you can have all the keywords you’ll need to outrank your competition no matter where your business is located. Search by city, region, county, state, or by country.
There’s even an option to specify what language you want the results to be in. This will enable you to come up with a keyword list that’s unique to a specific language.
And as with Ahrefs, you can find results that come out of Google Autocomplete and those that come as questions.
If you’re constantly adding new keywords from an external list, KWFinder has a bulk upload feature you could use. The limit as to how many you can upload at a given time will depend on what plan you subscribe to.
The biggest plan will let you upload up to 840,000 keywords in batches containing 700 keywords each. Entries can come in either .TXT or .CSV format.
Metrics and Filters
Once you have the results, you’ll find metrics that will guide you throughout your keyword selection process. These include trends, search volume, CPV, PPC, and KD.
You can explore trends in detail when you select a keyword. You’ll be able to observe how its performed over time.
The SERP overview will also be there. This will give you a closer look at what pages rank for the keyword you selected.
What’s nice about KWFinder is that it shows all the important details right from the overview. The data is easy to understand and interpret.
There’s also a filter feature where you can set metrics to eliminate entries that are of no use to you.
Setting a minimum search volume figure, for example, will remove keywords that don’t gain enough traction online.
You’re not limited to finding keywords for your site. By submitting your competitor’s domain, you can know what keywords they target and rank for.
You can then use this information to plan your content based on what topics work for your business rivals. Or if you’re running an agency, you can present your clients a clear path to dominating their rivals on search engines.
How Are Ahrefs and KWFinder Different?
As you probably realize by now, both products are capable of doing the same things. But there are differences that might persuade you to choose one over the other.
Here are just some factors that might affect your decision on what keyword research tool to go with.
|Price||Ahrefs is considerably more expensive than KWFinder. If all you need is a keyword research tool, you might find yourself overpaying for Keyword Explorer.|
Lite ($99/month)Standard ($179/month)Advanced ($399/month)Agency ($999/month)
|KWFinder is much more affordable especially if you choose the annual option over monthly billing.|
Basic ($49/month)Premium ($69/month)Agency ($129/month)
|UI/UX||For rookie SEOs, Ahrefs has the potential to overwhelm them with data in the beginning.||KWFinder presents its data in a clear manner. Anyone can jump right in and research keywords.|
|Features||Ahrefs is packed with more features that can help you get where you need to go.||While KWFinder returns the same results as Ahrefs, it does feel lacking in some areas.|
|Data||Ahrefs returns more data as it does have higher data caps in all of its plans.||Its Basic plan will only let you perform 100 keyword lookups per day.|
|Filters||Ahrefs has better filter options to help you sort all your data.||While KWFinder’s filter options are sufficient, some may argue that Ahrefs has a better keyword filter system in place.|
|Free Trial||No free trial available. But you can pay $7 to try Ahrefs for 7 days.||Yes. There is a 10-day free trial.|
|Teams||Both Lite and Standard plans only allow one user to use Ahrefs at a time. The Advanced and Agency plans raise the limit to 3 and 5 respectively.||The Premium plan lets 3 users work simultaneously. The Agency plan bumps that number to 10.|
What’s Better About Ahrefs?
Here are some of the reasons why you might want to consider Ahrefs over KWFinder.
- Data Filtering — You can get really specific with the kind of keywords you dig up using Keyword Explorer.
- Added Features — If you want to go beyond keyword research, Ahrefs’ other features make its price point worth the investment.
- Scalability — The higher the plan you subscribe to, the more keywords you can research. There’s still data limitations but those numbers should be more than enough. But in the event that it’s not, you can request Ahrefs to add more for a fee.
What’s Better About KWFinder?
Here are some of the reasons why you might want to consider KWFinder over Ahrefs.
- Affordability — Those who are just starting out with keyword research or if you’re only running a small operation might find KWFinder more affordable.
- Simplicity — Even those who are new to SEO tools would find KWFinder easy to use and easy on the eyes.
- User Access — Working with a team? Try KWFinder because two of its three plans make room for collaboration.
Who Should Get Ahrefs?
Those who are deadly serious about the way they manage data like keywords should consider using Ahrefs. You’ll love how you can manage keywords using Keyword Explorer. It’s worth considering especially if you’re looking at similar tools like SEMrush.
Who Should Get KWFinder?
If you’re just looking for a simple, inexpensive keyword research tool that’s comparable to Ahrefs data-wise, then consider getting KWFinder. It’s a great alternative to the Google Keyword Planner tool.