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As someone who has built five profitable blogs over the years, I am no stranger to keyword research. It’s the cornerstone of any SEO-driven blog. Mess this up, and your chances of scoring good rankings are pretty slim.
In 2023, good on-page SEO is not enough. Securing good positions in SERPs requires you to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry and leverage the latest technology you have access to – in this case, AI keyword research tools.
By utilizing artificial intelligence, these advanced tools take the guesswork out of the equation, providing you with streamlined and accurate keyword insights. In this post, we’ll look at 7 AI-powered tools that can take your keyword research up a notch and uncover untapped keyword opportunities.
What is an AI keyword generator?
An AI keyword generator is a smart SEO tool that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to empower your keyword research. Instead of just suggesting similar search phrases based on your input, it applies natural language processing (NLP) algorithms to analyze the search intent and your competitors’ content in order to find more relevant keywords.
Good AI keyword research tools help you build a solid content strategy by identifying keyword clusters – groups of related keywords that can be used together in your content to provide a comprehensive answer to your audience’s queries. With this, you’re not just targeting individual keywords but entire topics, positioning yourself as an authoritative source in your niche.
Besides finding high-potential keywords to cover on your website, an AI keyword generator helps you establish topical authority, an increasingly crucial factor in SEO. By creating content around keyword clusters, you’re showcasing your expertise on a subject, making you more attractive to both search engines and users.
Let’s say you want to write an article about “organic skincare.”
You input it as a seed keyword, and an AI keyword research tool does its magic, generating a cluster of related keywords such as “best organic skincare for acne,” “homemade organic skincare recipes,” and “benefits of organic skincare.” This cluster approach empowers you to craft content that covers the topic of “organic skincare” from multiple angles, thereby strengthening your topical authority.
This isn’t just about getting higher search rankings, though that’s certainly a benefit. This helps you create better, more targeted content, improve your SEO strategy, and ultimately, grow your online presence in a meaningful and sustainable way.
What are the best AI keyword research tools?
Having established how AI keyword generators can change the way we approach keyword research and SEO, it’s time to identify the best tools in the business. With a myriad of choices available, it’s essential to find those that truly deliver on their promises.
Based on my extensive research and hands-on testing of various software, here are the seven best AI keyword research tools available today:
Best AI keyword research tool for content marketers
MarketMuse is a powerful AI-driven content planning and optimization platform. Its standout feature is its AI keyword generator, which utilizes advanced machine learning algorithms to understand the nuances of your content and suggest the most impactful keywords.
The real value here is that it allows for smarter, more targeted keyword research, giving you a personalized difficulty score based on your domain authority and existing content. This approach will help you make better keyword decisions and significantly improve your SEO performance.
MarketMuse is not just a tool for keyword research, it’s a comprehensive solution for content planning. Its biggest strength is AI keyword clustering, which means that it connects topics and keywords that are semantically close and even analyzes your current clusters to find ways to strengthen them. This allows you to create content clusters that will establish topical authority and elevate your SEO game.
Best Features of MarketMuse
MarketMuse has a completely free plan. Upon signing up, it gave me a 7-day free trial of the Standard plan, which is valued at $149 per month. After the trial period, you can choose to downgrade back to Free or start paying if you found it valuable.
The Free plan has some limitations regarding query results in SERP analysis, heatmaps, topic research, and more. When you choose any premium plan, you have full access to all the features and additional perks like export to Excel or ChatGPT integration.
There are two paid plans, Standard for 1 user and Team for up to 3 users. Standard offers 100 queries per month (as opposed to 10 free queries), and the Team plan doesn’t limit your queries.
Best AI keyword research tool for content briefs
Keyword Insights AI is another top-notch AI keyword tool that uses artificial intelligence to dig deeper into keyword research. It provides valuable insights into your chosen keywords, from identifying the search intent to analyzing the target keywords of your competitors. This helps you make more informed decisions when crafting your content.
Keyword Insights AI also steps up as an AI keyword finder. It’s good at identifying lesser-known, high-value keywords that other tools might miss, at a lesser cost.
After discovering good keyword opportunities, you can leverage their keyword clustering feature to group related keywords and build a strong content strategy focused on improving your topical authority.
Best Features of Keyword Insights AI
Keyword Insights AI has 4 plans starting at $49 per month. They have a credit-based system where each query uses 1 to 4 credits based on your desired settings and the depth of the report. Searches take fewer credits, and smart features more: for example, generating a full content brief with AI will take 100 credits.
Basic plan gives you 6,000 credits, Professional is 15,000 credits for $99, Premium is 45,000 credits for $299, and the Agency plan is $100,000 credits priced at $599.
Alternatively, you can opt for the Pay-as-you-go pricing, which allows you to buy the number of credits you need directly without committing to a monthly subscription. This way, 1,000 credits will cost you about $16.
Best AI research tool for competitors’ keywords
GrowthBar SEO is an AI content writing tool for blogs and webpages that has an internal feature for keyword generation. It can make the whole SEO content-creating process incredibly easy, generating outlines based on the keyword found and writing the whole blog posts in a matter of a couple of minutes.
Being an AI-powered keyword research tool, GrowthBar SEO has more capabilities than your regular keyword generator. It has a unique feature that predicts the profitability of a keyword based on a combination of several metrics and smart machine-learning algorithms.
Best Features of GrowthBar SEO
GrowthBarSEO has three payment plans based on the capacity for content generation. All plans offer unlimited keyword research and blog ideas generation, so you can go with the cheapest plan if you don’t need the AI content creation feature.
There is a 5-day trial before your card gets charged. And if you aren’t completely satisfied after that, they offer a no-questions-asked 7-day money-back guarantee.
Best AI assistant for keyword research
GetGenie is your full-blown SEO assistant: it encapsulates everything you need for successful content creation. From the initial keyword research to blog article generation with WordPress integration, it can transform your whole painful blogging routine into pure pleasure.
As an AI keyword research tool, GetGenie uses intelligent algorithms to identify the important metrics for your chosen keyword, such as search volume, competition, and CPC rates.
It also pulls the search trends directly from Google so you can see how your audience’s interest in a particular topic fluctuates over time. Additionally, it finds a bunch of related keywords for each of the seed keywords you give it.
Besides keyword research, the GetGenie AI tool offers SEO optimization, finding you the right NLP keywords to include for good rankings and giving you an estimated score of where your content stands among competitors.
Best Features of GetGenie
GetGenie offers a Free plan that surprisingly doesn’t limit the number of teammates you may bring. It gives you access to all the features, limiting you to only one website, 10 credits for keyword analysis, and 5 credits for competitor research.
You can also generate up to 1,500 words per month, which is basically one article, enough to test the tool’s content generation quality.
The cheapest Writer plan won’t take you much further: it offers 12,000 generated words, 40 keyword research credits, and 20 competitor search credits.
If you are a professional blogger or a business owner who needs extra traffic, your best bet is the Pro plan. For about $40 per month, it will give you 40,000 words, 250 keyword research credits, and 80 credits for competitor research, which will likely cover all your content needs.
Best AI research tool for keyword brainstorming
ContextMinds combines the power of concept mapping with AI keyword generation. It basically becomes your co-creator in the content planning process, suggesting the relevant keywords for each topic you add to your content map.
When you are done brainstorming, ContextMinds can generate a blog outline for you based on the keyword cluster, which you can then use to create content for your blog, social media, landing page, or anything else.
Best Features of ContextMinds
ContextMinds offers two plans: Pro for $70 per month and Business for $210 a month. There is a 7-day free trial to test the tool and see if it fits your needs.
6. Surfer SEO
Best AI keyword generator for topical authority
Surfer is a well-known and loved AI content generator, but not everyone knows that it also has a powerful content clustering feature.
Based on your single seed keyword, it generates a ton of other relevant keywords and groups them in so-called clusters. You can filter the clusters however you want, for example, based on search intent or search volume, and basically end up with a data-supported content strategy that has high chances for success in the search engines.
Surfer’s magic doesn’t stop there. It generates a content editor based on your chosen keyword cluster, walking you through the whole process of building SEO-friendly content. And with the latest Surfer AI they just introduced, you can generate an SEO-optimized article in a few clicks instead of spending long hours writing it yourself.
Best Features of Surfer
Surfer plans start at $29 per month ($19 if you pay annually). For this, you can run keyword research 10 times per month, while all the other plans allow you 100 searches per day.
Surfer offers you to buy extra features as add-ons in case you don’t need the full capabilities and financial weight of a bigger plan.
Best AI keyword research tool for mind mapping
Ayoa Ultimate is an all-in-one AI productivity tool that leverages the power of artificial intelligence to streamline your keyword research and ideation processes.
I believe they were the first on the market to offer AI-powered mind maps, allowing you to construct a map of ideas, questions, and concepts in one session that might otherwise take weeks or months.
While it’s not necessarily designed with SEO in mind, Ayoa can be a great research assistant, helping you discover winning topic ideas and find concepts you haven’t thought of.
By inputting seed keywords into the mind map, Ayoa Ultimate can assist in generating a comprehensive list of related keywords and phrases, thereby enhancing your SEO strategy.
Best Features of Ayoa
Ayoa has three plans, but only the Ultimate one has AI-powered features. It costs $13 per month and gives you access to all the mind-mapping features, whiteboards, collaborative workflows, and more.
There is a 7-day free trial to get impressed with Ayoa before committing to it.
What makes a good AI keyword research tool?
In my quest to find the best AI keyword research tools, I’ve used a specific set of criteria to evaluate their capabilities. While no tool is perfect, and not all tools will tick every box, these guidelines should help you make an informed decision.
- AI-powered keyword generation: The tool should utilize AI-based algorithms to generate keyword suggestions. It should go beyond simple keyword matching and explore the relationship between different search terms.
- Understanding the search intent: A good AI tool should be able to interpret the search intent behind a keyword. It should know if a user is looking for specific information, ready to make a purchase, or simply exploring a topic, and predict what related questions might arise.
- Building content clusters: Ideally, an AI keyword generator should be able to create content clusters based on the seed keyword, helping you craft a comprehensive content base and grow topical authority.
- Analyzing competitors: The smartest tools don’t just predict keywords based on the market and search algorithms. They analyze competitor pages and find real keywords that have already proven to work.
- Good value for the price: You should only invest in a new business tool if it has the potential to grow your traffic and earnings, otherwise it’s a money pit.
- Offering extra features: It’s a bonus if the tool goes beyond keyword research, allowing you to do more in one platform and cut the website expenses (we all know SEO tools aren’t cheap). For instance, some of these AI tools can generate content outlines or even full articles based on your chosen keywords.
Keep in mind that these are my subjective guidelines based on my industry experience and the right tool for you will largely depend on your business needs and goals. The best AI keyword research tool is the one that aligns with your strategy and helps you achieve your SEO objectives.
If possible, test at least a few of these tools: take advantage of trial periods and see which one gives you the best results for your specific niche and workflow.
Can’t I just use ChatGPT for keyword research?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve likely heard about the marvel that is ChatGPT and its numerous applications in the marketing realm.
You might have even found a couple of useful use cases that help you save time in everyday operations. And you may be wondering, “What about using ChatGPT for keyword research?”
While it’s true that ChatGPT is an impressive AI model with a wide range of applications (I, for one, love it and use the premium version as my personal assistant every day), it’s not tailored for SEO keyword research.
ChatGPT is amazing at generating natural language responses (especially GPT-4), but it doesn’t have:
a) the ability to understand the complex dynamics of keyword analysis
b) any search data to estimate the difficulty and demand of a particular keyword
Sure, you can use ChatGPT to brainstorm potential keywords around a particular subject. It’s actually proved very helpful for finding new related topic ideas you haven’t thought of.
Let’s go with the same niche from before:
You can see from this example that it found a bunch of interesting angles you might not have covered on your organic skincare blog yet, for example, common misconceptions or food pairings.
However, without the means to analyze the SEO potential of these keywords – such as competition, search volume, or search intent – your articles will likely not rank unless you do additional keyword research with one of the specialized tools from this list.
Final thoughts on best AI keyword generators for 2023
With the progression of artificial intelligence, the world of SEO is changing rapidly, and those willing to adapt will reap the rewards. AI keyword research tools offer insights that go far beyond traditional keyword research.
While no tool is perfect, these AI-powered instruments bring a new level of precision and efficiency to the SEO table. Explore these tools, find the one that fits your needs, and stay flexible while navigating the AI wave and the ever-changing search algorithm.