Whether you are running a website or a blog, you need to have at least some level of keyword research skills. Otherwise, your competing businesses or other websites will outrank you in the search results.
When it comes to my keyword research journey, it can be divided into four phases.
First, there was the complete ignorance phase, where I didn’t understand what keyword research is all about. Heck, I had never even heard of it!But once I got started learning internet marketing in 2008, I got introduced to this new skill. I was both excited and terrified.
Can you believe that?
Just recently, I was steadily in the third phase of keyword research. I had some experience of it, but I still didn’t feel comfortable with it. I did what was necessary, and then I moved onto the next task.
But recently things started to change, and I call this my fourth phase of keyword research. And thanks to this new tool of mine, KWFinder, I can now even say that keyword research is fun.
Before you start reading this post, let’s set the expectations right:
- This is not a tutorial, not a how-to post.
- I’m focusing solely on KWFinder, not the other tools that are packaged with it (SERP Checker, SERP Watcher, and LinkMiner). I’ll create separate content for those tools in the future.
KWFinder at Glance
- Features: ****
- User Interface and Usability: *****
- Support: ****
- Price: starting from 310.80€/$358.80 (if chosen the annual plan) ****
- Overall: 4.3
- Verdict: Yes, go get it!
- User interface and usability.
- You get access to four tools in total.
- Web-based tool; no installation hassles on your computer.
- Daily search limitations.
- You’ll have to pay quite a bit of money upfront if you choose an annual plan.
- Chat support is not available 24/7.
My Initial Expectations
Ok, so earlier when I heard the term “keyword research”, three associations came into my mind:
- Scary. There were too many variables at play when choosing a right keyword. Knowing enough which keyword was a good one was difficult. All thanks to the previous tools I had used (read: Google Keyword Tool and some other ones).
- Tedious. There was too much work involved, and it didn’t feel fun.
- Time. The more tedious something was, the more time I had to spend on keyword research. And this whole process postponed starting the writing phase (which is something I happen to enjoy).
With these expectations, I wasn’t quite sure what to think of KWFinder.
Who Isn't This Application For?
It’s impossible to please everyone, and this is especially true with keyword research tools. Therefore, there might be certain annoyances that you don’t like in KWFinder:
- Issues with AutoComplete. I love this feature, but at times, it just doesn’t work. But according to Mangools, this is an issue with Google API (from where KWFinder fetches the data from).
- It’s meant for beginners. In other words, it may lack the features that you find in tools like Ahrefs. Then again, by testing the tool (and reading this review), you’ll to see if it’s a good fit for you.
- You find the search limits … well, too limiting. Especially, if you are a hardcore keyword researcher, you may end up filling your daily quota fast.
- Not all the results display the keyword difficulty automatically. You’ll have to do some clicking to find it out in these kinds of results.
- The search form doesn’t remember the settings you previously entered. For instance, I wanted to see my settings (Location = United States, Language = English) automatically, without having the choose them repeatedly:
Enter the KWFinder
With KWFinder, you get access not to one, but to four web-based tools! Here is what they are all about
The tool for finding long-tail keywords, to be used on your website.
- SERP Checker
A tool for doing (localized) competitor SEO analysis.
- SERP Watcher
See how your keywords rank now in Google.
See how your competitors build backlinks, and take advantage of this knowledge in your own backlinking strategies.
So Why Not GKP ...
If Google is proving us a free tool to do the keyword research, why shouldn’t you just stick with it? For starters, Google has changed the way it’s displaying the search results.
For instance, if I look at the search results for the keyword “dog training”, I see this:There are two significant differences with these views:
On the hand, KWFinder shows me this:
1) Google Keyword Planner is showing results on a vague level.
For instance, keyword dog training gets 10K – 100K searches per month. The “vagueness” depends on how much money you are spending to AdWords; if none, you get vague results, but if you are a money spender, you get the exact results (hint: I’m not a spender )
On the other hand, with KWFinder, the exact result is 60,545 (at the time of writing). So which kind of result would you like to see? I don’t know about you, but then I’d like to see the exact ones, and this is what KWFinder is providing me (and you, too).
2) The user experience with GKP is, sorry Google, awful. With KW Finder, I can see instantly whether a keyword is easy or difficult to rank for, and I can also see all the other interesting metrics on one page as well.
KWFinder's Exact Search Results and a Pro Tip
What is, of course, a bit confusing, is that on KWFinder’s page, they are saying that:
“The exact search volumes are identical to the ones in GKP.”
How is it possible that when GKP gives me vague results and KWFinder uses GKP data, I get exact results?
Here is how/why:
- Data is gathered from multiple sources, like from Moz or Majestic.
- Exact result calculation is part of KW Finder’s know-how.
- “The exact result is the exact average monthly search volume in the last twelve months.”
Fair enough. I’m not expecting that Mangools is exposing their algorithms and other trade secrets when it comes to exact keyword results.
But to confirm that the results you and I receive are aligned with Google’s data, use this tip that one successful marketer gave. In particular, he said that you should still compare the results your keyword tool gave you with Google’s results, to make sure that both are around the same. It makes sense; Google is, after all, the one who gathers the data and their data is the most accurate.
This previous tip adds one step for your keyword research for sure. But also, it’s a simple way to make sure the keyword you are getting after is worth it.
Working with KWFinder: Features
In this section I’m going through the major sections of KWFinder, and what it’s capable of.
Doing keyword research with KWFinder is straightforward: Just enter your seed keyword into the search form:With this feature, it’s easy to go back to the old searches, to see what they were all about.
There you get to choose whether you are researching by:
- Using the keyword suggestions.
- Using the Google Autocomplete functionality.
- Looking for questions related to your topic.
With a keyword search (option a), you get the following results:
In this view, you see the following:
On the left:
- Search results with corresponding data, like average monthly search in the last 12 months.
- Keyword difficulty scores.
(Please note: There is more information on this view than just these two. But I think that for now, those are the most important factors to know).
On the right:
- Keyword difficulty score.
- First page Google search results.
- Search volumes in the last 12 months.
Once you have done your research, it is, of course, great to know that you can save the results of your hard work, by putting the golden keywords to a list:
To get further ideas for the potential keywords, you can use a handy autocomplete feature, where KWFinder fetches data using Google API. This is of course much faster than typing the keywords individually on the Google form:
Finally, you have the questions tab, where you can find the questions that people ask related to your keywords:
You may have noticed, that not all the search results include keyword difficulty metric. Instead, these kinds of results just show the magnifying glass icon. In that case, you’ll just have to click the icon, and the result is displayed:
This is, of course, a bit annoying since sometimes you have plenty of clicking to do. But I guess that this way Mangools is saving their server resources, without having to calculate or make other additional operations, to get the difficulty figure (and yes, this is just my guess).
Ok, let’s hop back to the Suggestion tab, where the majority (at least in my case) of activity happens.
You are probably wondering why the search functionality is somewhat limited, and it would be nice to fine-tune the search criteria a bit. After all, as you have seen so far, you get plenty of results, and they are all not that useful to you.
This is where the filtering comes into play.
To turn on the filtering, you’ll do an initial search with your keyword. Then, click the Results filter button, to show the filtering options:
In this case, I set the keyword difficulty to be 50 or under it. Thus I got the filtered results like what you see in the previous screenshot.
Unfortunately, the most useful criteria would be to return just green keywords. This is, however, not possible right now. Perhaps Mangools would be nice enough to include this improvement in the future version of the tool?
What’s handy is that you can take filtering to your own lists, too:
This is helpful since I can easily display the keywords I might need during my writing project.
KWFinder is not just about “global” search results. Instead, you can also see the results with its localized search, too.
For instance, you can select the country, city or the other region inside a country and perform your search that way:
In this case, you’ll see all the skateboarding-related things that can be found in New York City, NY:
To further refine your search, you can also include a spoken language as your search criteria:
I know that this is not possible with KWFinder, but I’d like to see the localization to go even further, especially in big cities.
For instance, it would be cool to search for businesses inside a particular part of the city, like in Brooklyn or Queens (when New York City is concerned).
Since you can search the search bar anyway (like when entering skateboarding Brooklyn), why not including the part of the city inside the Location dropdown menu, too?
Importing and exporting
As I told you earlier, KWFinder helps to organize your keywords by storing them in a list.
But there is also another handy way to take advantage of your earlier keyword research. And this is done by importing or exporting your keywords.
So why do you need this functionality in the first place?
Well, perhaps you are moving from another keyword research tool to KWFinder, so you don’t like doing the same keyword research again:
The process works the other way around, too: Perhaps you’d like to take your keywords with you when you move to another tool (you are not going to do that, are you? ).
Or perhaps you just want to save the keywords in a CSV file and store them for future reference (like on your Google Drive).
If you want to use a time machine, you can always use the search history function at the top:
Then, when you click any of the entries, you’ll be taken to the search view, with particular search results (in this example, I clicked the flip skateboards entry):
KWFinder perhaps lacks the functionality of the hardcore keyword researcher, but it’s ideal for a beginner keyword scientist. It gives you all the information you need when SEO-optimizing your website.
User Interface (UI) and Usability
I love KWFinder’s intuitiveness and clear user interface. It shows that the designers and usability experts at Mangools have spent a great deal of time figuring out, how to make the search experience great.
At first, you may think that there is too much going on, especially on the search result page. It may be so, but you’ll soon realize that
- You get used to the UI very quickly.
- All the details that you see on search result page are justified.
At first, when you enter the KWFinder website, you see the following:If the search limits sparked your curiosity, I’m going to tell you a bit more about them later in this post.
In some ways, this reminds me of Google’s successful user interface, where everything extra is left out, and only the essential is shown. And yes, I love this approach!
The fun begins when you enter your seed keyword into the search box and press enter. You get the full-blown search result view:
Your first reaction to the view can be either baffled or relieved. My personal one was perhaps both.
Ok, so after you have recovered from the initial shock you’ll soon notice that everything you see is in one place:
- The keyword suggestions on the left.
- The search engine results on the right.
- The keyword difficulty score at the top.
- Individual keywords with the necessary metrics on one line.
- Access to support at the bottom.
You have to activate some of the information before you can access it.
For instance, the keyword difficulty results are not shown on every row. To reveal them, you have to click the magnifying glass on the UI.
Also, clicking the question marks will expose new, useful, information.
For instance, when you click the question mark on the keyword difficulty section, you get ranges for different keyword difficulties:
Finally, you can also find your account information by clicking your email address at the top (I have cleared out my email address on this image, that’s why it’s not shown):
UI and Usability:
KWFinder takes the usability and user interface of keyword research tools into another level. It’s easy to use - in fact, it’s fun to use! And that’s a real compliment from someone, who was almost scared of doing keyword research in the first place.
There are three main ways of getting support:
- Through knowledge base.
- Through chat.
- Through email.
To access the knowledge base, all you have to do is to click the Help link at the top navigation bar:
From there you get access to FAQs, SEO Academy, and KWFinder Guide. This is, of course, nice because all the essential documents are easy to access.
On the other hand, if you can’t find answers to your questions through these documents, you can always ask questions directly from the support. Depending on the time of the day, you get chat support or email support (when chat support is not available).
In an ideal world, the chat support would be available 24/7. But based on my experiences, I have gotten replies to my email replies promptly, too.
It would be nice, of course, to see the chat support times and when it’s available. And to know more about these times, I had to ask them about it (through chat). They replied that the chat option is available from around 9 a.m. until midnight (CET).
If the chat is available, the bottom-right of the screen displays this text:
On the other hand, if the support is accessible only through email, the button text changes to this:
There are three ways to contact support, and my favorite one, the chat, is one of the options! However, it would be nice if they announced more publicly the chat support times.
Nevertheless, I have gotten answers to my questions promptly, so the chat (and the email) works. You also have access to various knowledge base items, like FAQs or SEO Academy videos, which help you with your questions, too.
Currently, the pricing page introduces three payment plans:
The pricing model is familiar to you if you have used or compared the prices of any of the online site builders. In other words, the more you pay, the more value you are getting.
There are two payment options: if you pay annually, the cost per month is lower. Then again, the cost is higher when you choose a month-to-month billing cycle.
One thing to note is that you if you choose the annual billing, you’ll have to pay quite a bit money upfront.
For instance, with the Basic plan, the amount is 310.80 euros ($358.80) at the time of writing (you can switch the pricing between currencies by clicking the link at the bottom of the page). This payment, however, is a recurring one (once per year)! If you choose the month-to-month billing cycle, the yearly price is higher.
You can test KWFinder for free (2 searches per day). And if you want to do more free testing (getting five free searches per day), you can register to the service for free.
The idea behind search limitations is that based on your plan, you get a certain number of searches per day.
Once you have reached your daily quota, you’ll have to wait until the limits are refreshed again (every 24 hours). According to Mangools, this period starts counting after you submit your first request.
So, what does count as a keyword lookup, then? Well …
- Typing a keyword in the primary search form and clicking the Analyze button.
- Clicking the magnifier icon.
- Importing your own keywords to the system.
When it comes to SERP lookups, they are counted as follows:
- When you analyse the keyword.
- Click on one (keyword) from the “Suggestions”.
Based on my experiences with the basic plan, I never ran into limitations. However, I can honestly understand that this can be a concern for someone, considering him/herself as a “hardcore” keyword researcher.
But, at this point, these limitations are fine by me, and I never reached them.
If you are not happy with the service, you’ll get a refund within 24 hours of your payment. However, this does not apply to 2 consecutive subscriptions.
Currently, I’m using the Basic plan, and I’m happy with it. What could be a showstopper for some is the payment that you have to do upfront (and eventually on a recurring basis (once per year), if you choose the annual payment. Then again, you can save quite a bit of money if you choose this option.
Is This the Right Tool for You?
So, what’s my final opinion regarding KWFinder? I recommend it!
As you noticed, I have had fears towards keyword research in the past, thanks to the tools I have used. But now, my attitude has changed.
One of the biggest reasons for this change is the tool I’m using, KWFinder. Finally, I have started to love keyword research because KWFinder makes it easy. The fact that the user interface is so well thought-out and intuitive makes this process more fun.It’s about time that someone took the usability and the user interface to another level. Thank you Mangools for doing this!