When it comes to making anything online, be it a blog, a brand new store or even just a small affiliate site, there is one thing that we all need and that is the ability to be able to carry out keyword research, analyse backlinks and also track keyword rankings.
There are a number of tools that offer such services, especially keyword rank tracking and keyword research, but they usually have one very big problem that removes it from everyday users like me and you and that's Price.
If you are like me, then you run a small blog, or even an online store, you don't have hundreds of pages or websites that need to be analysed every day, or thousands of keywords to be tracked.
Large SEO companies or marketing agencies usually do, but you are not one of them, so why pay their prices!
When I started this blog, I needed something that was cost effective, full of tools and easy to use and I found KeySearch (Or KeySearch.co if you want to be picky).
And now its time to actually give this tool a little review, and see if it's the tool that you need to suit your needs.
I will go through all the tools, what I like about it and what I don't like about it (there are one or two little bits and pieces that annoy me).
KeySearch - What Is It?
KeySearch is an 'all in one' SEO platform, that bundles together a number of useful tools such as Keyword research, domain explorer, backlink analyser, competitor gap analyser, YouTube research and difficulty checker, a keyword ranking tracker and also a content assistant, plus a few more tools!
The platform is essentially a very powerful platform that allows you to find the difficulty of keywords, see the number of searches each month, while also seeing what your competitors are doing and at the same time keeping track of the keywords you want to keep watching.
KeySearch Tools & Addons
Each of KeySearch.co's tools can fall under certain areas, which they have helpfully bundled together!
The main two areas most beginners, or every day users will be making use of will be KeyWord Research and Rank Tracking, but we will go through each of the different areas to understand what they contain and how they can help.
First up is the main tool that KeySearch offer, their Keyword Research tool. It does break down further, but we will look at the high level tool first.
The Keysearch research tools, allows you to check a number of different factors, in one simple to view screen.
First up, type in the keyword, or even keyword phrase that you are trying to target.
Straight off the bat you are given a number of useful stats, that help you determine if you even want to try and target this keyword or not.
As you can see, KeySearch.co provide you with, the total number of search results, the total volume of searches, the cost per clicks and also the current difficulty (more on that later).
That's everything you need to know, straight away. Without the need to go off searching for it.
They also provide you with a number of suggestions that you can try your luck with to see if they are lower in terms of competition or difficulty. Every time you click one of the suggestions, they load that into the Keyword research tool and run an analysis on it.
Next up is their Keyword 500 section, that allows you to compare or easily see 500 different Keywords.
This table can be sorted, and can be exported or saved to then track later.
As you can see from the image below, we have checked a number of different keyword phrases, and we have been given the score, volume and other information. We can then sort this table to find high volume, or maybe low scores.
If you check any of the keywords, a lot like the smaller keyword suggestions it will load and display all the information for that new keyword or phrase.
A final addition to this page is the top 8 SERP analysis, rankings, social shares and even an article writing service (all in one!).
The table gives you a really good idea of the kind of competition you are up against, and also gives you the reasoning behind why a keyword or phrase may be difficult or not.
Using the original phrase 'what is brexit' we can see that there are some really heavy hitter websites that rank well for that phrase. Nearly all of the websites have a 90+ domain authority and over half of them have over 1,000 backlinks for those particular articles.
Not an easy one to go for!
The other tabs provide you with a little more data about a rough idea on the number of searches that that particular URL as well as the total number of keywords that particular articles has, the whole domain has and the total amount of traffic for that domain.
Finally, you can check the social shares for those particular links, personally we felt that this section was lacking a little.
Quick Difficulty Checker
If you don't fancy running full searches for your keywords, you can also do something called a quick difficulty search.
Working much the same way as the keyword research tool, but without giving you the 500 different keywords to manually click through.
You can load in a number of keywords and quickly see the difficulty for each one. Hence the name!
KeySearch Difficulty Checker Addon
Under the Keyword Search tab, you also have the option of adding their browser extension.
The browser extension is quick and easy to install, and allows you to do the very same research, right in your browser.
That means you can search via google, and then get all the same information without having to head on over to KeySearch.co first.
A nice little addition that can sometimes be useful if you are just having a little 'google around'.
Next up is KeySearch Explorer, this was originally bundled under the Link Analysis, but now has it's own section.
This tool allows you to see a number of metrics about a specific URL or a whole domain.
Using the BBC as an example, you can see some really useful information to try and decide if you want to try and compete against a particular article or the whole domain.
As you can see, the domain itself, has a domain difficulty of 68 and has 16million backlinks in bound.
It also breaks down the backlinks. what types of domains are offering those backlinks and also the top keywords associated with that particular URL.
Explorer is still in BETA mode, and you can tell, as some aspects look a little, off.
For example, the top organic keyword for the BBC is 'avicii new song', which seems odd.
The domain strength and domain target also look to be a bit random, and don't always match up across different areas.
A useful tool, as long as you take the numbers with a slight pinch of salt!
We usually use this section to drill into certain articles of our own sites, as well as competitors to see how we are doing for keywords and even backlinks.
The competitive Analysis tool, is actually 5 tools bundled under 1 tab.
As such, we will break down each tool in it's own section.
A more indepth tool than found in the Explorer tab.
Backlink checker runs an indepth analysis on a domain, or specific URL and provides you with different information with regards too it.
For example, we ran the checker on the BBC.co.uk entire domain and again we where given the same 16million backlinks, but this time, we are actually shown the top 1,000 backlinks for this domain.
As you can see, this tool provides you with more information about those backlinks. For example digg.com/source/bbc.co.uk has a domain strength of 10, the anchor is bbc.co.uk and it's a dofollow style link.
Having this information means you can start building your own backlink profile from taking this data, finding the high ranking domains and trying to get your own links from there.
Again, you have the ability to download these 1,000 links via CSV files or Excel spreadsheets, to do with as you wish.
Another tool that can be used to understand what the competition are ranking for, is the KeySearch.co Organic Keyword Checker.
By adding a domain, or specific URL, KeySearch will show you all the organic keywords.
Again great for trying to come up with ideas for content or articles. KeySeach provides you with the same information as the Keyword Research tool, giving you a a rough idea on the keywords you might want to aim for.
A new tool that was recently added to KeySearch.co was the Competitor gap, which we admit, is a little...odd.
The tool is meant to show you keywords that your main URL or domain ranks for, but other URLs or domains do not rank for.
But we can't see the point. Unless you are trying to see what you might be missing on your site against another URL.
It could be useful, but to be honest, there are better tools out there such as Hoths competitor tool.
Another new tool that KeySearch have recently released, the URL Metrics is another one that does exactly what it says on the tin.
You can feed it multiple URLS and it will start to provide you with information about that URL, such as Domain Authority, Domain Strength, Alexa Ranking, social shares and keywords.
It is a little buggy though. Personally, we would steer clear of it and just get this information from the original comeptetive analysis.
For this, we are going to bundle these 3 tools into one section.
KeySearch provides you with 3 separate tools for trying to help rank, or at least understand YouTube videos.
First up is the YouTube Research Tool, allowing you to add keywords that you want to try and rank within YouTube, much the same way as you might in Google or any other search engine.
Next up you have the difficulty planner, again working the same way as the Keyword Research tool earlier, but of course this time working for YouTube. You can add up to 50 different keywords and see how hard or easy it is to get your video seen by your audience.
Finally, is the YouTube list, which allows you to take the other information and start to download or export it and do with as you wish.
The YouTube tools where not an areas we used a lot, and still don't use a lot, because we don't have many YouTube videos.
Someone who does have a lot of YouTube videos or focuses on that for their marketing may find this useful, but for us, we did not.
Rank Tracking Tool
One of our favourite tools, and actually one of the main reason we ever signed up for KeySearch.co
Rightly named, the Rank Tracking Tool allows you to upload keywords and to get up to date stats such as current rank, change in rank posotion, current search volumes and when the last update happened.
You can also get information on the top 50 sites that are ranking for that particular keyword.
As you can see from the image, we have uploaded a new site and started to check the ranking for particular keywords.
KeySearch will provide you with keyword it believes you might be ranking for, or thinks you should try ranking for.
You can update these keywords every day to see how you are doing, or if you are just dancing around Googles algorithm.
You are also given a high level overview of the URL you are using, for this example we can see that we are tracking 40 odd words, we have a lowish PA & DA, but are both slowly getting higher and higher (this was not an aged domain, it was 100% fresh!).
The Rank Tracking tool provides you with 2 graphs per keyword as well. The first is the rank graph, it shows you the last 30 days and shows how you have been ranking and when you have moved up or down.
Having this information allows you to see if your website is starting to settle, or if it might need alittle push.
The second graph, is actually just a list of the top 50 websites currently ranking for your keyword.
Really useful if you want to see what others are up too!
As you can see, we are currently ranking 7th for a new keyword (don't worry, we are sure the Google dance will appear soon..).
All of this information is so valuable if you are constantly writing new content or looking at updating old content.
It's also really useful for you to find how certain pages are doing, and if you maybe need to update the article, or maybe add a few new backlinks to increase the authority.
One of the downsides too this tool, is that it's rubbish on mobile. We run a Pixel 2, and the screen size it pretty big, but KeySearch.co doesn't scale very well. So you end up having to zoom right in to try and click the refresh buttons, which we do a lot (the laptop/phone lifestyle).
Secondly, you get told EVERY SINGLE TIME you update a keyword, which is pointless. We know we have updated it, we spent 45hours trying to click the stupid tiny button!
But, that's really the only issue we face, other than some fairly inaccurate position at times, but that's the same for tools like AHREFS and you are paying a lot more for that.
The final tool you get on this platform is called Content Assistant.
Think of it as your virtual AI designed to help you increase the number of variations and additions to add to your articles.
All you need to do is type in your keyword phrase, and KeySearch will provide you with a list of different long tale key words that appear in articles on page one of google.
By using these other keywords, the ideas is that you will also start to rank for others.
You are also given an indicator for how difficult these other keywords are too rank for, as well as the total volume of searches for your original search.
Massively useful if you are ranking just outside of the top 10, and you are unsure why.
For us, this is one of the huge advantages over other services or platforms that offer keyword research tools such as Ahrefs.
KeySearch starts from just $17 a month. Compared to something like Ahrefs that starts at $99 a month. This is 1/5 of the price per month!
Plus, if you use code KSDISC you could get an additional 20% off your purchase which would knock that first month down to $14!
KeySearch.co really is a massively cheaper alternative to Ahrefs, from just $17 a month, you are given 200 daily searches & analysis , 80 keywords to track and 20 daily super searches (the keyword planner searches...never used them yet!).
We run a number of blogs, and have only recently moved up a tier too the $34 a month to take advantage of the 500 daily searches and analysis credits.
Even with us moving too the higher tier, we saved ourselves around $700 for the year. That's insane.
Considering you are given access too everything we went through above, including;
KeySearch is great for bloggers, youtube content creators or even store owners looking for a cheaper Ahrefs alternative, without wanting to give up functionality.
You are given tons of great tools, within an easy to navigate and use platform.
Yes, it may not quite have the powerful arsenal of tools that Ahrefs offers, but you are also saving yourself $70 a month for things everyday folks do not need.
As we said before, unless you are an ad agency or an SEO company, KeySearch should do you just fine.
We did find a few bits that annoyed us a little, such as the mobile experience, for the most part, we loved using and continue to use KeySearch as our SEO tool.
James started The Online Student as a typical blog telling people about his struggles and woes with DropShipping, Amazon FBA and even Affiliate marketing. He then decided that blogging about it all would give people the skills, knowledge and apps to get up and running (while making a little extra on the side). After a few months he realised it was quite lucrative and decided to work his ass off making it a bit more than just a hobby!