Keyword research is a foundational step for conducting SEO. Do it wrong, and you’ll throw loads of money on a losing SEO campaign.

But, if you make it right, you can drive lots of highly relevant traffic to your website even if your competitors have deep marketing pockets and you do not.

That’s why using the right keyword research tool is crucial for SEOs.

The challenge, however, is there are dozens of keyword research tools online. These tools offer various features and functionalities, making it hard for startups to figure out which device to choose.

To help you find the right keyword research tool, let’s look into three of the most effective and reliable keyword research tools: Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Ubersuggest.

1. Ahrefs vs SEMrush vs Ubersuggest: Which should you use?

We compare each SEO tool’s keyword research features and see which offers the best functions for startups.

a) Ahrefs | Ahrefs vs. SEMrush vs Ubersuggest

Ahrefs is a subscription-based SEO tool that provides keyword, content, backlink, and general SEO analysis.

i. Ahrefs Keyword Explorer

Ahrefs Keywords Explorer provides marketers with tons of relevant keyword ideas with insightful details.

When you search a keyword, it shows the keyword difficulty, search volume, clicks (paid and organic), and global capacity.

Ahrefs Keyword Explorer

Lastly, the SERP overview shows the top 10 pages of your target keyword.

Ahrefs SERP overview

This section also shows you each link’s number of backlinks, referring domains, the number of traffic, and the total number of keywords that the area ranks in.

You can look at the traffic numbers to check if a keyword is worth targeting. Additionally, you can check the referring domains to get an idea of a keyword’s ranking difficulty.

Each keyword gives you nine detailed reports found on your left-side panel. All of these make Keywords Explorer an insightful keyword research tool.

Other useful features in Ahrefs that you might want to consider are:

  • Site Explorer
  • Content Explorer
  • Site Audit
  • Rank Tracker

ii. Pricing

Ahrefs’ Lite plan starts at $99 monthly and is available for one user account with five projects.

Meanwhile, the standard plan costs $179 monthly and accommodates one user with ten projects.

These are good starting plans for a startup with a small marketing team.

iii. Pros of using Ahrefs

  • It provides detailed keyword reports with useful metrics
  • Great for marketing teams who need to create rigorous SEO campaigns
  • Offers other valuable features to help with your SEO campaigns

iV. Cons of using Ahrefs

  • Relatively high price for startups and limited access per plan
  • May be overwhelming and complicated for beginners due to the amount of information it presents

b) SEMrush | Ahrefs vs. SEMrush vs Ubersuggest

SEMrush helps marketers with their SEO, PPC, social media, and content marketing campaigns. It specializes in keyword research, ad campaign optimization, and competitive research.

i. SEMrush Organic Research

When you enter your competitor’s Organic Research domain, you get a good overview of their websites’ metrics.

SEMrush Organic Research

These metrics include the number of keywords, traffic, traffic cost, branded traffic, non-branded traffic, and organic keywords trend.

When you scroll further down, it also provides preview tables for the top organic keywords, top position changes, top pages, top subdomains, and main natural competitors.

SEMrush metrics full details

Clicking on the “View all” button found below each table will redirect you to a longer list of results.

Additionally, organic research also provides a SERP Features section that gives keywords based on featured snippets, site links, ‘people also ask,’ images, and other SERP elements.

The features and metrics this tool offers will help you understand your competitors and develop an SEO strategy that can compete with them.

Other useful features in SEMrush that you might want to consider are:

  • Backlink and Site Audit
  • Content Marketing Toolkit
  • Advertising Toolkit
  • Social Media Toolkit

ii. Pricing

  • The lowest plan starts at $99.95 monthly and is perfect for freelancers and startups.
  • However, this plan limits users to creating only up to 3 projects and generating only up to 3,000 reports per day.

iii. Pros of using SEMrush

It provides an in-depth analysis of your competitors SEO keyword ranking and pages
The SEO toolkit also offers backlinks analysis, site audit, traffic analysis, and other useful features.

iv. Cons of using SEMrush

  • It is costly for startups and has limitations according to the paid plan
  • The number of features can be confusing, and the user interface can be challenging to navigate for beginners

c) Ubersuggest | Ahrefs vs. SEMrush vs Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is a comprehensive, all-in-one SEO tool that provides in-depth keyword research, content suggestions, and backlink analysis.

It is a freemium product, allowing its users to access most of the essential features most marketers need. Free access has a daily limit, but most people don’t even get to that limit when using the platform.

When users sign up for a free or paid account, they gain access to more data.

i. Ubersuggest Keyword Idea

The Keyword Idea feature provides you with relevant keyword suggestions when you enter a target keyword or domain.

The keyword suggestions have several categories, such as Suggestions, Related Keywords, Questions, Prepositions, and Comparisons.

Ubersuggest Keyword Idea

The results page also shows the number of traffic, cost per click, paid difficulty, and each keyword’s organic complexity.

Notice that your keyword result also provides a list of the top pages ranking for each keyword. It wishes also gives you an opinion of what kind of content works for a specific keyword.

Ubersuggest Keyword overview best keyword tools

Moreover, Ubersuggest has a simple user interface that’s easy to navigate and understand, especially for SEO or marketing newbies.

Ubersuggest Keyword overview

Though it offers fewer features than most tools, Ubersuggest provides all the essentials that startups or small teams can use to create effective SEO campaigns.

If you want to use the tool without a daily limit, sign up to get rid of the daily limit, and access more data.

Other useful features you might want to consider are:

  • Content Idea Generator
  • Top Pages
  • Backlinks
  • SEO Audit

ii. Pricing

Most of Ubersuggest’s basic features are free.

To access more data and remove the daily limitations, sign up to one of the platform’s affordable plans.

This is Ubersuggest’s pricing plans:

  • Individual: 12 USD/month
  • Business: 20 USD/month
  • Enterprise/Agency: 40 USD/month

iii. Pros of using Ubersuggest

  • Users get all essential features for free with a daily limit. Signing up gives users access to more data.
  • It gives you all the relevant data you need to put together a successful SEO campaign.
  • It offers crucial data only none of the trivial, misleading stuff.
  • Data and user interface is easy to understand and makes it perfect for beginners.
  • Best price among SEO tools considering its features and functionality

iv. Cons of using Ubersuggest

  • It has fewer features since it a no-fluff SEO tool
  • It limits the number of results and daily search for the free account
  • The verdict: the best tool for startups
  • I hope this Ahrefs vs. SEMrush vs. Ubersuggest guide has helped you understand what each tool has to offer.

Each SEO tool offers relevant keywords with insightful metrics to study your competitors (and your website) and create effective SEO campaigns.

However, if we were to give a verdict on which tool is perfect for startups, Ubersuggest is it.

Ubersuggest is a “complete” keyword research tool because startups can get all the information they need from the platform to come up with a winning campaign.

It might not have as many functionalities as the other two keyword research tools, but its features are more than enough for startups to win the SEO race.

Considering how it’s a freemium platform makes it an even more ideal choice for startups.