Google Ad Planner alternatives: my favourite keyword tools

by on 8th September 2015

Performing a full keyword research audit for a large site can be a challenge. Often you’ll end up with tens of thousands of keywords from different sources, many of which have their own methods of estimating demand.

Historically, this meant reprocessing an entire list of keywords through Google Keyword Planner, although as we now now Google have been obfuscating the data and removing access to the granular, keyword level numbers we’ve been used to getting for free for such a long time.

Will wrote about API based alternatives in a post a few weeks ago. If you have a developer or rudimentary technical skills of your own, in my view it’s a smarter idea to use a keyword data API. If you’re not super technical, briefing your agency to build something that updates regularly isn’t a bad idea.

That said, there’s nothing wrong with grabbing a lot of raw information from your favourite tool via CSV, and filtering and categorising in Excel just like in the good old days. Here’s what that data should come from today:

Moz Keyword Explorer

I think Moz have done a fantastic job of developing this tool. It’s the data, in particular which is impressive. Moz use clickstream data in combination with their own algorithims to improve the accuracy of the information the tool provides. They pitch it as sometimes within 95% accurate to impressions data they’ve collected from Adwords activity. That’s good.


This post by Russ explains how they maintain a keyword corpus with search volume data derived from clickstream information.

SEOgadget for Excel with Grepwords

Grepwords is an API based service that still has (international and US) search volume data from Ad Planner.

Our old friend SEOgadget for Excel supports Grepwords out of the box. Here’s the how-to guide:

You can also check out this instructional post on using Grepwords, including a list of all of the location parameters you can use.

I’ve been a user of for a few years. I like the breadth of the data they supply (Google, Bing, Amazon, YouTube) and it’s still my “drive by” keyword research tool of choice. it’s quick, inexpensive and covers every use case I’ve encountered recently.


SerpWoo’s Keyword Research Tool

I think SERPwoo is a “must try” SEO platform. Their Keyword Finder is robust, has a very complete data set and comes with powerful filtering and export features in their UI.


Take a look at their tour:

Or try the live demo.

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