Blogging/ Full Time Foodies

KeySearch for Blogs – A Keyword Research Tool Review

31/08/2022 (Last Updated: 07/09/2022)

KeySearch is an essential keyword research tool for any blog. In this review, learn why we use it, how we use it with our food blog and what it includes. Perfect for blogs of all sizes!

KeySearch homepage screenshot with a pink and white stats background.

Why We Use and Love KeySearch

Keyword research has been an integral part of our business. Back in February 2020 our blog was at 70k monthly pageviews, generating only a few hundred dollars a month.

We worked on developing our keyword research system using KeySearch and transformed our blog from a hobby into a full time income – for both of us.

Fast forward to 2022, and our blog is now at 700,000 monthly pageviews, a huge 10x increase in just 2 years.

Graph showing blog traffic growth over 7 years.

After two years of using KeySearch, here’s our favourite takeaways:

  • It’s one of the most affordable and easy to use keyword research tools available.
    Compared to SemRush and AHREFS, KeySearch is a fraction of the monthly cost. Currently, a monthly starter plan with SemRush will set you back a whopping $119.95US per MONTH. With KeySearch? Their Starter Plan is $17US a month (or just $13.60 if you use our affiliate link and the discount code “KSDISC” for 20% off!).
  • Made for the “everyman”.
    Unlike most SEO tools designed for high level IT gurus and filled with technical lingo, KeySearch was made with the intent that anyone should be able to use it.

    This makes it especially good for bloggers – we’re already juggling so many hats, so it’s nice to use a tool that’s easy to dive into and start using straight away.
  • Simple dashboard with easy to understand “traffic light” system.
    A traffic light system means your list of keyword results will show up in colours like green, yellow and red so you can quickly visually identify which keywords will be easiest to rank for.
  • Can see top 10 ranked posts for each keyword and 12 month trend.
    Having a visual graph of your chosen keyword’s search trends for the past year allows you to make quick notes on the type of traffic you’ll receive. Is it consistent throughout the year? Or is there a big surge over a holiday season? Find out if it’s evergreen or seasonal in seconds.

    Below the search trend graph you’ll also get a list of the current top 10 ranked posts for that keyword. This is useful for taking your research one step deeper, and where you can see if first page results are blocked with loads of highly ranked competitors, or if there’s room for you to rank too.
  • Save historical search data.
    Not sure if it’s only us, but we definitely end up searching for a keyword we’ve forgotten we’ve looked at in the past. Luckily, KeySearch remembers for us! Any keyword searches you’ve made will show up again and you won’t be required to use up any of your credits to “re-check” them within 30 days. If you searched for that word more than 30 days ago, the traffic light’s colour will be dulled, so you can “re-check” the difficulty score for the most up to date results. This is especially helpful if you cover trending or seasonal topics which can change from year to year or month to month.
  • YouTube keyword research available for video.
    Not just for keywords on Google, KeySearch also has the function to research and analyse keywords specifically for YouTube.
  • Used and loved by food bloggers.
    KeySearch is used by many food bloggers, including us, for its affordability, simplicity and useful tools when it comes to using keyword research for business. It’s also recommended by Casey Markee, an SEO specialist in the food blog niche.
  • Great free SEO resources.
    For those just starting out learning about SEO, KeySearch provides a great free SEO crash course that takes you through simple things you should know when navigating the world of SEO in a simple and easy to read blog post series.

Related: Food Blog Resources / Eat Your Words – Easy Keyword Research / Unscramble Your Stats – Learn Google Analytics

What is KeySearch? 

KeySearch is an online keyword research tool which states “is ready to help you find relevant, low competition keywords for websites, blogs, or business”.

Founded back in 2015 by Dan Pfeffer, KeySearch has expanded to be a complete SEO toolkit for a blog of any level. KeySearch doesn’t just provide keyword research. You can also check your backlinks, do competitor research, use their content assistant, track keywords and more.

One big point of difference between KeySearch and other providers, is that they use Google API instead of clickstream data. Some argue this makes their data more reliable, but like any SEO tool, the data is never going to be 100% accurate. It will however, give you a good idea if a keyword is worth trying to rank for or not.

Screenshot of the KeySearch home page.

How We Use KeySearch

Keyword Research

This is where you’ll spend most of your time. Their keyword research system is pretty straightforward, start searching a single keyword or topic and go from there! You’ll be presented with keyword ideas, competition difficulty and monthly search volume / trends, as well as the current top 10 ranked posts for the selected keyword. You’ll find us using this most days for both new posts and when updating.

Screenshot of KeySearch's Keyword Research tool.

Most Useful Features:

  1. Filter – Filter your results to find keywords with a particular search volume or competition level you’re after. This easily reduces the results you have to scrounge through.
  2. SERP Analysis Overview – A quick glance at this panel will tell you if you truly have any chance of ranking for that particular keyword. If all you see is red, maybe try for something easier!
  3. Deep Analysis – This shows the LSI keywords for the keyword selected. It can be useful in finding particular sub-topics to talk about or help your readers within your post. For example, certain techniques, ingredients or appliances may require more in depth information.


We recommend anyone starting out in keyword research to start with this Explorer tool. Use it to establish your blog’s competition level. You want to know what you have a chance to rank for so you’re making the right decisions for your business and working smarter, not harder.

Screenshot of KeySearch's Explorer tool.

Most Useful Features:

  1. Score to Target – Get your number here to know what competition you are able to rank for. Note where it says “try to target competition of 42 or less”. Of course, this is always just a guide. You will sometimes be able to rank for harder competition levels depending on your niche, but it’s good to know where you stand.
  2. Top Competitors – You may find it useful to scroll down to the Top Competitors section to see what sites are classified as most similar to yours.
  3. Ranking Distribution – This is a great overview of your current keywords’ ranking spread. You want to see a fairly even spread (of course more in positions 1-3, but let’s be real!). If you’re seeing hardly any in positions 1-10, you know you have a lot of work ahead of you.

Competitive Analysis

Mainly use it for checking our own backlinks. It can be a great way to find where you’ve had your posts featured and which sites have the biggest domain strength that are linking back to you.

Screenshot of KeySearch's Competitive Analysis tool.

Most Useful Features:

  1. Finding Backlinks – Use it to find backlinks to your site.
  2. Organic Keywords – Use this tool to see the average traffic you’re pulling in from individual keywords and the related post URL.
  3. URL Metrics – See any domain’s current DA (domain authority) as well as their average backlinks, traffic to site etc.

YouTube Research

Very self explanatory – use this tool for your keyword research for YouTube videos specifically. It looks very similar to the Keyword Research tool, with a few differences. In the SERP analysis, you’ll notice keywords are ranked in difficulty not based on PA or DA (page and domain authority), but on the age of the video and the amount of views it currently has.

We’ve found most YouTube Keywords to be marked in red or as difficult to rank for, and it seems harder to find keyword gaps or longer tail keywords with enough search volume to make it worth your while. For us, YouTube is not a focus, so keywords for Google take priority. Eg: We may choose a keyword that is easy to rank in Google, but not on YouTube.

Screenshot of KeySearch's YouTube keyword research tool.

Most Useful Features:

  1. Filters and SERP – Similar to the Keyword Research Tool, we use the filters and check the SERP analysis.
  2. Trends – We like to check the trends of the video to see if there is more or less search volume than for the Google keyword.

Rank Tracking

Here is where you can manually track any keyword you’re trying to rank for. The starter plan allows for up to 80 keywords that can be tracked, which may not be enough for bigger sites. However, used for only tracking recent or updated posts is fine, especially when used in conjunction with Google Search Console. We usually delete once a post hits a top 3 position, and just keep an eye on it in GSC from then on.

Screenshot of KeySearch's Rank Tracker.

Most Useful Features:

  1. Sort By Rank – This is a great way to quickly sort how your keywords are going, and if you’re wanting to re-update a particular group that has say slipped below position 5, or delete a few that are now ranking top of the page.
  2. Change Location (Loc) – This can be very helpful to track your keywords in a specific location. For example, with recipes, we might like to only track the ranking in Australia and not the US.
  3. See Keyword Position History Graph – Each keyword will have a history graph from when you started tracking it. This is great to see the position’s change over time (you can set it to any date range you like). It’s especially good when trying to determine if a keyword has been affected by a recent drop in position or Google Update etc.

Content Assistant

This is a convenient little tool for quickly pasting a draft into before publishing. It can give you a quick overview if you’re on the right track with your content, and have thoroughly covered your chosen topic.

Screenshot of KeySearch's Content Assistant.

Most Useful Features:

  1. Must Words (LSI) – It’s great being able to quickly paste in your post draft and get a quick idea if you’ve covered your topic in detail or if there are any extra areas of information that you could add to help your readers.
  2. Word Count – This will show your word count for your post vs the average word count for the top 10 current posts for that keyword. While word count is not a ranking factor, it can be a good indication if you’ve thoroughly covered the topic for your reader.
  3. Questions Tab – This can be useful in finding more helpful ideas or pain points to talk about in your post that you may not have thought to cover.

Free KeySearch Features You Should Try

  • Try out KeySearch’s FREE Pinterest Research Tool – You can use it to find keywords for your Pinterest titles and descriptions, or as a way to find related post ideas to then check in KeySearch itself.
  • Free SEO Crash Course – Great free resource for those new to the world of SEO and wanting to know what it’s all about in easy, everyday terminology.
  • Free SEO Tools – A great range of free to use mini tools. With anything from an eBay keyword generator, niche ideas generator and even an Amazon keyword tool.


Is KeySearch Free?

KeySearch does have a free but limited 1 month trial available. You’re allowed 5 free searches per day, and access to all tools except the rank tracker and competitive analysis.

Is it worth the price?

Yes. KeySearch is a VERY affordable and powerful SEO toolkit to have. Their starter plan is just $17 a month, or $13.60 with the affiliate link and 20% discount code “KSDISC”.

Having used it for over two years now, we have grown our blog to support us both full time with the help of KeySearch. We couldn’t recommend it enough!

Is the discounted plan only for one month?

No, the discounted plan is for the life of your subscription! (Which is AWESOME).

Screenshot of KeySearch's pricing plans.

Want more Blogger Resources? Read these next:

KeySearch for Blogs - A Keyword Research Tool Review

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Japanese mochi, matcha green tea ice-cream. okonomiyaki, gyoza and chicken katsu dishes, with the words "Click here for Japanese recipes" overlayed.

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