Moz just launched a brand new tool for keyword research. Keyword Explorer offers in-depth data on individual keywords, making it easier to understand your current and potential keyword list. Earlier today, Rand Fishkin, the founder of Moz, touted the new tool as one of the most important Moz has created:

Keyword are irrefutably imperative in an effective content marketing strategy, despite their waning SEO importance. Finding the best possible keywords both for your brand strategy as a whole, and for individual blog posts, is much easier when virtually everything you need to know can be found on one platform.

When you enter a query, Keyword Explorer quickly returns with seven different metrics:

  • Volume
  • Difficulty
  • Opportunity
  • Potential
  • Keyword Suggestions
  • SERP Analysis
  • Mentions

Each one reveals key information that will allow you to build, refine and enhance your keyword structure. With these insights, you can build lists of keywords and gain deeper understanding of which are most effective and how to best utilize each one.

Perhaps the best part about the new tool is that it’s actually fun to explore, even if you’re not very data-savvy. The platform is very straightforward and accessible, with helpful pop-ups to provide context for what each metric has to offer. Its clean, concise layout takes no time at all to figure out, with a pleasing minimalist design that lets you focus on the data.

Volume, Difficulty, Opportunity and Potential: A bird’s-eye view of performance

The first results you see are all intrinsically connected, and they remain at the top of the page whether you’re looking at the Overview, Keyword Suggestions or SERP Analysis, which is great for quick references and comparisons.


Moz indicated that the monthly search volume is 95 percent accurate, and the platform provides a range rather than a set number to account for fluctuations in data. The idea here is to give you a solid idea of where your keyword will fall on any given day, regardless of whether trends are influencing search volumes. The platform has a growing database of more than half a billion vetted keywords, and aggregates the results from various sources, including Google Keyword Planner, giving you a broader overview of performance than any one keyword tool can.

The results also explore the Difficulty – on a 0-100 scale – of climbing the ranks for a certain term. Both page and domain authority of the top results help determine this score. The Opportunity score indicates how much competition organic traffic has to get clicks compared to competing SERP results, like ads, knowledge cards and images. When it comes to Potential, Keyword Explorer takes the first three metrics and weighs them against one another to give you an overview of how lucrative the keyword will be for your strategy.

Keyword Suggestions: Discovery and targeting opportunities

This is a fantastic feature if you’re looking to build out your keyword strategy. There are 1,000 suggested keywords in every report, which include the same 95 percent volume accuracy, as well as their relevancy to the original term. Moz allows you to cherry-pick the words you like and add them to a list, which you can revisit later. You can also export everything to an Excel sheet, which is great for sharing your results with your team and diving deeper into the data.

With suggested keywords, you can see what people are searching for in relation to the core keyword. There is untapped potential here to discover an unexplored segment within your industry and develop a more targeted keyword strategy. The fact that it’s all in one place, with easy-to-explore data makes it even more enticing.

SERP Analysis: The ‘why’ behind top search results

The full SERP Analysis report details what types of results currently rank on Page One. Moz will segment each type and show you where it appears in the results. This includes everything from organic search results to AdWords, images, Knowledge Cards, reviews, shopping, tweets, videos and news.

While you could easily google my keyword and see these things for yourself, Moz offers deeper insights into the results than you’d easily be able to locate. You can look for trends in page and domain authority, the number of Facebook shares, and the number of inbound and outbound links for each organic search result.

With these analytics, especially when collecting information for a variety of keywords, you have the potential to develop a clearer picture of the type of content your posts will be up against and the potential routes you may need to take to rank competitively.

Mentions: See everywhere else keywords appear

Here, you can explore the top results in which your keyword was not primary to the post, but still included. Understanding what Google finds to be relevant, related content can help you gauge not only your keyword, but the potential audience for it. If a certain topic is appearing often along with your keyword, it may be worth researching the relationship and how it could apply to your strategy. Keyword Explorer gives you access to the top three pages, but if you have Moz’s Fresh Web Explorer, you can dive even deeper into the results.

Using Keyword Explorer: Is it free?

Moz is offering both free and paid options for the new tool, an option common among SEO tools. All users can research up to two keywords per day at no cost. Following the launch, Fishkin announced that members of the Moz community, which is free to join, will be able to make up to five queries daily.

If you find the free version as helpful as I did, but want to dig deeper, the paid version offers much more capability in terms of the amount of queries, reports and keyword lists. You also gain the ability to create and save custom keyword lists and include your own metric: Importance. This allows you to add more (or less) weight to your keywords, which will directly impact their total potential score.

Though Keyword Explorer has only been live for a few hours, marketers, yours truly included, are finding opportunities to make positive changes to their digital content strategies. 

Andy Drinkwater, a freelance SEO consultant from the U.K., has been helping his clients improve their SEO strategies since 1999. He reached out to share his experience with the new Moz platform:

“It was a whole 10 minutes after Rand announced the new Keyword Tool from Moz had launched that I headed in to take a look. Already a Pro subscriber, I entered in a keyword for a new client that I took on only last week, and after looking at the keyword suggestions, PING! there it was – a phrase that is very relevant and has a high search volume that I hadn’t found previously.
As any SEO knows, ease of use for a tool will also mean you use it more, and it doesn’t get much easier or intuitive.
Add keyword lists, filter on volume or choose from an array of options that will narrow down what you have been shown. Unless I have missed this on another tool (and I don’t think I have), this isn’t available elsewhere.”

Samantha Gordon is the Managing Editor of With a diverse background writing and editing everything from blogs and whitepapers to romance and sci-fi, Samantha strives for greatness in grammar and quality.