My original KWFinder review was one of the very first pieces of content I produced for this website.
This was because KWFinder (from mangools) was one of the first tools I purchased and used while HomeWorkingClub was getting off the ground.
Times have changed and things have moved on. This site is much more established, and I now have access to various other similar products; I’ve used and reviewed LongTailPro, which has its merits, and have subscribed to Ahrefs, a far more complicated (and far more expensive) product. But despite having lots of SEO tools at my disposal, KWFinder remains the one I keep returning to, and the one that’s part of my daily workflow.
Since I produced my first KWFinder review, the product itself has moved on too. KWFinder now forms part of a suite of SEO tools, which include modules to analyse links and search results, and one to handle search position tracking. The product set is marketed as “mangools,” but it’s fair to say that KWFinder remains the central part of the suite, and the also the more recognised brand!
In this updated KWFinder review, I look again at the core product and all of the extra parts of the mangools suite.
What is KWFinder?
KWFinder is a tool that helps you find search phrases to target for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) purposes.
Now, rather than do what most reviewers do and leave it at that, I’m actually going to try to explain what it means!
So let’s start off with some background:
Home working for many people involves setting up websites in an attempt to make some money. However, with over 1.1 Billion live websites on the Internet (stats geeks can see the exact current number here), it’s essential to identify niches using a keyword research tool. Without carving out a decent niche, making money online is extremely difficult.
Essentially, a key goal for all Internet entrepreneurs is to identify keywords with a considerable amount of search volume, where the competition’s not too intense. Otherwise, it’s possible to invest a huge amount of time and money on an online venture that has no real hope of gaining traction.
Finding these sweet spots takes time and research, and for many years the go-to tool was the Google Keyword Planner. This could be accessed by anyone with a Google AdWords account – regardless of if they were actually paying out to advertise on Google.
However, towards the end of 2016, Google started giving out very vague results to anyone not actively paying to advertise with them. As you’ll see from the screenshot above, Google’s tool now tells me that the monthly search volume for the phrase “keyword tool” is something between 10,000 and 100,000 searches.
This tells me nothing! It could mean 10,001 or 99,999! Hence the urgent need for a Keyword Planner alternative.
For considerably more detail on how keyword research works, and why it’s essential for anyone starting a blog or website, pop over to this article.
I will move on and discuss the other elements of the mangools suite shortly, but let’s begin my KWFinder review by talking about how the cental product compares to other SEO tools.
Some of the best-known SEO tools are packed with a mind-boggling number of features. Apps like SEMRush and Ahrefs are incredibly powerful, but they have two considerable drawbacks:
- They’re far too complicated for many people just starting out in blogging.
- They’re expensive (typically starting at around $100 per month).
When you first get started on personal web projects (like those many reading this site will undertake), priorities are somewhat different. While you may one day migrate to other more advanced tools, to begin with, you need an affordable solution that’s going to provide data in an understandable form. That’s where KWFinder excels (and you may want to check out my Long Tail Pro review as well).
Mangools KWFinder Review: Pricing
The pricing for the mangools suite, which includes KWFinder, is FAR less scary than the big-league SEO tools mentioned above.
You can even try all of the individual tools out for free, and without signing up, which is a truly refreshing thing to see. This functionality is limited to five keyword searches per day, however, which is nowhere near enough for a proper keyword research session. What it does do is whet your appetite with the slickness of the user interface, so the company is doing a good job of showing off the appeal of the product!
As shown above, the pricing for the mangools suite, including KWFinder, starts out at just $29.50 per month for the “Basic” tier. However, it’s important to note that that’s the price if you pay annually all in one go. The monthly price for “Basic” shoots up to $49 to pay on a monthly rolling basis.
It’s the same for all levels of the service – the saving for paying annually is a considerable 40%. This is great if you’re in a position to pay for a year at a time. If you’re not, it seems like quite a substantial penalty. This pricing model also seems a little harsh on anyone who may only want to subscribe for a couple of months. However, anyone remotely serious about a web-based business needs a reliable keyword tool in their lives all the time.
The next thing to think about is what’s different about the three service tiers, named “Basic,” “Premium” and “Agency.”
The good news is that you still get everything, regardless of the tier you pay for. The difference is the number of searches, search suggestions and tracked keywords you get with the tools.
Personally, I find the number of searches and tracked keywords perfectly adequate with the cheapest “Basic” package, and it’s the one I subscribe to. However, something I don’t like (which you’ll find mentioned in many a KWFinder review) is the lower number of Keyword suggestions with the “Basic” package (200 rather than 700).
This means that it’s harder to find the “low hanging fruit” when it comes to finding keywords with low competition and a significant search volume. You can still find that inspiration by clicking from keyword to keyword and frequently re-sorting the results, but it does feel like the lowest-tier package is deliberately limited in this regard.
While the next package up is only $10 per month more, this little detail is the only thing that really bugs me about KWFinder.
The best thing about using KWFinder is that you don’t need to be an SEO expert to understand what’s going on.
The main “Suggestions” area allows you to type in a keyword you are interested in and immediately see the following:
(Features all notated on the screenshot below).
- The exact monthly search volume for that term (either globally or in your selected area). (1)
- The search trend throughout the year. (2)
- A list of suggested terms related to your search. (3)
- Keyword difficulty scores, to show you how easy it would be to rank for an article based around your keyword. (4)
- The average Cost Per Click (CPC) for paid advertising around your keyword. (5)
- The current top ten rankings in a Google search (the SERPS) – so you can see exactly who your competition is. (6)
- How much traffic you can reasonably expect to receive if you achieve a specific ranking in the search results. (7).
There’s plenty of other visible data too, such as Domain Authority figures (based on data from MOZ) and the number of incoming links going to each article you’re competing with. However, the bits listed above are plenty to allow you to quickly research new ideas, weigh up your chance of success, and come up with some keyword inspiration.
Other KWFinder Features
The features shown above are those I use most often within KWFinder, but there are plenty more.
The AutoComplete and Questions tabs work identically to the Suggestions function, but instead offer up either autocompleted searches based on your keyword, or questions people type into Google. These options are really handy for identifying new content opportunities, especially (as is always the case) if you happen across something with a good search volume and little competition.
There’s also a handy History feature showing all of your previous searches – handy if, like me, you have late night inspiration and forget all about it come the following morning! You can also create keyword lists, and export searches for further number crunching.
mangools’ SERPChecker tool is the next part of the suite, and a great complement to KWFinder. In essence, it’s an expanded view of the search results in the bottom right corner of the main KWFinder window, but with loads more data and functionality. SERPChecker allows you to drill more deeply into the current search results for your keywords to help you truly analyse what you need to do to beat the competition.
SERPChecker is the perfect tool when I’m really determined to get a top ranking for a specific keyword – especially when I know I’ve already started climbing up Google’s first page!
As is the case throughout all the mangools products, there are useful tooltip question mark icons everywhere, so you can instantly find out what anything means you if you don’t understand it from a quick cursor hover. There’s also plenty more information in the online documentation and instant access to online chat.
The integration between the mangools tools is really strong too, something I noticed when I decided to revisit this KWFinder review. An example is how SERPchecker leads into results from LinkMiner, which we look at next.
mangools LinkMiner Review
While nobody knows exactly how Google’s algorithm comes up with the order of the search results, it’s widely believed that the number of sites linking to yours is a huge factor.
That’s what the LinkMiner component of the mangools suite is all about, and it does it really well.
It’s interesting merely as a way to see who’s linking to your own site or your individual articles. However, what it’s really for is having a good nose at who’s linking to your competitors! You may find that you can recreate (or even steal) one of those links if you’ve produced a similar (or ideally better) piece of content.
With tools that look at links, the most important thing is how thorough and accurate they are. No tool is going to manage to pick up every link out there. However, when I looked at some of my own content, I was pleased to see most of the links I expected to – including some that I know had only been added recently. I think KWFinder uses the Moz database for these. I have to say that one of my frustrations with Ahrefs – a far more expensive product – is that it often doesn’t pick up new links for a while. So this is another big tick for KWFinder.
The final component of the mangools suite is SEPRWatcher, a tool to help you keep track of your search rankings on the keywords that really matter to you.
All of the well-known SEO tools have this kind of thing, and SERPWatcher – like KWFinder and the rest of the suite – does it cleanly and simply, with a well-designed user interface where it’s easy to know what’s going on.
Now, I’m going to stick my neck out here and say that, for my sins, I’m not that great at using one of these tools to monitor my rankings. I’m really bad at keeping my list up to date, and I tend to manually look at where I’m ranking for the most important terms, which I store in my head! I also watch my traffic so closely that I quickly get an idea of when a ranking has shifted.
But – when I took a good look at SERPWatcher for the purposes of this review, I started to learn the error of my ways. I have a habit of focussing on rankings that are improving. However, I noticed while I was investigating that I’d put in a list of keywords ages ago and that a couple of my pages have slipped down the rankings. I could probably get quite a significant traffic boost by doing a little work on those pages.
So, with that in mind, SERPWatcher is a valuable addition to this set of tools if you have the tenacity to keep your list of target keywords up to date. I’ll certainly be doing so from now on! The ability to track 200 keywords at once (on the “Basic” package) isn’t enormous, but it’s a big enough number of keywords for a small to medium website.
(Please note I’ve only shared a small screenshot here, as I’m not going to show my competitors all the keywords I’m targeting!)
Mangools KWFinder Review Conclusion
As someone who’s had occasion to use all sorts of keyword finders and SEO tools, I’ve truly come to appreciate when less is more.
I originally found KWFinder because of searching for a simple Google Keyword Planner alternative. It’s grown into much more than that, but the key thing for me is that it’s not lost the polish nor the simplicity.
The key thing for me is that just a few minutes with the main KWFinder tool can give me an accurate steer on whether an online business idea or a new blog warrants further research or whether it should be quickly dismissed.
HomeWorkingClub is also a considerably larger site now than it was when I did the first KWFinder review. Now, things like SERPChecker and LinkMiner are way more useful to me and, to be frank, updating this review has given me a nudge and reminded me that I could be doing far more with something I’m already paying for!
KWFinder isn’t necessarily going to please an expert SEO consultant with an in-depth knowledge of something like Ahrefs. However, I’ve recommended it to a couple of such people as a supplementary tool. For people just starting out in the world of blogs and websites, it has the best learning curve and is great for writers to use to help with keyword selection.
I use KWFinder almost daily – before I write most articles, and always before I take any time-consuming action on an online business idea. I strongly recommend that you do too.
- Great interface design – smooth and slick.
- Easy to understand.
- Well priced.
- Free to try out.
- Supplementary tools are genuinely useful.
- Limited keyword suggestions on cheapest package.
- Significant price increase for those who wish to pay monthly.
I'm a big fan of KWFinder having used it since the launch of HomeWorkingClub. Upon revisiting it for this review, I discovered plenty of new features that make it even better.
- Ease of use9