A quick guide to Moz’s free Keyword Explorer

A quick guide to Moz’s free Keyword Explorer header image

A couple weeks ago, we introduced our readers to a series of free SEO tools that can help you get your website back on the map when it comes to organic search. One of the tools we covered was Moz’s Keyword Explorer, which offers business and website owners valuable insight into which keywords their site ranks for and how well it’s doing against the competition. Learn how to make the most of the free version of Moz’s Keyword Explorer in this post.

Search by optionsUsing your “Search by” options

The Keyword Explorer offers users a number of ways to see how well your site ranks for certain keywords. You can search by any of the following categories to glean insight from your website:


If you think that your website ranks well for a certain keyword and want to verify that it actually does, you can search for it specifically in the search bar. The results will tell you the monthly volume that particular keyword search brings in traffic-wise and suggests similar words to integrate into your website for even more of an organic search boost.

Keyword overview

Root domain

Want to get an overview of all of the keywords that organically bring people to your site? Search by root domain, or simply type your main URL into the search bar.

Here, you can also compare your website with your competitors to determine which keywords they outrank you for and where you may have an opportunity to outrank them. Even if you don’t have any direct business competitors, you can still use this tool to compare your website with those similar to yours to draw inspiration for which keywords you should start integrating into your content.

Root domain comparison


Want to know how a particular section of your website is getting accessed, such as your charity or online store pages? Narrow your search to a particular subdomain to see which keywords are bringing visitors to those pages in particular. This is helpful for optimizing the words and phrases you integrate into that particular section of your site as you may not be appealing to the exact same audience using the same keywords that you would for your website as a whole.

Exact page

Perhaps you just wrote a really powerful blog post that is suddenly getting an influx of organic search views. By searching for the exact URL for that post, you can find out which keywords people are searching for that lead them to your article, and how far down the search results individuals need to go to come across your website. Some careful tweaking can help you inch your way higher up returning search results, or it can simply show you where there may be more opportunity for similar content.

Be aware of search limits

Keep in mind that Moz limits free accounts to 10 queries per month, so be thoughtful of every search you enter. Also, take advantage of the ability to export the information you pull as a CSV file whenever possible, so you can keep prior searches in an easy to access file instead of wasting your searches by pulling the same information time and time again.

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