Moz Keyword Explorer Review: What I Love, Plus 5 Things I Think Would be Cool For Future Releases

Moz Keyword Explorer Review

Moz Keyword Explorer

This is a short post with a list of my top ‘would love’ features for Moz’s new Keyword Explorer.

Some Background

If you’re reading this post, there’s a good chance you already know about the new Keyword Explorer from Moz, perhaps you’ve even tried it. For those that haven’t yet discovered this awesome new tool, here’s a little background.

Earlier this Month (3rd May), Moz, well known for their suite of digital marketing tools & large community of digital marketers launched a new tool, as announced by @randfish

Moz’s new Keyword Explorer helps SEOs research keywords, discover keyword ideas and compare many metrics, allowing them to make a more informed decision on keyword targeting.

Mixing ‘Standard’ Keyword Research Metrics With Extra Awesomeness

Keyword research tools are nothing new. In fact if you’ve been in the SEO industry for any length of time you’ve likely heard of, and played around with, many different tools. SEM Rush (which is also useful for broader research), Google’s Keyword Explorer, and desktop software like Market Samurai, are just a few such examples.

The data you get from such tools varies, ranging from minimal to very detailed (in the case of Market Samurai), but is usually along the lines of these core metrics:

  • Average monthly search
  • Competition (often PPC competition)
  • CPC

Moz’s new tool, however, introduces three more metrics that are, to be quite honest, bloody brilliant! (oops, my Britishness is showing!)

  • Opportunity

This one I absolutely love.  There may be other tools out there with this feature, but I’ve not come across them. In short, this figures in this column represent the opportunity that exists if you rank for the keyphrase in question, taking into consideration what we’ll call ‘SERP noise’. Google’s a very different beast to what it used to be, not just in terms of algorithm triggers & weighting, but also with regards to how a search result actually looks. With Ads, Image Results, News Results & other search verticals, it’s possible that even a high-ranking organic SERP position might not result in many clicks. That’s where Opportunity comes in. It estimates the CTR Opportunity for any given search term, depending on the ‘SERP Noise’ for that keyterm.

  • Importance

This a a handy little metric too. It’s a user input, allowing you to state how important the keyterm is to you. Ranging from 1 (least important) to 10 (most important) and defaulting at 3 (neutral), it makes it easy to quickly tag KWs with the level of importance you feel the phrase has for your campaign. Once tagged with an ‘Importance’ score, you can of course use this to filter on the results.

What I like about this is it allows you to quickly add a bit of human evaluation to keywords. This is very, very important as there’s little point ranking for a keyword, even one with high search volumes, if it’s not relevant to your page or the need your page solves for your target audience (not only would this likely result in a poor CTR or poor dwell time, but you’d also likely be failing to optimise the page for the terms you should be going after – the ones that’d convert).

  • Potential

The potential metric is ‘awesome by association’. Basically it combines several of Moz’s Keyword Explorer and tries to boil them down into a single score, to help evaluate which keywords are likely the best option.

What I really like about the ‘Potential’ metric is that if includes the ‘human input’ metric, Opportunity, in it’s calculations. This means your own opinions on the relevancy of a keyterm and joined-up with various automated metrics, to give a single metric that encompasses both human opinion and automated scoring systems.This makes sorting the wheat from the chaff so much easier, but what dark magic is this?!

Warning: There are rumours that Moz’s Keyword Explorer may result in VLOOKUP becoming an endangered species!

Mike’s Wish List For Keyword Explorer

Okay, enough with the introduction & blatant praise (can you tell I like the new toy?), on with my wish list. Before you read this list though, it’s worth considering that the tool is very new and, much like all of their tools, Moz will be working on improvements to this early release. In fact, from what I understand, they already are.

1) Filter on Negatives

Filtering for keywords on various metrics is made very easy in Keyword Explorer. The UI is nice, the UX is pretty damn intuitive. However I think it’d be really useful to be able to filter based on negatives in some places.

What do I mean? Well…


Looking at the image to the left, taking sorting on Opportunity as an example, I believe it’d be really useful to be able to sort not only on keywords that have an opportunity score of ‘x’ & higher, but also on ‘x’ and lower.


Often you may start with a seed keyword (or a few seed keywords), expand a list to a considerably higher amount, then chip-away, clearing out the poor options to leave the best to be filtered on more carefully.

To help with this, being able to sort on keyword opportunity of, say, 40 and lower, cast your eye over them to double-check and then ‘select all’ and delete, would be awesome. Of course you can filter on the opportunity column, but that doesn’t allow you to ‘select all’ without selecting the good options too.

2) Reverse Difficulty Filter

Note: Whilst at the Business of Software event in Dublin recently, I had the honour of chatting to Rand Fishkin briefly at the event (he really is as friendly as he comes to be across in his Whiteboard Fridays!). During this chat Rand did mention that this one is already being looked at. I’m only still mentioning it here as it’s something I think will be much more useful when sorted. Of course,  the ‘wish’ above would actually solve this one too.Moz-Keyword-Explorer-Difficulty

Check the image on the right for an example of what I’m talking about.

Currently on the Keyword Explorer, you are able to filter Keyword Difficulty to show ‘x’ and higher. Whilst this is useful to some extent, it’d be much more useful to be able to soft on keywords of ‘x’ difficulty and lower.

As mentioned above however, this is already being worked on, so will likely be changed soon. It’s not really a big deal anyway as you can obviously filter on the other metrics and then sort on the difficulty column if needed.

3) Add keywords to Moz campaign

Moz-Keyword-Explorer-Add-Keywords-To-CampaignAs a Moz pro account user, I’d love to be able to send a keyword (or a selection of keywords) to a Moz campaign.

Of course the Moz Keyword Explorer is a standalone product, so it may be that there’s no plans to build-in much integration between the Keyword Explorer and Moz Pro’s campaigns. It must be tricky when launching multiple products, to decide how far down the integration route to go.

If this never happens though, it’s really not a big deal as you can easily export the keywords to Excel and import into a Moz Pro campaign. Come to think of it, maybe I’m being too lazy even suggesting this!

Something that did really make me happy is that despite Moz’s Keyword Explorer being available as a standalone tool, Moz Pro users get access to it included with their subscription plan… Thank you Moz team! 😀 

4) Ability to Create List From The Keyword Suggestions Page

One thing I really would like, is the ability to create a new list when using the Keyword Suggestions page.


Why would I like this feature so much? Well, on a couple of occasions I’ve been using the Keyword Suggestion part of Keyword Explorer (the picture on the right in the image above) to come up with ideas for campaigns and have run into one of the 2 following situations:

  1. I see keywords that would work well for another campaign, that I don’t yet have a list for.
  2. I see keywords that actually cause a spark of inspiration for another campaign

In both of those instances, as far as I’m aware, there’s currently no way for me to check the keywords and add them to a new list. This means I’d have to either export the KW suggestions, or add them to another list temporarily – else I’d lose them when I navigate away from the suggestions to create the new list.

I love it that when you’re in an actual list (the picture on the left in the image above) as opposed to on the Keyword Suggestion page, you can create a new list there & then. I think it’d be truly awesome to have that option on the KW suggestion page (see the label ‘Awesome’ in the image above – See? I was right, it would be awesome!).

5) Most Important Wish

This one is easy. The thing I think most important of my wishes for the tool is that Moz continue to maintain it!. As they have a very good track record of keeping their tools up to date, I’m sure this one is a given.


For me, it’s a brilliant tool that saves me (no joking) hours upon hours, upon HOURS of keyword research, removing the need for excessive copy/paste, and pretty much negates the need for VLOOKUPs when carrying out initial KW research. This tool has already replaced several other options I’ve used in the past. I can’t wait to see what else is in store for this and other tools in Moz’s suite, as well as learning how other people use the tool.

If you haven’t already tried Moz’s awesome Keyword Explorer, click here to give it a whirl!

Recommended Reading

As well as the landing page linked to above, there are several great posts out there if you’d like to learn more about this tool:

4 responses to “Moz Keyword Explorer Review: What I Love, Plus 5 Things I Think Would be Cool For Future Releases”

  1. Avatar for Mike Gracia Dev says:

    I am big fan of Moz and I love the way you analyzed everything about keyword explorer in this blog post. Thank you.

  2. Was nice, but I still prefer the Sem Rush

    • Avatar for Mike Gracia Mike Gracia says:

      Interesting! What do you like about SEMRush in particular? I know it’s great for analysing traffic & PPC stuff in addition to their keyword research. What do you like about it?

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