12 Key Research Tools for Creating Website Content (That Doesn’t Suck)

by Lewis Ogden | Last Updated: April 9, 2024 | Content
research tools for content creation

Creating high-quality, engaging content is crucial for the success of any website. However, before you start writing, it’s important to conduct thorough research to ensure your content is accurate, informative, and relevant to your target audience.

Here are 12 essential tools you should consider using when performing content research for your website.

Keyword Research Tools

Keyword research is the foundation of any successful content strategy. By identifying the keywords and phrases your target audience is searching for, you can create content that addresses their needs and ranks well in search engine results pages (SERPs). Some popular keyword research tools include:

1. Google Keyword Planner

This free tool from Google Ads provides valuable insights into keyword search volume, competition, and related keywords. It also allows you to filter keywords by location, language, and search network, giving you a more targeted understanding of your audience’s search behavior.

2. Ahrefs Keyword Explorer

ahrefs keywords explorer

Ahrefs offers a comprehensive keyword research tool that helps you discover thousands of relevant keywords, analyze their difficulty, and estimate the potential traffic they can bring to your site. The tool provides a “Parent Topic” feature, which identifies the broader topics associated with your keywords, helping you create more comprehensive content.

3. SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool


With over 20 billion keywords in its database, SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool allows you to find the perfect keywords for your content, analyze their performance, and spy on your competitors’ keyword strategies.

Content Idea Generators

Sometimes, coming up with fresh and engaging content ideas can be a challenge. That’s where content idea generators come in handy. These tools use algorithms and data analysis to suggest topics and titles based on your keywords, industry, and target audience. Some popular content idea generators include:

4. HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator

Simply enter up to five nouns, and HubSpot’s tool will generate a week’s worth of blog post titles.

5. Portent’s Content Idea Generator

This quirky tool creates unique and attention-grabbing titles based on your subject matter. It offers explanations for each part of the title, helping you understand the thought process behind the suggestions and adapt them to your needs.

6. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo allows you to discover the most shared content across various social media platforms, giving you insights into what topics and formats resonate with your audience.

To further expand your content ideas, consider analyzing your competitors’ content, conducting surveys or interviews with your target audience, and staying up-to-date with industry news and trends. By combining these strategies with content idea generators, you’ll never run out of engaging topics to write about.

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Surfshark VPN

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a tool that encrypts your internet connection and masks your IP address, allowing you to browse the web anonymously and securely. While VPNs are primarily used for online privacy and security, they can also be incredibly useful for content research. Here’s how:

7. Bypass geo-restrictions

Some websites and online resources may be restricted based on geographic location. By connecting to a VPN server in a different country, you can access this content and gather valuable information for your research. This is particularly useful when researching topics that have a global scope or when targeting an international audience.

8. Conduct competitor analysis

VPNs allow you to view your competitors’ websites and content as if you were located in their target market, giving you insights into their strategies and helping you identify gaps and opportunities. This can be especially helpful when analyzing competitors who operate in different regions or countries.

9. Protect sensitive information

When researching content for your site, you may need to access confidential data or communicate with sources securely. A VPN encrypts your internet traffic, protecting your sensitive information from prying eyes. This added layer of security is crucial when dealing with sensitive topics or confidential sources.

There are lots of VPN services available, but you need to choose very precisely. Go for the Surfshark VPN app as it is affordable and has over 3000 servers worldwide with great security features.

Fact-checking and Citation Tools

Accuracy and credibility are essential for any content you publish on your site. Fact-checking and citation tools help ensure that your information is reliable and properly attributed to its sources. Some useful tools in this category include:

10. Grammarly


In addition to checking your grammar and spelling, Grammarly also offers a plagiarism detector that compares your content against billions of web pages to ensure originality. Grammarly is useful in getting suggestions for improving your writing style, making your content more engaging and readable.

11. Google Scholar

This search engine indexes scholarly literature across various disciplines, making it easy to find and cite academic sources for your content.

12. Zotero

Zotero Assistant

Zotero is a free, open-source citation management tool that helps you collect, organize, and cite your research sources. The tool integrates with your web browser, allowing you to save and annotate sources as you research, and automatically generates citations and bibliographies in your preferred style, it’s a true productivity tool.

In addition to these tools, it’s essential to develop a critical eye when evaluating sources. Look for reputable websites, peer-reviewed journals, and expert opinions to ensure the accuracy and credibility of your content. When in doubt, cross-reference your information with multiple sources to verify its validity.

Researching content for your website involves a combination of creativity, analysis, and due diligence. By taking advantage of these tools, you can streamline your research process and create content that informs, engages, and converts your target audience.