5 Best Chinese Keyword Research Tools 

  1. SEMRush – Best comprehensive tool with custom reporting
  2. Ahrefs – Best clustering with Parent Keyword
  3. KWFinder by Mangools – Best affordable tool with global search volume and historical Data
  4. Google Keyword Planner – Best free tool
  5. Google Search Console – Best if you already have an established site

Keyword research is an important part for creating Chinese content, but it’s also one of the most difficult to master. There are a ton of special rules when it comes to keyword research in Chinese. It can be hard to know where to start, what tools to use and how exactly you should go about it? 

That’s why I’ve picked out five of the best tools for keyword research for Chinese that will help you get started on developing your own keyword strategies. 

This article is targeting users who need to research Chinese keywords for Google. If you’re researching keywords for Baidu, this is not for you.

How to choose the best Chinese keyword research tool for Google?

There are many factors to consider based on your need and affordability. All the keyword research tools have their own strengths and weaknesses, making it hard to compare. 

Here are the criteria when I am choosing the best keyword research tool:

  • Number of keywords: One of the foremost reasons for using keyword research tools is to find out what search terms are people looking for. In general, the more variation the better coverage you will have in the end.
  • Accuracy: You want to make sure that the data you’re getting from the tool is accurate and up-to-date. Keyword research tools with large databases and multiple sources give a more accurate representation of search volumes and trends.
  • Global search volume: As Google is not available in China, it is common that you’re targeting a global Chinese-speaking audience instead of a specific market or country. In this case, it would be more handy if you could easily gather global search volume.
  • Pricing: As a freelancer, pricing is also an important factor – some tools may offer more features than others but at a higher cost. If you need just a basic function, then you can go for a more affordable product with some compromises. However, if you need more in-depth data and analysis, then a higher-priced tool may be worth the investment.
  • User interface: You want a tool that’s easy to use and navigate so you can quickly find what you need.  A tool with a complicated and cluttered interface will take ages to learn, making it a frustrating experience.
  • SERP features: Understanding the search intent and the SERP allows us to plan the content and strategy accordingly. Do you need to optimise for Featured Snippets? Images? Videos? Some of the advanced keyword research tools offer this feature.
  • Additional features: Many keyword research tools also offer additional features such as competition analysis, backlink tracking, and rank tracking. Consider if these features are important to you and if they are included in the tool you’re considering.

Reviewing Chinese Keyword Research Tools

If you’re looking to expand your online presence for the Chinese-speaking market, here are some personal-picked keyword research tools tailored for Google:

  1. SEMRush – Best for comprehensive tool with custom reporting
  2. Ahrefs – Best clustering with Parent Keyword
  3. KWFinder by Mangools – – Best affordable tool with global search volume and historical Data
  4. Google Keyword Planner – Best free tool
  5. Google Search Console – Best if you already have an established site


SEMRush is a comprehensive digital marketing toolkit that offers a wide array of features, including keyword research, competitor analysis, and backlink tracking. Its user-friendly interface makes it easy to navigate, even for beginners. 

With its extensive database, you can find relevant keywords for your website or blog. When it comes to Chinese keyword research, SEMRUsh often provides the largest set of keywords and related terms.

You can also create customised reports to automate your reporting and analysis, which makes it easier for you to share insights with clients’ 

Pricing: Free plan available with only 10 reports per day;  paid plan from $129.5 per month

Most accurate grouping by keyword modifierQuestion keywords for Chinese are not accurate
Often has the largest number of keywords Hard to see global volume
Easy to understand search intent


Ahrefs is one of the best tools available that offers a wide array of features that can help with keyword research and competitor’s analysis. 

Ahrefs can help you identify Parent Topic to help you group similar keywords. By far, Ahrefs has the most accurate and useful clustering among other competitors when it comes to Chinese keyword research.

Pricing: from €83 per month

Easy to see local and global search volume in the same interfaceYou have to put all variation in Keyword Explore with and without space
Best Parent Topic clusteringNot much question keyword idea available (often none for Chinese)
Relevant matching and related TermsKeyword clustering not available in Hong Kong or Taiwan


KWFinder by Mangools provides keywords with monthly and historical search volume that are worth ranking for, which help you understand seasonality and the trend of a particular topic.. 

With KWFinder, you can also conduct your SERP analysis easier as the SERP preview is on the same interface side-by-side with each keyword.

My favourite feature of Keyword Finder is its ability to set the location to Anywhere. This is handy for companies that are aiming to target Chinese-speaking audiences without a specific location. 

Pricing: from $29.9 per month

Able to see global volume and set location to AnywhereLimited country and result for domain search
Easy for SERP analysisIrrelevant results sometimes
Pull out keywords on related topic automatically and can check Autocomplete Traditional and Simplified Chinese are included in the same list sometimes
Seeing past average volume and trend for Keywords

Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is a free tool provided by Google Ads that allows you to research keywords for your website or online marketing campaigns. It offers valuable insights into the search volume of specific keywords, how competitive they are, and suggestions for related keywords.

GKP provides a list of keyword suggestions based on your initial query, giving you the opportunity to discover new keywords relevant to your business or content.

Pricing: Free

Quickly gain keyword idea with seed keywordOnly able to see the range if you’re on free plan
Group keywords by brandGoogle segment Chinese characters differently compared to how people search naturally
Access to data from Google

Google Search Console

Most of the available keyword research tools on the market still haven’t resolved some hurdles for Chinese keyword research – it is often hard to find long-tailed or question keywords.

Although the Google Search Console is primarily designed to monitor website’s performance on Google’s search engine, it can provide useful insights on keywords that are currently driving traffic to your website. You can easily find what exact terms people are searching for, which can be used for expanding existing topics or optimising under-performing pages. 

Pricing: Free

First-hand data of exact keywords driving traffic currently to your sitesNot suitable for expanding to topics that you haven’t covered
Discover long-tail keywords and questionsYou need to have an established site to get useful data
Allows you to see the number of impressions and clicks for specific keywords

Chinese Keyword Search Volume Comparison

To understand the performance of different keyword research tools,  I‘m comparing the keyword research data from KWFinder, SEMRush and Ahrefs using the same keyword “澳洲 working holiday” (Australia working holiday).

I chose this keyword because it can often reveal how the tool handles the complexity of the Chinese language, such as code-mixing (more prominent in Hong Kong) and traditional and simplified Chinese.

Here is a quick summary of the keyword database for this topic:

Number of Keyword70115193
Number of Unique Keyword3069135
Total Search Volume3560928514860

Key Takeaways

🔰 SEMRush has the highest number of keyword, which allows you to cover more keyword variation and possibly more subtopic to cover

🔰 Ahrefs is the only tool that can handle code-mixing – showing both “澳洲 working holiday” and “澳洲工作假期” (also Australia working holiday, but written in Chinese only)

🔰KWFinder and SEMRush don’t differentiate keyword with or without space – only showing volume for 澳洲 working holiday; while Ahrefs has different search volume for “澳洲 working holiday” and “澳洲working holiday”


It may sound cliche, but when it comes to keyword research tools, don’t limit yourself and rely on just one tool. As each tool has its strengths and weaknesses, the best approach would be using multiple sources to compile more comprehensive data.

By combining the data from different sources, you can get a better understanding of your target audience and their search behavior. This will ultimately help you generate more relevant and valuable content for your audience, leading to increased traffic and conversions on your site.

Aubrey Yung

Aubrey Yung

Aubrey is an SEO Consultant with 5+ years of B2B and B2C marketing experience.