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A Guide to Keyword Research in Malaysia & The Best Tools

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Keyword research is the backbone of any successful SEO strategy. By investigating the search terms that your target audience uses, you can optimise your content and website, driving more organic traffic and achieving higher rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs).

On local SEO, keyword research for Malaysia-specific search terms should be a priority. Knowing what keywords to target will help you create content that resonates with local Malaysian audiences and provides a better user experience.

Luckily, several great tools are available to help you get started with keyword research for Malaysia. In this post, we’ll explore the significance of keyword research, delve into the best keyword research tools available in Malaysia, and provide valuable insights to enhance your SEO efforts.

What Is Keyword Research & Its Importance?

Keyword research involves identifying the words or phrases users type into search engines when looking for information, products, or services. It’s a crucial step in SEO as it enables you to:

keyword research understanding user intent

Understand User Intent

Keyword research helps decipher what your target audience is searching for, empowering you to tailor your content accordingly. User intent refers to the goal users have when searching and it plays an essential role in SEO. Understanding user intent helps inform your content marketing strategy, allowing you to create relevant content that provides a better experience for visitors.

keyword research to outrank competitors

Outrank Competitors

You can gain an advantage over competitors in search engine rankings by targeting specific keywords. For example, a localised SEO strategy will edge out your competitors by using keyword research to identify more local search terms.

The difference between local and no-localised search terms is significant. For example, the term “SEO” would return different results in Malaysia than in the United States. Using localised search terms, such as “SEO in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia” will help as Google directs users to more relevant and local content.

keyword research to increase organic traffic

Increase Organic Traffic

Optimising your content with relevant keywords enhances its visibility, increasing organic traffic. Deploying the right keywords in your content strategy will increase its chances of appearing on SERPs, helping you achieve more organic traffic.

keyword research to improve website conversion rate

Improve Website Conversion Rate

Once you understand user intent, you can optimise your website content more effectively for maximum conversion potential. Keyword research with Malaysian audiences in mind helps you to better understand the pain points affecting target customers in different locations. 

Such knowledge puts you in a powerful position to fill gaps. It can help you know when there’s more competition in your niche in some cities than other cities. It also helps you to know the problems people in varying locations are seeking to solve, and you can then respond with suitable offers.

For example, though businesses in Malaysia demand quality SEO services, businesses in Kuala Lumpur may use slightly different search terms and diction compared to businesses in Kuching or Penang.

So, using SEO tools to determine your Malaysian audience will help you leverage the user intent and to craft targeted content that resonates with users, leading to more sales.

Types of Keywords: Short-tail vs. Long-tail keywords

Keyword intent is determined by the type of keywords you target. Generally, there are two types of keywords: short-tail keywords and long-tail keywords.

Short-Tail Keywords

Short-tail keywords are keywords that include one or two words, such as “Malaysia SEO.” Such keywords are typically more generic and have higher search volumes, making them highly competitive. The keyword difficulty of short-tail keywords is usually higher as they are targeted by big businesses.

keyword research short tail keywords and example

Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are more specific, consisting of three or more words. The longer the words within the keyword phrase, the less competitive the keyword is. For example, “The Best Malaysia SEO services” is a long-tail keyword with less competition than its short-tail counterpart.

keyword research long tail keywords and example

Localised Keyword Research for Malaysia

SEO involves optimising your site and content for target audiences, especially if you’re targeting a specific country like Malaysia. Localised keyword research helps you gain an edge on SERPs by focusing more on keywords searched by the local population.

localised keyword research in malaysia

For example, instead of targeting generic terms like “Malaysia SEO,” you can narrow your keywords to focus on more specific areas or cities. Targeting search terms like “SEO services in Klang” or “SEO agency in Kuala Lumpur” are more specific and will help you rank better for those locations.


But it’s crucial to understand the Malaysian audience before diving into keyword research. Take note of the language preferences, cultural nuances, and specific search behaviours. Malaysians may use a mix of languages, including:

  • Bahasa Malaysia
  • English
  • Chinese

So, consider targeting keywords in these languages to be more specific to your audience.

Top SEO Keyword Tools for Keyword Research - From Free to Paid:

Keyword research relies on big search data, requiring powerful tools to uncover the right keywords for your SEO strategy. Here’s a rundown of the best keyword research tools for SEO available and their features:

1. Ubersuggest - (Free)

free keyword research tool ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is a popular free tool that allows you to generate hundreds of keyword ideas in seconds. It provides valuable insights like search volume, competitive analysis, and cost-per-click (CPC) data.

While it’s not entirely free with its freemium model only showing limited keyword data. You can obtain short and long-tail keywords with Ubersuggest, making it an ideal tool for exploring keywords, even in different languages.

2. Google Keyword Planner (Free)

free keyword research tool google keyword planner

Google is the most robust search engine, and its keyword planner is arguably the most reliable search data source. It’s free, but you’ll need an active Google Ads account and an actively running campaign to access its features. 

The Google Keyword Planner offers an ideal starting point for beginners. It provides keyword suggestions, search volume data, and how competitive certain keywords are when bidding. While primarily designed for Google Ads, it remains a valuable tool for SEO keyword research.

3. SEMrush (Paid)

paid keyword research tool semrush

SEMrush is arguably the most comprehensive SEO tool available on the market. Its powerful keyword research capabilities include an extensive database of keywords with detailed metrics and insights. It provides keyword search volume, CPC, competition analysis, and more.

It’s suitable for competitive keyword research as it provides detailed insights into your competitors’ SEO performance. However, it’s pricier than other tools available because of its wide variety of available functions. If you have the budget, making use of their features to overhaul your SEO performance would be worth the cost.

4. Ahrefs (Paid)

paid keyword research tool ahrefs

Ahrefs is a powerful tool popular among SEO professionals. Besides keyword research, it provides backlink analysis, content research and rank-tracking capabilities.

It’s an excellent tool for exploring long-tail keywords, thanks to its huge keyword database which allows you to uncover thousands of related search terms and their metrics.

The downside is that its cost for subscription is pricier compared to other tools available.

5. LongTailPro (Paid)

paid keyword research tool longtailpro

LongTailPro focuses on long-tail keywords and helps uncover less competitive, highly targeted phrases, ideal for niche businesses.

Its user interface is intuitive, and it offers a comprehensive keyword database with detailed metrics, making it easy to find the right keywords for SEO success. It’s also more affordable compared to many other tools.

Our Choice for Top SEO Keyword Research Tool & Best Holistic Keyword Tool

Best Free Keyword Research Tool Best Holistic Keyword Tool
Tool Name
Google Keyword Planner
Free to Use
Comprehensive Toolkit
Direct Integration with Ads
Extensive Keyword Database
Accurate Data from Google
In-Depth Competitor Research
Basic Keyword Suggestions
Advanced SEO Features
Lacks Advanced Features
Premium Pricing

Weighing Your Options and Choosing the Right Keyword Research Tool for SEO

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for keyword research. Different tools are suitable for varying types of SEO projects and budgets. Your choice of a keyword tool should depend on:

  • The scope of your project.
  • The type of keywords you’re targeting.
  • How much you can afford to spend.

Ultimately, no matter which keyword research tool you choose, it all comes down to what works best for your business. To get the most out of your SEO efforts, consider enlisting the help of a professional SEO agency like Flowspace. Our team is dedicated to helping you achieve optimal search engine visibility and maximum ROI with our holistic SEO services.

Contact us today for more information on our services.

Jason Tang

Jason Tang

UI/UX Expert and Writing Enthusiast

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