If you read almost any book on internet marketing, you’ll be told to research your keywords.
OK, but where to start and which keyword tools should you believe?
If the book you’re reading is old (or at least old in internet marketing terms), you’ll likely see a reference to Overture. This used to be Yahoo’s keyword tool but it is no longer around.
So you can use a free tool like Google’s keyword tool. Or you can use a paid-for service like Wordtracker.
Each has their pros and cons.
Google’s tool is good and regularly improving. It has bar graphs for monthly search volumes, so you can check the seasonality of your keywords. Recently it has added search quantities. Which is great. If you’re on a limited budget, look no further than Google’s keyword tool.
The long standing company for keyword research is Wordtracker.
It’s the tool I turn to whenever I want to research keywords.
Why? Because it gives me a gigantic list (usually 300 words long) of words that it thinks are related to the search term I first thought of.
So, for instance, when I was looking for a title for this article I asked it to look up searches for the keyword “Wordtracker“.
Amongst the phrases that came up that I should investigate were “keyword research”, “keyword discovery” (probably Wordtracker‘s main paid-for competitor), “Wordtracker article” and loads more.
Each keyword can be drilled down to reveal an estimated daily search figure.
Then the powerful bit starts. You can add your keywords to a “basket” and analyze them further. Wordtracker has a competition search feature. You can analyze your chosen keywords on a variety of different search engines (I choose Google and at a guess so do most other people) and you get a list of how many competing pages there are and also Wordtracker’s own proprietary “at a glance” KEI figure. This is there best guess of how easy it would be to get your keyword optimized page well ranked for that particular phrase.
The KEI is a complex formula but boils down to the higher the KEI, the easier it is to rank. So you don’t need to care how it’s calculated.
Wordtracker offer a free trial which is well worth taking. Once you start using it, you’ll probably be hooked. It’s the only paid-for keyword tool I go back to use again and again.