SEO 101: My Favorite Keyword Research Tools
How do you find the best keywords for my business? This is a question that clients always ask me.
They want to understand exactly how keywords work, and how they will make back their money from search engine optimization and pay per click campaigns.
One of the most fundamental steps when starting your search campaign is finding targeted keywords that prospects will use when buying a product online.
The tools below help you do this more effectively. While using tools is not a cure all for search engine marketers, it definitely optimizes your chances for success.
Keyword Research Tools for SEO
Remember, the tool is only as good as the person using it. The more you know and understand how to place keywords in search campaigns, the more qualified traffic you receive.
I have a more expansive SEO tools list, but here are seven of the best keyword research tools that I use to help research keywords for SEO and PPC.
Which keywords are the best for SEO? What are the best ways to perform PPC keyword research and choose the best keywords for AdWords or Bing Ads? How do you find the appropriate keywords for your target audience?
With the SEMrush Keyword Research feature, you can easily answer all of these questions.
This is a free keyword suggestion tool to provide you with up to 750 alternative keywords to use for your area of focus. You can use this to create similar articles to ones that are already ranking on Google, or find comparable buying keywords on your ad campaign.
You still need to make sure that these keywords rank well with your audience with some of the other tools that we discuss below. However, KeywordTool.io is a great site to start coming up with ideas.
Go through their list of keywords, and determine which keywords are the best fit for your campaign. Do your best to choose the top 10-20 keywords. Otherwise, you will be overwhelmed with choices of what to do.
Continually add more keywords as you improve your skills with keyword marketing.
WordStream has a complete set of tools to help you with your keyword research. Many of these are premium tools. They are most well-known for their Free Keyword Tool.
While the pro account comes with an entire suite of additional programs, the Free Keyword Tool is great when starting your search for great keywords. Enter in the keyword you want, and 30 different keywords appear with the relative frequency of usage for each keyword.
Additionally, the paid version comes with some nice tools like the AdWords performance grader and the 20 minute PPC work week to help business owners easily manage their AdWords campaigns. Normally, ad managers spend hours running these campaigns.
Unlike the other tools, we mentioned above, Market Samurai only has a premium keyword research tool. They do provide you with a 30 day free trial to test out Market Samurai for your business.
This is a great product if you plan on doing keyword research on a continual basis. You can save searches for future use, and you have the ability to do the following:
- Run keyword generation campaigns,
- Analyze SEO competition
- Track your website rank for specific keywords
- Search for keyword-rich domains.
- Publish content onto your WordPress blog
- Promote your site by finding quality backlinks
This application has it all when it comes to search engine marketing. The best part about the pricing for Market Samura is that the product only has a one-time fee, and has continual updates throughout the year.
Have you ever wanted to know what your competition is doing? Then you will want to check out Spyfu. This is the where you can learn what keywords your competitors are using to discover the “secret marketing formulas of your most successful competitor.”
Part of keyword research involves understanding exactly what your competitors are doing, so you can find a profitable niche. However, another part of keyword research involves modeling what successful companies do, so you can get similar results.
Spyfu makes this possible. They help you evaluate the successes and failures of other companies search engine and pay per click strategy.
A great tool to segment your keywords into a word cloud to help you visually understand how much traffic and competition you will face for each keyword.
The basic version (free) gives you up to 10 searches for keywords per day. When you search on Keyword Eye, the site gives you a word cloud with the 100 top results.
The cool thing about the cloud is that the size of the keyword reflects the number of searches queries, as well as marking how much pay per click competition there is by color. Red, yellow, and green show the high, medium, and low competition searches respectively.
The idea being that the redder the color, the more you should avoid the specific keyword. The competition might be too intense for small and medium size businesses to compete for that specific keyword.
Final note: While they show only PPC competition here, Keyword Eye is also a good indicator for how much search engine competition you will face.
Therefore, a large, green word almost has a bulls-eye that says write great content for that keyword.
Most keyword research is not complete unless you use the Keyword Planner tool from Google. Intended initially for AdWords campaigns, this also helps search marketers plan their campaigns accordingly.
A number of the other search tools that we discussed here today like Market Samurai and Wordstream get a lot of their data from this tool. The benefits of using the specific tools that work with Google’s Keyword Planner is that the information is organized more effectively to help search marketers succeed.
Additional Keyword Tool Resources
Additional articles writing about keyword research tools.
- Three Free Keyword Research Tools
- Keyword research tools: which ones to use?
- 12 Free Keyword Tools To Replace Google’s Keyword Tool
Investing in search can be a major commitment for many small and medium size businesses. Truly, the use of these campaigns can be the major difference in your success.
That is why the tools we discussed today are some of the best we found to help you obtain your goals. Whether you are blogging, optimizing your website for keywords, or running a pay per click campaign, these keywords can be a tremendous guide for your business.
Let me know in the comment section below, which keyword research tool is your favorite.