E-Marketing in Minneapolis David Vinge, eMarketing Dashboard: Free Search Keyword Suggestion Tools

Friday, June 5, 2009

Free Search Keyword Suggestion Tools

Keyword research is one of the most basic steps in the search engine optimization and paid search engine marketing processes. Without keyword research SEO efforts may fail or SEM opportunities will be missed. Ideally keyword research should be conducted prior to building a site or new page. It is essential for determining the URLs, page titles, link titles, headlines and copy on your Web pages.

While this article does not explain the best practices for using keywords in e-marketing, it does assume that you recognize the need for keyword research and are looking for free assistance in this pursuit.

Wordtracker Tool (Free Version)
Wordtracker periodically compiles a database of over 330 million search terms which is updated on a weekly basis. All search terms are collected from the major metacrawlers - Dogpile and Metacrawler.

To use their free keyword research tool submit a keyword and the results are displayed using actual search engine data complied for the past 160 days. You can then click on each keyword in the results to get additional suggestions.

You may find many terms that you wouldn’t have thought of yourself or maybe not. All of the results will contain the keyword phrase that you placed in the search box. With the paid version of Word Tracker you will also see keyword suggestions related to your search term as well as misspelling.

Google Adwords Keyword Tool
With the Google Adwords keyword research tool you can decide how you want to generate keyword ideas; either enter a few descriptive words or phrases, or type in your Web site's URL and the results will be based on Web site content. You can choose to include synonyms or not. While an AdWords account is not necessary to use the tool there are additional features if you do log in.

In my opinion the results are much more comprehensive than WordTracker (either free or paid). Google results include search volume of the past month for your specified country as well as global. These results come from Google and the Google Search Network. It also includes Adwords advertiser competition which shows the relative number of advertisers bidding on each keyword relative to all keywords across Google.

Google Search-based Keyword Tool
Still in beta, the Search-based Keyword Tool can be used to generated keyword ideas for your Web site or specific Web page (or for a competitors for that matter). It can be used to generate suggestions by category or simply for the specific keyword(s) that you place in the search box. It can be tailored to the language or country/territory that you specify.

When it looks at your Web site it will suggest keywords and the landing page that best relates to each keyword, if any. It will also produce a broad list of keyword ideas that are also relevant, but aren't necessarily based on your site. These are opportunities for further SEO.

Whether searching by Web site or for a set of keywords, the Search-based Keyword Tool provides detailed data for each keyword including monthly search volume (based on the prior one to two months of data), category information, suggested bid that may place an Adwords ad in the top three spots of a search results page, and ad/search share in Adwords. While the last two data points are intended for AdWords advertisers, knowing how much advertisers value a particular keyword can be valuable intelligence, especially for AdSense content publishers. If your are looking for keywords that are trending up in the search engines click on any keywords and see the trends in Google's Insights for Search.

Google continues to update and revise their tools based on user feedback. In my opinion, these improvements will further marginalize the paid services just as Google Analytics has for Web site traffic metrics reporting and analysis.

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