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Royston posted this in SEO Tools on August 12th, 2009

Three Essential Keyword Research Tools

Keyword Research Tools

A keyword is a word or phrase that a web user types into the web browser in order to search for a topic that she is interested in finding information about. The web search engines take this word or phrase and searches its indexed catalogue and returns to the web browser those items (websites) that contain relevant content to the user. There are sophisticated algorithms behind the search that eliminate junk but that’s basically it – a search engine carries out a rapid search through an indexed database. The trick as website owners is to get our websites into the presented lists as high up as possible for the web user to browse. There is a lot of evidence in general search usage that most users will only skim through at most one to two pages (20 presented items) to find the information they need – they satisfice and use the first presented data that will do. The same argument applies to paid click adverts as users will only browse one or two pages at most they will only see the top ten ads on the right of the screen on the first page. As the ads a placed based on the original keywords selected by the user there is stiff competition to get your ad onto the first presented page (an average rank of at less than ten).

So one needs to choose those keywords that are frequently searched and are in high demand – but not so high as being already used by countless other websites and competitors as these will be very expensive to bid for and can use up you budget at a rate of knots! This is actually a difficult task and will take some effort but fortunately there are a number of keyword research tools that can help you find them.

Apart from the Wordtracker which is a tool I use we have some more important research tools like the Overture, Google AdWords and SEO Book which I briefly review below.

Link to Word-Tracker: http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/

Overture’s http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/ keyword suggestion tool is free and much quicker to use than Word tracker – it seems you need an account to use this one now.

Although you have to get an account first – which as usual with the Yahoo small business website is a nightmare to work out – It works something like Wordtracker but without telling you how many websites are targeting each keyword phrase. For example if you type ‘Computer’, the Overture search suggestion tool will tell you that during the last month the word ‘Computer’ was searched, say for example 400,000 times at Overture. Similarly ‘computer game’ was searched 309,850 times (I made the numbers up for illustration). Also, given one word it will generate all relevant combinations of that word based on actual searches done by people just as in all the other keyword tools. If the word you keyed is not a common search term then you will not get any results – it means that very few people have actually searched for that word during the last month into Overture.

The Google Keyword Tool generates potential keywords and reports their Google statistics, including search performance and seasonal trends. It is the major tool out there so well worth getting used to it.

Features of this tool include:

• Sorting the results of your desired keyword search by popularity, past performance history within the AdWords system, cost, and predicted ad position (based on your bid).
• Easy keyword manipulation where you can select a few keywords here and there or add them all at once.
• Searches for keywords present in any webpage URL specified by your search.
• More keyword results are generated based on regularly updated usage statistics database that helps you to get new keywords or phrases.

The external link to the keyword tool:

https://adwords.google.co.uk/select/KeywordToolExternal

The adding of the right keywords to your adword campaign is a snap your just have to have an account already in place – in the new user interface you can adapt and tune your campaign with a surprising degree of sophistication.

Another tool I occasionally use is ‘The SEO Book’ keyword research tool that is a very sophisticated resource that if you can see past the websites aggressive marketing is actually very good.

http://tools.seobook.com/keyword-tools/seobook/

Type in a phrase or keyword and it will suggest a large number of related searches across all the main search engines. You can also link off into (say) Google and get the full information on a particular word – overall a great resource.

These software tools are useful for researching how people search the web and then optimizing your own web pages so that more people find your web site – so they are essential parts of the webmasters tool kit and you need to learn them.

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