When it comes to excelling in online business, even the best of us can use a little bit of help. Yes, there are times when just having the perfect business model and knowing your target audience isn’t enough. This is where the necessity of optimizing your website comes in.
Many e-merchants are well aware how important optimization is. Some do their own optimization, using a variety of free and commercial tools. These tools include keyword research products or other software products designed to help people choose the perfect keywords as part of their web content and marketing strategy.
So, what’s needed for a great web business to succeed in today’s competitive and expanding online business market? The ability to apply the fundamentals of SEO and SEM, as well as being able to use related tools that help drive relevant traffic to your website. Learning about the best keyword research tools in the industry is a step forward in driving pertinent traffic to your website. For this, getting in touch with services or products specializing in keyword research, analysis and application is the way to go.
SEO services and products come in all price ranges, from free to more expensive than any sane person would want to pay (unless they have tons of business). The paid products typically offer a free trial or subscriptions; we recommend using the free trial first, to make sure you can verify measurable results and returns using the program. The initial trial period is usually adequate for an online business owner to determine the utility and scope of the program. Some questions to answer before buying include:
- Can this program help me pick key words and phrases relevant to my website?
- Does it suggest other key words or phrases, in case the ones I choose are extremely competitive?
- Can it track the results of my SEO campaign and show measurable traffic?
SEO Tools – Making Optimization Easier
Thanks to powerful, rank-boosting products, aimed at increasing your revenue and traffic, creating compelling website content is relatively simplified. Don’t misunderstand; you’ll still have to understand the basics of SEO to know how to use the information these tools give you, but they do make things easier. Below are a few, free, paid and subscription-based SEO tools/products that deserve mention. If you have a favorite, let us know so we can add it!
Google Adwords Keyword Tool
One great keyword research tool comes compliments of Google Adwords, which suggests the most popular search terms and words related to your chosen industry. Google is the most prominent of all search engines, so it makes sense to use this free keyword generator tool. This is especially true if you’re an e-merchant looking at the benefits of online advertising.
The Google AdWords Keyword Tool proves useful for generating revenues through sponsored links or PPC campaigns. For each visitor to your website, you earn a set amount per ad click on your advertisement page. You may need to pay for the more competitive (read “hot”) keywords or phrases, though, while others may be available to you at more reasonable rates.
A special mention for Wordtracker, a proven keyword research tool for delivering results and increasing the visibility for your website. The free version gives you a list of the hundred most-searched keywords; you’ll need a paid membership to see more. It also gives alternate keyword suggestions, related words and related phrases. This hard data is extremely useful for strengthening your online business presence.
Seoquake is a powerful tool for Mozilla Firefox, aimed at helping web masters who deal with search engine optimization and internet promotion of web sites. Seoquake allows user to obtain and investigate many important SEO parameters of the internet project under study. You can, for instance, find out your PageRank, keyword/phrase density and number of backlinks on the fly.
The Firefox SEO Plugin FOXYRANK investigates links of the current website. It tells you which links on a webpage can provide PageRank juice. This is useful if you’re trying to get one page to rank higher than other pages on your site, for example.
KPMRS is a “website discovery tool” and a fascinating one at that. One of the problems with choosing relevant keywords is that the keywords have to be searchable. In other words, there’s always the possibility that the term you’ve chosen is seldom used by searchers. As well, there may be other terms being used to reach or site, or that you’re ranking on (and ranking well!) that you may not know about.
A perfect example is Level343; we didn’t know we were ranking for “organic seo for small business”. We actually rank number one for this term, and hadn’t planned for it – or even thought about it. This is invaluable information for any optimization campaign. While focusing on your main terms, you can see what other search terms your main key phrases affect.
Free Keyword Tool
The Free Keyword Tool, from WordStream is an excellent, and yes, free, keyword tool. Used in conjunction with other WordStream services, or with other free programs and tools, it is invaluable. Above, we mentioned the possibility of using a term no one searches for. With the Free Keyword Tool, you can find out whether the term is used and how often. It also gives you possible terms to use. As an example, search for the term “real estate” on the tool and look at the results.
Web CEO is a huge program with tons of functionality. Not only do you have to pay for it, but you also have a three-month subscription fee. Is it worth it? If you’re trying to run your own SEO campaign, the answer to that question is a resounding yes. Web CEO can help you find your keywords and phrases, gives suggestions, helps you find link partners and keeps track of your rankings in the SERPS for your chosen phrase
Competitor Keyword Research
In search engine optimization, you don’t have to beat out 400 million competitive pages; you just have to beat the top ten. Type your key word/phrase in Google, Yahoo and/or Bing and find your top ten competitors. Use the Competitor Keyword Research tool to find out how your site compares with your competitors in on-page optimization for that word or phrase. It then highlights where you should add your word/phrase to beat out the competition.
Every one of the above tools can help you with your SEO efforts. Each has something to offer, but it’s important to keep one thing in mind: they are programs. No matter what results they return, you have to remember that optimization has to have a human component. If a keyword tool tells you “blue shoes for baby” is a great search term, but you can’t figure out how it fits into your website, don’t use it.
At the end of the day, you’re not building your website for search engines. You’re building your website for people. If your visitors can find you but don’t stick around, take a step back and rethink your strategy. Are you pinpointing the search engines too much? Have you forgotten about your visitors?
Lastly, if you have a favorite tool, post your comments and share it with our readers!
My favorite tool when it comes to SEO and keyword research is Market Samurai. Have you tried it out yet? If not, it is going to blow your mind.
I absolutely love it. Makes keyword research five times faster! 🙂
I am impressed by your very valuable and pragmatic approach towards the subject!
Great and informative blog. Have bookmarked your site for more posts later.
Thanks Madeline. Bookmarking is a great idea we always have great new info, posting them as fast as we can 😉
Nice overview and list of tools. And thanks so much for the WordStream mention!
Hey Tom, nice to finally put a face to the name 😉 I love your products as a matter of fact I need to mention your product page awesome resources!
Nice list of keyword tools. I didn’t know about KPMRS. Thanks! Gosh, there are so many ways and reasons to look at various tools. You explored this well.
I wanted to share a couple more free tools.
SEO Book’s tool: http://tools.seobook.com/keyword-tools/seobook/ (just requires registration)
Google Trends for the latest topics and insight if one wants to write/optimize for trending:
Topsy, which is not a keyword tool, but a search engine powered by tweets. It provides insight into what people are saying on Twitter and the words they use: http://topsy.com/
I mentioned Topsy as a follow-up to your sound advice to ensure optimization efforts have a human factor. We want to reach them with words they use during their various stages of the search process.
Dana thanks for adding to our list. I am sure to try topsy since I have been doing some of my own personal testing on the “power of Twitter”. It’s no longer a matter of knowing all tools out there but how to use them. You my dear lady are a breath of fresh air.