Targeting the right keywords forms the basis of your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You want to rank on page one for the right keywords that will bring quality targeted traffic to your website that is ready to enquire about or buy your service or product. But how do you know which keywords will work best for your business? Here is a quick guide to the most popular keyword research tools currently on the market.
Here are some keyword research tools to help you build your keyword strategy.
Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is a free tool from Google for keyword research, which is very simple and easy to use. Remember to click on the country you want for accurate results. It is best to select ‘Exact Search’ to see the actual value of your keywords. This tool is ideal for finding long tail keywords or seasonal keywords but only gives you monthly results, whereas other keyword research tools may be able to provide more refined search results.
WordTracker is one of the most popular keyword research tools on the market and allows you to import and rank up to 500 keywords. WordTracker’s database is quite large, and the interface allows you to calculate monthly searches as well as weekly and daily searches. One downside of WordTracker is the price tag as there are so many other free research tools on the market.
Keyword Spy has a free trial offer that has a limited set of features, as well as a paid or pro version. All in all, this is a great keyword research tool. The interface allows you to compare domain names as well as the keyword(s) against organic as well as paid searches and gives you insights into the keywords your competitors are using. Although the system shows different country categories, many results only return .com (US) domains and one may think that the keyword performance is based on that as well – although testing does show different search volumes and trends.
Social media is becoming increasingly important in keyword research and providing more clarification into:
- the language your target audience use
- the popularity of a particular keyword and
- what search terms are used to look for a particular product or service.
Google Trends is another keyword research tool offered by Google that allows you to search for industry trends across different regions. The keyword research is based on actual search volumes and is very simple to use. It can also take data from your website as well as user input. There is also a forecasting feature that will let users see the search terms that they believe are likely to be used over the course of the next 12 months.
Focus groups are a powerful tool. You can interview your target audience and ask them how they search online through direct questioning or, better still, through observation. It is important to interview your target audience who are new to your website as well as internal stakeholders who are familiar with your website.
Directly asking your target audience and internal stakeholders about their user experience on your website can help to clear up inconsistencies in your keyword strategy and content, and uncover new keyword opportunities to improve your website.
Out of all these keyword research tools, we continue to find that Google Keyword Planner offers the simplest way to gauge keyword value, and we base that on ‘Exact’, ‘Broad’ and ‘Global Broad Search Volume’ and what’s more, it’s free. It is important to understand that data taken from keyword research tools are a good guide. It is also important to do competitor analysis, monitor your own traffic and use other research marketing methods such as focus groups to find what keywords your visitors are using to find your website.
Keyword tools play a significant role in identifying keywords but use your marketing dollars wisely by taking a strategic approach to keyword research and engaging with your audience in a more meaningful way. Watch, listen and learn about the language they are using and the search terms they are utilizing and modify your keywords, website navigation and content in alignment with your keyword research results.
Contact us to find out how we can help you with your keyword research, offer you one of our SEO packages to suit your business and budget, and implement the SEO strategy to successfully reach your goals set for your website. SEO is not a ‘set it and forget’ internet marketing strategy. Ongoing research using keyword research tools is required to maintain your rankings and to find new keywords to develop and grow your business.