What is a keyword analysis tool? Basically it’s an online application that allows you to research and identify the best keywords so that you’re not just guessing and hoping that someone will show up to read your blog. It should give you an idea how many people are searching for those terms. You want to target specific words. It may seem a little technical, but it’s so worth to do that in the beginning. Do it, do it, do it! It’s totally important, and it’s really not that hard.
Google Adwords Keyword Tool
So let’s talk about the first one, the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. It’s very straightforward. It has simple to use user interface, and it’s free. You can’t beat that! You just have to make an Adwords account to use some advanced features. Did we mention again that it’s simple? It also has a really cool research tool. You can plug in a website, say one from a competitor, and you’ll be able to find all the keywords that they’re focusing on. You can also use it to audit your own blog to make sure that you aren’t missing any.
Another neat feature of this keyword analysis tool is that you can also download all the keywords that you’ve found into a spreadsheet for late usage. That way you won’t lose all the hard work that you’ve done. In Excel, you can also filter, sort, use pivot tables to manipulate the data to your heart’s content.
There are a few things that we don’t like about this tool. One of them being that you have to create a full blown Google Adwords account to use some of the advanced features such as how much advertisers are spending on each keyword. That could be really valuable insight when you’re prioritizing which keyword to optimize. By forcing you to create an Adwords Account, Google is essentially drumming up business for itself. After all advertisers are the majority of their customers. This takes you one step closer to spend money on their Pay Per Clicks.
Another shortcoming of this tool is that it tends to give short keywords or phrases instead of long tailed keywords, for example, “soccer moms who want to start a home based holiday greeting card business.” From our experience, the traffic from these long tail words add up. In fact you get as much traffic from those long tailed keywords as from the shorter keywords. It would involve a lot more work, but you’d get rewarded eventually with the extra traffic.
The next keyword analysis tool is WordTracker. This has been around for quite a long time. It’s the “godfather” of keyword tools. Professionals have been using this tool for keyword research, Pay Per Clicks, or whatever else related to SEO. They have a one week free trail for the full blown product. Or if you’re really smart or devious, you can go into a turbo mode, and get a LOT of research done during that week, and then just cancel. You can always sign later with a different credit card. But if you anticipate doing this for the long term, then it might not be a bad idea to keep on paying for it.
The plus side with WordTracker is that it gives you more of the long tailed keywords that we mentioned earlier, including the obscured ones. If you’re willing to invest the time, those could really pay off.
On the downside, while it has a lot of really cool features, it can also be overwhelming. For beginners who are getting into keyword research, this tool might cause them to lose confidence in themselves and think that they can never do it. It’s also quite expensive, $379 per year, or $59 per month, so definitely not cheap. And here’s the thing, its data is compiled from sources like Dogpile and Metacrawler instead of directly from the search engines, so if you’re trying to rank well in Google, the data you get here might not be quite as accurate. But overall the tool is good enough for most SEO (Search Engine Optimization) purposes. So it’s really not that big of a deal.
SEO Book Keyword Tool
Here’s another keyword analysis tool that we really like a lot. We use it ourselves all the time. It’s the SEO Book Keyword Tool. You can check this out by going to blogsuccessjournal.com/seobook. It’s free. Yes you have to make a login, big deal! What we love about it is that when we’in in there, it shows what the search data are from Google, Yahoo, Bing (MSN/Microsoft), basically all the top search engines, and the total per day. It gives you an overview on what people are searching for. Their data is from both Google & Wordtracker, so It’s the best of both worlds. They also have a really cool toolbar that makes it easy for you to research the keywords and conduct other SEO analysis.
The downside is that although it gives you an overview of the searches across different engines, the way it’s presented is kind of confusing with a lot of extra data. Look, all we really need is how many searches per day. Everything else is not that helpful. Anyway it’s still less complicated than Wordtracker.
So in summary, keyword Analysis tools are a crucial component to the continuing success of your blog. They help you to pick, prioritize, and write topics that people care about, instead of obscure words with very little traffic. If you want an “end all, be all” keyword research tool for professionals, then Wordtracker is your choice. For a quick peak at certain words, researching competitors’ blogs, or find out how much advertisers are spending on certain keywords, try Google Adwords Keyword tool. But most people, SEO Book Keyword Tool is more than enough to meet their needs. Hey it works for us.
Remember to leave a comment on what’s your favorite keyword tool, and why you like them.