10+ SEO keyword tools you cant live without

April 5, 200823 Comments
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There are a number of useful tools at the disposal of us olde search optimisers. So you’ve spent months chasing a specific keyword, dropping links like a maniac, until you reach that top ten position on your search engine of choice, only to find that traffic dribbles in slower than a snail on crack. So what do we do? We research. The following paid and free research tools are well worth a shot at determining how much your chosen keywords are likely to bring in.

Google Adwords Free Tool

https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

Firstly we start with ye olde Google. If you uses adwords advertising you will know all about this keyword tool. It is of course free to advertisers and search engine heros alike. Unfortunately it doesn’t really give us exact details on search volume, instead using charts to show the competition. The excel downloads dont give much information either.

Yahoo / Overture Free Tool

http://inventory.overture.com/

Overture (Read Yahoo) also has a tool for determining potential traffic from specific key phrases.

Msn Keyword Tool

http://adlab.msn.com/ForecastV2/KeywordTrendsWeb.aspx

At the minute this is absolutely my favourite tool for predicting search results. Im going to let the pretty screenshots shown below speak for themselves as the level of information you can get for competitive terms. I tested the word “viagra” to see what comes up (forgive the pun). There is also a raw data (in text format) and flash version of the same graph.

trendslinechartaspx.jpg

And now for the third party tools..

HighPosition.net SEO Tools

http://seotools.highposition.net/Keyword-Research-Tool.aspx

Seo tools shows a good old fashioned HTML table. But you have to wonder on its accuracy considering the graph we see above for MSN.

Wordtracker

http://www.wordtracker.com/index.html

Ah, Wordtracker. Every search engine optimisers favourite tool. Wordtracker have been extremely clever in their past marketing efforts themselves. Tempt us in with a free trial..then grab the bigger players with a paid option. Wordtrackers own backlinks stands at a hefty 80,000 + backlinks at time of writing, which show their own knowledge of the search industry. They have recent moved to a “give me your credit card so we can renew your free trial” AOL type business model, so for your benefit we’ve decided to take the trial and show you guys around. The montly subscription costs $59, but can be cancelled at any time.

So they have their backlinks built, and their traffic and are moving towards a more shrewd business model. Anyway, onto the service and the screenshots of what you get.

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This shows an overview of the features you get from the service, I started with going to the keyword researcher. This allows you to search for keyword in a variety of ways, and pick up alternatives / mis-spellings and figures for the quantity of searches performed across the engines. Starting with a seed keyword it suggests a few alternatives. It also distiguishes between UK and US based searches which is pretty cool.

See the screenshots below for further bits and pieces. It also gives two interesting reports showing that the porn industry is live and well online. The search reports for the recent search trends (short term keywords) and the long term keywords. I’ve saved and uploaded them here for you to get a look at ‘em. You can select further options after the search is performed to determine the level of searches your chosen “basket” will amoun to.

blog2.jpg

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Overall I was very impressed with the service, the excel spreadsheet export is also pretty neat. I also learned that I might need to change a few things about my own site, that could result in new traffic so overall I think its a very powerful tool, and well worth taking the trial for the seven days to find out what you are missing out on. For those of you who knew the service before, that the old Wordtracker keyword tool (with the small dig button – as in a spade not as in social bookmarker) is still alive and well from within the control panel.

Nichebot

http://www.nichebot.com/

I have seen various blogs mention the joys of nichebot before, but I personally didn’t like the design (or lack thereof ) of the site – it looks like a ten year old threw it together and therefore I wasn’t going to part with the $1 fee for a signup. It uses Wordtracker data anyway, so nothing we cant get already.

nichebot.jpg

Keyword Discovery

http://www.keyworddiscovery.com/

The keyword discovery site took absolute ages to load for me. I dont know whether this is a sign that they are busy, or are on a poor hosting server, but anyway..their free tool is available at the below URL. At time of writing I couldn’t get on to review their tool properly, but I do know that the main site is a paid model, the link below is a freebie.

http://api.keyworddiscovery.com/cgi-bin/addme/free.cgi

Wordze

http://www.wordze.com

keywordresearch1.jpg

With Wordze, this is a similar service to Wordtracker, giving similar results. One thing I did notice with Wordze is that it gives poorer output options for downloading your keywords, and isn’t as highly regarded in the search engine industry as Wordtracker would be. I’ve included here for completeness anyway. This isn’t a free service at a cost of $45 dollars monthly for the all singing all dancing monthly subscription. This is compared with $59 for Wordtracker.

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

This free tool taps into Wordtrackers database, and is extremely useful if you are on a budget. Aaron Wall the developer of the tool, is an extremely highly thought of SEO in the industry, so you can trust the results.

NicheWatch

http://www.nichewatch.com/

Not so much a keyword tool as a competition tracker, it gives comprehensive data on the following bits and bobs, for particular phrases.

Symbol Definition
BLD Backlinks to the domain in Yahoo.
BLP Backlinks to the webpage in Yahoo.
PRD Pages Rank of domain.
PRP Pages Rank of webpage.
Count Keyword/Keyphrase occurrences on webpage.
Pages Pages indexed of domain in Yahoo.
Anchor All in Anchor Rank of domain in Google.
Title All in Title Rank of domain in Google.
Text All in Text Rank of domain in Google.

Miva

https://account.uk.miva.com/advertiser/Account/Popups/KeywordGenBox.asp

Miva, gives out the number of searches for keywords or phrases based around their advertising networks and is useful for gaining a perspective of how many searches are performed – especially if your niche is highly competitive.

Some other useful Keyword tools

Some of these may not be specifically keyword traffic tools but they can be leveraged to gain useful information on the competition and related keywords.

Google Suggest

http://www.google.com/webhp?complete=1&hl=en

Google suggest, obviously this is used to try and predict what users may be searching for before they actually finish typing, we can use it to see related stubs related to keywords and phrases.

Google trends

http://www.google.com/trends

See peaks and falls across the year (i.e. seasonal changes in keywords / phrases). This would be particularly useful for determining when to launch a marketing campaign which is affected by the weather or country of origin etc.

Spyfu

http://www.spyfu.com/

A mighty useful tool to see what other websites in your chosen subject area are chasing. Type in your competitors domain to see what they are targetting in both the natural search engines and the pay per click model.


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About the Author ()

Paul is a regular 30 year old web bloke / programmer with a penchant for online marketing. This blog is a personal outlet, with an eclectic mix of articles.

Comments (23)

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  1. Michael says:

    Paul,

    Is the Overture tool not dead in the water? I can’t remember the last time I was able to access it.

  2. Paul Anthony says:

    @Michael.

    Woops..My bad. Think this was working at time of post – couldn’t be 100%, I may have just remembered the URL. Ta for the heads up.

  3. You could also try this www dot seedkeywords dot com

    d

  4. Good list. This about sums most of the best ones out there for research.

  5. Shreemani says:

    Gosh… I don’t believe myself I was missing all these great SEO tools. Thanks mate for this great compilation.

  6. Steve says:

    Just great!
    Don’t have the time to explore everything but i’ll be back for sure!

    Steve

    http://www.emagid.com

  7. Dawn says:

    I love this blog, especially the tenuous link between Big Bird and Blogging. And, just noticed, you pipped me to the post re Obama! Zoikes!

  8. Paul Anthony says:

    @Dawn. Awk you are a wee dear. Thanks for that, made my day.

  9. PeterB says:

    Remind me what keywords are for because from what I understand from a search/marketing professional is that google no longer even bothers with keywords, and hasn’t since 2005. Seeing how meta tags have been abused by hypesters, this make sense.

    All of the sites I create in MODx and its SEF features, I don’t see any site outperforming them.

  10. Paul Anthony says:

    Hi Peter,

    SEO in today’s day and age is much more than just on page factors. The above tools allow you to research phrases and keywords that are worth optimising your site for. For example long tail keywords such as

    search engine optimisation in belfast northern ireland – is particularly long tail, and would get very little traffic. It is also relatively easy to rank for.

    However,
    Short tail keywords like SEO Ireland – are alot harder to get, due to the competition, and the associated level of traffic.

    I would guess that the sites that you’ve created in Modx, or other platform, could do better, if you base your content around keywords and phrases that generate high volumes of traffic.

    As you correctly point out, Meta keywords provide little or no benefit with regards SEO in today’s marketplace – I think you are confusion meta keywords with actual on page phrases, that can be used within the site content etc. This post should clarify.

    http://blog.webdistortion.com/2008/06/29/17-seo-tips-to-help-achieve-results-in-google-for-2008/

  11. Followtopia is another decent one. It lets you know the keywords for all of the websites for your keyword search (that’ll make more sense when you try it). http://www.followtopia.com

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