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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
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
Overture (Read Yahoo) also has a tool for determining potential traffic from specific key phrases.
Msn Keyword Tool
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.
And now for the third party tools..
HighPosition.net SEO Tools
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Not so much a keyword tool as a competition tracker, it gives comprehensive data on the following bits and bobs, for particular phrases.
|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, 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, 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.
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.
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.