Today’s post is another back to basics – keyword research tools. Keyword research is the most important part of any organic or paid search campaign. The information you can gain from looking at your site’s analytics is certainly insightful, but limited to how you’re currently being found. Using these (non-adwords) tools can spark the brainstorm process and expand your target list to potentially more profitable areas.
Google insights provides a list of the top related search terms. I find this helpful when looking for keyword variations or any missed topic areas. It also provides search volume based on regional location, which can be useful when creating a localized campaign. You have the ability to filter geographically, by search type (web, image, news, product), timeframe and by category.
Brainstorming using Google autocomplete is helpful – but basing your research to one engine can be limiting. Soovle provides auto complete options for Google, Bing, Yahoo, Answers.com, YouTube, Wikipedia and Amazon.com. I love this tool – it also has an export feature to Excel.
Once I compile a list of potential keywords, I turn to Google trends for insight as to how people are actually searching. Sometimes we get stuck up in our own technical jargon, and a keyword term that might make sense to target (NCAA basketball tournament) is actually not as popular of a search as “March Madness”. It’s important to know how people are actually searching so your investment in SEO is worthwhile – we all know there’s little value in ranking #1 for a term with relatively low search volume.