Anyone who has published a website knows that a major component of ongoing SEO is generating effective, relevant keywords that relate to on page content and the produce high enough rankings in the Search Engines to generate targeted traffic. Like many website designers/publishers, I use a variety of commonly known keyword research, keyword suggestion, keyword analysis, keyword placement, and keyword extraction tools to generate keywords that will ultimately get me a page #1 placement on Google and ultimately Yahoo and MSN.
What I’ve found is that although many of these tools perform similar tasks, they often measure different metrics and are designed to accomplish different aspects of the keyword generation process.
Unfortunately, new internet marketers (I’m writing this article particularly for them) don’t understand this and jump from one keyword tool to another thinking that the next greatest tool will be the answer to their keyword generation challenges.
Here’s the truth. Keyword generation, like any other aspect of SEO is a process that takes considerable thought, concentration and effort. With that comes a learning curve that can only be surmounted through time and effort through practice.
There is not magic wand or keyword suggestion tool that will do the work for you. Thinking otherwise is a falsehood and will only set you up for disappointment.
So what is the difference between these tools and how can you get the most out of them?
Let’s examine some of the commonly available online keyword research tools…
Compete.com is a relatively new player in the field of competitive keyword research. It is designed to provide the user with a look at where your competition is generating search engine traffic on both PPC (Pay-Per-Click) and organic searches.
Compete.com will also provide you with information on user interaction with your web site. Compete does not gather data directly from the search engines, but instead gathers information directly from actual Internet users who have installed the Compete.com toolbar.
What this means is that Compete collects first hand data from users that can provide you with significant information about how users behave on the sites they visit as well as how users search.
Information such as time spent on a site, what percentage of site’s traffic comes from an individual keyword and a relative measure of how much each keyword is worth to the competitors site.
Access to Compete.com requires creating an account. The free keyword tool is limited. To really make it work to your advantage requires subscribing to the full package. Subscriptions start at $199 per month which puts it out of the range of most New Internet Marketers, Newbies.
One of the most effective methods for generating keywords is to evaluate what keywords your competition is bidding for on major PPC search engines like Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Engine Marketing.
Like Compete.com, KeyCompete charges monthly/annual fees for their service – under $500.
KeyCompete should be used as a primary keyword generation method. You can also use it like other keyword generation tools to search for variations of keywords. KeyCompete offers a supplement keyword generation tool for Long-Tail keywords. All in all, using this service can save you a lot of time and money in your overall keyword generation efforts, if you can afford the $500 bucks.
SEO Digger is a keyword analysis tool that will tell you where your competitors rank on the search engines for keywords you want to rank for. You can also use the tool to find out how well you rank versus your competition as well as to determine popularity and a rough estimate of search volume each individual keyword receives.
SEO Digger offers a free tool that you can use to determine the top keywords that your competitors rank for organically on both Google and MSN. Non-registered users can search up to five domains per hour. There are other benefits available to registered users.
I’ve found SEO Digger to be one of the most effective keyword analysis tools available and for the average web site owner it’s ideal because it’s best features can be utilized for FREE.
Wordtracker has both a free and fee based service.
It will provide you with a list of related keywords and the estimated search volume for each keyword. Wordtracker collects search volume data from two search engines dogpile.com and metacrawler.com which together account for about 3.5 million searches per day. Results are pretty reliable.
The free version is limited to 100 results per search. The paid version gives you access to thousands of keywords. With the paid version, you can also import lists of keywords and check their search volume instead of entering them one at a time as is the case with the free version.
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Also, with the paid version, you can save your keyword projects for future access.