Keyword Research Tools

Keyword research is done by entering your desired phrases into one or more keyword research tools. There are a variety of keyword popularity research tools available on the web today - some free, some not. Here is a list of some of the more useful ones.

  • SEO Book suggestion tool - Aaron Wall's excellent free keyword research tool. Like most tools, this is based on Overture, but Aaron adds some calculations of his own to this tool to give some (hopefully) more meaningful data.

  • Digital Point Suggestion Tool - this free keyword popularity tool shows Overture and wordtracker results side by side. Overture has a larger pool of data to collect from, but doesn't distinguish between plurals. Use the Overture results to pick the best phrases, and use Wordtracker to pick the best orientation (eg whether "electrician" is better than "electricians").

  • Wordtracker have a nice easy to use research tool that gives a KEI index on the keywords you select. The KEI is a rough figure which includes how popular the phrase is, and how much competetion there is for the phrase. The idea behind this is that you should not always go for the phrases with the most traffic (if they are too competetive). Wordtracker encourages you to target phrases with moderate traffic and less competetion, which makes a great deal of sense. It's not free, but they do have a free trial which is still usable. On the plus side, you can sign up for as little as 24 hours if you just want to research phrases for a single project. Yes, that's an affiliate link above. If you think my description of Wordtracker is biased, just go to instead.

  • Google Adwords - this free tool can give some unexpected results regarding the order of phrases (eg "auckland electrician" may come out the same as "electrician auckland"), but the advantage it has over other tools is that you can filter results by country. This gives a little more meaning to location specific phrases, and more data on phrases you have researched elsewhere.

Try each of these tools as part of your search engine optimization strategies, and use them in combination to find out as much as you can about a phrase. But there is a large human element to this process - you should always make sure your content reflects the phrase you are targeting, and is a phrase that is likely to generate sales or leads. Any phrase containing the word "buy" tends to be highly competetive!

Keep in mind that Overture based keyword popularity tools are based on American data. Don't expect the phrase "Auckland Electrician" to rank highly on the Overture results, but that doesn't mean this is a bad phrase to target.