Keyword Analysis Research Tools
The first and most important step in all aspects of search engine optimization is understanding which keywords (and keyphrases) are both suitable and realistic to go after for your online presence. Many keyword research tools are available that produce various investigative reports surrounding your chosen keywords. These search engine optimization tools can help us understand how competitive any given keywords are, and possibly suggest other combinations of keywords related to your query. Once we see the different combinations of results, we will sit down with you to strategize the best keywords to focus on before we go on to develop your website.
A typical function of a search engine optimization keyword research tool is to return the monthly number of searches in a given search engine for the keyword or phrase entered, aswell as the number of monthly searches for keyphrases suggested by the tool based on your original keyword(s).
Results such as these often will help us modify our keyword strategy for the various pages of your website. One thing to always remember is that in the competitve world of internet marketing, one must always walk before attempting to run, targetting more specific 'niche' type keywords before going for more general/mainstream ones. Registering a domain today and building a website for 'Flower delivery' by the end of the month will get you nowhere fast without finding a niche first. 'Flower delivery Arkansas' or any other city would obviously be a wiser choice, as achieving high indexing on the search engines for a local service is more realistic before moving onto international.
Yahoo Search Marketing (formerly Overture)
Below (fig.1) is a screenshot of Overture's (Yahoo Search Marketing) Keyword Selector Tool. This tool returns results based on searches done in Yahoo Search tools for the preceding month. You can see in the example below that the keyphrase 'Toronto Hotels' has been entered, with results listed underneath. From these results we see that in the month of August, there were 28 451 searches for 'hotel Toronto', 2799 searches for 'downtown hotel toronto', 2780 searches for 'canada hotel toronto', and so on. The screenshot has been cropped to show only 10 results.
The bulk of these searches are from Yahoo search engine, but unfortunately queries made by people and bid management companies using automated scripts and robots (used to research bid positions for paid results) *and* queries made to the Yahoo Search Market tool itself are included in the results, producing inaccurate and overestimated figures.
Notice aswell in the screenshot below that 'Toronto hotels' was entered, using the plural word hotels, and yet only singular versions show up in the results. Singular and plural results are lumped into one with the Yahoo Search Market tool. These things said however, this tool is still a good tool to start with when brainstorming for keyword ideas.
Since Yahoo currently represents approximately 25% of all searches done on the internet, we multiply the number of Yahoo searches (in this case for 'Toronto Hotels') by 4 to get an estimation of total internet searches over all search engines. Therefore, multiplying Overture's total search count for 'Toronto hotels' (28 451) by 4 gives us an estimated 113 804 total monthly searches on all search engines for this keyphrase.
Figure 1. Screenshot of Yahoo Search Marketing (Overture) cropped to 10 results.
- Easy to use
- Good tool to generate ideas for keywords
- Yahoo presently receives only 1/4 of the number of searches done in Google.
- Overture doesn't differentiate between plural and singular forms, making it useless to do plural/singular research.
- Overture also lumps misspellings in with the number of correct spellings for any given keyword.
- Doesn't give results with respect to order or keywords within the keyphrase entered. Instead the keyphrase results are given in alphabetic order. Therefore, if you've got a keyword phrase like "fly fishing in south florida" it'll end up as "florida fly fishing in south"
- Yahoo Search Market (formerly Overture) is know for having inaccurate numbers. Searches done in Overture and Yahoo by people or automated scripts count toward the Keyword Suggestion Tool count.
Enhanced (paid version):
Wordtracker keeps a database of keyword search logs from the last 100 days of Dogpile.com & Metacrawler.com, two meta-search engines owned by InfoSpace, Inc. Meta-search engines don't keep databases of webpages, instead they send your query to other search engine companies, in this case, the previously mentioned Dogpile.com and Metacrawler.com. Dogpile.com for example will returns results from Google, Yahoo, LookSmart, AskJeeves/Teoma, Google ADS, and MSN.
A distinctive advantage of meta-search engines is that they eliminate the type of automated script and robot noise from their keyword search logs, similar to the type found in Yahoo Search Marketing, therefore Wordtracker's logs of keyword searches are highly accurate. Wordtracker's database maintains logs containing 300-340 million keywords covering periods of 60-100 days.
In the screenshot below (fig.2) you'll see the first results generated from the same keyphrase used in the previous Overture example, 'Toronto Hotels'. The result is a list of lateral (related) and thesaurus (synonymous) generated keywords. This list is useful for brainstorming for ideas of similar keywords to use in your SEO work.
Figure 2. (Above) Screenshot of Wordtracker's lateral results (limited to 15 results in the trial version).
Once you click on any of the items in this related keywords list, the main keyword results are produced. As you will see in figure 3, this list is limited to 15 keywords in the trial version.
Figure 3. Screenshot of Wordtracker's keyphrase results (limited to 15 results in the trial version).
At first glance you might think that plural and singular versions of a keyword are lumped together, since not one instance of the singular 'hotel' is in the list. But, if you redo the initial seach with 'Toronto Hotel' with no 's', you will see that the singular 'hotel' is in fact differentiated from the plural form (fig.4). The singular versions of this keyword are not appearing in the first 15 results of the plural form simply because it is lower down in the list. With the full version of Wordtracker, we would see the singular 'Hotel' somewhere down the list.
Figure 4. Screenshot of Yahoo Search Market (Overture) cropped to 10 results.
Infospace Inc however represents only 1% of the total searches done on the internet, therefore calculations obviously need to be made in order to estimate how the searches done in their dogpile.com and metacrawler.com translate into approximate searches of any given keyword across all search engines. Multiplying resulting keyword counts from Wordtracker by 100 might give us an idea of total searches for that keyword over 90 days, compared to the monthly results of Overture (representing approximately 25% of total search engine searches) , which are commonly multiplied by 4 to estimate total monthly internet searches for any given keyword.
If we want to compare the figures generated by Wordtracker to those found in Overture, we would need to lump together Wordtracker's results for both plural/singular and keyword order into one figure, as Overture does. Therefore, adding Wordtracker's total search count for all combinations (word order and singular/plural) of 'Toronto hotels', we have 254 (toronto hotels) + 58 (hotels toronto) + 34 (toronto hotel) which gives us an estimated 346 total searches over the period of 90 days on all search engines for this keyphrase. Dividing 346 by 3 will gives us the monthly number of searches, 115.
Since Wordtracker currently represents approximately 1% of all searches done on the internet, we multiply the number of Wordtracker search results (in this case for 'Toronto Hotels') by 100 to get an estimation of total internet searches over all engines for 90 days. Therefore, we multiply 115(1%) by 100, and our monthly estimated result on all search engines for our keyphrase is 11 500 searches. This number isnt far off from our Overture calculations, and we have the added benefit of figures involving order and plural/singular versions of our keyphrase.
- Extremely accurate keyword search count for dogpile.com & metacrawler.com.
- Most recent data (last 100 days), therefore a good choice to see the numbers of searches for the latest popular keyword searches.
- Differentiates between plural and singular versions of keywords.
- dogpile.com & metacrawler.com , the two meta-engines behind Wordtracker's results represent only 1% of total searches done on the internet.
- Trial link is good for 2 hours, must activate new one through email after this period of time, however this step is quick and easy.
- 15 keyword search results
- 15 lateral search results
- 30 keywords in basket(online stored results of your searches)
- Find your niche (most popular keywords with the least number of competing web pages) in Altavista only
Enhanced (paid version):
- 500 keyword search results
- 300 lateral search results
- 5000 keywords in basket(online stored results of your searches)
- Find your niche (most popular keywords with the least number of competing web pages) in 24 search engines
- Differentiates mis-spellings in results
- Email keyword results to clients
- Other features
Next review: Nichebot!
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