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Reviews of Keyword Research Tools For Search Engine Marketing Campaigns

Keyword research is the foundation of any search engine marketing campaign. Now that you know what a keyword is, you need to identify the right keyword research tools that will help you get started.

Overture Keyword Research Tool

The first and most well known keyword research tool is the free keyword research tool from Overture. As Overture has evolved over the years, they have refined the tool to make it easier to identify keywords the way Overture wants to sell them to you.

Things you should know about the Overture keyword tool:

  • When Overture shows you the search frequency for a particular search term it lumps singular, plural and sometimes-other variations of the term you entered.
  • In many cases, Overture shows multi word phrases with the words in alphabetical order, not the way people actually enter them into search engines. For example Overture would show the search phrase "Mammoth Mountain Ca Ski Area" as "area ca mammoth mountain ski". You'll need to use common sense when using the Overture keyword tool to determine what terms to include when optimizing your actual site.
  • The Overture numbers include searches across the Overture network which includes YAHOO!, MSN, DogPile, and other smaller search engines.
  • The Overture tool is best used for identifying keywords to buy on Overture, however, it can be a good starting point for optimization of your actual site.
  • You don't need to be an Overture advertiser to access the keyword tool but if you want to start pay per click advertising on Overture, follow this link and save $10.00 on the self serve sign-up or this link and save $50.00 on the Fast Track sign-up.

Begin using the Overture keyword research tool now.

Google Keyword Sandbox

A recent addition to the free keyword too list, the Google Keyword sandbox can help to determine related keywords people use to search on Google. Simply enter a keyword or phrase and it will return suggestions for related keywords.

Things you should know about the Google keyword sandbox:

  • It is good for expanding your keyword universe
  • It is a great tool for brainstorming new keywords
  • It does not reveal the number of searches for the keywords it returns
  • The keyword research tool available to Google AdWords advertisers can be much more helpful

Google AdWords Keyword Research Tool

In order to use the Google AdWords keyword tool, you'll have to open an AdWords account (cost $5.00). The AdWords keyword tool is designed to provide you with an estimate of the click through rate and number of clicks you can expect from your ad.

Things you should know about the Google AdWords keyword tool:

  • You need to open an AdWords account to access the AdWords tool
  • It will cost you $5.00 to open an AdWords account.
  • Search patterns on Google are often different from those on Overture and other search engines.
  • Google presents you with the number of estimated clicks your ad will get when you occupy a specific position in the ad listings at a specific price
  • It does not provide you with the number of daily or monthly searches for a particular search term.
  • The number of clicks Google predicts will vary widely depending on the matching option you choose.

Open a Google AdWords account here and gain access to the AdWords Keyword tool

WordTracker (paid subscription service)

WordTracker is a great keyword research tool to start out with. WordTracker shows you the exact way people search for specific keywords and pulls data from some a few smaller search engines. WordTracker enables you to create keyword projects so you can research keywords for a specific site or market and save all your work within the WordTracker system and access it online anytime anywhere.

Things you should know about WordTracker:

  • Keyword search frequencies reported by WordTracker may differ significantly from other sources like Overture and the Google AdWords keyword tool.
  • WordTracker is a great tool to get started with, however, you should compare WordTracker data with keyword research from other sources for a reality check.
  • WordTracker can be an excellent tool to find negative keywords to include in your Google AdWords campaigns.
  • You can subscribe to WordTracker for a day or a year. If you are going to be doing a lot of search engine optimization, the year long subscription is by far the best deal at about $250.00.

Go check out WordTracker and subscribe today!

Your log files or web analytics tools

When you first start a search engine optimization or marketing campaign the keyword research tools profiled above help you make educated guesses about what keywords to target. You need to keep the following in mind:

  • These keyword research tools use past search engine data to project the frequency of what people will search for in the future. Search patterns change constantly. Keyword research and analysis is an ongoing process.
  • There is a big difference between generating traffic from keyword referrals and achieving business goals like profitable sales from keyword marketing campaigns. You'll need a log analysis or web analytics tool to continually refine your campaigns and optimization efforts. GoToast and ClickTracks are two best of breed pay per click and web analytics tools.

Keyword research is an ongoing process. Experiment with the keyword research tools profiled above and make sure to use a web analytics package to make sure your keyword selections and the resulting search engine traffic are indeed helping you achieve your business goals.

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