One of the most important steps in increasing organic website traffic is choosing the right keywords to focus on. Selecting the right keywords can make or break a website. If you’re targeting keywords that receive very small search volumes, you won’t receive very much traffic at all to your website, but if you’re targeting keywords that carry very high search volumes, you have the potential to receive much more website traffic and ultimately more sales.
Keyword research can be a long process and it is more of an art than a science, but there are several free tools available online to help you with your research to find the best keywords to target for your website.
1. Google AdWords Keyword Tool
The Google AdWords Keyword Tool is good for more than just AdWords PPC research, it can be used to find keywords to target for SEO as well. The tool reports the average search volume trends over the year and for each month, rather than the number of searches per day like some other keyword tools. When searching for keywords to target focus on the highest search volume keywords based on exact match, as each keyword would be most likely to rank for its exact match, but check the volumes based on broad match and phrase match as well to get a more complete idea of the keyword’s usage in search engines.
2. SEOBook.com Keyword Suggestion Tool
Aaron Wall’s keyword suggestion tool on SEOBook.com is also a good tool to use. It’s free but you have an account with the website to log in to use the tool. The keyword research tool shows the estimated monthly search volume for a keyword in Google, Yahoo, and MSN as well as other data metrics for the keyword.
3. Trellian Keyword Discovery Tool
The Trellian Keyword Discovery Tool shows the top suggested search terms to target based on a specific keyword. Trellian doesn’t state where they get the data from, whether it’s Google or Yahoo or MSN, but it’s a good guideline to use at when looking for keywords to target. This is a good tool to use to find long tail keywords to target as well.
4. Wordtracker Keyword Suggestion Tool
Wordtracker is similar to Trellian in that it doesn’t tell you where the data is being gathered from, but it is a good tool to use to determine which keywords are more popular than others and to find longer tail keywords as well. Wordtracker has a paid version and a free version you can use. The free version shows the top 100 keywords suggested from a specific search term, while the paid version shows much more.
5. Google Suggest
As you type in a search query in the search box of Google, Google Suggest offers search suggestions similar to what you are typing. Google bases its suggestions off of what it thinks you are looking for. Also, as Google is suggesting the keyword to people, they are more likely to click on that keyword and it will carry a higher search volume as a result, so Google Suggest keywords become more popular and are generally good keywords to target.
6. Microsoft Online Commercial Intention
Microsoft adCenter Labs offers a tool to detect the online commercial intention of a keyword. It measures the probability that a person will buy when typing in the search term and measures it with a rating of 0.00 to 0.99. This is beneficial to know so you can target high converting keywords in addition to high search volume keywords.
7. Google Insights for Search
After you determine which keywords you’d like to target, it’s a good idea to run them through Google Insights for Search to see how the traffic trends of them compare to each other. Google Insights for Search shows the average traffic for the keywords over the past several years and shows trends on when searches for the keyword are most popular so you can target it based on seasonality. It also shows which areas of the world people are searching for the term the most as well as rising searches from within the keyword topic to give you an idea of which keywords are becoming more popular searches.
Organic Search Analyst
Rocket Clicks Staff
Google AdWords Keyword Research Tool – https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
Google Insights for Search – http://www.google.com/insights/search/
Trellian Keyword Discovery Tool – http://www.keyworddiscovery.com/search.html
Wordtracker Keyword Suggestion Tool – http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/
SEOBook.com Keyword Suggestion Tool – http://tools.seobook.com/keyword-tools/seobook
Microsoft Online Commercial Intention – http://adlab.microsoft.com/Online-Commercial-Intention/