Choosing good keywords, and focusing on them, will help your site rank well in search engines, and subsequently bring in valuable, targeted traffic.
This article identifies the top free tools to help you with your keyword research, and set you on the right path to making money online.
1. Google Adwords Keyword Planner
A free tool from the giant of search "Google". With Googles Keyword Planner you can get keyword suggestions, identify search volume, get traffic estimates and use a neat feature to multiply keyword lists together.
My favourite feature is the Multiply Keyword Lists which allows you to easily build useful combinations such as combining a list of locations with your service, where one list contains your locations and the other lists your services e.g.
Allowing you to quickly build a list of terms such as:
- New York Web Design
- New York Hosting
- Cardiff Web Design
- Cardiff SEO
To access the Keyword Planner you will need a google account and an adwords account. The keyword planner can be accessed at: https://adwords.google.co.uk/KeywordPlanner
Google offer a good support site explaining how to use the keyword tool at: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2999770
2. Bing Keyword ResearchCovering the other search giants is this tool from Bing/Yahoo. Keyword Research on Bing is available through their webmaster tools, so you will need a Microsoft account, you can access the tool at: http://www.bing.com/toolbox/keywords
While it does not offer the wealth of information found on Google's tool it does offer an easily scan able trend for each keyword item and provides several keyword suggestions. I always like to see the search volumes from "the rest of the web" compared to google.
3. Web CEO Online Keyword Tool
Web CEO offer a free version of their online SEO Suite for 2 projects. While they keyword tool does limit the number of suggestions on the free plan, it does offer a very useful addition to your keyword research in the form of a KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Index) which is essentially an algorithm used to identify how good the keyword is, based on the volume of searches vs the competition - the higher the number the better.
I would recommend Web CEO not only for the really useful KEI, but for all the other features that will undoubtedly improve the SEO of all of your web projects.
You will need to sign up for a free Web CEO online account to access the keyword tool at: http://l1nk.com/webceo
4. Keyword EyeKeyword eye offer a much more visual way of doing your keyword research, by providing a colour coded tag cloud of the keywords. you can see at a glance the most searched keywords and if they are high, medium or low competition.
For those that prefer tabular data it is easy to switch to the grid tab for a more conventional view of the keywords.
Keyword eye offer a reasonable 10 searches per day for the free account, you can sign up at: http://www.keywordeye.com/
5. SEO BookSEO book offer a no nonsense, no need to sign up, keyword suggestion tool. The tool quickly lists a wealth of good suggestions and provides data commonly found in all the keyword tools. The tool also offers a quick and easy way to export the keywords to a csv for further analysis in a spreadsheet.
You can get started straight away with SEO Books keyword tool at: http://tools.seobook.com/keyword-tools/seobook/
ConclusionWith keyword research being so vital in choosing the topics to write about, and identifying the best keywords to focus on within your niche, it is great to have so many good resources available for free.
All the keyword tools above have something to offer, you cannot beat the data available from google, they are without doubt the biggest search giant by a long margin, but can also be the most strict on updating their algorithms e.g. penguin and panda, so it is always prudent to be aware of what other traffic is available if google penalises you with one of its updates.
There are tools that make it more fun to research your keywords with interesting visuals like Keyword Eye and professional tools available like Web CEO that give you additional information like the KEI to help inform your crucial decisions when writing that next blog post, article or web page.
Take some time to investigate each of the tools, you may find a preference or discover that a combination of a couple of them will give you what you need to boost your keyword research.
Good luck with your keyword research and I wish you all success.
If you would like more information on making money online, using the right keywords and staying ahead of algorithm changes like penguin and panda then take a look at bring the fresh: