Keyword research is vital to many forms of online marketing. It’s utterly vital to successful pay per click marketing, and pretty amazingly useful even for regular websites and blog posting. Knowing what people search for really helps your site be found, however you market it.
Any of these can help you to narrow your niche, figure out the keywords you should be targeting in your ads, on page text or linking campaigns, but are they really necessary? Can’t you do it for free?
There can be some functionality you can’t get without paying, but there’s quite a bit you can do without spending a penny. Just some time, which you’d have to do with the research tools anyhow.
Google’s a great place to start, of course. Top search engine, the one most of us want to target. And they provide some pretty nice free tools to figure out what keywords to target for whatever purpose.
The Google AdWords Keyword Tool is a nice one. Free and you don’t have to be signed in to use it. It’s been around a while. You can tell it if you want broad, phrase, exact or negative matching to what you’re searching on. You get search volumes and a bit of a guide as to the level of advertiser competition for each suggested phrase.
But Google has more to offer. You can get some interesting data just from regular searches. Let’s start with a search on ‘home business’ (without the quotes, I’m not being too picky here).
Lots of results, of course. But the fun part comes in clicking the “Options” link just above the search results. Suddenly you can pick from videos, forums, reviews, past 24 hours, past week and more. You can also pull up related searches or look at related searches in Wonder Wheel form.
The Wonder Wheel really isn’t so different from the usual related searches, but it’s an interesting way to look at the results.
Some paid tools can give you some different data, but others give you little more than what Google will gladly share with you for free. Using Google also means you don’t have to wonder if the data is current.
And don’t forget one of the greatest keyword research tools ever – your own website stats! Pay attention not only to what’s bringing you a lot of traffic, but the obscure and interesting phrases that bring people in. You can find some interesting ones, and some will be profitable.
Whether you use a free or paid keyword research tool, make sure you’re using something. Guessing what people are searching for can only take you so far.Tags: google, keyword research, keyword tools, Pay Per Click, wonder wheel