At Next Marketing we use the Adwords Keyword Planner which is offered by Google for free. However, we have found recently that the tool provides results that are heavily based on estimations and by doing so often lacks sufficient information for highly specific keywords.
As a comparison, we conducted an analysis on four new alternatives available in the world wide web.
This is what we found:
Wordtracker is a well known and popular keyword research tool which not only provides useful information on keyword research and strategies, it also provides tips and assistance with general SEO as well.
Strengths of Wordtracker:
· Wordtracker allows you to submit multiple keywords at once, which can save you time and make comparisons easier.
· You can select the level of specificity for the results (eg. keywords in any order or exact keyword inside a search term). This distinction is useful depending if you need suggestions or want to measure the competitiveness of a keyword.
· Wordtracker also provides a list of 100 keyword suggestions complete with search estimates, competition levels, an ‘In Anchor and Title (IAAT) statistic and the Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI).
Weaknessess of Wordtracker:
· Wordtracker only allows geographic targeting for the USA and UK in the free version. To access the Australian data you must upgrade to the full subscription for $69 month.
It isn’t often that you will find a free tool that provides an analysis statistic that the Google Keyword planner doesn’t. Google provides a competition statistic however it is based on the number of advertisers on Google targeting that keyword. In comparison, the IAAT and KEI estimates that Wordtracker provides are based on competitors that have optimised their website for the particular keyword in question. This means your results will include competitors that aren’t using adwords, a much broader analysis.
Aside from having to pay for Australian specific results, we really like the Wordtracker tool. They also have a handy free newsletter which has good marketing tips and a free “how to” guide for keyword research that can be downloaded as a pdf file.
The SEO book keyword tool is powered by Wordtracker and it cross references the keyword suggestions with Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Strengths of SEO book:
· SEO Book provides actual queries that have been searched which means the daily estimates are likely to be fairly accurate.
· This tool provides separate statistics for each search engine (Google, Yahoo and Bing) allowing you to easily compare search traffic across them.
Weaknesses of SEO book:
· SEO Book only allows for one keyword submission at a time, which makes it difficult to compare a list of keywords.
· The tool provides fairly accurate estimated daily searches however it does not provide any information on the competition surrounding the keywords. This information would be useful for businesses that either have expensive or highly competitive keywords to give them insight for targeting more specific or niche keywords.
As previously mentioned, the estimations from the Google keyword planner can be inaccurate or have insufficient data for specific keywords. SEO book is a good alternative for when the Google keyword planner has inadequate information for the keyword in question.
Wordpot is another free tool that finds the most commonly used keywords from a database of 60 million keywords.
Strengths of Word pot:
· Word pot clearly distinguishes between the amount of exact matches and total matches that the keyword suggestions have on a daily basis.
· Easy to use
Weaknesses of Word pot:
· This tool also only allows for one keyword input at a time.
· Wordpot does not include any information on keyword competition.
· Only provides 25 keyword suggestions and many include brands or locations so they are possibly irrelevant.
· Does not allow any geographic targeting.
The Google Keyword planner has many of the same features as Wordpot however cross-referencing is useful to get a more comprehensive view of the keywords in question. Wordpot should be used in addition to the Google keyword planner to get secondary information.
In addition to free tools noted above, we also tried a paid tool. This is what we found:
Raventools combines domain and keyword research into a single research resource and can generate statistics on external keywords.
Strengths of Raventools:
· Raventools collects keyword information from your Google, Twitter and Facebook.
· Allows you to add multiple keywords in at once.
· Provides information on keyword performance, insights, email metrics, event management, site performance, PPC, content, SEO and Social Media reports.
· Raventools generates statistics on external keywords– therefore allowing you to consider keywords you may not have targeted before.
· They provide a free 30-day trial including 2 websites, 2 users and access to all data integrations.
Weaknesses of Raventools:
· Basic version starts from $99/month.
What does our research mean?
Even though on the surface the paid research tool “Raventools”
What I recommend is using a combination of all tools. Across each of these tools, a keyword phrase often resulted in different traffic estimations. Best practice for conducting keyword research would be to use multiple tools to cross-reference and ensure you are getting the most accurate information as possible.
The important thing to note is that all these tools are based on estimations so don’t expect precise quantitative analysis. This is where your (or ours!) marketing mind comes into play, don’t let the tools make up your mind for you!