Keyword Research: a Joy or a Chore?

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Do you like doing keyword research? I do :)

When I do keyword research I tend towards using my former colleague JP Sherman’s methodologies of defining a “keyword marketspace.” That’s usually because I’m mapping out a content strategy and I need to know who’s in a keyword market space and what’s out there and how our content needs to fit in the market’s existing distribution points.

There’s a big difference between how – and WHY – I do research and the tedious spreadsheet-building chore I once conducted for a search-frequency-based site architecture (what we did at MSI).

All that said I STILL haven’t ingested and digested Stoney G deGeyter’s Keyword Research Methodologies (pdf) from Monday’s link-splosion. But I’m gonna. Today. Because I’ve been reading BlueHat and I want a good excuse to play with Word Tracker’s new keyword research tool :)

Word Tracker’s new keyword research tool

In Wall’s thread on the new tool – where I heard about it – there are a couple of other free keyword research tools mentioned:

http://www.digitalpoint.com/tools/suggestion
http://www.keyworddiscovery.com/search.html

There’s also Wall’s July 14th post SEO & PPC Competitive Analysis & Keyword Research Tools

What keyword tools do you use? …and is keyword research a joy or a chore for you?

About the Author

Garrett French educates SEO and PR teams on content and engagement-based link building strategies that drive targeted referral traffic and deliver SERP domination. Learn more about him and his services at CitationLabs.com.

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8 Comments

  1. Andrey Milyan

    Here is the truth about SMS Blog: we were created as a fan club for Aaron Wall's SEOBook.com. I'm sure you can tell that but the amount of praise Aaron gets here.

    In fact, to save time we just read SEO Book and then cleverly repost everything Aaron says there.

    How do we make money, you ask? We are official affiliates of the SEO Book.

    Of course, I'm kidding. But SEO Book is by far the number one SEM blog on my list. Too bad I can't get him to contribute to the magazine :(

  2. Andrey Milyan

    And to answer Garrett's question, I have reviewed WordTracker and KeywordDiscovery in the Winter 06/07 issue of the magazine. Your pick should depend on what you are trying to do. WordTracker is a good tool but it lacks some more advanced features. KeywordDiscovery, for example, can give you top keywords for ebay, news sites and has seasonal information.

    If you are just getting start with your PPC and/or SEO campaign, WordTracker is your solution. In fact, with free tool they are offering right now, it's hard to beat.

  3. Garrett French

    SHHHH Andrey you're giving away our secret sauce ;)

    Yes, I'm a HUGE fan of Aaron Wall's writing and consider him to be a guiding force in my development as an online business man.

    We're lucky we didn't cross beams on his post about copywriting... I almost did that one too ;)

  4. Keyword search is a chore for me. I dont really care to search a million keywords and use them all in my campaigns, for one, because I know that 95% of them will not be used. I am a PPC advertiser, and I use google/adwords amongst some other PPC campaigns. I just find it a chore...and a bore to put so much time in this. I want to get the hottest keywords (highest CTR) and get rid of the losers and move on. And yes, it is truly worth it, when I get high CTR on campaigns which had very low CTR. I use them all Keyworddiscovery, overture, and googles keyword tool. I like the keyword tool because I can set match cases.

  5. I use the AdWords tool most, natch, since I usually have my nose buried in a clients AdWords account. They keep making that tool a little better all the time.

    But as Garrett read a while back, my research tends to be more organic, and less upfront. Especially working in the micro-small-mid sized business market.

    That way I am utilizing the real-time market research inherently built into PPC.

    Find the sweet kw niches first, there are usually a few not too far off keyword main street. Then start working your way down (to use that most common of new marketing phrases) the long tail.

    I found how you sort words in PPC is more important than how many words you have to sort.

    Unless your spending millions a year on paid search of course, then you can afford a massive sorting process.

    -T

  6. smstandard

    Makes sense.

  7. I love looking at the keywords once its in excel format with all the right data waiting for me. The collecting of the data before this stage is for me hard work but it is worth it. I used to use a whole bunch of tools now I use mostly Googles PPC tool.

  8. A good way to get keyword suggestions is to use Google Adwords keyword tool. First, you need an Adwords account. Then start a new PPC campaign for your site and use the keyword tool to find not only keywords that people have searched on but also their relative popularities.