A while ago I wrote about the four critical ingredients for choosing powerful keywords. These ingredients are keyword relevance, keyword traffic, keyword competitiveness and keyword commerciality. Finding keywords that are relevant to your website, have high levels of traffic, low competitiveness and high commerciality is paramount to running a successful online business.
The beauty about keyword research is that it is not a guessing game, it is a science. And like any science the tools you use to help you in your analysis is key.
In this article I provide three keyword research software reviews on tools that I use or have used for my keyword research – Google keyword tracker, Market Samurai and Jaaxy.
Google keyword tracker review
The Google keyword tracker is a free keyword research tool developed and maintained by Google. The tool allows users to research a keyword phrase. Google runs a search through its database to provide three important outputs based on the keyword phrase: 1) global monthly searches, 2) local searches (based on your location), and 3) a competition analysis for the keyword phrases based on a high, medium or low competition scale. Obviously, the task is to try find keywords that have high traffic but low competition.
I used to use the Google tracker all the time until I discovered that it is in fact not the most accurate tool. The main problems with the Google tracker keyword tool is that it bases its results on Google Adwords data. This can be very misleading. Moreover, the tool provides different results for the same keyword depending on whether you are logged into your Google Adwords account or not. For these reasons I would not recommend using the Google keyword tracker as your primary keyword research tool. Nonetheless, it can be quite useful to verify keyword results from other tools and of course it is free.
But assuming that you are serious about internet marketing and finding keyword niches, I believe the Google keyword tracker will let you down. To get real results I believe that one needs to explore paid for options. I was of course apprehensive paying for a keyword tool and therefore spent quite a lot of time sampling what’s out there. I tried numerous keyword research tools of which two particularly stood out. Here is my review on each.
In my opinion Market Samurai is the most affordable and effective tool available to internet marketeers. I have been using Market Samurai for over a year now and I credit the tool with all the success that I have had online to date. Market Samurai is a bespoke piece of software built on Adobe Air which allows it to be used on pretty much any operating system – Windows, Linux, Mac etc. The tool comes with a wealth of features, too many to review in detail here. Three particular features are however very relevant and therefore I will go into a little bit more detail below:
The Market Samurai software tool comes with an advanced keyword research module which provides detailed information and analytics on keyword phrases. The tool will provide a detailed analysis on the estimated SEO traffic you can expect from ranking no. 1 in Google for a keyword. It also provides detail ob the SEO and PPC competition which is useful should you ever wish to pay for Google Adwords. Most importantly, the keyword module in Market Samurai provides data on the commerciality of a keyword. You can therefore work out quite accurately how much money you could make from ranking no.1 on Google for your particular keyword phrase. Although all of these features are standard on most keyword tools, I like Market Samurai’s method of laying out the information for quick analysis as well as support videos which teach you how to use the keyword research module to best effect.
Market Samurai also provides a detailed breakdown of the competition for keywords based on a strength analysis of the top 10 ranking websites. It uses a heat map to show you which websites are very authoritive and which websites are perhaps weaker. The heat map is really useful in helping you make a decision as to whether you think you can compete with the leading websites for a particular keyword phrase. The map also gives you a sense of the type of work (i.e. backlink building etc) you would need to put into your website to rank in the top 10 on Google.
Rank checker is really useful as it allows you to check your domain, webpage or keyword ranking against your competition. You can track an unlimited amount of domains and keywords (although the more you track the slower the tool becomes). The rank checker provides data on position in SERPs – broad match and phrase match keywords, as well as backlinks and PageRank.
I swear by Market Samurai as I think it is such a powerful tool with so many useful features. The tool can be downloaded for a free 12 day trail after which you have to buy the software. I would suggest watching the free video tutorials provided by Market Samurai as they are extremely informative.
I have two things against Market Samurai. Firstly, the tool can run relatively slowly on your computer. Sometimes a keyword search takes up to 2 minutes to return results. Secondly, the software has to be installed on a computer and therefore I have to have my computer with me to use it. I would prefer to have a version that can be used as a software service through the internet. I have however, found a solution to this problem through another tool that I use called Jaaxy.
Jaaxy is a very simple to use and effective keyword tool. After typing in a keyword phrase, Jaaxy returns important keyword information which can help you make an informed decision on whether to use the keyword or not. The Jaaxy tool will also provided you with a list of closely related keywords which you can evaluate as alternatives to the keyword phrase you typed into the tool. I like using Jaaxy for a number of reasons:
- it gives you a good sense of the estimated amount of traffic you could receive from a keyword based on ranking no.1 in Google
- it highlights the ease of ranking for a keyword based on a simple traffic light system, which they refer to as a keyword quality indicator – green keyword phrases are relatively easier to rank for than, amber or red
- it shows you an index termed the Quoted Search Results (QSR) – which refers to the no. of competing web pages with the identical term in Google. Less than 400 results means that there is a very good chance new content can get listed on the first page in Google under this keyword
- it also provide a useful score called ‘SEO’ power which is based on traffic, the QSR, and competition. The SEO power metric is based on a scale of 1-100, the higher the score, the better
- finally, the tool is provided as software as a service which means you can access it online wherever you are. I access my Jaaxy account from my iPhone which is great as I often have keyword ideas when I’m on the train or in transit.
You can access Jaaxy for free for your first thirty searches after which you have to pay a monthly subscription. I was first apprehensive to pay but after using the free service for a while I realized that the benefits of the tool far outweigh the costs. I would recommend signing up for a free account and if you like it then you can always upgrade.
I cannot emphasize how important keyword research is when trying to get lots of traffic to your website. If you don’t find high traffic, low competition keywords you will really struggle to rank in the search engines. Using a accurate and reliable keyword research tool is critical. I would recommend trialing a number of tools to see which one suits you best. I hope the information above helps you make a better informed decision.