Keyword Research Tools for the SEO Specialist

Keyword research is an essential part of all SEO packages because targeting the correct keywords is a crucial part of successful search engine optimisation efforts. The correct procedure is to carefully and thoughtfully analyse the ecommerce products and business services produced or sold on the site under evaluation. Next, you must determine how potential purchasers of those services would go about searching for them.

This page outlines some of the tools that can be used to do the basic research.

Keyword Selection Process

This is complicated by cultural, country and language subtleties… In some cases, an Australian searcher might use different terms than an American or English searcher would. There are plurals, synonyms, hyponyms, hypernyms, spelling and word usage variations to contend with e.g.

  • Flavour vs. flavor:: English vs. American spelling
  • Drugstore vs. pharmacy or chemist: word usage
  • Hiking vs. tramping – word usage – in the US, a tramp is a woman of low morals… but in New Zealand, we go tramping instead of hiking!

The Sage English Dictionary

I use The Sage, an English Dictionary and Thesaurus to find synonyms, antonyms, hyponyms etc – see latent semantic indexing page.

In all respects, the process in small business SEO is more about language and semantics than it is about clever technical wizardry. The aim is to present and portray the site contents in an organised, accurate and systematic manner.

The goal is to attract “qualified traffic” – Which is defined as those visitors who actually want, and are actively searching for, what you offer!

In contrast, the most common mistake is to generate a huge list of vaguely related keywords and phrases, and either recklessly insert them into pages, or insert them en masse into the Keyword meta-tag!

Free Online Keyword Tools

There were several keyword research tools we once used for various purposes. The heavy-duty 1st choice was the Keyword Research Tool. It was an “everyday” tool and there was a time when we could not work without access to the data that one delivered! Yahoo’s Overture Keyword Tools was also a valuable resource.

How things change… Overture has long gone. Since 2011 Google has reduced the amount of data that’s accessible to website owners. Its switch to encrypted HTTPS had an impact on the volume of information you can glean from traffic logs. That said;

  1. Webmaster Tools / Search Console does give you valuable information on keywords used in searches that lead to your site.
  2. Adwords keyword planner is extremely helpful in determining search volumes globally and locally. However, you don’t necessarily see the big picture when it comes to long-tail keywords…

The challenge most site owners contend with is not fully understanding the subtleties of keyword research and making informed selections in page placement and targeting. Brainstorming around a coffee table is old-school, counter-productive and leads to suboptimal outcomes.

But all is not lost – here are links to “free” keyword research tools;

To really make progress, getting an expert SEO audit can fast-track your website promotion objectives by revealing what the hidden impediments are.

Premium SEO Keyword Tools

Keyword research tools are included as part of pay-to-play SEO tools such as SEMRUSH and Rank Tracker.

SEMRUSH Keyword Research - Screenshot
SEMRUSH Keyword Research – Screenshot
Rank Tracker - Keyword Research Tools - Screenshot
Rank Tracker – Keyword Research Tools – Screenshot

I use Rank Tracker daily and it has a list of keyword database options: Keyword Gap, Search Console, Keyword Planner, Autocomplete Tools, Related Searches, Related Questions, TF-IDF Explorer and Keyword Combinations. There is also a Keyword Sandbox where all searches are saved for future reference. You could also employ the services of an SEO specialist to assist you as part of an SEO package. This is a complex process and an expert SEO consultant understands the complexities of research.

Page last updated on Friday, October 13, 2023 by the author Ben Kemp