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Keywords are the bread and butter of the online world. They are the primary avenue to obtaining information off the library that is the web. As an internet marketer, recognizing and taking advantage of this is imperative to success.
Knowing which keywords to target in your blog content should not be rocket science. The first and most basic way is using Google’s autocomplete feature. It lets you know what users are typing into the search engine. However, a tool that collects and analyzes this data is needed. Traffic and competitiveness information is equally important for content strategy.
The keyword analysis and research tools are as below in no particular order.
Google Keyword Planner
Formerly known as the Google Keyword Tool, Google Keyword Planner is a free keyword tool. However, you have to set up a Google Ads account to access it. Keep in mind it’s biased to pay-per-click advertising therefore volume and competition metrics are for paid search.
Nonetheless, it can equally be used to obtain SEO keywords through the “Discover New Keywords” feature.
Unlike the prior tool, Google Trends analyzes the frequency of search queries across geographies, languages, etc over time.
While it may not be the ultimate go-to tool for internet marketing purposes, it gives an idea of what is of particular interest at a given time. For example, you can take advantage of festivities if you also deal in seasonal goods like Christmas, Valentine’s, Thanksgiving, etc.
Google Search Console
Once you’ve set up your blog and published some level of content, connect your website to Google Search Console. It lets you get an insight into your site’s overall performance in the eyes of search engines.
My favorite is data under the Performance section. I get to see what keywords are used to arrive at my blog. Additionally, click-through rates across the various pages are displayed. As a result, I revise my meta description accordingly and recheck titles for those pages.
Google Search Console goes further to give info on pages with indexing errors that need fixing.
In the Wild West that is the internet, having the right tools will see you outgun much fiercer opponents. Get the drift? Of course, you’ll have to know how to use them effectively as well. One of the tools you’ll need is the Ahrefs SEO tool.
Ahrefs is more than your average keyword tool. It also functions as a content idea generator, competition spy, and site audit tool. There are four key tools within Ahrefs as below. See the brief description under each.
There are other tools that Ahrefs lists as free SEO tools but on the contrary, are limited in the results they display. A paid subscription will nonetheless unlock the rest of the results.
Ahrefs pricing starts at $99 for the Lite plan to $999 for Agency, all per month. While this might seem steep compared to other alternatives, it comes down to a give-and-take. It also depends on what you are out to achieve in your online marketing activities.
The good news is that Ahrefs have given full access, seven days’ trial at $7! I think that’s a great deal.
SEMrush is also another online visibility tool that breaks the bounds of a keyword-only tool. Like its competitor Ahrefs, it has features that let you spy on the competition, build links, monitor page ranking over time, PPC research, etc.
Additionally, this tool has social media management tools like a posts scheduler and ads management integrated. The scope of SEMrush’s tools is as depicted in the graphic below.
SEMrush has structured pricing into three plans depending on the size of the user, whether a newbie, marketing consultant, or a large agency. The prices range from $119.95 to $449.95 per month.
However, some features need a top-up to unlock, for example, access to insights on a competitor’s marketing strategies across various channels.
Most people seem to have positive reviews on this product, as per what I’ve come across online. Also, on Trustpilot, the score is at 4.5 out of 5, which is excellent.
Though Jaaxy is grounded in the keyword research side of SEO, it is an equally powerful tool for uncovering untapped niches. It can additionally do a competitive analysis of top-ranking pages for a specific keyword. Important when intending to target specific keywords in your content.
Moz has two distinct products namely Moz Pro and Moz Local. The latter is described as intended for local SEO – creating and managing local business listings on Google, Facebook, and other sites. Comes with reporting features as well.
Moz Pro, on the other hand, is an SEO tool akin to Ahrefs and SEMrush already mentioned above. It is a fully-fledged tool that analyzes your site and suggests improvements. I do not want to be repetitive as it does what the other tools do, see the suite of tools graphic below, albeit in its own slightly different manner and design.
Moz Pro pricing starts at $99 to $599 across four plans depending on how heavy of a user you are. However, there’s a 25% discount on these monthly prices for committing to an annual payment.
In contrast to the previous tools in this listing, Moz offers a whopping full-access, 30-day free trial period!
Just as the name suggests, SpyFu is a surveillance SEO service. With SpyFu you can observe all the marketing activities being undertaken by your competitors to grow their online reach. From PPC keywords they’ve used to their type of content to backlinks.
This is especially relevant for spying on successful sites that rank well on search engines and therefore very visible. You might not get to the same level but at least you get to learn strategies that work that you can apply. Its catalog of tools is as below.
The least price for a Basic plan is $39 per month whereas the highest is $299 for a Team plan. A progressive discount up the plans applies if an annual subscription is paid for instead. Additionally, it has a 30-day money-back guarantee if you need to cancel for whatever reason. They say no hoops to jump through to get your refund!
Serpstat describes itself as an all-in-one SEO platform – a sort of swiss army knife of SEO to boost performance in search engines. It does this through the use of an extensive, continually updated intelligence database. Though the data is based primarily on Google results, it only makes sense since Google receives the lion’s share of user searches.
The team at Serpstat has developed it over the years from a simple in-house keyword tool to the broad array of commercial SEO tools it is now.
Serpstat claims to have over thirty tools you’ll need to improve your website’s organic and ads visibility online. I’m sure others more prominent, others you’ll barely need. The main tools are listed below.
Pricing starts at $69 for Lite up to $499 for Enterprise per month. There are five plans, each with different features and limitations. The price for the fifth plan does not attach beforehand as it is custom. A 25% discount applies if an annual subscription is purchased.
Similar to the prior, SimilarWeb is a digital traffic intelligence service. It collects data from various sources like Google results and partnering ISPs, synthesizes it to spew out relevant, actionable online marketing information.
For example, it gives information on the various traffic sources to a particular website – social, direct, organic, etc. Additionally, for backlinks, it shows the relative importance of each referring source.
This is important in uncovering the successful competitors in your space and the strategies they deploy that work. Why do trial and error when the data is available in front of you?
The features go way deeper than I have space to write it out here. I was doing a listing of SEO tools for this post. Its other features more or less achieve similar ends to the other services mentioned previously. The full listing of tools is as in the graphic below.
SimilarWeb has not explicitly displayed prices on their website. Information on this across the internet varies widely. It is therefore safe to assume you’ll have to sign up to get accurate information about their pricing. However, there is a limited free account you can sign up on to test out the features before committing.
If there is an equally capable keyword tool you use let me know in the comments section below. I’m sure there are others I’ve not covered here that do not get much publicity. This does not mean they are any less effective. The trend has created a merging of various elements of online visibility tools hence some might not even be referred to as keyword tools.
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