Conducting proper keyword research is an important step in developing an internet marketing strategy. Keywords are what web surfers use to find your site, so it’s imperative that you promote your site with keywords that people will actually use when conducting their search. In this article, I’m going to go over the most valuable features that the ideal keyword research tool should offer its users.
1. The ability to localize keywords with commercial intent
Web surfers who search using these keywords are not looking for free information, they are searching with an expectation of purchase. Most keywords with commercial intent are also considered long-tail keywords, which are basically three or more words specific to a particular product, service, or website.
It’s also important to note that while most commercial-intent keywords are long-tail keywords, long-tail keywords are not necessarily commercial. Luckily, there is a free service that can tell if a keyword or keyword phrase is commercial or not. This service provided by Microsoft is called “Detecting Online Commercial Intent” and can be found in the adCenter tool section.
2. View the number of searches
This is perhaps the most important feature of a keyword tool. Without knowing how often a keyword is used in the search engines, it is virtually impossible to determine its value in marketing campaigns. A good keyword tool should report the number of monthly and yearly searches. The number of monthly searches is particularly important when budgeting for pay-per-click ads.
An annual search volume feature is also useful for determining the search trend for a particular keyword over time. For example, some keywords related to Christmas gifts or items may have high search volume in the fall months but very low search volume in the months following the Christmas holidays. This is obviously important information when launching a marketing campaign, and being able to compare the number of annual searches to the number of monthly searches provides this information about keyword search trends.
3. View the number of competing sides
Knowing the number of competing pages for a given keyword is absolutely essential. It would be unrealistic to try to rank high in the search engines for keywords that have a lot of competition. Keywords with low competition and high search volume are ideal.
The number of competing pages can be inferred by using quotes around a keyword when searching. The number of “results” that the search engine shows when using quotation marks is the number of competing pages. Being able to calculate this number for each keyword is a very handy feature in keyword research software.
4. View the number of Google ads
This is a nice feature for a keyword tool. Google ads showing for specific keywords are a good indication of profitability. If there’s no money for a keyword, it’s unlikely to show many, if any, ads. On the other hand, if you’re seeing a lot of ads for a keyword, it could be an indication that pay-per-click advertising is too competitive.
Professional keyword research tools should not only harvest profitable keywords with low competition, but also offer useful, time-saving features like the ones mentioned in this article. Because they’re the primary method potential customers use to find your website, it’s safe and appropriate to say that keywords are “keys”.