Language is how we all communicate, no matter what language we speak. As writers, we need to be able to some degree cross language barriers in order to understand and to create meaning for the intended audience of written material, whether we’re writing product descriptions, blogs, or social media updates. Some writers are better equipped than others to cope with the relatively complicated and constantly fluctuating demands of Google algorithm updates and search engine optimization than other writers, but to achieve any degree of success, all have to come to terms with keyword analytics.
The following is a rundown of just seven of the different keyword research tools competing for your time, headaches, and blurry eyes staring down data sets on a computer screen.
Google provides a lot of different tools for different types of keyword research and site analysis, so these two are lumped together because they are two sides of the same coin. One side is specific (Keyword Planner) and the other more general (Trends) but still quite insightful. Keyword Planner has replaced Keyword Tool (read the webmaster’s explanation of the differences here).
The following images demonstrate the variance in semantic connections a Google Trends search for “content” can provide.
The search results are as broad as one might expect from such a non-specific term, though of course in this case we’re looking for web content. However, imposing limits on the term change things a great deal.
Google AdWords and the Keyword tool may be among the top choices for detailed results in a keyword search, accompanied by volume. These results, and all the semantic variations of the search term(s), help the writer make specific choices in words for rich and engaging content that’s varied and meaningful.
6. Keyword Eye
Keyword Eye is a free tool that lets a writer connect search terms visually. Users are only able to retrieve 100 result terms, so deep keyword research is still needed for analysis, but you are able to order results in ascending or descending order, and the results are intuitively color coded.
This tool allows a writer to immediately pick out linked terms that are meaningful. Your brain is able to work differently than it may when confronted with a spreadsheet due to the graphic nature of the results screen. There is also a Grid View for a deeper or more profound semantic analysis.
URL.com lacks depth but is unique in that it offers search engine results from Google, Yahoo, and Bing for your keyword phrase.
NicheBot stands out because it breaks your keyword phrase results down by major search engines as well as keyword phrases for the past 100 days (in the free version). For writers, NicheBot is also worth your time because it includes a thesaurus, keyword tracking tools, and keyword ranking.
Highlighted already as a popular SEO resource for 2013, this tool is just plain fun, and worth it for the “Combat” mode.
SpyFu also lets you check out advertising and marketing budgets for competitors and set up tracking for the keywords you or your client has chosen. The feel of the keyword tool site, which stimulates different avenues of thought via varied data analysis protocols, is proactive and engaging.
If you’re writing content for social media specifically, be sure to check out trending topics and follow the conversation. Right below the search bar is a link for a pop up list of operators to narrow down your search phrase. Always pay attention to how your target audience is talking about your intended topic – those are the keywords that end up defining the SERP.
1. Google Wonder Wheel
This tool takes your search from the general to the specific in the quest to understanding keywords in much the same manner your audience may web crawl. This creates a keyword search taxonomy that can be implemented into content/SEO overall strategy.
Finally, don’t neglect your own keyword tool – Google Analytics – and one very powerful processor – yourself. You can aggregate data, collect conversion rates and near matches, draw webs, or dump data into excel and create your own sorting methods to enhance meaning and create those rich connections. ~Sara