In order to know which keywords to target, it's essential to not only understand the demand for a given term or phrase, but also the work required to achieve high rankings. If big brands take the top 10 results and you're just starting out on the web, the uphill battle for rankings can take years of effort. This is why it's essential to understand keyword difficulty.
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Earlier, I wrote a post about the use of long tail keywords. Focusing on long tail keywords could be a good strategy, especially when trying to rank in a highly competitive market. But how do you decide on which (long tail) keywords you want to rank? This post will give you some handy tips and keyword research tools to make your keyword research a bit easier.

More on this How to Do Keyword Research with SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool Post Maria Raybould SEMrush Toolkit for SEO Ebook Mar 16, 2018 Intent research: Confirming your keyword intent assumptions with Google ads Webinar recorded on  Sep 20, 2018 Of course, knowing where to start can be difficult. Below you'll find the five best SEO keyword research tools I recommend for startups to begin a well-rounded keyword foundation for your campaigns.
Keyword Discovery is a paid subscription service that offers marketers the ability to see keyword data across multiple search engines. They maintain one of the largest databases of searches, (nearly 38 billion) which are compiled from over 50 different search engines. The search data shown is a record of the number of times the exact keyword or phrase has been searched over the last 12 months across all 50+ search engines. You would assume that the search volumes would be much larger than any other tool because of Keyword Discovery’s access to data from over 50 search engines, but the fact that the keyword matching option is set to exact, greatly reduces the total volume. Unlike Google’s tools, Keyword Discovery does not collect or show data relating to paid search, such as Suggested Bid, Cost per Click, and Competition. Data is collected daily, but updated monthly. Although you must pay the subscription to have access to all the features, Keyword Discovery does provide a free alternative.
I was going to post screenshots here showing my numbers for the past year – but the dashboards in the old affiliate platforms (Clickbank and JVZoo) don’t provide the best visuals – so I’ll just show you my total affiliate income for the past year. In one year (March 13, 2015 to March 13, 2016) I earned $3867.60 in commissions for promoting Long Tail Pro. Not bad for having just a mildly popular ‘passive income blog’ and only a small email list!
You can also ask Long Tail Pro to get extra information like “Global Search Volume” (amount of monthly searches globally for each exact-match search term), “Domain Availability” (to see if exact-match domains are available), “Google Title Competition” and “Bing Title Competition” (this is the “allintitle” search that checks the number of sites that are using the same keyword in the title of their pages).
Most people who use the Google’s auto complete feature to generate keywords that they include in their blog title or page find Soovle to be a very useful tool. This tool moves the auto complete feature a step forward by getting inputs from several sources like Amazon, Yahoo, Wikipedia, Bing apart from Google itself. This assists the user to generate keywords that drive online traffic in a better way. The default is usually set to Google but you can switch to the other options at your own will and view how the outcome keeps on changing. You can experiment with a broad range of keywords by running them through a specialized tool such as the keyword inspector as a way of extracting value that will boost your sales on Amazon.

Keyword Researcher is an easy-to-use Keyword Discover Tool. Once activated, it emulates a human using Google Autocomplete, and repeatedly types thousands of queries into Google. Each time a partial phrase is entered, Google tries to predict what it thinks the whole phrase might be. We simply save this prediction. And, as it turns out, when you do this for every letter of the alphabet (A-Z), then you’re left with hundreds of great Long Tail keyword phrases.
A very popular and highly competitive keyword on Google search engine is "making money." It has 85,300,000 search results, meaning that millions of websites are relevant or competing for that keyword. Keyword research starts with finding all possible word combinations that are relevant to the "making money" keyword. For example, a keyword "acquiring money" has significantly fewer search results, only 61 000 000, but it has the same meaning as "making money." Another way is to be more specific about a keyword by adding additional filters. Keyword "making money online from home in Canada" is less competitive on a global scale and therefore easier to rank for. Furthermore, keywords also have various intents which can affect whether the marketer would want to target that keyword. Multiple tools are available (both free and commercial) to find keywords and analyze them.

I ditto what you are saying. All of the keyword volume data the system is stating is completely way off, false and misleading. They are pulling these numbers now from 3rd party sources, which we all know are directional, but in many cases in left field! I just signed up and will probably be cancelling because I can’t trust or rely on their data. What a shame, because before it was such a great tool.
Settings. This tiny gear icon on the right upper corner is where you can ask support for “Help”, toggle on or off the help icons; manage “User Accounts” (you need to enter your Google AdWords credentials when the software is run for the first time plus your Moz API details too, which are free to get since LTP uses a both AdWords and Moz’s data); set the “Data Fetching Speed”; and check the “Show Runtime Error” and “Show Debug Panel” in the “Debug” section (which can be very helpful when there’s something wrong with the tool or with your Google AdWords account).
Great article again. I was just thinking why can’t I find an article of yours on keyword research and then boom here it is. Thanks again. On another subject are your articles on link building still relevant ?. As I have been guilty of as Brian Deane calls it the publish and pray method. I would really like to know what is method of choice for link building. Thanks again Ian.
WordStream for PPC is a full-service PPC management platform for creating, optimizing and managing pay-per-click advertising campaigns in Google AdWords. Our PPC software includes easy-to-use PPC keyword tools, campaign creation and expansion tools, Quality Score optimization tools, and more to help marketers get their PPC work done quickly and cost-effectively. WordStream for PPC customers experience increased traffic and greater ROI.
I recently decided to go with ahrefs after using spyfu for a couple years and trialing secockpit. I was a moz client for awhile too about a year ago. I found spyfu data to be sketchy (or just plain wrong) fairly often, and moz, I don’t know, just didn’t seem like they were really into supporting what I wanted to know. secockpit was achingly slow for a trickle of data. ahrefs isn’t nearly so graph-y as spyfu, but they are so blazing fast and the data is so deep. I enjoy it a great deal, even if it is spendy.
"I rarely get excited about SEO and SEM tools...But, when it comes to keyword research it is virtually impossible to produce a quality worksheet without software. When I have to perform the same task for my customers, the process is even more daunting and time consuming...there is now a better way to manage huge keyword lists and this tool is called WordStream."
Google Adwords search volume tool is highly effective and extremely easy to use. If you’re new to keyword research and just want some quick info on the search volume and competition level of a few keywords you have in mind, this is a great tool to use. Just enter in the specific keywords that you want to compare, and then view the results. You’ll be able to see the search volume, general competition level, and suggested Adwords bid.
This keyword tool was built on a custom database we have compiled over the past four years. We researched data from the (now defunct) Google Search-Based Keyword Tool and also looked at a few more recent data snapshots to refresh the database and enhance our keyword coverage. Our database contains 28,527,279 keywords representing 13,762,942,253 monthly searches. Our database is primarily composed of English language keywords.
As a new customer trying to evaluate the software, I asked if my trial period could be extended once this fundamental issue was fixed, on the basis I couldn’t actually evaluate its requirements against my criteria. I was told this was not possible, which frankly, is very poor customer service. What’s the point of offering a trial period when customers are unable to fully test the software?

To answer your final question, yes but not really. You can definitely use AdWord keyword planner tool to get solid organic search volume estimates. However, don’t just stop there. Leverage other tools to find longer tail variations you can map against various stages of the buyer journey. I like to use SEMrush, Keyword Tool.io and Google autosuggest.
This database was built using data from BEFORE Google required active ad accounts to get good keyword data & before they started blending data together for similar terms. Even if you set up an AdWords account and spend significant sums of money with them, they may require you to run your ad campaign for 3 or 4 months straight before they will show reasonably precise data instead of exceptionally broad data ranges.
Let's say you're considering starting a new website, or venturing into a new product niche. And, suppose you'd like to somehow determine how much search buzz is currently hovering around this topic. You can use Keyword Researcher to get a "feel" for how much interest is actually out there. For example, let's say you were selling cameras. Then you might consider the following:
Long Tail Pro is a very useful piece of software for long tail keyword research.  One of its best features is that you can carry out heavy analysis on the keywords of your choice, without being limited to only working with one or two at a time. It can provide you also with vast numbers of longtail keywords, or you can apply filters to find the precise keywords to fit your bill.  And you can check your rankings at the same time!
A very popular and highly competitive keyword on Google search engine is "making money." It has 85,300,000 search results, meaning that millions of websites are relevant or competing for that keyword. Keyword research starts with finding all possible word combinations that are relevant to the "making money" keyword. For example, a keyword "acquiring money" has significantly fewer search results, only 61 000 000, but it has the same meaning as "making money." Another way is to be more specific about a keyword by adding additional filters. Keyword "making money online from home in Canada" is less competitive on a global scale and therefore easier to rank for. Furthermore, keywords also have various intents which can affect whether the marketer would want to target that keyword. Multiple tools are available (both free and commercial) to find keywords and analyze them.

As for the history of the company, as I explained, I created Long Tail Pro back in 2011.  At the time, I was creating tons of niche sites and was doing alot of keyword research and content creation.  I was trying to figure out what types of keywords would rank quickly in the search engines, specifically Google, and I was frustrated with the other keyword research tools (in particular Market Samurai) out there.

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