Digital Marketing

Mar 4, 2009

Best practice Search Engine Marketing Guides

Introduction to SEM analysis tools

I use these tools regularly for all aspects of search engine marketing (SEM), but particularly keyphrase or keyword analysis for SEO. There are a wealth of free tools out there used by most involved with SEO and PPC, but my list has been expanded to not only include the SEO Keyword Analysis tools, but also many other tools.

See my Google keyword analysis tutorial for an illustration of the best way to use these tools.

I prefer the term keyphrase rather than the more common term keyword since both SEO and PPC perform better if you target phrases where keywords are in close proximity.

I have also compiled a listing of all the free Google tools for search marketing

1. Search engine keyphrase analysis tools

  • Google Keyword tool (free access) - great for finding relative importance of search terms related to a keyword including synonyms. NB. Don't miss the "Related Sites" tool on separate tab shows keywords related to your site. Check you have selected the right term.
  • Google Traffic Estimator (free) - Tool for summarising volume and CPC for up to 5000 key phrases - can be filtered by country. See my Google keyword tutorial for a guide on the Google Keyword tool and Traffic Estimator.
  • Google trends tool - great for identifying peaks, periodicity or long-term trends in how your users search for you or your products in different countries. See my tutorial How to use Google Trends
  • Google Suggest - A new tool in Google labs that gives keyphrase suggestions according to the number of pages on that topic.
  • Yahoo! UK Search Marketing (formerly Overture) search term analysis tool - NB. Tool not currently supported or recommended. Formerly, the original and easiest to use keyword tool useful for finding numbers searching on key phrases and related keywords, but remember it excludes Google and Microsoft Search.
  • Nichebot - Paid tool but US based - integrates Google and Wordtracker and shows competitiveness for limited number of related keywords. The next two are better known and have UK databases.
  • WordTracker Gives similar results to Overture, but accross all networks. US-based, but with UK module. Based on usage of metacrawler meta search engine which is not a representative audience for mainstream search engines.
  • Keyword Discovery (paid) Paid tool similar to Word Tracker from Trellian but offers sophisticated trend tracking and regional - now with UK module. Again issues with sources of data - from Metacrawlers.

2. Keyword density SEO tools - for checking page effectiveness

These Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) tools analyse the number of occurrences of keyphrases / keywords on the page. They are useful for comparing your pages for SEO effectiveness against competitors.

  • Abakus Topword Key phrase density checker - excellent free tool for testing home pages and showing keyword frequency and also meta tags and meta description. Watch for use of 2 or 3 word key phrases on a page which shows effective optimisation.
  • Ranks NL Keyword density or prominence - Similar tool with more sophisticated analysis but with some restrictions on page size.
  • Digital Point tools interfaces combine some of the above. Also offers free tools based on Google API.
  • URLtrends - Helpful - Provides a summary of ranking of sites using a range of different tools. As the name suggests, also provides trends. Choose 'Can't wait' option for quicker results for UK sites.
  • Keyword Count - Tool for comparing keyphrases on a site against competitor sites
  • MarketLeap - 3 different tools for assessing links in, keyword saturation.

3. Keyphrase / Keyword ranking position software

These software or web services report on your position in different search engines for different search terms. Be aware that these tools may contravene Search engines terms of service. Best known ranking tools include:

You should think through the following issues when using these tools:

  • Some of these services may contravene Googles terms of service ( although they are widely used
  • Minimising the number of ranking queries and using the Google API Key are likely to reduce this risk
  • These tools are particularly necessary if you have a large keyword portfolio or international sales are important so you can track performance in different countries
  • For some agencies, this is the primary method of reporting success, but of course share of search on a given phrase, number of clicks and whether they convert is a much better measure of effectiveness.

4. Pay Per Click keyword tools

4. Pay Per Click Learning tools

5. Other SEO tools

Here is my full listing of different types of SEO tools

  1. Keyphrase analysis tools (for SEO and also PPC)
  2. Keyword Density Tools for SEO
  3. Backlink or inbound link tracking tools
  1. Robot Crawling tools for SEO
  2. Index inclusion tools for SEO
  1. Reputation management tools

Mainly PPC Analysis tools

  1. Bid management tool in particular its capability to manage a portfolio of keywords against different targets of conversions, CPA, revenue etc and also any requirements for page tagging or third-party cookies.

Both SEO and PPC Analysis tools

  1. Keyphrase management tool / repository
  2. Keyword ranking tools - for SEO mainly but can do PPC
  3. Standard Web Analytics tools

Simpler analytics conversion tracking tools

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