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Best keyword tool for predicting search volume

Free tool preferred

   
9:13 pm on Dec 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I am charged with coming up with a target keyword list for the SEO of our website.

1) I have compiled a list of keywords (from our weblogs and PPC campaigns) that drive the most traffic to our site organically and thru paid search

2) While this is important information, we feel that it is even more important to optimize for the keywords that have most search volume. (Optimizing for keywords that already drive traffic to our site might be intrinsically limited)

3) What tools do you recommend?

- I have used Overture and found it to be outdated and crappy.
- I used Wordtracker and question its accuracy
- The Google traffic estimator provides estimated clicks a day plus a little green bar the tells nothing about actual search volume (in terms of impressions).

Any recommendations?

We are also thinking about researching keywords and then buying those keywords in Google Adwords to get a read on actual impressions. Thoughts on this?

Thanks in advance

7:56 am on Dec 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Keywords with the most search volume are generally not the best keywords for which to optimize your site. The ones with the most search volume are usually the 'general' terms that don't convert...

For example, if you have a loan site on the internet, you are wasting your time trying to optimize for 'mortgage'. 1) it's a HIGHLY competitive term. 2) it's very general and has a VERY low conversion rate. You're better off optimizing for things like "Low interest home loans" or "mortgage refinance loans".

The term "TV" will get far more searches than "Samsung flat screen model 282881", but people searching for "Samsung flat screen model 282881" will convert at a MUCH higher rate, people searching on "TV" will almost never convert - they're shoppers just beginning to research a purchase typically" or maybe they are not even looking for a TV... perhaps they are looking for a TV show.

Regardless, KeywordDiscovery and Wordtracker are the two most well know freebies... Overture flat out sucks and is almost never up and running these days.

IMO your best free info will come from 1) your web logs and conversion data (if you track it), 2) your PPC campaign conversion data and 3) looking at your competitors websites - poking around paying specific attention to their title tags to see the keywords for which they are optimizing content on specific pages. You can learn a LOT by looking at your competitors...

Using the keyword tools to suggest potential keywords that you might not have thought of is a good idea. Just remember 1) just because it is searched on a lot does NOT necessarily mean it's worth the effort to try to create pages/content to rank for that word because it may not convert and 2) the numbers these tools put out are skewed by things such ranking tools hitting the search engines to see how a particular site ranks for a particular set of keywords in each industry.

So the # of searches listed by these tools on a rarely searched term is probably much more accurate than the # of searches listed for a popular term because no one's ranking tools wil be checking the rare term so the number will be fairly accurate, everyone's ranking tools will be checking the popular term so the number will be grossly overestimated.

My opinion... Everyone has one. :)

PS: I agree that using PPC to test out whether particular keywords will convert before building actual pages that rank for those keywords is a quick way to gauge how much traffic you might get if you showed up on page 1 of the SERPs on organic search as well as how well those terms convert once people click on the paid link. If you see the PPC campaign for those terms are converting, it would lead one to believe a page that ranked on page 1 in the SERPs would convert at a similar rate.

[edited by: ZydoSEO at 8:00 am (utc) on Dec. 16, 2007]

12:45 am on Dec 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Hi ZydoSEO,

IMO your best free info will come from 1) your web logs and conversion data (if you track it), 2) your PPC campaign conversion data and 3) looking at your competitors websites - poking around paying specific attention to their title tags to see the keywords for which they are optimizing content on specific pages. You can learn a LOT by looking at your competitors...

I totally hear you, however, our market is a rather niche market. Our competitors seem to be using all the same keywords as well. I've already plundered our web logs and PPC programs for the highest volume & highest converting keywords, but I'm trying to see if I can find any more outside our list. But I seem to be unable to find new keywords using these tools that outrank the keywords I already have on my list in terms of popularity.

Using Trellian's KW Discovery tool, the total searches for our top converting keyword over the past 12 months was 86. (how accurate is this?) Yet on Adwords, we get about 220,000 impressions for this keyword over 12 months.

I presented my web log and PPC compiled list to my boss, and he said, go find some more. But I'm not finding any more that seem to have more volume than what I already have. I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong, or whether this is the limitation of our niche market.

Hmmmmm.

12:57 am on Dec 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Search Google for "Free Keyword Suggestion Tools" and you should get tons. After you've exhausted the list of 1 word and 2 word phrases, branch out into the 3-4 word phrases.

While it's long tail low volume traffic, it's frequently easy to rank for and often converts better than the 1-2 word phrases. These terms are often easy to build content for by adding a couple of qualifying terms onto existing pages that rank for your 2 word phrases.

If you already have a page that ranks for "#*$!X YYYYYY' then by adding 'ZZZZZ' in the title tag and a few places in the content portion of the page, you might find it easy to rank for "#*$!X YYYYYY ZZZZZ" as well on the same page.

Good luck.

 

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