Keyword research forms the foundation of any kind of online marketing endeavour. Without proper keyword research, a marketing campaign is dead in the water. No wonder then, that advanced keyword research programs come in many shapes and sizes. This post is a quick roundup featuring three of the most popular keyword research tools: Market Samurai, Keyword Blueprint and Keyword Elite 2.0.
Read on to see the roundup video and a short summary for each contestant.
Since the original writing of the post, I have co-created a keyword research tool of my own. SECockpit
addresses all of the issues and drawbacks of the tools mentioned below and it’s just generally so much more awesome that once you use it, you’ll never want to go back. Just sayin.
, made by Noble Samurai, is a very extensive research tool, that does way more than just find good keywords. It was designed to be something of a "base camp" for all your online marketing efforts.
I know is that a lot of people love Market Samurai, but I have to say that I never really warmed up to it’s user interface. I'm not a big fan of how the keyword discovery component is separate from the keyword analyses part, but I realise that this is probably just due to my personal tastes.
Market Samurai’s greatest feature is without a doubt the SEO competition module. It manages to give you a lot of detailed, in-depth information about the competition strength of any given keyword, but also manages to give you an idea of whether you can rank for the keyword at a single glance.
is probably the greatest bargain among the three programs in this roundup, even though it’s not cheap. You can truly launch and maintain an online marketing career without requiring any further tools.
is a product created by Tim Godfrey and Steve Clayton (the "Blueprint-Guys" who have made Commission Blueprint, Niche Blueprint and many others). There are actually two components to this program: On the one hand, there is a research module for SEO campaigns and on the other hand there is a research module and an offer evaluator for PPC campaigns.
Keyword Blueprint’s greatest strength is also it’s main weakness: It’s very minimalistic and straight forward. You can easily browse through tons of keywords and explore lots of options and you can see at a glance what the search volume is like and whether or not there are many AdWords ads displayed for any given search term.
You can then let the program evaluate the competition strength for you, and again, the results are at-a-glance, as they are represented with a simple icon.
The problem is that you don’t get any additional details. You don’t know exact numbers for backlinks and metrics for on-page optimization for the competing sites, for example.
In practice, I find that Keyword Blueprint is ideal for discovering new keywords, but I find myself going over to Keyword Elite to check the ones I find in more detail.
Keyword Elite 2.0
is created by Bryxensoft, Brad Callen’s company. Like Market Samurai, it offers features that go beyond simple keyword research and many of them, like the one that finds you potential JV partners and opportunities for integration marketing, are pretty ingenious.
From a research perspective, the most useful component is the "Search Engine Dominator" which provides competition analysis in absolutely minute detail. The only metric missing is the number of backlinks pointing to the root domains of the top listed sites (KE2 only shows the number of links pointing to the actual page listed).
Keyword Elite 2.0 is also the only one of the three tools that can pull data from several different sources simultaneously, meaning that it can create absolutely vast lists of related keywords. You can also easily add modifiers and filters to those keyword lists, before carrying them over to one of the more advanced analysis modules.
Overall, Keyword Elite
is currently my favourite keyword research program.
The Perfect Solution
Having tried all three research tools, I have to say that the perfect solution would be a combination of the three. I’d love to have a tool that allows me to explore keywords like Keyword Blueprint does, then gives me the in-depth analysis data that Keyword Elite offers, but displays it including the domain backlinks and in the style of the competition matrix in Market Samurai…
The perfect solution is none of the tools above. The perfect solution is SECockpit
(I'm admittedly a bit biased, since that's my tool, but check it out and see for yourself).