Choosing the right target keywords builds the foundation for an entire SEO campaign. If the right keywords with the highest potential for return are not selected, the foundation of the campaign will be weak and, therefore, success is nearly impossible.
To select the right keywords, data must be collected and analyzed so projections on return can be made. Gathering the necessary data, however, can be expensive and many businesses will not invest in best-of-breed SEO tools.
For those with limited budgets and without access to paid SEO tools, impactful keyword data is not out of reach. There are plenty of data sources and tools that can be used for free or offer free versions. By leveraging several free tools, advertisers can generate enough information to make informed decisions on keyword targets and set themselves up for successful SEO campaigns.
Below are three such tools. In a subsequent post, I will examine the best free SEO tools for auditing and troubleshooting. I recommend using these tools in combination with a keyword research guide for best results.
The first step in choosing the right keywords is to understand what keywords consumers are searching and the demand of each of those keywords. This data can be determined using the Google AdWords Keyword Tool. To gain full access to the data you need to sign up for an AdWords account. You do not need to set up any campaigns or spend any advertising money.
There are three main ways to find relevant keywords using this tool, including inputting the website or page that is to be optimized, the category of the products or services the website offers, or a seed list of keywords related to those products or services. Before researching the keywords, however, it is important to implement the correct settings. Since we are looking for specific keywords that the market is searching, we want to analyze at the demand of exact match keywords rather than variations. To see the demand (search volume) of the keywords, use the "Match Types" option in the right sidebar and select [Exact].