Using Keyword Tools
Choosing the right keywords for your website should be one of the first steps when you design or redesign your website. We’ve been working on that step for a manufacturer of pews for churches, so it seems like a good time to check out some tools and share our results.
Google Adwords Keyword Suggestion Tool is the basic go-to for us. We had noticed, when we did our examination of the competitive landscape, that some pew sellers use the term “worship furniture.” We liked this phrase, and thought it could encompass temples and other places besides churches. Unfortunately, people search for “church pews” over “worship furniture” 400 to 1. We know this because the Google keywords tool tells us the typical search volume, both globally and locally. It gives us the level of competition (and Google knows), and it also makes suggestions for terms we might not have considered. Just type in the keywords you’re thinking of and/or the website address you’re working on.
Keywordtool.com gave us a different set of suggestions. It looks as though they might be making recommendations on the basis of search frequency, at least in part. They also gave us some outside-the-box ideas like “auditorium seating,” which we might not have considered. With no other data and no clue to the algorithm they’re using, this tool is like a nice, quick brainstorming session.
Another interesting brainstorming tool is Ubersuggest, the slowest tool we tried. It got confused by a request with two phrases and returned very little, but with just “church pews” it gave us several hundred suggestions, as you can see in the second image below. Again, with no indication of the search volume or any other data, this isn’t giving you actionable information, but I can imagine using it for inspiration for blog posts.
Wordtracker is an old favorite. Much of their additional information is grayed out if you use their free tool, and you can only use it once without registering for a free account. Wordtracker gave us the highest proportion of useless terms for this particular search.
Trellian gave us a list that distinguished itself by including the mystic phrase “church pews zip” and by suggesting that — were we to pay for a subscription — we might discover that people usually searched for this term on Yahoo. They also offer to submit your site on MSN and Alta Vista, so I get the feeling that the site is not kept up.
Wordstream is another freemium model. I like Wordstream, and you can see that they offer additional information and services for the paid version of their tool. The actual list for the free search was quite different from the other tools we tried, and not especially useful.
One thing that bothered me a bit, especially with the tools that limit access for their free versions, is the number of geographic variations they included. If I can’t think up “church pews Oklahoma” for my client who sells church pews in Oklahoma, I probably need more than a keyword suggestion tool. Tools like this should automatically ignore those options.
Bottom line for this search, at least, is that Google Adwords Keyword Suggestion Tool continues to be the most useful, with Keywordtool.com as runner up for its speed and simplicity when you don’t care about search volume or competition. Ubersuggest, maybe, because it’s sort of fun. Otherwise, it’s hard to see any reason to go with paid tools, and hard to see the value of their free versions.