A wide variety of options are available for performing keyword research, including tools provided by the search engines, tools developed by third parties, and tools for complex keyword analysis of terms culled during research. In this section, we will review each of these, but first we’ll provide some perspective on how to use these tools.
It is important to keep in mind when you are using the various keyword research tools to brainstorm keywords that they are all based on relatively limited data. In addition, each tool will provide different search counts than the others. Rather than focusing on the exact search counts of various terms, you should think of each tool as a good way to get a general comparison of two search terms.
For example, if you compare two terms and see that one term is more popular than the other because it returns a higher search count, you can assume that Term A is more popular and searched for more often than Term B. However, you should treat the search counts as only (rough) estimates.
If you are just starting out with keyword research, consider starting with the Google Keyword Tool and either Wordtracker or KeywordDiscovery. This will give you a rich data set with which to begin your keyword research. Over time you can experiment with the other tools and adjust your process as you find tools that you prefer for one task or another.
The search engines provide a number of tools ...