I am a software junkie for keyword stuff and have tried quite a few cheap programs since Oct last year. I never owned Market Samurai, I bought it straight out, no trial, and they never sent a link to get it, or replied to a couple of emails from different addresses (in case of spam blocking on either end) so I had to ask for a refund.
I am not up for paying a monthly subscription, so right now I use Stealth Keyword Digger, the free Keyword Optimizer Pro and Keyword Researcher to find long tail keywords for me. I use all three because I know all three bring me different phrases and allow me to search a different way. One thing I constantly chuckle at is how much “weed” comes up in these, like “best toaster oven for drying weed”.
This is not a simple step by step guide; it’s roughly what I do. I may ramble or assume stuff, so ask if something is not clear.
How I started
I did start using Google keywords tool, then the first piece of software I bought as Stealth Keyword Competition Analyser. Not a scraper as such, but helped me narrow down what Google Adwords Keyword Tool gave me. I think it is an excellent tool for beginners and the perplexed. I have some very high traffic to Web 2.0 articles after 6 months, thanks to this program narrowing it down for me. You can use it to analyse competition on the output from Stealth Keyword Digger. It gives you a competition ranking for each kw as Amazing, Good, Fair, Bad, and Terrible. I only ever used the “Amazings”
I knew the AdWords tool was not ideal as it gave limited numbers of keywords that everyone else was getting too. So I was on the lookout for auto suggest keyword scraper programs by the New Year. The biggest dilemma using these kw scrapers is knowing how significant the returned results are. Has one person or a million people searched that phrase in Google, and when? There are thousands of phrases and keywords generated very quickly, so I learned to make sense of them and rule most out, with Google Adwords and Estimator and allintitle searches.
I have a few that have a handful of monthly searches in Google Adwords Estimator (sometimes less than 30!) with zero reported in AdWords, but I went ahead anyway, because I had the perfect Amazon items I wanted to sell. It was a definite risk and I think it is working.
I strongly suggest you watch any and all free instructional videos with these programs, and take notes if you have to. These people produce a good product and they know how to use it. Take in all that info, copy the methods if you want, or pick your favourite, or evolve your own based on what you learn and see with your own results as you go along too. You need to get the most out of the software as quickly as possible and have the purchases paid off quickly with your earnings.
Stealth Keyword Digger
The Stealth Keyword Digger is a program that can easily generate 2000-3000 keywords and phrases when left unattended. Which is great for the lazy among us! It is more hands off than the other two programs and does generate the lists which record the number of Google searches too. The longer and more specific your phrase the better, and for Amazon, I use US – English, at least 50 searches. Occasionally it goes off track, but the bulk of the results are good. E.g. Power drills gets you soccer drills, basketball drills etc.
Only downfall is I suspect from the hammering on Google’s door, I can run a search once or twice every few days that’s all, maybe 3-4 times a week max. I wish it was more often. It does occasionally want a Google captcha. I suspect a proxy IP address would help, and multiple Adwords accounts, but I can’t be bothered figuring proxies out. I have enough keywords words to collect with the other two programs below as well.
If you have a netbook, forget this program, unless you want to cut and paste the results with the commas still in. I have done that, then “search and replace-d” the commas and search numbers in Excel and had to search the words again on Adwords for numbers, it;s more work but still less than doing it all by hand. The screen seems to be set a fixed size and the export button is off the screen with no scroll bar, so no way to export.
Keyword Optimizer Pro
This is a free program and is great. I got it by signing up on a waiting list for some Amasuite software, here’s the free link. I think the entry fee is the banner ads up top for the odd WSOs and other products by Dave Guidon. This has an in depth 10 min + search or a quick “all through the alphabet” search that takes under minute. It is searching from your seed kw phrase for related auto suggest phrases for Google, Bing and Yahoo. I find the longer more specific the phrase to start, the better the results.
The beauty of this system is there is a ranking or point score for which records whether the phrase scraped is the ranked 1 to 10 of the drop down list, giving a relative measure of popularity or volume, but no actual search volume numbers. The accompanying videos are very helpful and help you see what to do. This is where I learned to use Google Adwords Estimator rather than the regular Keyword tool to look for numbers of search traffic. I find Adwords keyword tool gives a lower traffic figure than can be occurring. Some of this I know from looking at my own actual Squidoo analytics.
Keyword researcher has a useful free version that does the first half of the alphabet, but I think is well worth the $29 or so for the regular version. It’s a one-time fee, and personally I hate the idea of missing out that diamond of a keyword that was at the wrong end of the alphabet, like “Reviews” or “Sale, for the same amount of effort. I guess I am addicted to keyword research and love uncovering a hidden gem.
What this program allows you to do is use a wildcard or * to replace on or more words in a phrase, like “How to * Camera” might give “How to clean a Camera”, “How to focus your Camera”, “How to choose the best Camera”. I think it’s the best for long tail questions for blog posts or articles. I wish you could get another second wildcard word ending in there for the “Camera*” so it did Camera and Cameras and any others, as I find myself having to remember all the combos I put in. The master list you send the results to, allows easy removal of duplicates, so no big deal really.
When I get the list of keywords they all go into Excel and I delete the irrelevant ones and this takes some time. If I am selling online and people are looking for Lowe’s and I do not want to do affiliate stuff with them, I filter, for contains “Lowe*” and delete what comes up. Pretty well any place names on buyer keywords get deleted too; people are looking for bricks and mortar in my opinion. Maybe not, but there are many better keywords out there for Internet affiliate sales.
What is left, you can use Adwords Keyword tool or Estimator to assess the number of monthly searches. Both have their limits as when logged in Estimator now wants [ ] brackets round the keyword for exact match now instead of just hitting a radio button. I got an Excel macro gig on Fiverr to fix that and add [ ] to everything in an excel file so I can paste them in. You can do about 2000 at a time when logged in. 90% or more will have no traffic. Keywords tool lets you have maybe 200 entries, so it takes forever if you need to do it in batches.
Competition analysis is simple. Either Stealth Competition Analyser or Allintitle: xxx in Google, the lower the better. I can’t tell you numbers, it depends on the niche, how buyer oriented the keyword phrase, the number of monthly searches and how much linking you are willing to do etc. Start with something reasonable like 10,000 or below and then chart your results. If they are great, maybe you can go up. If they are horrible, choose kw with less all in title page competition.
There are other ways to asses and look at the top 10 on the SERPs but mine are very low numbers of search so I don’t bother. If I decide to do more AdSense sites, I will need higher numbers and will assess the top 10 more regularly for Page rank, authority, links etc.
I hope that is clearer than mud. I think you either love keyword researching or you find it boring. It is easier to love it with the right tools that give you a fighting chance or finding something good that will make money for you. There are easier all-in-one keyword systems, but I like a challenge and figure very few people will find the same keywords this way.
I really should be more methodical, but I am not. That is too boring, so if am not liking the results from one program I will use another and combine them. I do this by pasting them all into Excel and using the remove duplicates. If I used similar seed phrases for all 3 programs, I usually have only 30% are duplicates out of about 3000 phrases, that’s why I use them all!
Anyway ask any questions in the comments, I’ll try and clarify or make it another whole post for another day, you know how I can run on a bit!