Free SEO Tool Tuesday: KSP Keyword Research Tool
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- February 10th, 2015
In addition to our SEOToolSet suite of diagnostic tools, Bruce Clay, Inc. also has a comprehensive set of free SEO tools. To introduce you to our 10 free tools, we’ve started the Free SEO Tool Tuesday series to highlight what each free tool does and how to use the data it gives you. Here’s the second free tool in the miniseries. Enjoy!
Today’s Free SEO Tool: KSP Keyword Research Tool
Tool type: keyword research
What you learn: pertinent information about potential keyword search volume and context
Why this matters: The eight fields of data you get from this tool offer a well-rounded view of how your keywords measure up, who’s using them, and whether the keywords mean to the general public what you think they mean. By comparing the stats of up to 12 keyword phrases, you can make cuts and prioritize your keyword list.
Here’s the tool; enter up to 12 keyword phrases to try it out.
KSP Keyword Research Tool
How to Use It
1. Enter up to 12 keyword phrases separated by commas or line breaks into the KSP tool, and click the Run KSP button.
2. The tool will return a list of pertinent information about your keywords:
- Google, Bing and Yahoo monthly search volume
- An estimate of total search volume across all engines (the Activity column)
- The current paid search click-through rate (CTR) percentage and CPC bid amount for each term in Bing
- The Bing category associated with each keyword
Use the monthly search volume for all engines and the overall search activity numbers as an indication of relative popularity. For instance, think of a keyword phrase with a search volume of 12,000 as roughly twice as popular as a phrase with a volume of 6,000, and significantly more popular than a phrase with a volume of 1,000 or 50.
3. Mouse over each of the keyword phrases to see demographic information about the individuals searching for your keyword phrases.
7 Ways To Use This Data
The KSP is a great SEO tool if you’re looking for keyword statistics that can help you prioritize and vet a keyword research list.
Use the data supplied in this tool to:
1. Discover potential silo themes: The Categories column tells you what categories Bing associates with your keyword phrase based on its understanding of the keyword’s meaning and searcher’s intention. Sometimes these category suggestions can provide an ah-ha moment that can become a foundation theme for a brand new siloing strategy.
2. Discover more context about your keyword phrases: Just as the Categories column can reveal new avenues for thematic keyword exploration, the info reported under Categories can also clue you in to potential trouble. If you see an unexpected category reported for your keyword, you may be looking at a red flag requiring your investigation.
Here’s an example. If you enter “spiral staircase” into the KSP tool, you’ll see one of the categories reported is “Games & Puzzles.” Turns out that this is because enough people search for “spiral staircases minecraft” (to get more info on the popular and addictive structure-building game Minecraft) that Bing has associated this keyword phrase with the game.
At first glance seeing “Games & Puzzles” associated with your “spiral staircase” query might make you think that the results are way off; instead, unexpected categories should make you think “this query is multidimensional; I should further investigate its context.” Remember, part of the keyword research process is to make sure your keyword means what you think it means, and that its volume is productive converting volume – not tangentially related (or unrelated) volume that is going to bounce. Discovering that “spiral staircase” has a game association gives you a 360-degree understanding of your query and allows you to make a more educated decision about the query’s potential value.
3. Think like a semantic search engine: Using the Categories column to discover the context of your keyword phrases can also help you get into the mind of the semantic search engine. Remember, in the age of semantic search, how the search engine interprets meaning and intention plays a large role when it comes to ranking potential. If there are lots of unexpected categories associated with your keyword phrase, the search engine may have a watered down understanding of that phrase’s meaning/intention, which could mean lower rankings or inappropriate rankings where you end up clumped with the wrong crowd.
4. Vet conversion potential: The CTR (click-through rate) column in this report tells you information about how your keyword phrases are performing in Bing paid search. Use the CTR percentage to get an idea for how many clicks these words have the potential to inspire, then use that data as a clue to help you prioritize your keyword research list. Think of these numbers in relation to one another; for instance, a query with a 5 percent CTR has a relatively stronger conversion potential than a query that only has .87 percent CTR.
The CPC (cost per click) column in this free tool report tells you how much your fellow marketers are currently willing to pay per-click for traffic from this keyword phrase. Or, in other words, how much this keyword phrase is worth to your competitors. This matters because keyword phrases that are worth more per click tend to be keyword phrases that have been proven to convert better.
5. Assess competition: Queries that show high per-click bids in the CPC column convert better – but those high bids also mean that query is more competitive. For example, a CPC of $54 means there are a lot of people fighting to optimize for this term. When you see a high CPC think: “This phrase merits more research. There is potential here (it could be high converting), but who is the organic competition? Do I have a chance to rank on the first page?”
6. Evaluate whether a keyword phrase is a good match for your target market: Hover over your keyword phrases to see demographic statistics about the people who are using your potential keyword phrases. Does the demographic profile you see match the demographic profile of your target market? If not, consider dumping this phrase from your list; you want the right kind of traffic, not just any traffic, after all.
7. See how query keyword volume compares across three search engines: The first three columns of this free report show you how often people are entering your keyword phrases into Bing, Google and Yahoo search engines. This side-by-side view gives you a holistic understanding of each keyword’s popularity, and it can also help you spot anomalies that can help you better understand your keyword’s potential market.
For instance, notice in the example below that the Yahoo and Bing search volume for each query is about the same all the way down the column, until you get to the last query – “tennis shoes.” For “tennis shoes,” Yahoo sees 30,000 more searches per month than Bing; even thinking relatively, that is a pretty significant jump. Anomalies like this are great clues that offer even more insight into who is using the keyword phrase, and accordingly, what kind of traffic a first page ranking for that phrase would attract. In this case I see a disproportionate amount of people using Yahoo to search for this query, so I think: “People who prefer to search using Yahoo, also prefer to use this keyword phrase. How can I use Yahoo demographic statistics to learn more about the type of people using this phrase?”