An Internet business needs to work with keyword tools.  This fact has become a lifeblood of traffic and thus, sales for many companies.  These five are great places to start building your knowledge of your site and your competition.



This tool provides free insight into your competition.  Who is your competition?  Well, if you do not know that then your chances of success are slim.  The site also provides a useful keyword research tool for free.  The paid version adds a lot of great features for around $30 – $200 per month depending on your needs.

The keyword tool is fantastic.  Enter your words or phrase, and you will get a report on suggested campaign approaches, related words, associated costs, and the most successful advertisers.  Thus, if you do not know your competitors, this will tell you who they are and even show you the best ads in that space.  There is also a ranking of which phrases are a cost-effective buy and even a ranking difficulty on a scale of 1-100.  I highly recommend you try out this feature for your funnel keywords to help build a great message.



WordStream is one of the higher-end keyword tools with some great features.  The pricing starts around $230/month with annual payments, so a little site is not going to be able to afford this.  However, when your spend is around $2500 per month or more you should look into adding this to your plan.  This site acts as an AdWords and Bing advisor.  It also provides a seven-day free trial.  However, an advisor has to have a starting point.  In this case, make sure you have at least ninety days of spending budget to evaluate and clear goals.  This tool goes into detail in digging up the best keywords for your site based on clicks, conversions, and even helps you tweak your ads.

As tools go, this is a Cadillac approach, but don’t let that keep you away from them.  They offer regular webinars and other content to get you “hooked” on the value of pay per click advertising.  In this case, getting hooked is not a bad thing.  Anyone looking to sell a product or service on the Internet can find something useful here.




Moz is a sort of mid-range priced tool of this group of keyword tools.  However, they also provide some free tools to get you started.  This site goes further than keywords and provides tools for local marketing and listings.  They also offer a free 30-day trial to get you started.  As with many of these tools, we find that a trial period is a good way of determining how suitable it is for your needs.  There is a little bit of setup for the analytics features, but this is overall a quick and easy tool to work with.

Carve out some time to see what Moz can do for you and your site.  Even if you do not go with them beyond a trial, you will gain new insights into your site and how it is viewed by others.  Thus, you will be able to adjust the approach to make that first impression count.


SEM Rush


This site provides excellent competitive research tools.  It is similar to SpyFu although it runs in the $100 – $400 range for a monthly subscription.  Nevertheless, SEM Rush does add features to make that price worthwhile.  First, I find the interface much easier to work with on the SEM Rush site.  Then, they add more information beyond keyword related data.  There is data about backlinks, gap analysis, and other areas that can take the data you see in Spy Fu and go a little deeper.

SEM Rush only offers a seven-day money back guarantee which limits your ability to try it out.  However, it is worth contacting them to try to get a thirty-day trial option.  It is also worth mentioning that they have added an Academy where you can become certified in using the SEM Rush tool.  Thus, you can pursue a certification that helps you build your site and also provides a new revenue stream as you help others.

Answer The Public


I see this site as a tool to help you build out your keywords.  It works by taking a phrase or group of words and then it finds potential keyword combinations in that sphere.  This site is not going to be useful to keyword pros unless they have hit a form of writer’s block.  However, this is a perfect tool for those getting started in the world of keywords.  The results provide possible avenues of exploring keywords while laying out a logical progression from core keyword to groups of related keywords.  Thus, you can build out your keyword list before trying to use the keyword tools included with search engines like Google and Bing.


Rob Broadhead

Rob is a founder of, and frequent contributor to, Develpreneur. This includes the Building Better Developers podcast. He is also a lifetime learner as a developer, designer, and manager of software solutions. Rob is the founder of RB Consulting and has managed to author a book about his family experiences and a few about becoming a better developer. In his free time, he stays busy raising five children (although they have grown into adults). When he has a chance to breathe, he is on the ice playing hockey to relax or working on his ballroom dance skills.

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