Regular readers of this blog know the importance of good keyword research for anyone who owns a website.

Getting the in the top 10 Google search results for a keyword that nobody ever uses is good for bragging rights, but doesn’t bring much traffic to your web site. Keyword research is also critical in identifying a possibly untapped niche, one that has people looking for information but for which there aren’t many (or any) good sites providing that information. Long tail keywords can generate a lot of traffic, but targeting them means you have to know what they are, and which ones get traffic.

Keyword research helps to identify keywords with both traffic and low competition. The main problem with free keyword research tools is that the quality of data you get often isn’t as good as the paid tools, and you get just raw data with no analysis.

The problem with paid keyword research tools is the cost. With the least expensive WordTracker subscription costing $24 a month, it’s hard to recommend it for anyone who isn’t already making a profit. Plus, that $24 is for unlimited keyword research…in the beginning of your online career, the chances are good you’re doing this part time, and won’t get your money’s worth.

NicheBot is a great keyword research tool that not only provides access to data from the best paid tools, such as WordTracker, but is priced for the part-time researcher. NicheBot also provides value added tools I’ll talk about below.

The pricing structure for NicheBot is very reasonable. You get a two-week trial period with full access for $1. This is plenty of time to try it out and see if you like the service. After that, continuing service is only $9.97 a month. This is much more in the reach of a part-time researcher than signing up for all the services individually.

The way they can afford to charge so little is that you do not get unlimited keyword searches. Instead they operate on a credit based system. Any time you draw keyword data from one of the paid services, it uses NicheBot credits. You can use NicheBot’s value added tools without using credits. This makes NicheBot ideal for part-time keyword researchers, whether you’re into Internet Marketing, or just want more traffic to your blog or website.

The site itself is very easy to navigate, with tool-tip help at every stage. There’s also a video training library to demonstrate how to use the site.

Here’s an overview of the tools provided.

Quick Keyword Research

Quick keyword research uses WordTracker and Overture data to find the top 50 to 100 related keywords to your site’s main topic. 

This is the first step in your keyword research, a broad pass across the keyword landscape to see what other keywords might be good to target. 

The goal in this step is to identify core keywords you want to target.  Among the data provided is the number of searches each keyword gets, and the Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI).  The KEI is a quick read of how effective you could be at getting in the top 10 search results for this keyword (the higher the KEI, the better).

The Quick Analyze option lets you see your top competition for your main topic, including how many backlinks each site has and how many pages they have indexed in Google.  This is a good measure of what you have to do to compete for that main keyword. 

For example, here’s a portion of the Quick Analyze entry for “make money online”.

You can see from this that backlinks are important for this sort of competitive phrase.  DoshDosh, in particular, has done quite well at link building and so is in the top 10 for this keyword.  Note that the quality of links is also important, not just the quantity.

Deep Keyword Research

This step is where you dig deeper and find keywords related to the core ones you identified above, that have less competition and good traffic. 

The LSI analysis uses Google data to find keywords that are thematically related to your core keywords.  This is becoming more and more important for ranking highly in Google search results, as their analysis of your web pages becomes more and more sophisticated.  Simply repeating your chosen keywords in your web page isn’t enough any more, unless the page also contains thematically related keywords.

The results from the LSI search are grouped by themes.  So for “make money online”, for example, it listed the keywords related to “adwords” as a group, and the keywords related to “affiliate program” as a group, and so on.  Along with scads of Google data on how competitive those keywords are. 

The WordTracker 4-in-1 allows you to search for popular keywords and related keywords, returning more data from the paid WordTracker database than the Quick Research version.

Keyword Discovery maintains what is probably the largest database of keywords.  Their 9-in-1 tool gives you the popularity data for related keywords for the past year, and you can also get their WordTrend graph that shows the last year’s worth of searches on a month by month basis. 

Google’s Keyword Cruncher give you the results of their keyword tool, and the Count Collector gives you Word Tracker counts for thousands of keywords at once.

Each of these tools uses NicheBot credits, generally 1 per keyword, although some features (e.g. WordTrend graphs) use more, and some (e.g. Google Keyword Cruncher and the Count Collector) use less.

Analysis Tools

These tools are repeats of those already mentioned above. 

You can get WordTrend charts at 2 credits per keyword, and Keyword Analysis is the same as the Quick Analyze above.

Search Engine Tools

 The Keyword Density tool gives you an analysis of how many times your target keyword appears in a page on your website, in a way that search engines consider significant. 

This is important, because too high a keyword density will cause negative effects for seach engines these days, while too low means your page won’t be considered relevant. 

The 2-in-1 refers to a second mode of keyword density checking, and that’s analyzing the keywords that your page actually uses.  The comprehensive keyword density tool returns a complete list of all the keywords your page uses, with a summary of the keyword density for each.  This helps you to know what other keywords you may accidentally be targeting on the page.

Keyword Ranking tells you how well your site ranks for given keywords.  This is a quick check for how well you’re doing at optimizing for your keywords.

The ROI calculator allows you to play some what-if scenarios for PPC advertising.  It will quickly tell you if a PPC campaign is going to be profitable, for a given price per click, conversion rate, and profit per conversion. 

The Niche Product locator helps you find products to promote for given keywords.  This is helpful if you’re an Internet Marketer using NicheBot to identify profitable niches, and then want to find an affiliate product to promote for that niche.

Conclusions

If you’ve decided to move beyond the free keyword research tools, NicheBot is a great alternative to paying for a WordTracker or Keyword Discovery subscription.  You get to combine data from both services, plus Google and Yahoo results, to analyze them as a whole. 

Plus, you get unlimited use of the value added tools (anything that doesn’t talk about using credits above).

The two-week trial includes 5 credits, which is about enough to work through all the credit-using tools for your site’s core keyword. 

You can get your two-week trial for $1 here

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