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Top 11 Keyword Marketing and Search Engine Optimization Tools

When embarking on a search engine or keyword marketing campaign, the right tools and resource right from the start can be a tremendous advantage. Here's the Keyword Marketing Superstar top-10 list.

#1 Word Tracker keyword database

ALL your efforts will be in vain if you don't start with the right keywords. Without a doubt your keyword list will evolve over time so it wouldn't hurt to get a 6 month or year long subscription to WordTracker.

WordTracker collects the very same keywords entered into real Internet meta search engines (DogPile and MetaCrawler) that are not distorted by automatic rank checking programs like Web Position Gold.

WordTracker enables you to setup keyword projects for up to 7 sites and store them within the WordTracker interface. Just enter a keyword into the suggestion box, select the most relevant terms, drop them in your project and then export them for easy insertion into a database or Excel file for easy manipulation.

#2 Overture Keyword Tool

If you don't have the cash to subscribe to WordTracker, you'll still need something to identify your initial keyword set. The constant Match Driver "enhancements" Overture makes in the name of dumbing down the keyword buying process make this tool less useful and less accurate with each successive upgrade. Despite its shortcomings, it will provide you with some ideas for keywords to target.

Beware, this tool does not preserve the order keywords were actually entered into the engine. You'll have to do some guesswork. It also lumps singular and plural terms together. Generally speaking, the plural versions of most search terms tend to get more searches than the singular version. Check out the Overture keyword tool.

#3 Search Engine Positioning Summary from Danny Sofer

An excellent snapshot overview of search engine optimization. If you've built a basic website and are familiar with the design process, this clear concise snapshot guide is a very easy way to get the big picture.

Go check out Danny's overview of search engine optimization and get off to a quick start.

#4 WebmasterWorld Forums

Have questions about search engines, keywords, pay per click advertising, design or tracking issues? Go to the appropriate WebmasterWorld forum and find the answers to most anything that puzzles you.

For a hands on networking conference in a casual environment be sure to check out the PubConference held periodically in the US and Europe.

#5 Search Engine World - from Brett Tabke @ WebmasterWorld

Search Engine World is a fantastic collection of tools and articles you can use expand your knowledge and perform some basic tests on your website.

#6 Search Engine Watch

Prefer to read articles instead of posting in forums or scouring through what can seem like endless threads on WebmasterWorld? Go check out Search Engine Watch. It was started and is currently maintained by Danny Sullivan, world renowned search engine expert, coordinator, and moderator of Search Engine Strategies.

#7 SmartDraw

Once you've identified your keywords and have a basic understanding of the search engine optimization process, a flow charting software package like SmartDraw can help you create your keyword wireframe. Alternatively you can use note cards instead of software or in combination with a package like SmartDraw. The standard package starts at $69.99 and is probably all you will need to create your wireframe for a small to medium sized site.

#8 Macromedia DreamWeaver

Hands down, Macromedia DreamWeaver is without a doubt, the best industrial strength web design tool to use when you are ready to start building your website. At $399.00 [retail] it's one of your more expensive tools but once you get up and running with DreamWeaver you'll wonder how you got along without it.

#9 Google AdWords

Once your site is built and you are waiting for your submissions to Google, the Open Directory, and other important search sites to kick in, you may want to jump start the traffic to your site. Overture is the easiest to setup but it can be a pain in the ass to get listings approved through their inconsistent editorial reviews. Also, if you're not in the top 3 [expensive] spots the traffic you'll get isn't likely to amount to much.

Use AdWords instead! You can be up and running, testing different ads and generating traffic in under 30 minutes. Open an account ($5.00 fee), create an ad, pick your keywords, select a maximum bid of $0.05. When you select a minimum bid of $0.05, the AdWords system will tell you the minimum bid accepted for each keyword you selected. With this information in hand you can save some serious cash by keeping your bids low.

The ads that make Google the most money rise to the top of the ad listings. You can set a low bid price, write a great ad and still find your ad in the middle of the pack. An ad most anywhere on the first page of Google results can generate a fair amount of traffic. Visit the AdWords page now and get started with your campaign.

#10 ClickTracks

Got keywords, got a site, got traffic, now its time to figure out what's happening on your site. There is no better inexpensive tool ($495.00) than ClickTracks to begin analyzing your traffic. Easily perform usability testing without focus groups or testing labs, see how your visitors are using your site, or filter your traffic by source. Visit the ClickTracks site, download a free demo and if you like what you see, go for the full version. It's truly an awesome tool.

#11 Web Position Gold

WebPosition Gold enables you to check your search engine rankings on all major US and international search engines. Most engines don't like it because it uses unnecessary bandwidth, Google hates it and specifically states this but doesn't seem to block it when used sparingly. If you need to check your rankings for whatever reason, WPG is the industry standard. First Place Software has phenomenal customer service. If you have any problems, they'll be happy to help you out.

It appears the Web Position website may have been removed from the Google index (Tip! Gotta be careful what sites you link to. If they are considered "bad neighborhoods" of which a grayed out PageRank measurement on the tool bar is an indication, its best not to link to those sites). Visit WebPosition.com for more info about the software.

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