With the presidential election fresh in our minds, I think it’s only appropriate to discuss nominating the right keyword suggestion tool for your search marketing initiatives.
A keyword suggestion tool allows you to type in a keyword and with the click of a button returns the relative number of times that keyword was searched in the search engines for in a given amount of time. In addition to the number of searches for that term, most keyword suggestion tools will give you related terms in the results.
When I say that these tools return a "relative number of times that keyword was searched for," I use the word "relative" very liberally. Some of the more popular keyword suggestion tools are Wordtracker, Keyword Discovery and Google Adwords Keyword Tool; and they can give you dramatically different results for the same keyword.
Unlike Google’s keyword tool, WordTracker and Trellian’s Keyword Discovery require a revolving fee. Both offer a free trial, which I highly suggest before choosing any of these tools. The cost of Keyword Discovery is roughly twice that of WordTracker, but it also has much more insight. Keyword Discovery tends to place more emphasis on seasonality of terms, giving you a better idea of the ups and down a keyword might have throughout the year; versus WordTracker, which gives you a daily estimate of the keyword, which you would need to multiply by 30 to calculate a rough idea of the number of searched for that term in a month. You can see from these descriptions how each tool can give you a decisively different result, depending on their algorithm.
Google’s keyword tool, on the other hand, is free and therefore attracts many marketers who are on a budget. This tool only pulls in results from Google-related engines, but I would have to believe that they are much more accurate. Although this tool doesn’t pull its data from a large pool of search engines like KD and WT, it’s an inexpensive way to get an idea of what’s happening in your market; especially considering that none of these tools are exact.