If you're new to the search engine optimization game, you've probably heard a bit about the paid subscription keyword research tools, but you might not have had a chance to play with all of them. While Wordtracker is probably still the most popular tool, Trellian's Keyword Discovery tool offers up quite a few options that make it a must-try service for any business that is serious about their search engine marketing.

The Keyword Discovery tool does cost significantly more than Wordtracker at about $70US per month or $600US for a year verses Wordtracker's $8 per day or roughly $300 per year cost. That said, it also delivers significantly more data.

Like most keyword research tools, the Keyword Discovery tool's standard results will show variations of the phrase that you enter as your starting point. It will also list the number of times a phrase has been searched for in Keyword Discovery's data source during the last twelve months. Much like Wordtracker, users can then expand this data in order to gather estimates of the number of other web sites that feature this phrase and the number of times Keyword Discovery predicts that this phrase is searched for daily.

What makes Keyword Discovery such an interesting tool is the ability to create charts that examine keyword trending and market share by search engine.

In the chart to the right, you'll find the trending data for the search term "wedding flower arrangements." As expected, you can see a sharp increase in interest in the late spring and early summer as brides planning May/June weddings finalize their plans. It's not hard to see how this type of data could help companies make decisions about when to launch new product lines, when to ramp up paid search spending and when to launch new organic content in order to get into organic search results prior to the uptick in search interest.

Another great option offered by the Keyword Discovery tool is the market share data. As with the trending data, these charts can be launched simply by clicking on a small image next to the data for each search term.

You'll notice in the charts to the left that I've generated search market share results for the phrase "funeral flower arrangements" and "wedding flower arrangements." The charts show the split between the top five engines in terms of how much search activity goes on at each of them for the phrase in question.

The interesting thing to note from this example is that the phrase "funeral flower arrangements" generates nearly 75% of it's activity from Google, 14% from Yahoo and less than 4% each from AOL, MSN and Ask. On the other hand, the phrase "wedding flower arrangements" generates 60% of it's interest from Google, 30% from Yahoo, 6% from Ask and around 3% from MSN.

So what's the big deal? Well consider that Yahoo number. "Wedding flower arrangements" generated twice the interest at Yahoo than "funeral flower arrangements." It's pretty easy to speculate that the demographics (young women) that search for wedding related information likely vary some from the demographics (middle aged men and women) that tend to look for funeral information. Even more importantly, it's a great way to get some input on how to split your paid search campaign budget among the larger players so that you're properly targeting your spending for each product line that you offer.

These are just a few of the powerful options available with the Keyword Discovery tool, but they can go a long way toward helping you tailor your search marketing efforts for maximum return on investment. To learn more, you can try out the free trial version.

Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.

April 24, 2007

Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.

Search Engine Guide > Jennifer Laycock > A Glance at Trellian's Keyword Discovery Tool