If you are doing keyword research, there are a ton of tools out there that can help. One of the more expensive options is Hitwise. It costs about $25k/yr. When I first subscribed to Hitwise, it was one of the only ways to get access to keyword data from ISPs - what users type in as they browse the internet.
A much less expensive choice is Wordze, which is around $500/yr.
I subscribe to both services, and while HitWise has many features for general brand marketing that go far beyond what Wordze can do, for most PPC and SEO keyword research needs, Wordze is more helpful. I'm going to review them by stepping through some common tasks.
We want to find a lot of related long tail keywords so we can create ads on Google and Yahoo related to dishwashers
First let's find the keywords that send traffic to whirlpool.com.
In Hitwise, we use "Search Intelligence -> Website Search Terms". We type in "www.whirlpool.com" and in about 10 seconds, we get a list of 173 search terms. These are the terms that send the most traffic to the whirlpool.com website. We export this to excel. Here's the top 10.
Rank SearchTerm Volume 1 whirlpool 28.16% 2 whirlpool appliances 6.94% 3 whirlpool.com 5.98% 4 whirlpool refrigerators 3.00% 5 www.whirlpool.com 2.23% 6 whirlpool washers 1.24% 7 whirlpool customer service 0.99% 8 whirlpool dishwashers 0.99% 9 whirlpool home 0.99% 10 whirlpool parts 0.99%
Looking at the Hitwise list, we find a few useful things like mis-spells: wirlpool, whirlpol, whirlppol; URL type-ins like: whirlpool.com, www.whirpool.com, etc. But we also have to manually filter some of the odd irrelevant phrases that show up: Is "albuquerque zoo symphony" really deserving of place 37 on this list? It's in there, along with "fiserv irving tx", "free trial of pantene hair products" and others... perhaps about 10 out of 173 terms seem irrelevant.
With Wordze, there is no direct way to find all the keywords sending traffic to whirlpool.com, so we try the "Keyword search" on "whirlpool". It comes back quickly with 2763 keywords. The top 10 are:
freezer fridge whirlpool whirlpool dishwasher whirlpool oven whirlpool fridge whirlpool freezer whirlpool whirlpool parts philips whirlpool whirlpool appliances whirlpool dryer repair
Wordze's list can be exported to Excel as well, and that takes a few minutes to complete. When we look at the whole list, we see that most phrases have the keyword "whirlpool" in them, but we need to filter them somehow for dishwashers.
We can either filter the list with an advanced query option or just try "whirlpool dishwasher". We find 91 keywords with Wordze when we search for "Whirlpool dishwasher".
Stuff like this:
whirlpool dishwasher du1145xtpb whirlpool dishwasher whirlpool dishwasher repair whirlpool dishwasher repair troubleshooting whirlpool dishwasher timer whirlpool dishwasher du915pwpq2 whirlpool dishwasher troubleshooting whirlpool dishwasher manuals whirlpool dishwasher stainless steel
In hitwise, we can do a search term analysis on the term "whirlpool dishwasher" and it will tell us which sites receive traffic for this term, and give us a list of 43 related search terms. Fairly similar to wordze's list, but about half the size.
whorlpool whiropool whirlppol whirlpoll wirlpool whilpool whirpool whirlpoo whrilpool whilrpool whhirlpool whirllpool whirlpooll
Similarly, there are 8 variations for "dishwasher" in the misspell database in Wordze.
The "thesaurus" in Wordze is really a "related keyword" tool. For the word "dishwasher", it returns:
dish washer dishes rack empty rinse run stack domestic technology menu
Perhaps 50% of those would be useful in building a keyword list.
Another Wordze feature this is really useful is: "Dig", which is keyword expansion - i.e. drill down on a single keyword, and expand it by finding instances of it's use in Wordze's database of site content. Digging takes a while, but can produce very large lists of long tail keywords. There are some good videos on the Wordze site that explain how to use the "Dig" tool.
There's also a video on competititve keyword research.
The fact that Wordze has a XML API for getting 100's of related keyword is also very attractive for automating content creation. (If you are into that sort of thing).
Wordze also has data on some of the more lucrative parts of the keyword world that can be hard to find if you stick to the major search engines: I.e. poker, warez, porn, etc. By default, these terms are filtered out, but you can set advanced options in keyword search to enable them.
For most PPC marketers and SEOs, HitWise is not worth the expense, since tools like Wordze have deeper toolsets for building keyword lists. HitWise is especially good for brand managers tracking trends. You can build sophisticated watch lists composed of many sites - i.e. consumer electronics by combining: bestbuy.com, circuitcity.com, sony.com, etc. into a group.
Hitwise is also helpful for understanding where to buy ads on certain sites, since you can see where that site's traffic comes from and goes to.
If you spend more than $500 / month on pay per click, or if you generate more than $500 / month with content sites, subscribing to Wordze will pay for itself in a month. It's especially good for building out long tail keyword lists for affiliate campaigns.