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    If your business has an online presence, you’ve probably already learned the sobering truth that having a website – even a well-designed one – isn’t enough. The most visually-appealing site still needs to be optimized to reach the top of search engine results pages. That’s where your potential customers will be looking. That’s where they’ll find you. And when it comes to kickstarting your site’s SEO, the simplest and most effective place to start is with keyword research tools.

    For SEO companies like Victorious, it’s common knowledge that search algorithms look at keywords in content when ranking pages. However, for everyday businesses, focusing on keywords often isn’t a priority.

    If you have this mindset, now is the right time to make a change. It’s simple: keywords are an essential part of growing your online presence. And keyword research tools are the best way to start the keyword-discovery process.

    Fortunately, a number of effective keyword research tools are available online. Here are three of our favorites.

    Keyword Research Tools

    Google Keyword Planner

    Let’s start with the best service available: Google’s keyword search application. If you have a term or phrase in mind, just plug it into the Keyword Planner. The application will generate suggested keywords that you can capitalize on. You can also view the average monthly searches, level of competition, and estimated cost per click for each keyword. Awesome, right? The application is chock full of other useful tools at your disposal, so signup for a Google Adwords account, and take advantage of it. You won’t pay a penny.

    Wordstream Keyword Tool

    Another keyword research tool worth mentioning is Wordstream. Much like Google’s program, the Wordstream Keyword Tool provides relevant keyword suggestions for any terms you offer it. It also provides the estimated Google search volume for each suggestion. Wordstream’s best feature is its ability to categorize keywords into particular focus niches to accommodate your marketing strategies.

    Soovle

    Soovle, functions similarly to the above two options, but specializes in seven search engines and portals: Google, Yahoo!, Bing, Answers.com, YouTube, Wikipedia, and Amazon. As you type your desired keyword, the online tool will generate suggested related keywords in real time for reach engine/portal, as if it’s just lurking and waiting for your next keyboard input.

    So remember, contracting that graphic designer to rebrand the business, update social media outlets, and develop a stylish Squarespace site is a great start. But no matter what way you spin it, this won’t suffice as an entire marketing strategy for the quarter.

    Successful digital marketing in the search engine age requires SEO, and SEO starts with keywords. So jump on one of these keyword research tools and get started. You won’t regret it.

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