5 Alternatives To The GKWT (Google Keyword Tool) The Can Provide Key Insights Into Your Industry

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In August 2013 we saw the Google Keyword Tool as we know it, cease to exist. It's has been replaced by the Keyword Planner. You can read the official announcement here

The new Keyword Planner requires a user to have an active Google AdWords account in order to use the tool, plus there have been many other changes too.

I wanted to talk to you a little bit about those changes, and show you 5 cool and FREE keyword tools that I have been using as an alternative to the Google Keyword Planner.

The Changes

Along with a complete overhaul of the look and feel, the keyword planner has lost a lot of the functionality we all used in the keyword tool.

>> Gone is the ability to switch between Broad, Exact and Phrase match, in fact, this ‘was' available at first, however, the volume of keyword searches didn't change when you moved between Broad, Exact and Phrase match. This was one of the first alarm bells to start ringing!

>> The keywords returned are also unhelpful. Long tail phrases seem to have taken a back seat in favor of shorter 1 and 2-word keywords. The fact that you can no longer choose ‘closely related keywords' clearly shows Google's intent here. They want to steer people away from a keyword focused mindset, in favor of content generated solely for the user, regardless of whether it will drive traffic to your website.

>> You are also no longer able to choose device targeting, such as mobile phone or tablet devices. It now defaults to ‘all devices' which brings the tool in line with changes made to Google AdWords, which again shows how serious they are to get us paying for traffic.

>> The search volume data no longer matches what we had in the Keyword Tool. Google's statement below explains why;

>> In general, you'll notice that the average search volume data is higher in Keyword Planner as compared to the exact match search volume data you got with Keyword Tool. That's because we'll show you the average number of searches for a keyword idea on all devices (desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and mobile phones). With Keyword Tool, we showed you average search volume for desktop and laptop computers by default.

There are a few other subtle changes which you can read about in Google's full statement here.

For a tutorial on how to use the Keyword Planner, have a look at the tutorial created by Larry Kim over at Search Engine Land.

5 Google Keyword Tool Alternatives

Use These 7 Competitive Intelligence Tools To Spy On Your Competition and Gain an Advantage

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When conducting research for new projects, I use a variety of tools to help me…ahem….spy on the competition, gain a competitive advantage or just be plain nosy!

I thought I would share those tools with you guys and hope you will discover something new.

1. Solinet.org

solinet.png

This tool allows you to enter an ID from any site, and it will return all other sites using that same ID in its source code. (As long as it’s in their database)

The tool offers the ability to search by the following;

  • Analytics ID
  • AdSense ID
  • Domain Name
  • Affiliate Program ID’s

It really is a fun tool if you want to do some digging on a competitor!

It doesn’t always return information, however, it does offer ‘Random ID’s’ that you can simply click and view all of the websites that particular ID is being used on. If you have 5 minutes give a random ID a click and you may even find a niche to target.

If you’re not sure how to get the Analytics or AdSense ID it really couldn’t be simpler.

Finding the Google Analytics ID

  1. Right Click the Webpage
  2. Select View Page Source
  3. Ctrl + F to open the find function
  4. Search for “UA-“
  5. You will see a string such as ‘UA-XXXXXXXX-X’
  6. Copy this and paste it into the search box on Solinet to reveal any info they have on that ID

Finding the Google AdSense ID

Same deal as above.

  1. Right Click the Webpage
  2. Select View Page Source
  3. Ctrl + F to open the find function
  4. Search for “pub-“
  5. You will see a string such as ‘pub-XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX’
  6. Copy this and paste it into the search box on Solinet to reveal any info they have on that ID

Is Clicky a Good Alternative to Google Analytics? A Full Review

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Clicky Web AnalyticsOne tool I have been using since first stumbling upon them 5+ years ago is Clicky – Web Analytics (formally GetClicky).

In this Clicky Review and Guide I will show you;

  • Why Clicky is a great alternative to Google Analytics
  • Setting up Campaigns and Goals
  • A real-life example of how I make more money using Clicky
  • A COMPLETE GUIDE to all of the cool features

N.B – All screenshots were taken from the Clicky Analytics dashboard and are used to provide a visual guide to you the reader. Some of the links below are affiliate links and I will receive a commission should you purchase after clicking on my link. Thanks!

Why Bother With Analytics?

If you can't measure it, you can't improve it.

If you have websites that are not actively tracked and analyzed, you could be leaving money on the table.

My Real Life Example

Around 12 months back a niche site I had built began to gain some traction in the organic listings, I wasn't actively building loads of backlinks, just a few every now and then. When I started to see a few AdSense clicks here and there I stepped up the SEO and saw an immediate increase in earnings.

This ticked along nicely for a few months and I left it alone. I can't remember what it was, perhaps something on TV, that prompted me to check on the site and how it was performing.

I hopped on over to Clicky and entered the dashboard. Whilst prodding around I took a look at the heat map for this particular site and noticed a substantial amount of traffic (22%) was clicking on a link that was way below the fold. Now, this link was something I though kind of irrelevant in this niche which is why it was so far down the page.

Just goes to show how wrong you can be!

What I did was act on this and I moved the link to the top of the sidebar navigation. A week later I checked the stats again and even more people were clicking this link. I had basically stumbled upon a sub-niche of my main niche that my visitors were clearly interested in.

The sub-niche lent itself well to training materials such as books and DVD's so I added an Amazon widget and tracked the stats closely for the next few weeks. Needless to say, that widget is still there to this day and pulls in an additional $50 per month that would have otherwise been left on the table.

From that point on I made it a priority to analyze my analytics for any site I own on a frequent basis.