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5 Free Online Research Tools - SEM Back to Basics Tip #8

Andrea Schultz
by Andrea Schultz on Sep 25, 2009 10:43:00 AM

The power of research is endless when it comes to search engine marketing. Not only can you see what your competitors are doing, but what gaps your business may be missing as well. There are countless free tools available that provide you with data within seconds. From search positions to traffic to conversations on Social Media Web sites, the info is all there. The question is, how your business will use this information?

Here are 5 of my favorite free online research tools:

Spyfu allows you to lookup a domain and view both organic and pay per click details. Organic keywords and rankings, keywords being targeted on Google AdWords, estimated spending on Google AdWords as well as organic and PPC competitors. Spyfu is free, however if you subscribe (paid) you can view a larger set of key phrases and stats than the free version.

Are you on Twitter? Are your competitors on Twitter? Whether you are or not, you should research and see if your company and products are being discussed on Twitter. If they are, then you should start building a presence on Twitter and take advantage of the direct line of communication you can create with your customers. If your audience isn't there yet, chances are they will be sooner than later. Twazzup is a free tool monitoring conversations on Twitter. Type a phrase or domain in and see the latest activity surrounding that topic or URL.

Social Media is exploding, so stay tuned in to what others are discussing in regards to your industry, business and competitors. Whostalkin allows you to enter a key phrase or URL and search various News sources, Photo Web sites, Videos, Forums and more from one interface. The biggest mistake a company can make is not monitoring what is being said and taking advantage of creating relationships with customers and potential customers.

Compete will provide you with general traffic estimates for Web sites. They are not 100% accurate however the overall trends typically are. So the next time you get a weird link request for some new directory, go check it out on Compete and really see if it's as great as they say it is. Compete is free. Create a free account and you are able to use a few more features than without the account.

Google Alerts allows you to get alerts when Google discovers news, links, or content around your chosen key phrases or domains. You have the ability to have alerts delivered through email (daily, weekly or as it happens) or a RSS Feed. Set up Google Alerts for your domain to track new links as well as your competitors. You also should create alerts on your most important key phrases as well as other industry terms to monitor the buzz of the industry.

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Andrea Schultz
Written by Andrea Schultz
Andrea is the VP, Online Marketing at E-Power and works to integrate and organize the pieces of the puzzle to carry out highly effective programs for our clients. As an account lead, she runs the day to day programs for a number of our clients, but she is our team's sounding board, chief problem solver and all around organic guru, working hard to ensure all of E-Power's clients benefit from her experience and expertise.

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