It is no secret that one of the most important components of search engine optimization is keywords. In order to make your web site successful, search engine optimization techniques using highly visible keywords is of the utmost importance. The only way to be sure that you are using the best keywords possible for your purposes is to do some serious keyword research.

Unfortunately, keyword research has been one of the best kept secrets in internet marketing over the last decade. Only in the last few years have keyword research tools, software, and information hit the market. And, like anything else in good internet marketing, smart keyword research costs money and can be very time consuming.

There will be many people, books, and web sites claiming to have done all of this research for you. The price will appear to be reasonable compared to other keyword research services, and the fact that it will save you a lot of time will tend to sway even the most savvy internet marketer. However, the smart web site owner will do their own key word research. These ready made keyword lists are often months if not years old, and may not contain accurate or up to date information.

These keyword research lists were developed in response to the fact that many people did not know how to do proper research for keywords, nor was as much knowledge passed around about search engine optimization in general. Therefore, the few people who did know how to research keywords effectively decided to make a fortune selling these lists to those who did not have the knowledge. Thankfully, this is no longer the case. There are now keyword research tools and software to enable you to take this important step on your own.

Some of the keyword research tools available are free, but the most accurate and least time consuming tools are going to require some nominal investment. Remember, however, that this investment is both necessary and profitable for your web site. The two best keyword research tools are Wordtracker and Keyword Discovery.

Wordtracker is a great tool for the beginning internet marketer. There are two sections to the web site. The first section allows you to develop a list of keywords based on your subject matter or product line. The second section allows you to discover the general popularity of those keywords, while further developing your list of possibilities. There is a one week free trial available, and the tool can be subscribed to after that on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis, ranging from thirty to three hundred dollars.

Keyword Discovery is possibly the best tool for effective keyword research. This tool boasts keyword statistics for over one hundred and eighty search engines. These statistics allow the tool to help you find the most searched for words related to your website. The tool can also help you discover common misspellings, seasonal search trends, and what keywords your competitors use to drive traffic to their sites. This tool only costs about fifty dollars per month.

There are also many options for keyword research software that can help you develop your search engine optimization campaigns. These software tools are comparable to the online tools mentioned above. The biggest difference is that instead of paying for a subscription, you only pay one flat fee for unlimited use of the tool.

In short, smart keyword research requires that you get the most traffic for your money. You should also focus on generating as many keywords as possible and determining popularity and competition. When you use this knowledge to apply search engine optimization techniques to your website, you will discover a profit source that you never dreamed of.