Ever since I started blogging, I intentionally stayed away from keyword research. It just seemed like one of those things that could take up too much of my time. I understood the principles of keyword research but felt that in order to do it effectively, I had a lot of work to do. I opted to take the “lazy” way out. I just wrote.
Writing came easy, and I didn’t have to worry about doing too much work before writing. Just let the words flow.
An internet marketing buddy of mine kept bugging me telling me that I NEEDED to do keyword research. He also told me that there was a program that I needed to get and use because it will make my keyword research a breeze. The name of the program was Market Samurai. I didn’t listen to him – at least not for a while.
When I decided to start a new blog in a different niche (biology), he kept bugging me once again with this Market Samurai stuff, and I eventually decided that I was going to use it on this new project to see what the big deal was. I’ve been using it for over a year now and I want to share what I think about it with you.
I’ll also show you some of the results I’ve achieved and you can decide whether it could be beneficial for you too.
What is Market Samurai
Market Samurai is a comprehensive market analysis suite with the following tools built in:
- Rank Tracker: This allows you to monitor your website and specific pages on your website to track your rankings for specific keywords. It’s a good way of quickly keeping eye on where your website ranks in the search results in Google, Yahoo and Bing.
- Keyword Research: Uses the Google Keyword Tool to come up with a list of other relevant keywords. It then goes deep into an analysis of those keywords to give you an idea of the competition for the keyword.
- SEO Competition: This section gives you a list of the ten top-ranked competitors (top 10 in Google). It then gives you a bunch of details about each of the top ten sites giving you information on how hard it is to compete with them in the search results
- Monetization:This field helps you find different affiliate products to promote. You can connect it to your affiliate accounts on Amazon, Clickbank, Commission Junction and Paydotcom and have it automatically generate affiliate links for you.
- Other tools are included that help you to…
- Find domain names
- Get ideas for content to write
- Promote your website by finding relevant backlink sources
- Publish content directly to your sites
When you start a new project in Market Samurai, it opens a welcome screen where you can select from any of the tools mentioned above (See screenshot below). The ones I use most often when doing my research are the Keyword Research and SEO Competition tools, because those two tools give me all of the information I need for my research. I do use some of the other tools, but not near as much as those two.
How Market Samurai Helped Me Find A Domain Name
Market Samurai can be pretty handy for doing the research to come up with a keyword-rich domain name that can give you a better chance of ranking well in Google.
When I was trying to think of a name for my biology blog, I entered the keyword “Biology” into the Keyword Research tool, it generated a list of keywords for me. Biology was a keyword with a bunch of searches but also a TON of competition.
However, when I looked through the list, I saw that the search term “Interactive Biology” (among others) had a decent amount of searches, but a relatively low amount of competition. I also noted that the websites that were in the top ten search results in Google for that keyword weren’t really strong competitors, so I decided to go with the name Interactive Biology. Without much effort I was able to rank two of my pages on the first page of Google for that keyword phrase, taking positions between 2 and 6 of the results depending on the day.
As a result of my research, the keyword phrase that delivers the most traffic to my website is “Interactive Biology”.
How Market Samurai Helps Me To Come Up With High Ranking Content
I then decided to test Market Samurai out to come up with ideas for content. This is not something I do often, but when I first started the website, I decided to try it out. I thought of the topics within biology and I decided to do some keyword research on the different organs in the human body. When doing that, I was surprised that at the time, there were a ton of daily searches for images and diagrams of the human heart, and hardly any competition. This gave me a great idea for content.
I went online and started searching for a bunch of pictures of the human heart and made one blog post with a plenty of human heart pictures and diagrams. That is something I would not have done if I didn’t do keyword research. This research didn’t take a lot of time, but the result was that page is one of my highest entry pages into my website. In the last 30 days, I’ve received 728 pageviews to that one blog post alone.
It also gave me ideas for content that I can write for my blog that should drive a significant amount of targeted traffic without doing a ton of work. It has given me a number of ideas for my online business blog that has resulted in a significant amount of traffic, even within the competitive “Make Money Online” searches. You’d be surprised with the amount of long tail keywords you can find that are easy to rank with if you take the time to do the right kind of research even within a very competitive niche.
The Keyword Research Tool
The Keyword Research Tool in Market Samurai is one of the most comprehensive ones I’ve seen. It gives you most of the info you need on one screen and the ability to drill down into any particular aspect of your research. The information that I find most useful is:
- The number of daily searches
- The maximum amount of daily clicks you can expect to get from the search engines if you get to the number one spot
- The total number of webpages that mention that keyword phrase (amount of competition)
It also gives you an idea of how profitable the keyword is by letting you know how much is spent on that particular keyword in Adwords for every click, giving the keyword an actual SEO value. This gives you an idea of whether or not people are willing to spend money when searching for that keyword.
Tracking My Rankings
One of the other cool features of Market Samurai is that it allows you to insert your domain names and the keywords you are trying to rank for, and then it keeps track of your positions in Google, Yahoo and Bing. It not only tells me where my main page ranks, but it also shows me all of the posts/pages on my blog that rank for that particular keyword phrase and where they rank. This helps me to keep focused on the main keywords I’m trying to target and lets me know what kind of work I need to do in order to increase those rankings to where I want them to be.
Other Underutilized Tools
When I was going through Market Samurai to make this review, I realized that there are a few features that I’ve never used that can come in pretty handy. I was very surprised that you can add your affiliate accounts (Amazon, Commission Junction, Clickbank and Paydotcom) to market samurai and have it find products on all of those affiliate networks that are relevant to your niche and have it automatically generate affiliate links for you.
For example, when I was doing keyword research on “human heart diagrams”, it gave me an affiliate link for posters of human heart diagram in Amazon.com. You can see how that would be a very useful product for someone looking for human heart diagrams.
I was also impressed with the “Publish Content” section. You can enter your wordpress blog login credentials and publish your content directly to your blog from inside Market Samurai. This includes the ability to add images and links, and anything you would add from your wordpress dashboard. The benefit of doing it in Market Samurai is that it also stores a copy of your post on your hard drive. This comes in very handy because you always have an additional backup copy of your content, just in case something terrible happens.
The feature to help you find domains wasn’t that useful for me. I prefer going to Godaddy and finding my domain names there. Yes, Market Samurai gives many more suggestions, but I found that I never really liked the suggestions.
Are There Drawbacks To Market Samurai?
Market Samurai is great for what it does, but isn’t perfect. There are a few places where I do see room for improvement:
- It could be quicker. When doing an initial search for a keyword, it can take as much as 30 seconds to a minute to give you results, depending on your connection speed. It can then take another minute or so to give you all of the competition information. All in all, that’s not a ton of time, but I tend to grow a little impatient while the process is happening and I’m just staring at my screen for a minute. However, if you consider the alternative – doing it by hand at multiple different sites – it still saves a ton of time.
- Project Management could be streamlined better. When using Market Samurai, you set up individual projects. Within these individual projects, you can set up research for a number of keywords, which are displayed at the top of the screen. However, if your project gets big (which mine tend to do), it can be a little confusing when you run out of space at the top.
If you are into keyword research, I think that Market Samurai is a must have. I’ve checked out a number of Keyword research tools in the past and this is by far the most comprehensive.
If you are not into keyword research, but do see the value of high search engine rankings, this is a great way to do in depth research without having to spend a bunch of time doing it.
Do you NEED to have Market Samurai in order to do effective Keyword research? No, not really. You can go to the Google Keyword Tool and start your keyword research and get a bunch of keyword suggestions. Then you can take each term and put them individually into Google search between quotes to get an idea of how much competition there is. Then you can go into Yahoo Site Explorer and analyse the top 10 sites individually and check out the backlinks, and go to a ton of other places to get a full picture of your market, and spend a few hours doing all of this.
Alternatively, you can use one of the other great market analysis tools out there and spend hundreds of dollars on a monthly basis (Yeah, I’ve checked).
Or you can take the easy way out, get yourself a copy of Market Samurai, spend a few minutes doing some comprehensive analysis and be on your way to dominating your market one keyword at a time.
Here’s a video from the guys who created Market Samurai to explain more about the software –
How to Save 35% on Market Samurai
Market Samurai has a one time price tag of $147, which in my opinion is a great price, especially considering the value. However, you can download it and use the fully functional version free of charge for 12 days. When you download it, you will have the option to purchase it for $97, which is 35% off the full cost, if you take advantage of the offer within 6 days.
Have fun discovering the fun of keyword research and competitor website analysis!