The first step in any SEO effort is determining the right keywords and key phrases to optimize on—making sure the search terms chosen contain the words that your customers and prospects use when looking for a product or service like yours, and that the terms you optimize on actually get a reasonable amount of search activity.
Here are some of the best tools for conducting keyword research and building a search phrase list.
Google Suggest keyword tool
Type in a word and Google will provide suggested phrases, along with the relative search popularity of each term.
Blog Posts About Keyword Tools
Tools and Resources for Keyword Research by Daily Blog Tips
This blog posts recommends three keyword research tools: the SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool (which uses Overture), Google Trends, and Wordtracker (which offers free and fee-based options).
How Can Yahoo Search Assist Be Leveraged as an SEO Tool by Ask Enquiro
Jody Nimetz demonstrates three ways that Yahoo Search Assist, a real-time query suggestion tool for refining web searches, can be used to assist in search marketing efforts.
Reader Poll: Best Keyword Research Tools by TopRank Online Marketing Blog
Blogger and SEO guru Lee Odden reveals the result of an online poll showing which free and fee-based keyword tools are most popular.
An Exhaustive List of Search Engine Based Keyword Research Data by SEOmoz
A post that provides a "list of every which way you can look at a keyword to get an idea of metrics, value and potential from the (search) engines themselves" rather than single-purpose keyword tools.
Previous articles in this series:
Best of 2007: SEO Analysis Tools
Contact Mike Bannan: firstname.lastname@example.org