Between Raven SEO tools, SpyFu, Keyword Spy, WordTracker, Market Samurai, Trillian Keyword Discovery and my personal favorite: Google’s own AdWords Keyword Tool, there are plenty of choices to consider when you’re thinking about which keyword research tool you want to trust with your SEO campaign.

In the above video, I took a long hard look at Keyword Competitor, an alleged “real-time keyword research tool”. My Keyword Competitor review included testing the data captured by the tool and storing it so that I can later run a delta or trend report in the future.

I also took a look at the Competitor Monitoring tool, watching three keywords and 10 competitors, a feature one might pay several hundred dollars a month for using Compete.com (or tens of thousands at Hitwise.com).

Testing Keyword Competitor Data

Looking at SEOInc.com, I discovered two keywords that they appeared for in Google: “search engine optimization” and “search engine marketing”. According to Keyword Competitor, SEOinc.com ranked on page 2 and page 3 respectively for these terms. What appeared to be Google PPC estimates appeared in the same output, which as you can see below was put to the test:

Keyword Competitor Review: SEOInc.com Under the Microscope

Here’s the actual output from Google.com’s Keyword Tool. One critical piece that Keyword Competitor left out was match type. I may be way off here, but the tool takes into account match types and a broad version of a keyword could include any number of modifiers. Still a great tool for looking at popularity and competitiveness, but they should really change the search settings (hopefully in their API) to trigger EXACT MATCH.

Google Keyword Tool Analyzed During a Review of Keyword Competitor

My Conclusion

Okay, I get why the reports take awhile (sometimes up to a week), they are obviously using dynamic IPs to make automated queries for organic ranking data. So if you can understand that and get over the length of time a detailed report can take, this tool could be the best keyword research tool on the market. It doesn’t categorize keywords the way WordStream does, but capturing real-time data and monitoring positions in paid in organic search to track trends is by far what makes this tool the winner for 2009.

Ideal Scenario

Let’s say you sell acai juice and want to sell more product online from organic searches in 2010. You do a few queries in Google for brand names, product names, product types, and product benefits to produce a list of top competitors. Using the free Google AdWords Keyword Tool, you hone in on your top 3 keywords. So now you have a list of top keywords and 10 competitors.

Using Keyword Competitor, you research your top 10 competitors, and monitor your top 3 keywords. A month later, you log back in and observe the trend in keyword buys from your top competitors and discover several keywords that competitors appear to be putting emphasis on in terms of rank and ad copy variations. You apply those keywords to your strategy and modify your ad copy to trump theirs and soon you find yourself dominating every effective keyword in both organic and paid search.

Keyword Competitor is a great keyword research tool. A simple change to the match type in the reporting at the keyword-level is all this tool needs to move up from A- to A in my book.