Market Samurai is the gold standard when it comes to keyword research tools.
I’ve been a using it for several years now and I can tell you from personal experience, it’s among the best keyword research tools available. There are others, but none match the depth of features that the good people at Noble Samurai have put together.
I wanted to get in to some details on Market Samurai and share with you some of my notes on the tool so you can see how it might be something you can use in your own website or blog-building efforts.
As you’ll see it’s not just for the hard-core internet marketing crowd. It can be a great tool for writers, podcasters, bloggers, and content creators of all kinds. I’ve used it to work on my niche site projects, in addition to my regular blog, and I’m constantly running all kinds of different ideas through it.
It’s not the easiest tool in the world to learn, but once you’ve learned the terms and definitions and learned how to get around in Market Samurai you’ll see just how much you can do with it.
Keyword research is not a quick and easy kind of task. It takes time. A lot of time. And when you’re not using the right tools it takes more time and makes the task harder. However, I think you’ll find that using Market Samurai can actually be (dare I say) fun! Or at least more interesting and far less tedious.
Yea, you can do all this stuff for free but not nearly with the speed and efficiency that you can with Market Samurai.
So let’s jump in.
Who is Market Samurai for?
If you’ve got a website or blog, odds are that you want to find your way to the top of search engine results for keywords related to your market.
In order to increase your search rankings and increase your search-driven traffic you need to know what you’re targeting. But knowing what you’re targeting is only part of the battle. You need to know if you can reasonably compete for a particular keyword, if it’s relevant to your audience, and there is enough traffic for it to be worth your time.
I’ve posted about keyword research before, so I there isn’t need to go back over it in this post. The main take away is that keword research is a vital part of any serious website owner’s marketing plan. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a podcaster, blogger, niche site marketer, or something else – having identified targets for your marketing goals is a huge priority.
Market Samurai is a keyword and and analytics research tool for people who are serious about doing keyword research. The depth of its features make it a fantastic resource that will help you find the information you’re looking for. It can be challenging to make serious progress without the right tools, and Market Samurai is great at what it does.
Before we get in to all the things that Market Samurai can do though, I think it’s important to start with a couple reminders about what it is, and it is not.
What Market Samurai isn’t
It’s not a magic bullet – This was a mistake that I made when I first downloaded Market Samurai and started working with it. It’s really powerful in what it can do, but it can’t do it for you. You still need to invest the time and effort to come up with your seed keyword ideas and concepts, then run those ideas through Market Samurai and see what the numbers tell you.
It’s not a backlink builder – Market Samurai isn’t going to help you build a bunch of spammy backlinks. It can help you find some opportunities where you might be able to create some links, but we’ll get in to that that later. If you want to learn about building backlinks you need to look at John Cooper’s backlinking course here.
It’s not a tool that will help you game the system – Nothing here that’s unethical, or black-hat. Just good information, that once you understand how it works, will be a huge help.
It’s not just a tool for internet marketers – Market Samurai has its roots in the internet marketing world, but it’s not just a tool for those folks. It’s a tool you can use in your own content creation efforts to help you maximize your marketing efforts and find new sources of traffic.
What Market Samurai is
An incredibly helpful research tool – There is a lot here to help you get in to the details regarding traffic numbers, competitive landscape, commercial viability, relevancy, rank and more. Keyword research is just the tip of the iceberg.
A tool to help you find relevant, appealing keyword opportunities – The bottom line of a tool like Market Samurai is to find something that you can build on, and it excels at this task.
A tool that provides you with invaluable intelligence on competitors – Part of finding good opportunities is finding out what the competition for your targets look like. There is so much information on the competitive landscape that you’ll wonder if it’s fair to have that much information on your competition.
A tool to help you save a whole lot of time – As I mentioned, you can do all these things for free, but the amount of time you save by using Market Samurai is worth the price of admission by itself.
I’ll cover each section of Market Samurai in more depth in future posts but in this one, we’re just getting started because I want to get in to all the options that are available with this tool.
Quick tips – Things you need to know
Connect your Google Account
This will be one of the things you want to do so that you can expand your capacity when doing keyword research. All you need is a Google Adwords account and once you have that, all you have to do is connect it when you’re ready to start your keyword research.
Use Google Drive to share projects between computers
Think of this as a small productivity hack. Market Samurai allows you to install the application on multiple computers. A great way to make using Market Samurai easier between your different computers is to make sure that you’ve got all your research project files saved in something like Google Drive, or Dropbox.
That way you’re not duplicating your projects on different computers, and all your information will be in one place in the cloud. You can start a project on one computer and open it up on another. It will make organizing your research so much easier.
Sign up for a free trial
Market Samurai has a full free trial available for download that you can download here. This way you can test this stuff out and see how it works for you. In the interest of full disclosure, links to Market Samurai in this post are affiliate links. You can learn more about my disclosure policy here.
Now that we have the basics out of the way, let’s jump in to each of Market Samurai’s modules and see how they can help.
Rank Tracker Module
Market Samurai’s Rank Tracker has changed a lot over the years that I’ve used it, but I think they’ve hit their sweet spot. The Rank Tracker does exactly what it says – tracks how your site ranks for a given keyword.
Rank Tracker works by creating campaigns that group together your targets you’re tracking. After you’ve set up your campaign, Market Samurai then goes out and checks how your site ranks for that keyword in the three major search engines.
It shows you how many backlinks you have for that particular page, and your position in each search engine. Rank Tracker, in combination with the SEO Competition module, will give you a lot of great information about where you’re at, and how you match up against the top sites ranking for your target.
There are limits to how many keywords you can track but subscriptions are available if you’re looking to track a lot of keyword sets.
Keyword Research Module
The Keyword Research Module is about as good as it gets. It generates tons of keyword suggestions for you to review and to hopefully find a good seed keyword for you to use.
When you use Market Samurai to generate keywords, it’s going to give you info on a lot of keywords that are in the “long tail” that can sometimes be more important to the traffic you generate for your site than the primary keyword can be.
One of the things I like to do with this keyword research tool is use it to do research on only the one specific keyword that that created the project for. Instead of generating a bunch of keywords and sorting through all of those out, a lot of times I want information on just one keyword.
All you have to do is just skip the “generate keywords” step and click the “keyword analysis” button at the bottom to go straight to the next screen where you can set all your filter criteria to get all the numbers you’re looking for.
SEO Competition Module
Just because you find a seed keyword that you think you can use, doesn’t mean that you’re going to be able to rank for it. Finding out how competitive the environment is for a particular keyword is crucial, and the step in your research process that can really tell you a lot about whether to proceed or not.
The SEO Competition module is full of all kinds of goodies for people who love numbers. You can check the backlink structure of sites that are ranking in the top ten results in Google, their page rank, domain age, pages indexed, all kinds of stuff that will give you actionable information.
Among the great features in this module is how everything is color coded so you can see at a glance what the competition looks like for a given keyword. Lots of red means it’s highly competitive and you may have trouble ranking for that keyword. Lots of yellow and green mean that it could be a great opportunity.
There are some general rules of things that you want to look for in this module, but I’ll get in to more of that stuff in a future post.
Once you find a seed keyword for your project Market Samurai also gives you the ability to do a keyword-specific domain name search, and even purchase a domain – or domains – through their app.
It’s a really simple process to set your seed keyword in the “seed keyword” field, and click the find domains button on the right, and it will populate numerous keyword-rich domain names that you can use for your project.
You can see what’s available for all kinds of top level domain names, using the old familiar .com, .org and .net in your search or get deeper in to all kinds of options by selecting a custom set of domains to search.
Making money from their site is a high priority for a lot of website owners and Market Samurai gives you a tool to help you do that too.
There are two main avenues here – affiliate promotions, and dynamic ads. Both provide you with a wealth of opportunities to find project-specific monetization opportunities.
Affiliate promotions is just what it sounds like – finding products that match up with your keyword that you can sell as an affiliate.
There are options to search ClickBank, Commission Junciton, and PayDotCom.com and the ability to filter your results based on a few categories to get you dialed in to what you want.
Then there is the Dynamic Ads option that helps you line up advertising through outlets like Google Adsense.
These are a couple great, and simple options to explore monetizing your site.
Find Content Module
This module isn’t as popular as the keyword research tool, and rank tracker, but it really is a very helpful tool to help you dig in to your topic.
Think of this module as a competitive research analysis tool. You can be very specific about the kinds of sources you want to check and look in to the quality and authority of content that is ranking for your keyword terms.
You can choose the kinds of articles you want to look at – blogs, news sites, article sites, and more. This is a great way to look in to what other authors are doing in your space and not only see what the competition looks like, but also what the authority of the content is, and more.
Publish Content Module
After you’ve done all your research, found your keywords, done some comparison and intelligence gathering on the competition, the publish content module will connect you with your WordPress site and set up your article right through the Market Samurai interface.
It’s not my chosen method of publishing content, but it’s an option for those who want to do everything in one place.
The Promotion Module is a tool that gives you the ability to find backlink opportunities.
It takes your seed keyword, and then does a search for you on blogs, web 2.0 sites like Squidoo, and forums that are relevant to your topic where you can potentially leave a comment and a backlink.
As with the rest of Market Samurai, this allows you to examine the quality of the opportunity by looking at some specifics about each post. You can look at whether or not there is a link or pingback opportunity, the page rank of the post, and the number of links that content piece already has itself.
I like this module for more than just sheer marketing though. I really like the idea of finding new and relevant sites to connect with and engage with.
It’s important to note that most of the comment opportunities you find here will be no-follow links, but don’t let that stop you. Visitors to those sites might see your comment and follow your link naturally, so it’s worth it to take the time to engage in the conversation and participate.
I know from my own personal experience that virtually all of the links in my comments I leave are no-follow links, but I get traffic from those links all the time.
When it comes to tools that can help you with your marketing efforts, Market Samurai is definitely one that you want to have in your toolbox. It’s a great tool to help you not only do research, but dig in deep and gather all kinds of analysis for and it works great for niche site builders, and content creators of all kinds.
Market Samurai is a fantastic tool for website owners who are serious about marketing their website.
Remember – you can download a free trial copy of Market Samurai here. Download it, put it through the paces, and let me know what you think. I love it and I use it all the time.
I’d love to hear from you if you use Market Samurai. What’s been your experience? Let me know in the comments below.