Analyzing keyword data can be fast and fun with these free tools.
Tagxedo.com: Start with an URL or a copied string of text and Tagxedo will create a custom tag cloud. If you give it the URL of your homepage, for example, you can quickly see at a glance which words are repeated most frequently.
The larger the word in the cloud, the more times it's used on the page. In SEO we refer to this as keyword density. Keyword repetition isn't nearly as valuable as it was several years ago, but if you want to rank for a keyword or phrase you'll need to use it a couple of times on the page. Tagxedo helps you visualize that frequency compared to other words on the same page.
For spicing up presentations, Tagxedo also offers a wide array of color and shape options for your custom tag cloud.
Ranks Page Analyzer: This tool looks beyond keyword density to the more valuable concept of keyword prominence, which measures the value of the placement of each keyword. Input a URL to get a calculation of the density and prominence of every word and phrase on the page. The higher the score, the stronger the keyword signal your page is sending for that keyword or phrase.
The free version is limited to analyzing a certain file size, but it's large enough to accommodate most pages. A subscription is available as well to remove the size limits.
Google Keyword Tool: The other tools are great for analyzing which keyword are used on a page already, but the Google Keyword Tool tells you which you should be using. I like to download the keyword data and use it to create an "opportunity" tag cloud. Comparing it with the tag cloud or page analyzer data shows me quickly where the gaps are between the opportunity for driving SEO traffic and what my page is actually optimized for.
If you're a numbers person rather than a visual thinker, Google Keyword Tool's output will be right up your alley. For complex analysis, I find it easier to dump the keyword data from Google's tool into Excel and compare it to the keyword prominence data from Ranks Page Analyzer.
Jill Kocher is a seasoned SEO professional and all-around technogeek. By day, she manages Resource Interactive’s SEO practice here in Chicago and serves as contributing editor at Practical eCommerce. By night, Jill landscapes her home in the far northern suburbs of Chicagoland while enjoying a glass of wine and thinking about SEO some more. Family discussion centers primarily around SEO, analytics, social media, mobile apps, android, iOS, how-was-your-day and cats.