I was already a big fan of the SEO analysis tool from On-page.org (free for 1 small website with 100 URL's, check out my earlier review here), but until last week I was not aware of a very nice feature for keyword research that is also under the hood. It is even available in the free plan, so trying out is easy.
It is hidden away under the Tools option, and it is called TF*IDF report. I didn’t have a clue what it is was about first, but after watching a webinar by the On-page guys it became clear to me that this is an extremely powerful tool for keyword research, working quite different from tools like Google’s Adwords Keyword planner and others that I already discussed earlier in my article about keyword research. Though it does not replace those, it is an excellent addition to your toolkit.
What the &&^%%!!! Is TF*IDF???
Feel free to skip to the next paragraph to see how the tool works, but if you’re interested, it stands for Term Frequency * Inversed Document Frequency and is a metric to indicate the relevance of a keyword in relationship to the rest of the web. I’m not going to repeat what On-Page already explained on their blog, so feel free to skip there if you want www.onpage.org/blog/new-feature-tfidf.
Basically. the On-Page tool uses TF*IDF by checking the top 15 results in Google for a given keyword and checking which other keywords are typical for those websites, while also checking which other relevant keywords they have in common. This gives you a rough list to work with, and by using filters, you can make it even more relevant. So much for the theory, let’s simply see how we can use it.
How to use the TF*IDF report
Assuming you already have an account, either free or paid, go to Tools >> TF * IDF Report. You can now indicate your keyword (combination), set a region / language (too bad for me Dutch is not yet included) and whether or not you want to group similar terms. I decided to run the tool against one of my existing blogposts about Multilingual SEO in Joomla and see how well I did already and whether I can improve it. So I used the keyword combination multilingual seo joomla:
If you click on Create TF*IDF report you will get a nice bar-graph with the keywords most relevant for the top-sites, including a list of the top-15 rankings in Google. Also, note that you can either investigate Single Words (default) or Two-Word Combinations. For this tutorial I am going to stick to Single, but make sure you also check the Combinations, these are often perfect for long-tail optimization.
Secondly, you see a slider next to Proof Keyword Filter. This often helps in filtering out stop words and brand names. Usually sliding it slightly to the right until you have between 10 and 20 words left should be fine:
You see this results in a nice list of which most keywords are perfectly valid for a blogpost about Multilingual SEO in Joomla. You can also Compare your URL and it will plot out this URL's score within the graph. Also, you can check the Detailed Analysis tab if you are really interested in the details of the TF*IDF calculations, but especially if you are new to this (like me), this may go a bit too deep. However, the next tab becomes really interesting again:
The Text Assistant is a great tool to help you use the words that the top-competitors in Google do. For my keyword combination, I simply took the full text of my blogpost about Multilingual SEO in Joomla and pasted in the text box. Then I clicked on Save & analyze text to see what the Text Assistant thought of it:
The assistant gives me 3 types of recommendations:
- Terms or topics you should add: in my case: joomsef sef virtuemart magento component. In this case, I know that joomsef, magento and virtumart are not relevant, but sef and component definitely are.
- Terms you could use more often: these words have been used, but could be used a bit more
- Terms you use too much: words that may make the post a suspect for keyword stuffing. It could be wise to remove some of those, or replace them by synonyms
Like any tool it always needs human interpretation, but overall it does a pretty nice job. You can also edit the text right here and it will live-update the analysis as you are writing or deleting text. This means you can simply prepare your text right here in the text-editor and copy-paste it in your Joomla site when you're done.
So, do you like it? Get it for free here.