Finding the right keyword, either for SEM or SEO, is still the basis for almost any campaign. Neil Patel has a great writeup of how keyword research tools have evolved. Over the decade plus that Addion has been an agency, we’ve tried a number of off-the-shelf tools (anyone remember The Permutator?) and built a number of proprietary keyword tools (The Beast was the name of one of our first efforts).
Regardless of which method you use, remember you can get into analysis paralysis. Don’t fret needlessly over getting the perfectly nuanced variation of a keyword – chances are that work will be wasted as it gets no traffic. Instead, go for a cycle of continued optimization of your keywords. Get a good starter set and go live. For SEO a lot of your traffic will come from variations that you aren’t specifically targeting. And for SEM traffic matters much less than what your clickthrough rate is, what your quality score is, and how profitable each keyword is individually.
Once you have a data set going against your keywords, you now can begin to optimize, excluding keywords that are meaningless to your bottom line, and pushing additional keyword research along lines where your customers are finding you.
In keyword research, it’s perspiration not inspiration that works. Having the best tool in the world isn’t as good as having the ability to learn and adjust as you go.