To All Expired Trial Users

confused man scratching his head

Confused about Keyword Strategy? Drop a comment with the problems you had using it!

Yesterday evening, my time, I was chatting with Fraser from Keyword Strategy via Skype and he told me that a big percentage of trial users don’t click on the ‘Get Keywords’ button even once! I was like ‘Auch?!?!?!’

I mean, seriously, people take a few minutes out of their busy lives to sign up for a new tool and then don’t even try out what it does? Why signing up for a keyword research tool and then not doing any — drum roll please — keyword research with it???

We chatted a bit more and Fraser made me the generous offer of doing a screen share video with me where we’ll try to tackle the most common stumble stones for new users. So, here is where you come in, the expired trial user of Keyword Strategy! What challenges did you face and what hindered you to make full use of the trial? Was it:

  • The concept behind Keyword Strategy?
  • The whole keyword terminology like competition, search volume etc?
  • The interface of the tool?
  • Something else?

Whatever it was, please leave it in a comment. This way Fraser and I can tackle with our video(s) the most common stumble stones that real people face and faced. Thanks!


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23 comments to To All Expired Trial Users

  • Bizz

    The interlinking functionality of the KS tool alone is worth the price of admission. It saves so much time. Of course, without doing any keyword research there wouldn’t be anything for the tool to work its interlinking magic with…

    Seems counter-intuitive to not do any keyword research with it…

  • I’ve already commented elsewhere – but my basic problem was that I had trouble understanding what to do. I didn’t find it at all easy to navigate around. Maybe I jumped in too quickly and didn’t study the “how to” for long enough?

    My other reason was that it didn’t look like it could help my sites. The tool insists that you must find hundreds of keywords, and there simply aren’t hundreds of keywords relating to my topics. I write about dance, and if I had a big dance site, I could see myself finding the requisite number of words. But I write about specific dance genres on separate sites, and often only specific aspects of each genre. In the trial period,I didn’t find a single keyword I didn’t already know about, and found myself blacklisting 99% of what was suggested. So it all seemed like a lot of work for very little gain. However I’m left with the sneaky suspicion that I was somehow doing it all wrong…

    • hospitalera

      Yes, I agree Marisa, this tool has a steep learning curve, I am using it since over a year now and still finding new things out ๐Ÿ˜‰ What I would suggest you is to sign up for a new trial, contact Fraser and let him help you! He has looked at so many different sites by now, I am sure he can help you also.
      And let the tool insist what it wants! Hundreds of keywords are good if you have a ‘thick’ site that needs its internal linking improved. So, you shouldn’t have blacklisted them, if you already have written about them, but instead tagged them as done and assigned an url to them.
      For writing new articles you just need one more than you can write articles per day ๐Ÿ˜‰ And dial down the minimum searches, you will be surprised how many visitors you get for these <10 searches / months keywords ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Hope that helps, SY

  • Hi Marisa, it’s surprising that you weren’t able to find keywords that relate to your website, especially when you have sites about dance. I can imagine creating information on the different types of dance, the steps, schools, famous dancers, etc.

    It’s the content that brings in the search engine traffic, so if you’re lost for keywords, you just need to widen your niche so it can support more concepts.

    As Sy said, I’m happy to help you out. I can reset your trial for you, even do a consultation. At the very least I can help give you some totally free advice and feedback.

  • Thanks for the feedback, Fraser. I guess I’m having difficulty because what you’re saying goes against what I’ve learned up till now – that you need to identify a tight niche and stick to it. So if I’m trying to sell ballet costumes, for instance, I thought I had to focus my blog posts on ballet costumes – not vaguely connected stuff like famous dancers, steps etc.

    So it’s a whole new concept for me to think of being a generalist not a specialist.

  • That’s because you’re targeting a keyword and not actually creating a business. Did you choose the keyword because you know a lot about dance, and how difficult it is for ballet dancers to find costumes? Or did you choose it because you thought you could make some money?

    One leads into a sustainable business that grows and changes over time, and the other is a short-term cash grab that just can’t last.

  • I have 40 years’ experience in dance. Maybe I’ve been listening to the wrong people, but I’ve based all my websites on the understanding that I have to identify a specific need and then answer it. I haven’t chosen based on “high paying keywords”, but on things I know dancers need help with. So for instance, my pointe shoe site is an affiliate site but I also did a lot of research so I could explain the features of every shoe. But there is only so much else I can write about how to fit pointe shoes, how to care for them, etc. It has never occurred to me to write articles on ballet in general instead – to me, it would feel like diluting the purpose of the site.

    I can see the logic in what you’re saying – broaden your niche so you can build a huge bank of useful information, because Google wants authority sites post-Panda. It just has such huge implications for what I’ve been doing, it’s exploding my brain somewhat! Do I need to amalgamate some of my sites? If not, how can I broaden my niches?

    I wish I wrote about a big subject like you do (space). Unfortunately, dancers live in silos. I know that if I’m looking for advice on flamenco, for instance, I don’t trust general dance sites – I will always look for a specialist flamenco site. Belly dancers feel that only other belly dancers understand them. And so on. So I really don’t see how a generalist dance site would work.

    • hospitalera

      First of all, Marisa, do take Fraser up on his generous offer, he has far more experience than I do ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Second, is it intentionally that your website url redirects to an article at Hubpages?

      Ok, now for the rest. You wrote ‘dancers live in silos’ so here my thoughts (check with Fraser!), you could either:

      Amalgamate your sites into one big site about dancing and siloing it. For example you could use a plugin to display different author boxes, with the specific information / expertise included, on the single blog posts. Like for Flamenco articles you could have ‘Marisa dances Flamenco since xyz and has done xyz and danced in xyz’ and for belly dance you could switch it to your expertise in belly dance. If you keep the site structured and sorted in categories, that could work?

      Or you could take one site, about one dance style, and combine all the information a dancer / somebody interested in learning that style needs. So instead of having one site about pointe shoes and another one about ballet costumes, you would have one site about ballet, covering everything imaginable from history to famous dancers, schools you can recommend, shoes, costumes, first aid for dancers etc etc etc.

      Does that make sense? If I would be interested in let’s say taking up belly dance I would like such a site more that gives me all the information I need, which style to choose, where to learn it, best costumes / music etc.

      Hope that helps, SY

  • Sorry for the long post! I do think the narrow vs broad niche question needs to be debated more – hint, hint, Hospitalera!

  • Bizz

    Is the free trial even worth the time any more? With KEI and competition being retired as viable metrics, the tool’s only purpose now will be interlinking, which can be found in plenty of free plugins.

    Sorry, just had to vent a bit. The email I just received from Fraser is still fresh in my mind…!

    • hospitalera

      Yes, seems KSt just committed voluntary suicide, blog post in the writing as we speak! Hugely disappointed! SY

      • Bizz

        I’m posting this here, because my original thread was deleted by the KST forum moderators, who seemingly think that keeping us quiet through censorship is a viable approach to paying customers. To say I’m upset is putting it too mildly…

        The thread is live for the time being and will be re-posted each and every time it is deleted, until my concerns are addressed or they finally close me out of the loop by banning me from the forums.

        “This is the second time I’m posting this thread, as somebody thought it best to censor the original…

        The announcement of the elimination of the KEI and Competition metrics from the tool is a huge fail from the people who bring us the KST, and that’s putting it mildly.

        How are we supposed to evaluate keyword groupings now? What criteria would we possibly glean from the rest of the columns?

        This tool is now just a glorified interlinking plugin, that is severely overpriced. The only premium thing about the plugin now is the fee (thank God I’m grandfathered in). It appears you’ve got me by the proverbial short-hairs, as I use the tool to interlink at least 7 sites. Cancelling the subscription only compounds the headaches associated with starting over!

        What plans are there to make up the difference, or to bolster the tool to give it the functionality to match the price-tag?

        The people wanna know | Do not delete this thread!”

        • hospitalera

          Actually your post was merged into this thread v, so not censored completely ๐Ÿ˜‰ Seems I need to blog about how to ‘transfer’ your internal linking from KST to a free tool and how to track your rankings / do your keyword research from now on. To say that I am disappointed with Fraser and this development is an understatement. Sorry to everybody that recommended to Keyword Strategy!

  • Bizz

    For now, the thread is live and I encourage participation, as this is the only way to lend credibility to the voice…

  • As Sy said, I didn’t delete the thread, I merged it. All that info is still there, I just want to avoid keeping track of a bunch of threads.

    We have been moving the tool in this direction for months. I posted about it back in November about how I think about competition, and this has been my advice in all my consultations with people.

    We had developed the whole rankings through referrer so that we didn’t have to rely on the extension, and the last piece of the puzzle was the competition. We knew we needed to remove it, so we did it.

    For some people, the tool in its current state and the new features that we’re continually adding is exactly what they want.

    For other people, this functionality is the deal killer,and they’re going to cancel their accounts. And that’s why we offer the refund. You get a free trial, and then a refund of the last month. Plus you’ve got 30 days to extract all your data.

    • hospitalera

      The point that is for me the deal breaker is the competition. There is a huge difference between >best keyword for seniors< and >what is the best keyword for seniors<. Targeting those keyword phrases with a high KEI and low competition has made a huge impact on my sites, and for that I will be for ever grateful to KST, but taking that info out of the tool is a deal breaker for me ... By any accident, did Google put you under any kind of pressure regarding this?

  • Wow,what a bombshell! I feel sorry for you, Hospitalera, when you’ve done so much to champion Fraser and his system.

    I think the reason is more likely what you said yourself – people are not signing up at the end of the trial. He’s feeling discouraged and has decided to cut his costs rather than struggle with how to improve sales.

    I wonder if the tool is just ahead of its time. The idea that you should forget targeting a niche, and instead build one huge blog on a general subject and build niches within it, is pretty revolutionary when you think about it. Most people are still following the Market Samurai/Keyword Academy approach, creating blogs on narrow niches – I’ve been trying to persuade Izzy to start a blog on Gardening, but instead she’s created blogs on individual plant species! Maybe he should’ve marketed the plugin as a way of interlinking multiple blogs rather than within one big one, that would have reached a wider market. But it sounds like it’s all too late now.

    Where are you located? My blog is geo-targeted so it’s meant to exclude some countries associated with spam – but it shouldn’t exclude any European countries so I’m worried something isn’t quite right.

    • hospitalera

      Actually that idea is nothing new, the A-list bloggers are going on about this for ages ๐Ÿ˜‰ Problem was only that they also always wanted to sell you their latest book / membership etc. Heck, even if you look at some of my old posts here, outdated as they may be in other respects, I always stated that you need to

      Find a niche you are knowledgeable in.
      Find related keywords in that niche.
      Publish content on your site that is actually useful to readers / searchers.

      The problem with the A-list bloggers, apart of them continuously trying to sell you something, is that they publish little to no information how they go on about keyword research. Instead they hark on about social followers and list building.

      The problem with internet marketers is often that they do what you described and concentrate on one keyword per site instead of targeting a lot of long tail keywords (that are related) with the same site. That is where Fraser’s system is really good, but as I stated before, the tool as it is now is nothing more than an overpriced internal linking plugin. And sorry, I don’t pay a monthly subscription for that!

      The tool / plugin was never able to do interlinking between different blogs, and I don’t think that would be wise anyway.

      I am in the Czech Republic, I am not sure if I understand the rest of your question. Do you mean the fact that the url you put in here redirects me to Hubpages? Yes, I checked with and it seems I can then see your ‘real’ site. Something is wrong with that set-up. Also, me thinks that would confuse Google big time, that your links sometimes point to Hubpages and sometimes to your real site. If you need to get rid of spammers, can’t you block them by ip / country instead of re-directing them?

  • Oops, Fraser replied while I was posting. Pity I can’t edit that comment.

    Seems I misunderstood, it’s not a cost-cutting exercise but a removal of (what Fraser sees as) surplus functionality. If his view of keywords is correct, then I’d say he’s done the right thing in removing unnecessary complexity in the tool. That will make it more accessible. However, I can see the importance of long tail keywords too.

    • hospitalera

      I don’t think that it is removing ‘unnecessary or surplus functionality’, without knowing competition / KEI it is very difficult to choose the right ‘main keyword’ for an article, especially for a new / young site. You want to choose an angle that not already everybody is writing about and few people are searching for. Instead you want to write content people are actually looking for and that few other sites cover …

  • My site relies on eBay sales for its income, so it’s easier to block entire “spam” countries (which can’t buy from eBay anyway), than waging a constant battle blocking individual IP’s. I know a lot of very successful people who use it, so I don’t think the redirect is a problem. Would Google ever know, since its spiders are all in countries which are allowed?

    As for having a big, generalised blog instead of a specialised one – I think it is a fairly new idea. Your first instruction is “find a niche”. It’s the definition of niche that’s the difference. Most “internet gurus” would say “Astronomy” or “Dance” or “Music” are not niches, they’re big umbrella terms. That’s not a niche, it’s an alcove! That’s what I think is new about this, the suggestion that you need to think very broad.

    I know you don’t think it’s “unnecessary functionality”, but if you read Fraser’s article, HEe thinks it is. He doesn’t believe in keyword research. Another “ahead of his time” idea, or is he plain wrong? I don’t know.

    • hospitalera

      Hm, I know to little about how that particular aspect of the Google bots works, it just seems weird to me and illogical … BTW, we here in the Czech Republic can buy from Ebay (there is even a Czech version of it:, so perhaps it would be an idea to de-block that country, especially as Czechs are avid dancers ๐Ÿ˜‰

      So, back to the niche topic, yes, ‘Dance’ would be a huge niche, but ‘ballet’ not ๐Ÿ˜‰ I guess the trick is to find something between the huge and the micro! Take gardening for example:

      Ranking and building a site around general gardening would be nearly impossible unless you have an awful lot of talented writers.
      Building a site around ‘organic vegetable gardening’ is far more manageable and gives you still room to expand and an awful lot to write about.
      ‘Growing organic vegetables on balcony’ is even more niche and you might, if you write a lot, find that you have the topic exhausted sooner or later – or not.
      ‘Best tools for organic vegetable gardening on balcony’ would be your typical internet marketer niche idea with very limited amount of things to write about.

      So, when looking for a niche, I would suggest choosing something in the middle, enough to write about, but not too much that it becomes impossible to get a good, complete site up and running.

      Like for example travel:

      ‘Italy Travel’ would be too broad, but concentrating on one specific region or even town or one specific type of travel (camping / seniors / with kids) might be better.

      As for Fraser’s article, yes I have read it. I also remember him posting long posts on the TKA forum about how he uses KEI and competition to decide what next to write about …
      The point is that with a site like his (age / authority) he can write pretty much about any related keyword he likes and it will rank. BUT if your site is new or newish that will not work. Lets say I start a new astronomy site from scratch and don’t care about competition, how big would be my chances to rank for things that have a high competition like ‘size of moon’ or moon crater names / locations’. Pretty close to zero me thinks. But if I would write about “what do astronauts eat in space” there are less than 10,000 competing pages around and I have a better chance to rank for it.

      So, by building a stable foundation with low competition / long tail keywords my site gains slowly Google trust IF my content makes my readers happy (bounce rate!). Google will take reader behavior into account for ranking purposes and slowly give my site more trust also for more competitive terms. Oh, and chances are that, if I write good enough content, some readers will link back to me because they find it useful and want to share it. Which makes both me and Mr.Google very happy ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Does that make sense? As for ‘Fraser doesn’t believe in keyword research’, I don’t believe Fraser in that point because his whole site is build with keyword research and it contradicts everything he has said previously. I guess he got some pressure from Google itself – as easy as that …