Keyword Elite 2.0: Review
I'm a long-time user of Brad Callen's Keyword Elite.
I bought v.1.0 way back in March 2006, and I've been using it regularly
ever since then. I use it to hone my keyword research, to test new
niches for my AdSense sites, to carry out PPC research - and a whole
host of other tasks.
I can't quantify it, but I am certain that Keyword
Elite 1.0 ("KWE1") has paid for itself many times over in the 3-years+
that I've been using it.
Over that time, I got many free updates to KWE1
and I guess I was hoping that Keyword Elite 2.0 ("KWE2") would be
another freebie. I was wrong! But when I bought and started using
KWE2, I could immediately see that this was completely new software,
with a new, improved interface and additional, powerful programs.
There are eight different "programs" in KWE2,
each providing different information, and serving different purposes.
And data is, mainly, interchangeable between them.
In this review, I'm not going to describe all the features of KWE2. These are much better described on the sales
page with its comprehensive videos of each of the programs.
Instead, I'm going to focus on some of the strengths
and weaknesses of each Program and then draw some conclusions at the
end of the review.
Here. for comparison, are in opening interfaces
of KWE1 (on the left) and KWE2:
Now I know that looking pretty is not a main
function of software, but the KWE2 interface is much easier to select
from. The same functionality carries on throughout KWE2.
One nice feature about KWE2 is the ability to
have the results of several different programs open at the same time.
With KWE1 you could only work on one at a time. There's a lot more
integration between the programs in KWE2, which is a great time saver.
This is the starting point for most keyword research.
in the same way as Program 1 in KWE1, in that it generates a load
of keywords from one "root" keyword that you enter - but is a lot
more powerful. There's more information generated in Keyword Surge
- such as the number of searches per month. It would have been good
to have also had the number of pages found by the search engines
and thus the "Keyword Effectiveness Index" could be calculated.
Now here's a feature which, for me, makes KWE2
a killer application. From "Keyword Surge" you can (after, perhaps,
filtering to get the keywords with at least x '000 searches per month)
to select and drop a number of keywords into another Program.
For example, I produced a list of keywords for
"dog training", selected those with more than 5,000 searches
per month and dropped this list into both "Market Research Sleuth" and "Search
Engine Dominator". I then went and did something else for 10
minutes and came back to find the results waiting for me. That's
the way I like to work
This is the tool that Pay Per Click people will
find invaluable. This Program shows you how many people are bidding
on each keyword - and just who they are!"
Having dragged my filtered "dog training" keywords
over from "Keyword Surge" I could see the actual AdWords
ads that are appearing for each keyword - like this:
What I found a little odd is that it was in this Program
that I could get a comparison between "number of searches made" (demand)
and number of web pages returned by the search engine (supply). We're
always looking for relatively high demand and relatively low supply.
That's what the "Keyword Effectiveness Index" is all about. Here's
what "Market Research Sleuth" returned for me:
In my view, these figures should also have
been included in the "Keyword Surge" Program, rather than
in the "Market Research
Sleuth" Program. It would have made more sense.
Also, in "Sleuth", I found the interface a little
"clunky". There are two panes in the window. The right-hand scroll
bar for the top pane didn't work very well, and it would have been
nice to be able to drag the bottom bar of the top pane bar to let
me see more results.
I guess I'm being a little picky
When I was training small businesses in the "real
world" I used to tell them that, when they were thinking of advertising
in newspapers or magazines, to monitor some publications over a number
of months and see which of their competitors kept on advertising
in the same publication. If they were, this was a sign that the ad
was working for them.
That's what the "Adwords Time Machine" does.
Now I've got software that does the same thing - except that you
have to wait over a period of months to see who's still advertising.
I guess that Brad Callen and his team have built
up a database of results, because you can instantly see
the past 6 months of advertising for a given keyword. Here's the
results for my "dog training" keyword:
The blue bars show each month that a website
has been running Adwords ads; the yellow star indicates when they
changed their ad. When you click on a blue bar, or when you click
on a link in the pane below, you can see the Adwords ad that they
were actually running.
When you double-click on the magnifying glass
to the left of the "Display URL" you can see other keywords
targeted by the advertiser. Incidentally, a little quirk here - you
have to double-click on the magnifying glass. This
wasn't made very clear in the instructions. All the other clicks
have been single clicks.
There are some pretty unique features in the
program. I imported my filtered "dog training" keywords
into "Search Engine Dominator" and within minutes the analysis was
Some of it, such as "number of searches" and
"competing pages" (the demand and supply factors) were repeated in
other programs, but the focus of this program is to establish how
competitive keywords are, and analysing the web pages of top sites
for each keyword.
The competitiveness is measured and calculated
in three ways:
Est. Monthly Clicks: this is
the estimated number of clicks you'd expect to get if you ranked
#1 for the keyword in Google. Mouthwatering stuff
Competitive Strength: this is
a proprietary formula developed by Keyword Elite, so I can't comment
on exactly what it measures. But it gives a "green light" for
those keywords which are likely to mean less work to get highly ranked
in the search engines.
Microsoft's "Online Commercial Intention"
("OCI") score: this is something which I've
looked at recently. It's a fairly new online service from MS which
measures how likely is a customer's intent to buy or ask for further
information when they search for a particular keyword.
The last two services have to be selected for
each keyword individually, because they consume a fair amount of
online processing time. The OCI, in particular, seemed to take
for ages, sometimes, to deliver a result. Typical Microsoft, eh!
Here's screen shots of some of my results. First, the competitive
analysis - still waiting for some of the OCI results!
Now some of the info on a selected keyword from
the list above, showing stuff like Google Page Rank, backlinks and
a load of stuff off to the right of this screenshot:
One problem with this interface is that it didn't
always respond to me trying to select a keyword from the top pane
to giving me info about the leading websites in the bottom pane.
A bit annoying, really
But, all in all, a really useful training tool
to learn how to fine-tune your web pages to reach that elusive goal
of ranking high on Google! One thing to learn from this particular
program is not to aim for the most popular keywords, but to go for
those which have less competition.
This is another program for Adwords users. It's
a little like #3 "Adwords Time Machine", except that this
is right up to date, and lets you monitor on a daily or weekly basis
just how competitors are performing with their Adwords campaigns.
This has to be run continually in the background on your PC, and
so needs a constant internet connection.
You need to enter both the keywords you want
to monitor and the websites you want to track. It would
have been nice to be able to import the websites from Program #4,
but this doesn't seem possible. There's a bug in the software when,
for when it should ask you for the website addresses, it
prompts you, wrongly, to enter keywords! I'm sure this will get corrected
in due course.
I haven't tested this program, but I'm sure that
it will appeal greatly to heavy Adwords users.
Some websites running Adsense allow Adwords advertisers
to specifically select their websites to run their ads on. Such sites
have on their Adsense ads a message from Google saying something
like "Do you want to advertise on this site?" To Adwords users, this
is known as "placement targeting".
What "Advanced Adwords Site Targeter" does is,
for the keyword you input, find websites that run Adsense ads. And,
apart from giving you stuff like Alexa and Google PR rankings, that,
really is all it does:
The problem is that not all websites running
Adsense ads accept "placement targeted ads". In fact, as far as I
know, the majority don't accept these.
And Keyword Elite's Program #6, as far as I can
see, doesn't help to to locate the ones that do. OK, I'm a new user
of KWE2 and maybe I haven't grasped how to use this program, but,
so far, this one's a thumbs down from me
The basis of this program is to find websites
aligned to your chosen keyword(s) who have newsletters. The objective
is to find people who may be prepared to help you to promote your product
- as long as it doesn't compete directly with theirs.
OK, "JV Diamond Miner" does, as far as I can
see, a good job of locating websites in the "dog training" niche.
I simply dragged my filtered "dog training" keywords into Program
#7 (I really like this integration - what
a great time saver!) and let it run..
It found loads of websites with
newsletters. It shows the usual Google PR, Alexa Rank etc - and it
also gave the URL of the page where an opt-in form was found. You
just click on that link, and the web page opens in your browser (this
applies to most of the programs in KWE2, incidentally). I sorted
the list by Google PR and selected what might be a likely JV partner
in the dog training niche. What did the page show? This..
OK, so I've found a site with a newsletter in
my niche? Why would the website owner want to help me. Well, here's
the cunning strategy.. On the web page that people go to when their
subscription to the newsletter is confirmed, there's a lot of "dead
space". So you contact the owner and offer him some sort of reward
(maybe affiliate commission on your product) for putting a little
bit of HTML code on that web page.
So, how do you contact them? Well "JV Diamond
Miner" has a little "Whois" link next to each website. The chances
are that the "whois" info on their domain name will give you that
contact info. Here's what I found in my test:
So I now have the information I need to contact
the owner of this site and try to set up a deal.
Just one point about "JV Diamond Miner" -
it didn't always turn up accurate info. Sometimes when I
clicked on a link to a site which was supposed to have an opt-in
form, it didn't. So a little more hard work is needed. Maybe the
search algorithm could be improved?
"CPA" is "Cost Per Action", and it's a broader
definition of affiliate programs where the only action which produces
a result is a sale. "CPA" schemes can also pay you for other actions,
such as sending a company a sales lead, or maybe sending them someone
who fills out an application form for something.
"CPA" is a revenue generator that a lot of affiliate
When I ran "CPA Magnet" for my "dog training"
keyword I was, quite frankly, astounded at the speed at which it
returned results. OK, the only CPA stuff it found in this niche was
in ClickBank - all the old conventional affiliate schemes! But it
ran blindingly fast! Here are some of the results, which I sorted
by the size of the affiliate commission per sale:
I don't know whether or not you can make it out
in this screenshot, but the URL is a ClickBank hoplink with "xxx"
where your ClickBank ID should go.
"dog training" was not a good example, because
it only produced ClickBank products. So I tried another search using
"loans" as a keyword. This is a better example, because it shows
networks that pay out on a "per lead" basis as well as "per sale"
So how is this program so helpful? Well, from
my experience, to find CPA opportunities, apart from "payment per
sale", you normally have to sign up for each network before you can
search for CPA opportunities. "CPA Magnet" shortcuts this time consuming
A definite "thumbs up" from me for this program It's
a really useful tool for affiliate marketers.
OK, that's a quick run through all the different
programs in KWE2. What else? Oh yes..
Personally, I found the eight videos on the Keyword
page to be extremely helpful in highlighting the features
and the possibilities with each of the programs. I'll be revisiting
the sales page from time to time to make sure that I haven't missed
The User Manual which was delivered with the
software was a 60-page PDF, which went through each feature of each
program in outline detail. I hope that Brad Callen will,
before long, come up with some more in-depth training videos for
One annoying thing about the PDF is that the
contents page doesn't have hyperlinks to each section. C'mon, it's
not exactly rocket science to do this!
Using the User Manual combined with the sales
page videos, I found it easy to use KWE2
I had no problems at all. The download file was
about 7 Mb in size, the installation took about 60 seconds, and I
was using KWE2 within 5 minutes of having paid.
KWE2 costs a little bit more than KWE1 did, but
it's less than $200. Now here's a word of caution..
There's some forced continuity built in to the
pricing structure. It's certainly not hidden - there's a big prominent
box on the sales page explaining it.
"It" is membership of Brad's
"Search Marketing Elite" club, which costs $39 a month, with the
first month free. I've had a good look around the club, and there's
some excellent content and training there:
For me, though, the great bonus of the Club was
the free copy of "SEO Elite", Brad's first (I think) major software
product. I've told myself for a long time that I ought to get it,
but it seemed a little pricey. Well now I've got it Incidentally,
although there's a review of "SEO Elite" on this site, it was written
by a guest reviewer, Olivia Blair.
Now I know that some people will think "forced
continuity - not for me!" and disregard the whole package because
I think they would be making a big mistake if
this was the only reason for not buying into KWE2.
If payment had
to be made using a normal credit card processing system then I, too,
might have had doubts about buying. But since payment - including
rebilling - is handled by ClickBank, canceling recurring payments
is very easy and very certain. CB don't mess around!
Incidentally, the whole ordering / payment system
worked very smoothly for me. There is an "upsell" followed by a "downsell"
(some PPC training videos), but I didn't bother with
either of these. However, some people might be interested in them.
OK, so what's my verdict on Keyword Elite 2.0?
Here's some key points..
between the programs It
is a huge time saver being able to use "Keyword Surge" to
generate, sort and filter a mass of keywords and then be able to
just drop this filtered list into other KWE2 programs
Multi-program operation Being
able to run and use multiple programs at the same time made for very
efficient operations. KWE1 didn't have this ability.
Easy-to-use interface Apart
from a couple of bugs, the slick interface makes KWE2 very easy to
New, powerful keyword ranking tools The
"Keyword Effectiveness Index" is a well-established keyword ranking
system. But it has its limitations. I really like the three measures
of competitiveness in "Search Engine Dominator". I'll be using these
quite a lot.
The ability to see Adwords ads and their
history This is a great way to learn how to put successful
ads together. Learn from what works, rather than from theory!
Clearly these are not the only things I like
about KWE2! But I've picked out the points which are important to me.
So what about the other side of the coin..?
They are fairly minor points compared with the
Lack of some data in "Keyword Surge" I
would have like to have more criteria on which to filter my generated
keyword list other than "Searches per Month". Having the KEI data
in here would be helpful - and yes, I know that it is calculated
in "Market Research Sleuth", but it could easily be incorporated
in "Keyword Surge"
Minor bugs / inconsistencies in the interface Some
of them I've pointed out above, but there were other minor instances.
I hope these get sorted out in future software updates (which are
free, by the way)
User Manual / Training The manual
is detailed in that it covers all the features of KWE2, but I would
like to see more training and advice given on how to use the data
effectively. I hope that Brad will remedy this weakness in due course.
In the meantime, you can learn a lot from the videos on the sales
Adwords Site Targeter" As
I explained above, this simply does not deliver what is needed -
i.e. sites which will accept "placement targeted" ads. Knowing that
a site uses Adsense isn't enough. I think that someone else sells
software which only finds sites which accept placement targeting.
Maybe Brad should look at it and beef up this rather weak part
I know from my experience with KWE1 that Brad
is very good at tweaking and updating his software, and his updating
mechanism is very slick. I'm sure that, based on user feedback, such
as this, that he'll correct some of these bugs / weaknesses.
Despite the relatively minor weak points - and
despite the forced continuity! - Keyword Elite 2.0 is a superb market
research tool and a vast improvement on V 1.0 (which I've used a
So, should you consider buying it?
- You are serious about your internet marketing
and want to improve the performance of your sites
- If you use (or are planning to use) pay per click
advertising, such as Adwords
- You want to find a range of cost-per-action opportunities
in addition to pure affiliate sales marketing
- You are a complete newbie, still waiting to put
up your first site (unless you are an "advanced newbie" and are
raring to get started!)
- You are the sort of person who buys the latest
stuff and never uses it
- You'd have to sell your first-born to afford
to buy it
If you've managed to read down to here - well
done! I know that this has been a long review, but there's so much
to cover in Keyword Elite 2.0
I hope that it has helped you to make a reasoned
One final point.. at the launch of KWE2, many
internet marketers were offering huge bonuses to people who purchased
through their affiliate link. Have they put the software through
the same sort of rigorous testing that I've done. Possibly not.
I'm certainly not offering any bonuses. If I
did, this would not be the impartial review I've
tried to make it!
So now have a look (or another look if you've
already visited it) at the sales page for Keyword Elite 2.0 - and
be sure to watch all the videos: