Tools for Finding Legitimate Keyword Search Terms

I'm trying to find a way to find legitimate search terms
people are actually using to find websites like mine. Any idea where I can look? Google Adwords, webmaster tools? Anything? — Drew Hitt, Situation Solutions LLC

Good to hear you want keywords your customers are actually using, that is important to finding the right keywords. You'll need to look at the keywords people use to find your site and other websites in your industry.

A number of valuable tools are available both free and for a small fee. These tools help you focus in on finding terms relevant to your particular customer. Here's the short list:

Keyword Spy — Research any keyword used by publisher or affiliates to turn visitors into sales.
Wordtracker Free Keywords — Find the keywords you need to succeed on-line, plus other research tools to improve keyword targeting.
SEO Book Keyword Suggestions and Tools — Free search engine optimization tools and plug-in for Firefox, includes keyword suggestion tool.
WebCEO Software — A powerful all in one suite of SEO tools, including keyword analysis and suggestions. My personal favorite.
NicheBot Classic — Finds exactly what people search for so you can target the right keyword for better search engine placement.
HitTail — Extract long tail keywords from your own website, the easiest way to drive more qualified traffic.
Keyword Country — Use keyword research to improve the quality of your visitors and AdSense earnings.

There is a problem you need to be aware of, most of these keywords are seeded. This means popular keywords are omitted, random keywords are added, and counts are randomized. How do I know this is the case?
I know the keywords these tools give you are only representational of samples available because the tools tell you this. Myself and others have tested for seeded keywords, and each will return different suggestions for the same terms.
Your best results will come from building a library of terms with each source, then testing your assumptions with content, pay per click, and observation.
This means you'll need to use all the tools available, build a keyword matrix, and then test your assumptions. This takes time, content, and landing page conversion tests. However, it will give you a strong understanding of your visitors interests which can mean more traffic to your website.
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