The best way is to use multiple tools to assist with your keyword selection efforts. In addition to Overtures tool, Wordtracker has been very popular over the years for SEO pros to use.
Wordtracker calculates queries by day and separates singular and plural terms.
The best tool to use for BOTH Overture and Wordtracker suggestions is the Digital Point Keyword Tool.
In terms of keyword competition you obviously want to look for the terms that have the least amount of pages competing that are searched for the most. Many beginner SEO’s do not give themselves enough credit and seem to choose less competitive words over the broader terms. The best way to use keywords IMO is to find niche words that are being used that still have the broad terms in them (for instance “Real Estate Seattle Wa” is one keyword phrase that has the potential to rank under “Real Estate Seattle,” “Real Estate Wa,” or even “Seattle Real Estate”).
There are many tools available to help with keywords.
Here a few to get you started: Keyword Tools List
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