How To Pick Keywords


Cristian Cardenas, keywords, October 18, 2011 via Flickr, Creative Commons License

Keywords are words that we use to categorize the products and services we offer in our businesses and websites. The Internet is like a giant library composed of millions of websites. Websites are the books inside the Internet library. Search engines are like librarians that know what each website is about. The Internet has one-up on the library, though. Search engines rank the contents of the Internet library, and only the “books” (websites) that it considers to be really solid will be offered up to people who are looking for information on a certain topic. Keywords are one of the first steps in getting your website to the point where the search engines make it one of their top references in any search.

Keywords Are an Important Part of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization is the ongoing process of improving our websites so that we can be easily found on the Internet. The various steps that we take to make our websites search engine friendly are called search engine optimization techniques. Creation of quality content and use of relevant keywords within our content, titles, headings and meta-tags are basic techniques for search engine optimization. Use of backlinks within our content is another search engine optimization technique. Backlinks are links that connect our content and webpages to content found on other websites. In order to be beneficial, sites that link to and from our content and webpages should be reputable and relevant to what our content and products are about.

Having fresh, engaging, up-to-date, relevant content on our websites is one of the key steps in search engine optimization. Ideally, keywords should be woven throughout our content. Quality content factors heavily in how high our sites will appear in search engine listings for our market niche. Google considers quality content to be a key element in determining how high our pages rank in searches.

Keywords describe our content, but the usefulness of the keyword is determined by how many people use it to search a topic. For marketing purposes, a keyword is most useful when lots of people use it to look for a service or product that you happen to have. In a very real way, keywords are simple indicators of what consumers want, need or demand.

Potential Customers Use Keywords to Find What They Want

Keywords show consumer interest or demand by the number of times people use it to look for something. Ideally, all eCommerce merchants should have products and services that millions if not billions of people are looking for. So if millions of people are looking for something that we have, then we need to let the millions and billions of people know that they can get what they want from our websites and stores. Our websites will never be easily found without proper use of keywords.

Keywords Let Customers Know That We Have What They Want

Keywords are select words that tell the world what the content on our websites is about. In a way, keywords are like flares that we fire into cyberspace that tell people we have what they want. For instance, if our business is making “blinged-out” T-shirts, there are two basic keywords we would use: T-shirt and bling. But using just two words is casting a very narrow net, so to speak. So we expand the net to say exactly what we have. If the T-shirts are for men and women, we would include keywords like women’s T-shirts, ladies’ tees, men’s T-shirts, blinged-out tees, bling, rhinestone studded t-shirts, etc. When it comes to keywords, specificity and variety count.

How to Choose Keywords- Choose Words That Match Content With the Product or Service

Keywords have to be relevant to the content on our websites. If we have a website about cupcakes, but the keywords say Viagra and beer, the search engines will treat this as being irrelevant. On the Internet, being considered irrelevant is very bad. Search engines like Google rank websites according to relevance. Of course Google also allows businesses to pay for search engine listings, and we often see these paid for listings at the top of our searches. Websites that are listed according to relevance are called natural or organic. Natural (organic) search engine listings are more accurate because they measure relevance. Paid-for listings have less relevance and accuracy because they bought their position in the search listing.

To rank high in natural search results is very desirable. This means that our SEO strategy has to be one that favors natural or organic search engine optimization ranking by being careful to maintain quality content and selecting keywords that give an accurate and thorough description of our products and services. Google’s Natural Search Engine Optimization Guide is an excellent resource to learn more about the in’s and out’s of Google search engine optimization.

Don’t Hesitate to Use SEO Software

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Where there’s a demand, there is a product. Search engine optimization is tedious work that does require a measure of expertise that we don’t have and don’t care to cultivate. Software developers have had mercy on folk like us by creating software that can do most of the SEO legwork. SEO Powersuite is an easy to use program that will show how well a website ranks in searches for specific keywords. It also suggests additional keywords to use. A free edition is available. The program runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Website Magazine’s “Big List of SEO Software” gives a detailed description of some of the best SEO software.

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