What are keywords and why are they important?

By | June 9, 2017

If you’ve made the decision to focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as a key element in your marketing mix, you will have to know some things about keywords. So, just what are keywords and why are they viewed as such a critical piece in driving traffic to your blog or website?

 

Why do keywords really matter?

Whenever you go online and do a search, you type in those words that help you find what you’re looking for on the internet. Those are the keywords.

When it comes to SEO, you cannot get along without a working knowledge of how the search engines deal with keywords. It’s through the use of keywords that the search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) help people find the content they’re interested in when they do a search.

Here are some examples of how this works

Let’s say you’re interested in learning about affiliate marketing. You do a search and type in the words “best ways to make money in affiliate marketing.” That’s a keyword phrase which will give you access to several pages of articles written about that subject.

There is no limit on how long or short a keyword phrase can be. The more detailed the keyword phrase, the more specialized the content in the articles about the topic you’re searching for.

This blog entry about keywords provides another example of keywords about a particular topic. For this article, keyword phrases could include

  • SEO and keywords
  • How to do keyword research
  • Keyword analysis
  • How to find the best keywords for your niche

Here’s another way to look at it. Keywords and keyword phrases are like short headlines which summarize what the content of an article is all about.

Types of keywords

When it comes to keywords there are two kinds. You have what’s called broad keywords and have long-tail keywords. There are distinct differences between the two.
Broad keywords/keyword phrases are shorter in length and may apply to your niche or your brand. But those words/phrases might also be pertinent to other offerings or brands in your niche. Long-tail keywords/phrases, on the other hand, are longer and they focus solely on your niche or brand.
In terms of uniqueness, broad keywords are very general. As a result, there are a lot of people who use broad keywords, which means there’s a lot of competition. That’s not good for the marketer.
With broad keywords, it’s hard to get good page rankings from the search engines.  Without good page rankings, you won’t get much traffic to your site.
The opposite is true for long-tail keywords, which deal directly with your brand and the competition isn’t nearly as much as it is for broad keywords. Because long-tail keywords have little or no competition, getting good page rankings from Google and the other search engines is much easier.

Not only that because visitors you get from these low-competition keywords are much more likely to become leads for your business.

Broad keywords and long-tail keywords

Men’s dress shoes … Hugo Boss Italian Leather Derby Dress Shoes

Television network … Turner Broadcasting Network

Magazines … Forbes Magazine

Men’s watches … Rolex Sky-Dweller

If you’re a newbie to internet marketing, you do yourself a huge favor by focusing strictly on long-tail keywords. As explained earlier, long-tail keywords get far better page rankings from the search engines. But that’s not the only benefit. The traffic you get is relevant to your niche which means you’re attracting people who have a definite interest in your content and offerings.

How to find the right keywords for your niche

There are a wide variety of keyword research tools on the market. Some are free, while others require a monthly subscription. In my humble opinion, Jaaxy provides a lot of value when it comes to keyword research. You can check it out for yourself (see toolbar below).


These research tools allow you to determine which keywords you can use that will help to increase the amount of traffic to your website or blog. This is possible because the tools give you the exact words that your audience is most likely to use when they go online to look for the content you provide.

One way to help your marketing cause is to do keyword research in advance before you begin to actively market your product or service. With research tools, you can develop an extensive list of those keywords or keyword phrases that will work best in your chosen niche.

This is a list you can always refer to. And course, the list can always be updated as you see the need.

There’s so much more to the use of keywords that I’ll delve into in the coming weeks. Of course, continuing to produce great content that’s relevant to your audience is always important. But always remember that in order for folks to find that content, the proper use of keywords is your best friend. Never underestimate the value of keywords and how they play such a vital role in your success as an online entrepreneur.

I’m always interested in what your experiences are as it relates to different aspects of online marketing. Go ahead and share your thoughts and perspectives in the comments section. Thanks in advance for your feedback.

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