A Plain English Guide to Internet Marketing 

What are Keywords?

Simply put, a keyword is a label.  Nothing more.  Back in the dawn of prehistory (before the internet) how did you find a business?  You picked up the phone book (City, location).  Then you went to the yellow pages and looked under Widgets (category).  There you found a list of widget dealers in your city including name, address, and maybe an ad telling you a few things about the company. 

Trouble was, you couldn’t find anything outside of the area covered by that phone book. 

OK.  Just think of the internet like a phone book.  Only it covers the entire world.

Wait, There’s More to Keywords

Today, Internet Search Engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) have the ability to catalogue the content of literally billions of internet pages.  They do it by picking out certain words and phrases and convert them into labels. The words are  called Keywords.  The phrases are called Long Tail Keywords. These are listed in a giant catalogue maintained by the search engine.  And, theses words and phrases are searchable. 

When a person wants to find information on the internet they simply ask a question.  The search engine then finds all the websites containing the terms in your question and spits it back at you…at lightning speed.  

If you go to Google and type in “Where can I find Gobbledygook” and hit enter.  You will get 989,000 results in about .56 seconds.  

Pretty slick, huh?

The Challenge

The challenge is the results you get may not be relevant. You will probably have to refine your search by adding more criteria to your question.  Further, you will see the search engine has ranked the pages with the first 10 or 15 they think most closely match your search question.  The average visitor will never go beyond that list. If you’re not there, how do you get found? 

The answer is, you have to find the right keywords

Finding Good Keywords

Finding good keywords can be like panning for gold.  It takes time and patience.  

You can start by asking yourself questions, such as:

  • What would I enter if I wanted to look me up?
  • What would my potential visitors look for? 
  • What kinds of questions do my prospects ask me about my product/service?

This will generate a list of potential keywords. Keywords that describe the business you’re in are called “seed words.”  

Then go to Google, type in requests using the keywords on your list, and see what you get. 

You can also go online and use a free research tool such as ubersuggest (ubersuggest.org ).  Just enter a term and you will get a list running into the hundreds. 

You can also use keyword tools such as Wordtracker (www.wordtracker.com).  You have to pay for these.  Wordtracker offers a free trial. Then there is a nominal monthly charge.   

You can also check my Internet Marketing Resources page and look at Site Build It.

On Wordtracker you enter your seed word, then click search.  When I entered “Widgets”  I got a list of 856 keywords. 

Easy, right?

Not so Fast!

Now that you have a list, you need to determine which ones are the best.  Figuring out which of the hundreds of key words are the best to use is where it gets a little tougher.

Using Wordtracker, there are 4 columns of information for each keyword.  The first column is Volume.  This is the number of monthly internet searches for that keyword.  The higher the better. 

The second column is Competition.  A higher number here indicates there is more competition for the keyword.  

The third column is labeled “IAAT”.  This shows the number of websites that use this keyword in both the title and the text of the link to their site. This tells you who else is out there doing what you are. 

The last column labeled “KEI” is the most important.  This stands for “Keyword Effectiveness Index”.  This number ranges from 1 to 100.  The higher the number, the more effective the keyword is in driving traffic to your site.  

You will also see on Wordtracker, some keywords can be dropped.  These are words with no volume, competition or KEI value. 

You should try to pick those keywords with an index of at least 60.  However, don’t get stuck on this.  If a keyword has a lot of volume it could still be useful.  Remember Google rates pages on content.

Now to see how keywords work for you, go the Search Engine Optimization Page.

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