You either love them or they drive you crazy. But keywords are the lifeblood of an internet marketer. Pick the right ones and your content comes alive, indexed by search engines and read by many. Pick poorly and you might as well place your hard work in a dark closet, for all the visibility it is going to have.
Keywords are the things that people search for when they are looking for a particular type of information. That’s the simple part. The harder part is that simple keywords have an incredible amount of competition. Large companies and powerful bloggers with huge followings have grabbed onto most of the more simple keywords and the little guy or gal does not stand a chance in that competition. But do not despair. There is hope.
Start with a list of words and phrases that most accurately describes what your content is about. Play around with different versions of the same idea, for instance: work at home moms, moms working at home, how moms work at home, be a work at home, how to be a work at home mom, etc…. I like to go ahead and “google’ the different variations just to see what my competition looks like. I also pull up the pages that come up in the top five or six slots and take a good look at the other keywords that they have chosen. You do this by clicking on “view” above your browser bar and scrolling down to “page source”. I add these words to my list if they make sense.
Now the real fun begins. Start with Googles free keyword tool (www.googlekeywordtool.com). Then start putting the words and phrases from your list into the search box and see what other words Google offers. If you check in at www.google.com/sktool you will also be about to see how many searches each word gets per month and how big the competition. What you are now doing is called keywork research and it is the basis for any good search engine optimized campaign.
In addition to Google, there are other free keyword search tools and many that you pay for. Wordtracker has a free version, but you may quickly get frustrated unless you upgrade. Because keyword research is a combination of art and science, and because it takes time..a lot of time..many skimp over this most important step.
If that’s you, you may be struggling to have your blog posts or websites actually “found” in a search, and thus you are not benefiting form the traffic that you could be getting. I found a secret weapon for my most important projects that I use only selectively. There is a phenomenal service available from the guys over at Social Media Science that will do very in depth keyword research for you, including domain name suggestions and an analysis of your competition. Because of the cost involve, I save this for very special and specifit projects. But by using the service occasionally, I have also be able to learn from them and use their results and a guideline for the projects I research on my own.
Make friends with keywords and you will find all you marketing efforts will pay off much more easily. Increase your understanding of short tailed and long tailed keywords to expand your options and your reach. Some my best SEO results have come from using long-tailed keywords, which are a bit harder to research but also have much less competition. Good luck and don’t hesitate to contact with questions.