Anyone who has ever broached the subject of web design or search engine marketing is familiar with the term ‘keyword’. If you do any pay-per-click advertising then you should be spending a fair amount of time researching and tailoring your keywords to maximize your advertising budget.What we’ve found though, as time goes by, is that most people have truly only scratched the surface in terms of their knowledge of keywords and keyword phrases.

So What is a Keyword

A keyword – or more accurately – a ‘keyword phrase’ or ‘keyphrase’ is a word or phrase that people will use to search for a person, place or thing on the internet. Simply put, if I want to look into GPS tracking, I would go to my favorite search engine (Google, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, etc.) and search for, you guessed it – “GPS tracking”

Yeah…So?

So if I’m in the business of selling GPS tracking devices, I need to make sure that my website will be one of the first sites displayed when my prospect searches Google for such a product – PERIOD. If your site is not showing up in the search engines, it’s a waste of time and money.

Research has shown that most internet searches find what they need in the first 10 results. Choosing the correct keyphrases is the first step in effective search engine marketing.

Choosing Keywords – A Primer

So where does one begin? The best place to start is with the obvious. If I own a website that sells amplified phones, then the cornerstone of my keyphrase analysis is going to be ‘amplified phone’.

But not everyone is going to search for the phrase amplified phone. Some prospects will search for ‘amplified telephone’. Some will search for ‘phone amplifier’ and some will more than likely search phrases like ‘telephone for the hard of hearing’.

Google has a great keyword tool that’s free to use. It not only gives you keyword ideas, but shows you their individual ‘search volume’ – how often the phrases are searched. When I plug in amplified phone, I learn that the most commonly searched variation is actually ‘amplifier phone’. This is news to me. I have some work to do!

OK… Now What?

I’m glad you asked. Now you gather a list of what you believe will be your top 15 or so keywords. The more keywords you use, the less ‘relevant’ the search engines will deem them, so less truly is more.