Identifying Keywords - a starting point

If you're good at identifying keywords, then you have a good chance of building a website that will please the search engines. And, pleasing the search engines is key to gaining visitor traffic.

Once you have visitors on your site, good content will keep them there and keep them coming back.

Let's look at what keywords are, and why they're important. They are vital to your success on the web, so understanding their use is a good first step.

What are Keywords?

The term keyword means any single word or combination of words, in a phrase, that people use to search for something on the Internet.

Think of yourself trying to find this site. What did you type into the search engine? Did you use "good business ideas" or "home based businesses" or "small business ideas" or "Internet businesses" or did you simply type in "business" as a way of finding your way to what I have to offer?

Any and all of these terms can help you find this site, but certain search terms will be more fruitful than others. The keyword phrase for this page is "identifying keywords" because that's what this page is all about - identifying keywords.

Keywords are assigned to each page of a website, or each article of a blog to help you find it through use of search engines. Here's a bit more information is you're still wondering what are keywords?

The Importance of Keywords

When the Internet first started, you had to know the exact address of a site in order to visit it. That's why all the ads and commercial advertising kept pounding into our heads the exact address of a site.

Site addresses aren't nearly as important today because of search engines and how they help us find what we're looking for through keywords - not addresses.

One of my other sites is Frugal Living Freedom. Does the name tell you what it's about? A little perhaps. It's about frugal living and the financial freedom that it can offer.

It's also about raising your own meat and eggs, growing your own vegetable gardens, building your own greenhouse, doing it yourself, heating with wood, making more income, and managing your money more effectively. It's a relatively broad site that focuses on a more frugal and self sufficient lifestyle, but the site name and address just can't explain it all.

There is no need to explain all the content, because each page has a keyword associated with it, and you'll find what you're looking for simply by typing in the keyword phrase that takes you to the page of interest - one page at a time instead of one site at a time.

Try this experiment. In the Google search engine, type in the following keyword phrases and see where Frugal Living Freedom shows up in the search engine results:

  • homemade greenhouse
  • clipping chicken wings
  • addicted to spending money
  • marketplace alternatives

You'll note that all of these search terms identify a page at Frugal Living Freedom on the first page of your search results, and within the first five suggested URLs (as of December 2009). And, you'll probably observe that the topics seem to have no clear or direct relationship to frugal living (or freedom).

That's the power and importance of identifying keywords. It doesn't matter that the topics aren't linked to the frugal living URL address. What matters is that Google (and Yahoo and Bing and others) understand that the pages are focused on the keywords and that's what people are searching for.

What are Good Keywords?

Most often, good keywords are at least two words in a phrase, but rarely are they five or more words unless it's a specialized keyword phrase like people declined social security benefits where one might be searching for something that is very specific and it needs to be phrased exactly as such. In this example, I could have used "denied" instead of "declined," but I learned that "declined" was the better word to use to make a good keyword phrase.

Single words can also be good keywords, but very often they wind up being too general in nature to be of much value in identifying what a page is all about. This page could have a keyword of "keywords," but it's much more specific if I use a phrase like "identifying keywords" or "good keywords" or "best keywords."

Good keywords have high demand. In other words, lots of people are looking for them. Having high demand means your pages are in demand, now all you have to do is deliver what people are demanding.

Try another experiment. Type in "business" in the Google search engine and see where Sensible Small Business Ideas winds up on the search engine results. You'll be hard pressed to find in

Identifying Good Keywords

Okay, we know what keywords are and we know what good keywords are, but how do we find them? There are several ways, and my favorite is to use Word Tracker to help find keywords that are in high demand. Word Tracker offers a free tool for identifying keywords that gives you an idea of demand.

That's great, but demand is only half the equation. The other half of the challenge is determining supply.

Keyword Supply

It does little good if you're identifying keywords without any knowledge of what the supply of those keywords is out there on the Internet. Supply means simply that you know how many other pages there are out there that use a particular keyword.

The benefit of knowing this is that you can estimate how much competition there is on the Internet for a given keyword or keyword phrase. When compared with the demand, you can envision just how quickly you might catch the eye of traffic in the marketplace. Once you catch the eye you visitor traffic, your good content will help keep them there on your site.

Supply can be estimated simply by performing a Google search of the word or phrase that you'd like to use as a keyword. Let's say we're considering "bowling shoes" as our keyword.

Perform a Google search for "bowling shoes" and then look to see how many sites are using this keyword on their pages. To do this, you'll need to open a website and use the toolbar options of View and Source. Then look for the line near the top of the page that's labeled Keywords.

There you'll find a listing of words and phrases separated by commas that describe what the page is about. Only the first word or phrase in the list is important - this is the keyword for the page.

Some pages don't list keywords, so don't be surprised if you don't find a line listing keywords for the page. Simply find another page to use as an example.

The other places to look for keywords is in the page address and the title of the pages.

I didn't see many sites that used "bowling shoes" as their keyword. There were many sites that had "bowling shoes" in the text, title and URL address, but few that had proper placement of the keyword in their pages.

This is tedious work, so I use another tool to help me find the "supply" of a keyword relative to it's demand. Those tools are offered as part of a package by SBI and I highly recommend their set of tools and hosting if you're going to start yourself a web-based business and you want to get yourself to the top of the heap in a hurry.

The tools available from SBI are very valuable and just aren't offered anywhere else as a package. I've looked, and I don't see anything with near the quality and capability of what SBI offers. Perhaps that's why I have four SBI websites.

Success on the Internet hinges on identifying keywords, but identifying keywords isn't enough. You also need to know where to place them and at what density. SBI helps with all of that.

Done with Identifying Keywords, back to Internet Business Ideas

The only business you'll really ever be part of is your own.

Wondering about what to do with your savings so inflation doesn't eat it up? Start your own enterprise. It's a good way to invest your capital and make it work for you. Who will be better at keeping an eye on your investment than you?