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What’s In A Keyword?

Here’s a great Tweet I saw a few weeks back: An SEO copywriter walks into a bar, grill, pub, public house, Irish bar, bartender, drinks, beer, liquor.”

When we talk about SEO, search engine optimization, we often talk about keywords. But what’s in a keyword and why should you pay attention?


Here are some basics:

When someone (maybe even you) gets onto Google or Bing (yeah, right) or Yahoo (giggle) they will type in a few words or a sentence to prompt a search. For example some of the most searched for terms in 2012 were, “Kate Middleton”, “McKayla’s Not Impressed”, and “Gangnum Style”, all of which make me fear for humanity.

Anyway, these words or phrases are called keywords and when the search engine with its little bots running amok lands on those keywords it will return results based on what it thinks you’re looking for.

So what does this mean for the small business owner who has a website? It means that in order to be found you need to incorporate appropriate keywords and phrases into it so consumers can find you.

That, in a nutshell and perhaps a bit simplified, is what SEO is all about, Charlie Brown.

The trick in keyword use is using the right ones in the right places so that your website is fetched and lands early in the SERP (search engine results page, we love us our acronyms DYT?). Showing up on page 3 probably won’t get you customers. Most people don’t even realize there is a page 3 in search results.

So where do these business-driving keywords need to go?

-Start with your website content. Each page needs keywords both singly and in phrases on each page that reflect what a potential customer might search for. This includes page content, headings, title tag, link text and attributes. A good website designer will know what that last sentence means.

-Don’t just slop the keywords any and everywhere. You don’t have the same fifteen red couches in every showroom so don’t have the same keywords on each page. Rearrange the words and phrases to vary the keyword placement.

-Avoid what’s known as keyword stuffing. Think of this as the kind of hard sell from the salesman in the dirty shirt, with a pinky ring who smells like Subway. Search engines, especially Google, will penalize sites that jam in multiple keywords or hide them in the text or margins to increase visibility to the search bots.

-Think hard about what you do and focus your keywords here. If you’re a small business concentrate on being found locally first. Use single words as well as phrases and don’t forget to include your city, state, region and zip code. This is called geo-targeting and will really help you with local search visibility.

-Include just a few keywords and phrases on each page. Remember to include anything you do that’s unique. “Only HVAC service in Kansas City to use kryptonite”. Like that.

-Vary your content to keep your products and services updated. This is where a blog comes in handy. It’s a good way to address any breaking news or information.

-Think like your customers. Ask friends and family what they might put into a search engine if they needed your services or products.

-If you know just enough about keywords you’ll be much more able to find a good SEO service (hint: Turn The Page) without wasting your money.

This is a just the beginning of how to use keywords. Stay tuned for more info and helpful information on the wide, wonderful world of keywords.


  • https://www.ecu.com/inside/locations/newberlin Educators Credit Union of New Berlin

    Fantastic information about keywords! They truly are what drives traffic to your website and that results in sales.

  • http://www.ccckc.com/ Commercial Capital Company, LLC

    This is exactly the reason we hired TTP,(acronym back at you) you guys know about keywords. We know leasing equipment. Thanks for the information, maybe one day it will make sense to us.

  • https://www.ecu.com/inside/locations/prospect Educators Credit Union of Prospect

    I forgot all about ‘McKayla’s Not Impressed’ photos. That was a fun time in the search world. Thanks for sharing this information!

  • http://www.titleboxingclub.com/blue-springs-mo/contact-us/ TITLE Boxing Club Blue Springs

    Keyword stuffing is a common sense approach that seems like it could be beneficial. Thanks for letting us know that it is bad practice!

  • http://gku235.setfa.ir/1391/11/03/as-the-technology-matures-and-also-the-alternation-christian-louboutin-boots-in-consumer-attitudes/ Gloria

    Heya! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing months of hard work due to no back up. Do you have any solutions to protect against hackers?

  • http://www.onlinesolutions-adv.com Online Solutions

    A very fun and educational read! Keywords are where its at!

  • http://www.datacommplus.com DataComm Plus

    Thanks for the information. We always love reading your posts, they keep us up to date, as well as present us with great learning material.

  • http://www.arcpointlabs.com/Kansas_City ARCpoint Labs of Kansas City

    This is a great blog with a lot of information about key words. I am glad we work with you guys!

  • http://klinkenberglawfirm.com The Klinkenberg Law Firm, LLC

    Great post. Keywords can make or break your search results. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.lawrence-lawyer.com Fletcher, Rohrbaugh, & Chahine

    Glad to see that the professionals are advising against keyword stuffing. You can always tell the websites that follow this practice, but knowing there is more to just keywords is a huge help.

  • http://www.plymouthvipauto.com/ Plymouth VIP Car Wash & Auto Service

    We’re really glad you guys know about this stuff. When looking into how my website can be better, I’m pretty much lost. Thanks for the good information as usual.

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