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What Is A Keyword - And What Makes a Good Keyword?

Keyword research is the bedrock of internet marketing.  But what exactly is a keyword -- and why are they so important?A keyword is the phrase that someone types into Google (or any search engine) whe...

Keyword research is the bedrock of internet marketing.  But what exactly is a keyword -- and why are they so important?

A keyword is the phrase that someone types into Google (or any search engine) when looking for information on a particular topic.

For example, if you were looking for information on dog training, you would enter ‘dog training tips’ or ‘dog training information’ into the search engine.  In this case the terms ‘dog training tips’ and ‘dog training information’ are considered keywords.

You probably use keywords all the time, you just didn’t know what they were called.

You’ve probably noticed that the above two examples were more than one word.  That is because a keyword can be more than one word.  Sort of a ‘keyphrase’ if you will.  But these also fall into what are known as keywords.  If you are looking for something very specific your keyphrase could be several words long, such as ‘springer spaniel puppy training’.  The more specific you are in searching, the more targeted results you will achieve.

Why are Keywords important?

To help you understand why keywords are so important, let’s look at how the search engine, Google works

Google has little logical robots that crawl all over the internet reading, recording, and indexing every website.  (Don’t worry, they don’t visit your machine, just web servers.) 

These robots make a note of the keywords that websites use.  They notice what words are most important to that website, and how they are used.  With this they determine what really the website, or webpage is all about.  That way Google knows how to categorize that site.  So when people use Google to search for information Google knows if a given website matches up with what that person was looking for.

Now if you have a website about ‘dog training’ you want to make sure that Google knows this, so you use dog training keywords in the content of your website.  You can also use them in titles, and other areas. 

Of course if your website is more specific, and you use more specific keywords, Google will learn this, and you will receive more visitors looking for that more specific subject matter.

So, figuring out the best keywords for your website and content will increase the number of visitors to your site.  And that is why using the proper keywords is so important.

What Makes a Good Keyword, or Keyword Phrase.

Simply put, a good keyword or keyphrase is one that will attract visitors to your website; a term that people search for on Google, so that Google can direct them to your website by using the search results page.  So, if you can learn what words and terms people (future customers), are using in their searches, you can exploit those keywords to your advantage.

So think about this – if you were some one else, looking for the information or products that you have on your website – what word or words would you enter into Google in order to find your website?  That is the essence of targeting good keywords.

And usually the best keyword is not a word at all, it’s a phrase.

Long-tail keywords

Long what?

Long-tail keyword is just another term for a keyword phrase consisting of three or more words, that collectively are much more specific than a single keyword. 

These long tail keywords are what people use to search for a more specific topic. 

Long-tail advantages

These long-tail keywords are more likely to generate sales, than the more generic single word search terms for two reasons.  First is that there is less competition for ranking high in Google’s search results pages.

For example, there are 1.3 million results shown by Google on the search results page for the keyword ‘dog training’.   However, there are  only 317,000 results for the long-tail keyword ‘springer spaniel puppy training’.

And secondly, people who are looking for a very specific item are closer to buying a product than people doing a more generic search.

For example, if you have a product for training a springer spaniel puppy, and you were targeting ‘dog training’ as your keywordFeature Articles, you’d get many visitors who weren’t really looking for what you are selling.

But if you were targeting ‘springer spaniel puppy training’ mostly those people who were specifically looking for your information would find your website.  This is free targeted traffic.  The very best kind.

Source: Free Articles from


This is the first in a series of articles contained in the free ebook Keywords for Newbies.  These articles cover keywords in general, their research and selection, and how to use them.  So if you want to start your keyword research with an easy to understand, step by step approach, then you need this ebook.

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