Thursday, November 04, 2004

A Question about Keywords

Supercharge your Website with Power Linking

Here is a question I recently received:

Hi Rick,

I have a question about keywords, which is not exactly what your articles were about, but it is in a similar category. Basically, I want to understand how to use keywords.

I have read quite a bit about them, and you read all the time that you must use a tool like Overture's Keyword Tool to enter your main keyword, and then see what related keywords are being searched for by people. But once you find this out, what do you do with the information? Do you enter hundreds of keywords into your meta keyword tag? That seems an unlikely scenario, but there must be a purpose to identifying these related keywords.

Thanking you in anticipation,




Dear AB...

Your question is not naïve at all. It is actually very important, and I will do my best to give you a useful answer...

First, I assume you have a PRODUCT you want to market online.

If you don't have any products to market online, then all this concern with keywords is basically irrelevant...

Second, I assume you have determined the MIKW ("Most Important Keywords") for your product.

Assuming you have a product, if you have NOT determined your "Most Important Keywords", then you should. This is the starting point. In my experience, the best way to do this is to run a Google Adwords test campaign. I wrote an article about this some time ago that might be helpful... Adwords Article

Your test campaign will tell you a couple of things very quickly...

1. Is there a demand for your product as you have defined and described it? If nobody clicks on your ad, there is no demand...go back to the drawing board...

2. Does your website "convert" the click thrus at a high enough rate to justify the campaign?

3. Which keywords do people most frequently click on? The Google Adwords advertiser tools will tell you exactly what you need to know after a very short campaign. It will give you a list of "fruitful" keywords -- keywords that people actually click on.

This last point gets to the sort of information you are after:

1. Which keywords should I use?

2. Why would I use "secondary" keywords if nobody ever clicks on them?

3. How do I use my "fruitful" keywords once I know what they are?

Here are my answers...

1. Which keywords should I use?
You should use the "fruitful" ones. The ones that people use to identify your product. You determine what these are by (first) using analytical tools like the Overture tools, Google tools, Wordtracker, etc. But the BEST WAY is to run a Google Adwords test campaign as described above and in my article. Once you have actually started generating traffic to your site, you should have some method of TRACKING the click thrus so you see what keywords people use to get to your site, and what other sites they are using to get to yours. Add these keywords to your list of "fruitful" ones.

2. Why would I use "secondary" keywords if nobody ever clicks on them?
You shouldn't. If nobody ever clicks on them or gets to your site by searching for them, then don't bother with them. But there WILL be secondary keywords (just like there will be secondary Search Engines) that generate dribs and drabs of traffic. Say you have one Primary Keyword that generates the most traffic (this is what I find usually happens). And say that generates 10 TIMES the number of the clickthrus to your site that any other keyword generates. OK... that is the keyword to emphasize.

But if you can find 10 other "secondary" keywords that generate just 10% (each) of the traffic generated by your PKW (Primary Keyword), you will have DOUBLED YOUR CLICK THRUS. Ten keywords x 10% = 100%.

3. What do I do with my "fruitful" keywords once I know what they are?
Use them in all your traffic generating strategies...

Strategy #1: Pay Per Click ads. List all your "fruitful" keywords (FKs) in your ads.

Srategey #2: Search Engine Optimization: Create pages for all your FKs. Optimize them. Repeat the FKS throughout your pages. Get inbound links to these pages from as many sources as you can.

Strategy #3: Power Linking Strategies. Link Exchange, Articles, Blogs, forum posts, link purchases, etc. Build link text emphasizing all your FKs and create links to as many of your optimized pages as you can. Don't just link to your home page. Link to your secondary pages too. Here is an example of some link-optimized text I created for my Power Linking course:

keyword-rich link text

I hope this is helpful. If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask them.

Best regards,

Rick Hendershot

P.S. By the way, notice I haven't mentioned the "Keyword Meta Tag". Most Search Engines ignore this because it is so often used for keyword SPAM. Build your MIKWs (most important keywords) into your content -- especially into the first part of your pages, the main headlines, the first paragraph or two, the last paragraph(s) on the page. Also build your MIKW into the TITLE tag, the DESCRIPTION tag, and the file name of the page, if you can. This is basic "Search Engine Optimization" stuff...


BlogDawg1 said...

Hi. I am out searching for the latest info on keyword research tools and found your site. I am doing some research for a ratings & reviews site. Although this wasn't exactly what I am looking for, it caught my attention. I'm glad I checked it out anyway - good stuff. If you want, you can read my keyword research tools reviews at Keyword Research Reviews