Keyword Basics

Adding keywords to my website will help search engines understand what my website can offer to someone searching for a product or service that I offer. It is those keywords that ultimately bring more qualified traffic to my site.

It does this by looking for and identifying keywords and phrases that describe my site. If my site has poor keywords, or no keywords, the search engine will not be able to find my website and present it to a potential customer.

What are the characteristics of a good keyword?

  1. A good keyword consists of 2 to 4 words making up a keyword phrase. The keyword phrase should answer the question, “What products or services do I sell?” If my online business was selling baby car seats, the singular words “baby” and “car seat” don’t describe what I was providing.
  2. The keyword phrase should contain the type of language a potential customer would use such as, “Best Infant Car Seat under $200”
  3. The keyword phrase should be specific to narrow the search and reduce competition from other websites. If you have infant car seat reviews on your site, then a keyword phrase such as Infant Car Seat Reviews 2016 will eliminate all websites that don’t have reviews.
  4. Keyword phrases should target the website pages because search engines rank pages, not the whole website. Infant Car Seat Reviews, Infant Car Seat Buying Guide, and Infant Car Seat Test Results are examples of pages within the website and will help the potential client find what they are looking for.

What are the characteristics of a bad keyword?

  1. Single or minimum non-specific word terms such as “car seats”
  2. Keyword phrases that are too broad and not sufficiently focused on your product or service. For example, a search on “Infant Car Seats” returns 25 million results including anyone who is trying to sell car seats. This makes finding your advert to competitive.
  3. Avoid using keyword phrases that are either too specialized, or contains words that are not in everyday use.
  4. Avoid keyword phrases that are too competitive.

Comments from some of my peers

In general, it seemed to me that the more broad the keyword the more expensive the bidding price. I found as I was choosing keywords that it was difficult to find common words that were under the $10 dollars. It was a little discouraging.

I like that you mentioned keyword phrases as opposed to just keywords. I know that when we started this class, I was confused if a keyword could only be one word, or contain multiple to make a phrase. Also, I hadn’t considered putting in prices, in your post a dollar amount, to further specify what the product is (refers to “best car seats under $200.)

You mentioned that search engines rank pages and not the whole site. This wasn’t something I had considered before, so thank you for doing good research. How would knowing that it is your pages being ranked and not whole site change your keywords?

My reply – If my website contained reviews about radio controlled airplanes and had individual pages dedicated to trainers, World War II Scale airplanes, jets, and gliders, I can add keywords in each page (in WordPress) that would be specific to those pages. When someone did a search on “rc airplanes jets” for example, one of the hits would be the jets page for Horizon Hobby, not their home page.

I found this article useful when I was researching this topic:


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