Intro to Keywords - What's a Keyword?
People use the internet to get information. That search for information often takes the form of typing questions or search terms into a search engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc). There are hundreds of other search engines on the internet, however other search engines generate far less traffic than these three so for this article we'll focus our attention on the big ones.
Which websites will show up in a search query depends on the keywords that each website owner used when setting up their site.
As you probably know, a person uses a search engine like Google by typing a word or phrase into the search box. This specific word or phrase is the key to your business success, because the word or phrase indicates exactly what that person is looking for.
Let's say, for example, that the individual is interested in weight loss. If they type the phrase ‘weight loss' into Google, the search results page will provide two things, paid ads and organic search results. Go ahead and do a Google Search for ‘weight loss".
Notice the yellow box at the top of the page and the column that runs down the right side of the page. These are paid advertisements. These site owners have paid Google to have their ads displayed whenever someone searches on the term ‘weight loss'.
The main part of the page (under the yellow ad box) displays the ‘organic' search results. This means that Google has determined that these web pages are most naturally related to the phrase ‘weight loss'. The phrase ‘weight loss' is what is referred to as a ‘keyword'.
You can see the importance of the keyword by the fact that the phrase ‘weight loss' is highlighted throughout both the organic search results and the paid search results.
In order to maximize your search engine ranking, you'll need to research and identify the terms and phrases (keywords) that potential customers will use when they look for the products and services that you are offering.
After identifying your specific keywords, you could launch a paid advertising campaign like the ones in the screenshot above. This seems like is could be an easy way of driving lots of relevant traffic to your website, right? Unfortunately, though, due to the level of competition for the attention of prospective customers, it's very easy for beginning advertisers (and even some advertisers with more experience) to end up spending a lot of money for little results.
Paid advertising, often called ‘pay-per-click' (PPC) is an advanced marketing method and new internet business owners should probably wait to delve into PPC until they are more experienced and, instead, focus on getting the best organic search results placement for their website. You can do this by using keyword research skills and optimizing your website accordingly.