- by Mike
Quite a number of our readers have been asking us to elaborate on keywords. We will do that, before discussing the use of a keyword tool.
If you are a budding webmaster, you will need to understand keywords, and we have found that plenty of would be online gurus who don’t. Not surprising, given that you could probably find a hundred or more explanations that are either wide of the mark, or downright misleading.
Why you need keywords
A very simple reason. Keywords are critical when search engines such as Google look for information to answer a query made by a user. If you use the wrong keywords, there’s a chance your post or website won’t come up, even if it is exactly matches the information sought by the person searching for it.
Be Rich: Where to use your keyword
Given that you want readers to come to your website, you are probably writing on subjects that have some appeal. In creating your site and its niche, you will have done a little research to determine the popularity of your topic.
(If you are still struggling to find your niche, you might wish to read our series on How to get Started in Affiliate Marketing.)
But let’s assume you have begun filling your website with valuable information that the readers are going to love. Your next article should be “keyword rich”. This does not mean you will add a keyword every third or fourth sentence, but you will use your keyword a few times.
You will want to use your keyword:
· in the title
· in the first paragraph of your post, not necessarily the first sentence
· somewhere else in the post
· as alt text to one of your graphics
· once more if the post is extra long
Now that you have figured out where you will place your keyword, you now need to discover your “right” keyword.
In doing that, you have two choices. You can guess. Hmm, not a very smart choice. Or you can research your keyword.
When people search, statistics show that they ask a question or use a few words in their search. The idea is to get the keyword to match the query made. Your keyword is more likely to be a string of words rather than a single word.
If your post is about “exercise for expectant hamsters”, your keyword will be more than just “hamsters”, because that is just too broad.
But how do you narrow that with proper effect?
If you are serious about this, you should use a keyword tool, because you need to look carefully at three things:
First: Are people searching for your topic? The research tool shows you how many people are searching for your exact term. You are looking for some critical mass here, so less than fifty searches a month is too low for your needs. The tool will suggest some alternatives and you will be able to play around with your wording to find a bigger audience. Don’t discard smaller opportunities when you see big search numbers on other keywords. As Kyle from Wealthy Affiliate says, “take the bunt singles rather than always swinging for the fences”.
Second: How is the competition? There is a metric called Quote Search Results (QSR), which you find in the JAAXY tool. QSR allows you to determine the EXACT number of competing pages in Google and you are looking for a QSR of under 300. In fact, the lower the QSR, the better for you. Anything above 300 and you will likely be blown away by others with bigger and more established sites. You might get listed, but Google might have you on page eleventy-eight, which is as good as useless.
Third: Your keyword must make some sense. In using Jaaxy or another keyword research tool, you will find some attraction in some of the variations that aren’t quite readable. You might get away with it in your headline, but how do you work it in to your text without it appearing clumsy? Resist the temptation for the highest score and use the string that makes sense. Always remember that you are writing for the reader, not for keywords.
So in summary . . .
Your keyword should be a phrase that makes sense and has at least 50 searches a month.
The QSR should be less than 300.
Tip: If Search number is greater than QSR, you might be on to a winner!
Take a topic or theme from your website and plug it into the keyword tool below. Follow the principles outlined above and you will soon catch on.