Keywords 101: What Are Keywords And Why Do They Matter?

What are Keywords? Why are they important? Why are they vital to the success of your blog? If you’re starting a blog and have no idea about keywords, this article is for you.

What Do I Care About Keywords?

Keywords are how the search engines know what you're all about and who they should send to your blog.

Keywords are how the search engines know what you’re all about and who they should send to your blog.

Keywords are how the search engines know what you’re all about and who they should send to your blog. What are they and why do I need to know about them? Are they really that important to me and my blog? Can’t I get by without them? I mean, it’s all about the content right? So if I just write a really cool article, people will find it, right?

Well, not so much really. As with most anything in the world, it’s a bit more complicated than that, but don’t worry. That’s what we are here for. So sit back and enjoy. We’re going to give you keyword 101. If you’re an SEO expert, you won’t get much out of this video (you should be teaching it, really), but if you think SEO refers to a 70’s rock band, you’re in the right place.

Here’s the deal. You’ve set up your blog, picked a niche, installed the necessary tools to make your blog succeed, now what? Now you have to make sure that people who are searching for it on Google and other search engines can find it. But how? With keywords.

Wait, What Are Keywords EXACTLY, You Ask? And What’s A “Keyword Phrase”

Ever go to Google and type in something like “How do I make money off my blog?”  or “Good pizza” or “Dry cleaners in my neighborhood” Guess what? Those are keywords.  Or, they are a “key phrase search” to be specific. Technically a single word (i.e. “dating”) is a keyword, but a phrase (i.e. “dating tips”) is a keyword phrase. Simple, right?

They can be short, or they can be long. Most “keywords “ are actually three to five word phrases. Keywords, in a nutshell, are what you are searching for. Whatever you type in Google (or Bing, Yahoo, or whatever) is a keyword or a string of keywords.

The textbook definition of a keyword is a “term that encapsulates the essence of your text.” For this article, on this article “What are keywords and why do they matter?” Our keywords could include the following: keywords, keyword research, keyword analysis, keyword service, most searched keywords, SEO, blogging

Think of it this way: the content of each article can be boiled down to a few key topics. Those would be your keywords for that article.

Choose Your Keywords Carefully

Why? Because some keywords will get a few clicks a day while some words get a few THOUSANDS of clicks a day. The crazy part? Both keywords can cover the same topic and mean the same thing, but the more “common” term people use more often will obviously get more searches.  So every keyword gets incredibly different results and offers a completely different bang for your buck.

For example, keyword (singular), keywords (plural) and “keyword phrases” get 859, 723, 45 searches per day respectively.

How will you know the difference between the two? The way you learn everything: by doing your homework, which in this case is called keyword research. But where do you start? With a basic keyword research tool.

Keyword Research Tools – How To Find The Right Keywords To Use

Here is a great keyword tool for you to check it. It can take a little getting used to, at first. But once you play with them a little bit they get easier to use, and it really helps to know as much about your niche as possible. That way you can hone in on the words that your audience is most likely to use to try to find the kind of content you have to offer online.

Pro Tip: A very helpful strategy we use is to do your keyword research for your niche up front, find your most valuable keywords (in the right form: plural, singular, etc.) and keep track of all of them in a spreadsheet (complete with number of views per day). That way you can always refer to this again. And you will refer to it later – and you will update it later… but it’s important to have a strong starting point to build on.

BlogPress: Blogging, Training, & Incredible Personal SupportDon’t Keyword Spam!

Figure out which are the most searched words in your niche, then include them in your blog as much as possible, but don’t do it arbitrarily. That’s called “keyword spamming” and you don’t want to go down that road. No one will like you, particularly the search engines who you’re technically “spamming” by doing it. And that’s not something you really need to be doing anyway. Just do your homework, write your blog with those words in mind, and you’ll be all set for success.

Next Step: How To Choose Great Keywords For Your Blog Posts.

This article is just an introduction, the very, very tippy top of the iceberg, but it is at least enough to get you started. Now you’ve got yourself a good starting point from which to conquer the internet via your master of SEO and keywords! Okay, maybe not so much, but you’re on your way. That counts, right?

Just remember: you start with the topic, the niche that you’re going to cover,  then you really need to focus on how people who are looking for your content are going to find it. Those tags you add to your blog are crucial! Those three to five words can make or break you!

And back to the cardinal rule… write great content that people actually want to read, and work with the search engines to help them find your great content. Then promote that great content.

Be sure to also check out part 2 of our Keywords 101 series: Keyword Research 101: How to Choose The Best Tags & Keywords For Your Blog Posts – And Why This Matters.

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