What is a keyword?
A term or a phrase used by a searcher to find information on a particular topic is called a keyword. Keyword selection or keyword research is the process of identifying and scrutinizing different prospective keywords to select the right ones for your content. It is an indispensable piece of your online success.
Keep in mind that although the term itself is most often used and interpreted as a reference to a single word, rarely have we seen that one word drives the success of any content. Good keywords are actually a string of 2-6 keywords; that string may also constitute a phrase. Thus, you’ll hear the terms “keyword” and “keyword phrase” used interchangeably. You should always be striving to identify and use keyword phrases.
Keywords and keyword phrases are the terms that are specifically implemented in website content. Certain keywords are chosen based on their search popularity, level of competition, and their estimated cost per click (CPC). Finding keywords for your content can be tough in the beginning, but once you learn where to look, it will become second nature.
What are the best free keyword tools?
Google AdWords tool
Google has built one of the most informative tools for advertisers and publishers alike, and it’s an excellent place to start looking for keywords.
Google Insights for Search
With Google Insights for Search, you can compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and properties. This is great for finding related keywords that might not be quite as obvious as what you have your mind set on.
Google Insights also provides you with a list of related keywords and key phrases that people have been searching for on Google, as well as keyword trends. This is important. –Scott Kindred, SafeHouse Web
Google Search Engine
An obvious but sometimes overlooked resource. You can also find keywords using Google’s search engine, or test the popularity of the keywords you have selected with the AdWords tool or the Insights tool. Visit Google’s homepage to use their search engine – Google.com – and type in your keywords, one at a time. As Google “completes” your possible search term, based on popularity, take note of how it compares to your desired keywords. For example, if the keyword you enter is “cowboys,” Google suggest terms like “cowboys and indians” or “mama don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys” (o.k., that’s an exaggeration, but you get the point) in the drop-down box.
Because these results are based on popularity, it’s a very good way to find potential keywords and to check the ones you’ve found with other tools.
Once you have a set of keywords that speak to your target audience then the next step is to write; populate your content, your ads and your blog. Use them on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Remember that this is an essential part of your business’ branding.
Use them wisely and naturally in your writing voice – otherwise your content will be poor and unattractive, the search engine robots will see that you’re “stuffing” your keywords and will penalize your website, and your car may not start in the morning (o.k., that’s another exaggeration, but you get the point).