Three Things to Know About Keywords

March 17, 2010 at 3:52 pm 2 comments

Tags:  Keywords to describe digital objectsThe use of keywords has taken on considerable importance. From public appeal to SEO (search engine optimization), they can be the deciding factor in your online success. Yet, I heard mention of keywords for months and months before I even realized what they were. Then, it took pointed questions and much digging around before I found an explanation of why keywords mattered and how to use them.

The subject is actually quite deep, and I still have much to learn. However, I feel I’ve at least scratched the surface on the subject, and am qualified to provide a few easy pointers to the 101-level social media users. They are:

  1. Identify keywords that are broad yet unique
  2. Know where to put your keywords, and how to put them there
  3. Use your keywords to do your own searches when wanting to learn more or make connections

Keywords are just that: key words; words that describe and relate to your area of specialty. As simple as that sounds, I was surprised at how difficult it was to come up with my own key words. After all, “communication” and “social media” are pretty broad; and considering that my keywords are how people are going to find me on the Internet, I knew I was going to have to come up with something clever. I was relieved when I finally learned about Google’s Keyword Tool.

Identify keywords

Click on the link above, or use Google search to find the Google Keyword Tool. Then,

  • Enter one keyword or phrase per line in the box provided (for me, I entered social media on one line, then organizational communications on the next line, and followed with two or three other equally broad keyword phrases)
  • Click the check box in front of ‘Use synonyms’ to use this option
  • Click the button marked ‘Get keyword ideas’

This tool provides lots of information, but for your purposes, use the list it provides you for some ideas when choosing your own keywords. You will likely find several you hadn’t thought of before.

Where to put keywords

If you are using your website as a hub for your online presence, you’ll definitely want to make it searchable; i.e., have your keywords properly placed in the code of your website. This article, Implementing Keywords Into a Website is helpful.

Keep in mind that the keywords listed in your source code must, in fact, appear in the copy text of your website – and be used appropriately and legitimately. Search engines monitor keyword density, which is the percentage of times keywords are used within the total indexable words on a web page. Misuse or misrepresentation could result in banning by the search engine.

Use your keywords in your blog titles and headings. Your keywords should also be listed in the tags that most blogs allow you to highlight. To gain further visibility, use keywords in status updates on Facebook, Twitter and any time you contribute to your digital sites (e.g., YouTube and Flickr). In fact, Google is now transcribing and indexing audio, including the audio track on your videos.

While it’s claimed there is no “black magic” to SEO, every search engine has proprietary methods, and they’re constantly being updated and refined. In my humble opinion, maximizing the strength of keywords is a balance between a well-designed strategy and natural occurrence in your conversations and content.  So, don’t contrive your use of keywords; at the same time, don’t miss an opportunity to use them, either.

Use keywords to search

The most obvious use of keywords is to do your own searches using services such as Google, YouTube and Bing. One trick I found very useful when typing in your search is to precede your keywords with “allintitle:” to get a list of pages that include the words in the title of the page, video, etc. (ex: allintitle:landscaping Denver). Some other tips can be found in this article: 12 Quick Tips to Search Google Like An Expert

One of my favorite demonstrations of search-in-action is this Google Ad that aired during the 2010 Super Bowl.

As I mentioned, I have much to learn about keywords.  An entry in my Facebook Notes, aka The Learning Curve documents how I’ve gotten to this point. I’d also like to thank Mimi Tenace of Video-Web-Marketing for her insights, guidance and great notes!

(photo:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cambodia4kidsorg/260004685/)

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Entry filed under: Social Media, Strategy. Tags: , , .

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