Keywords, what are they good for? Ab-so-lute-ly everything!
A keyword is defined as: “A
If you’re running an online business, then the following definition perfectly fits the bill: “A”
Keywords are the words or phrases you type into a search engine. Plug a phrase into a search engine on a particular topic, and in return, it spits a slew of websites containing (hopefully) relevant content onto your screen.
To affiliate marketers, these phrases contain extremely valuable information. These little bits of data give online marketers a ton of insight into what products to promote, and what type of content to create. Think of keywords as clues to content creation ideas for your website.
What to Look For When Researching Keywords
Keyword research is important because it helps you discover niches you thought never existed.
Researching key phrases involves:
- Determining how often they are used
- How much traffic they’re generating
- Finding out how many websites are competing for these phrases
There are several keyword search tools available to aid in your discovery. Some tools are free, while others you have to buy. I will post future articles on some of these tools and demonstrate how to use them.
How to Use Keywords the Right Way
When monetizing your website, it is essential to research the right phrases for the product you’re promoting. If you’re optimizing your sites with keywords no one is using, then your website will never get traffic.
Stay away from intentionally using irrelevant keywords (also known as keyword stuffing), phrases intended for bait-and-switch, or employing other shady optimizing tactics. Google has algorithms in place that can detect these, and has no problems slapping your site with penalties.
If you’ve read my other articles, then you’ve noticed that I’ve put a lot of emphasis on creating high-quality content. People are looking for solutions for their problems. It’s your job to help find solutions for their issues!
The keywords used to optimize your site is a determining factor on whether or not your website will succeed. When building a brand new site, it’s best to avoid using high-competition keywords. These key phrases are saturated with hundreds of competing websites. Therefore, it’s best to find low-competition keywords when venturing off into a new market. The less competition, the better!
Use Low-Competition Key Phrases That Many People Use in Their Search
Using relevant keywords to optimize your site is one thing. Using relevant keywords that are being used often is another. You have to find low-competition keywords that users are frequently using in their searches. Otherwise, you may as well be talking to a brick wall.
For example: Suppose your niche is “Dog Tricks.” Now, you think it would be awesome if you could train a dog to open a bottle of soda. You build a web page, create content on that idea, and use the keyword “how to teach a dog to open a bottle of soda.” Months go by and your page doesn’t get a single visit. You might think: “What’s the deal? That’s a GREAT trick to teach a dog!”
Well, according to my research (there’s that word again), the key phrase “how to teach a dog to open a bottle of soda” gets less than ten searches a month. …My guess it’s much closer to zero.
Teaching a dog how to open a bottle sounds like a neat idea…You could probably win a few pageants with that trick. While the keyword mentioned above is relevant to the niche “Dog Tricks,” no one is interested in teaching a dog how to open a bottle of soda.
If you use key phrases with low competition but generate a lot of traffic in Google searches, then your website stands a good chance at being successful. Since your website is new, it will take some time to see the results. Don’t fret; your success will come!
Keyword Stuffing, Bait-and-Switch Tactics. Black Hat Strategies to Avoid
Using irrelevant keywords (keyword stuffing), and bait-and-switch tactics are an unethical way to get traffic to your site. Not only will you not only get you any traffic in the end; Google will penalize your site for having what it considers low-quality content.
Keyword stuffing is a method of using a key phrase over and over again on a web page. It causes an unnatural text flow, and is very irritating to read. A further explanation and an example of this practice can be found here.
Then, there’s the extremely annoying bait-and-switch tactic. This is a classic case where someone uses keywords that have absolutely nothing to do with their niche.
Here’s an example: Your niche is “gambling websites,” and you create content for a website on that niche. However, you find out the key phrase “banana bread recipes” is getting a lot of hits on Google. You use that keyword to drive more traffic to your site. A user types “banana bread recipes” into their search, and voila, your site shows up on the search results page. When they visit your website and discover there isn’t a single bit of information on what they’re looking for, they bounce.
This creates a bad experience for the user. The user is frustrated because they wasted their time looking at information they don’t need. Search engines like Google frown heavily upon this. The user was duped into thinking there was relevant content when, in fact, there was none.
Since your website contained no useful information on banana bread, Google took the liberty of slapping a penalty on your website for having useless content. These penalties knock your rankings down on the search results page, making it less visible to users. If your site is penalized severely enough, then Google will ban your site from their index.
I’ve heard the Google penalty pit could be a deep hole to climb out of. Thankfully, I have no personal experience with this, so I personally can’t vouch for how hard it is to undo the damage. I’ve also heard that some sites reputations were so badly damaged that the webmaster had to start from scratch.
If you’re optimizing your site for Google, and want to avoid all of your hard work going down in flames, then play by Google’s rules!
What are Google’s rules?
And why am I using this particular search engine as an example? Because Google dominates well over 60% of the market. 🙂
Anyhoo, these rules are pretty simple and amount to one thing: Create a good experience for the user. Make relevant, high-quality content that will actually help and do some good.
Ever heard of Matt Cutts? Well, now you have! He’s the head of Google’s Webspam team, and has been with Google since 2000. He’s been on hiatus since Summer 2014, but his information is very useful nonetheless. I highly encourage you to bookmark and subscribe to his YouTube Channel.
Here is some information on making a Google friendly website.
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