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The Lowdown On Finding The Perfect Keywords

Jan 4, 2008
Whenever I teach a class on Internet marketing, it's inevitable that the term "keyword" comes up. Keywords tend to confuse people, mostly because there are numerous ways of figuring them out; not all of them are correct. Let me explain.

When we think of keywords related to our topic, we often go to "root" keywords or, in layman's terms: the first word that pops into our mind. For example, if someone were to say: "Give me a keyword for books" you might say: "publishing." That's a root keyword. It may seem like the right word to you, but it may not be a word that your reader or customer is searching on. Therein lies the key. You want to find relevant keywords in your market that people are actually searching for. Another example of this is the word: auto loan. If you've written a book on saving money you may think that drawing attention to your chapter on getting the best auto loan is a great idea. But what if your consumer searches on the term: car loan instead? Your keyword (auto loan) will go unnoticed.

There are some commonalities in keywords; for example, the best keywords have a strong relevance to your topic and a high search volume. What this means is that as you're trying to get away from 'root' words, you don't want to get uber-creative and use words no one is searching on. The other piece to remember is the age-old marketing term: supply and demand. Whatever your search term you want to make sure that there's a lot of demand, but very little supply.

If you're ready to start your search, here are a few sites that should help you. The first is the Google Adwords keyword search tool. What this tool will show you is a general overview of how popular a word is vs. how much supply there is for this word. While this site doesn't give you actual search numbers, it's a pretty thorough overview of search patters: adwords dot google dot com.

The second is a version of Overture (more on that in a minute) that will show you how many searches have happened across Yahoo and MSN for a particular search term in the last 30 days: yooter dot com/keyword/overture.php

Finally we have Overture. While this site will give you actual data, the numbers they give you aren't updated daily, in fact they're not even updated monthly. Some of the stats you see will be three or more months old. But data is data and unless you're sitting in a market that has heavy fluctuation, this should give you a good start: inventory dot overture dot com.

Now that you've zeroed in on your perfect keywords, where will you use them? Well, adding them to your web site copy is a great idea but the *ideal* place to use these is in your press release. Why? Because it's likely that you're sending your press release out online (if you're not, you should be) and with all the clutter on the 'Net you'll need these keywords to get noticed. Here's a quick rundown of where and how you should use them:

* Use these words in the headline and first 50 words of your release

* Keep your release to no more than 600 words

* Use keywords for hyperlinking: what I mean by this is that anytime you link to a page on your site or some other external reference, you'll want to use these keywords to help increase exposure to your press release.

In order to maximize what you're doing online, you've got to become very focused on your market and what your market wants. Figuring out the keywords and search terms your readers/consumers use will go a long way helping your message rise above the noise!
About the Author
Penny C. Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a book marketing and media relations expert whose company has developed some of the most cutting-edge book marketing campaigns. Visit AME
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