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What Are Keywords: For Dummies

'What Are Keywords:  For Dummies' is an article every writer and up-and-coming blogger should read. Simply put, it gives you all the basic information about keywords you'll need. 

What are keywords: Keywords are words that describe what your online article or blog post is about. A keyword is a word a person would use when looking for information on the Internet. For example, if I want to buy an e-book about parenting I’d type in ‘parenting e-books’ and hit ‘search’ in my search engine. Keywords are also the words search engines use to describe a blog, a book, an item, or any other product on the web.


What are keywords: for dummies

what_are_keywords_for_dummies
keyword image from this site:  http://keywordcanine.org 

Why are keywords important

Keywords are important because without them no one would find you, your product, your site, your blog, your article etc. If you had the best flower shop in the city of Bristol, but didn’t have the keywords, ‘Bristol-based flower shop’ (or other such appropriate terms) on your website,  you wouldn’t be listed when people typed ‘Bristol flower shop’ into their search engine.

What to do with keywords

Choose appropriate keywords
Choose different keywords that describe what you do
Don’t use too many keywords because you’ll dilute the effect they have
Don’t stuff your site/article etc with keywords or you’ll be seen as a spammer


Why use keywords

Freelance writers and bloggers need to know how to use keywords properly. This skill will not only earn you money, it’ll give you a better chance at getting your guest posts published too. If you approach a blogger with a post which has no direction or keyword, you're setting yourself up for a refusal.
Keywords can be quite easy to use once you know how. The correct balance has to be struck between: enough and too many; naturally occurring and unnatural; stuffing and reader-friendly. 
It’s great to use keywords in your article, but always remember that ‘traffic’ means eyeballs, not robots.

How to use keywords correctly

Use keywords
This is the most important aspect. Know that you need them, that they’re important and use them. Keep your topic in mind all through your article and sprinkle your keyword throughout the post.

Don’t use too many keywords
Okay, I know I said keywords are important and that you should use them. However, don’t fall into the trap of what is known as ‘keyword stuffing’. Aim for about 3 keywords in every hundred words you write.  

Relevant keywords
Ask yourself, ‘are my keywords relevant to this particular topic?’ ‘Are my keywords for this article relevant to this blog?’ ‘Do my keywords add value to this site?’ Most of all, your keywords should be the term or phrase a person would type into their search panel if they were looking for the topic of your post.

Variation of keywords
Are there other words you can use in place of your keywords? Use them as well throughout your article.

Bold your keywords
Bold your keywords in your article once or twice. Italicise your keywords in your articles once or twice and make sure you have some H1 and H2 keywords in your post as well. These are appropriate for headings, introductions and closing.

Now you're armed with a basic knowledge of keywords, their usage, how to use them, and why they're important. Keep these points in mind and practice them when drafting and writing your posts. If you benefited from What are Keywords: For Dummies, please share it on your favourite social networking sites. If you have any other basic tips for using keywords, please do share them with us in the comment section below. 

10 comments:

Anonymous September 14, 2012 at 9:33 AM  

I have a problem with the overall premise of your article but I still think its really informative. I really like your other posts. Keep up the great work. If you can add more video and pictures can be much better. Because they help much clear understanding. :) thanks

Icy BC September 14, 2012 at 3:28 PM  

Oh I completely agree with you about how important keywords are! Fantastic article!

Susie K. Adams September 15, 2012 at 3:30 AM  

Anne,
Thank you for this informative article on keywords.

Your specific information about why they are needed was very helpful.

myletterstoemily September 15, 2012 at 5:14 AM  

my problem is understanding what words
ARE keywords. my blog seems too
obscure and un'key'worthy.

Anne Lyken-Garner September 15, 2012 at 1:55 PM  

Thank you, Anon and Icy. I had to learn the hard way about keywords and didn't really know their importance until years after I started blogging. It's best to pay attention to it from the start. I'm still editing my old material.

Anne Lyken-Garner September 15, 2012 at 1:58 PM  

HI Susie, I know you're a new blogger. Keywords is such a vital part of blogging, but it's not something many new bloggers pay attention to. If you start right you'll get to the top a lot faster than most blog owners out there.

Anne Lyken-Garner September 15, 2012 at 2:00 PM  

Lea, I hope that this short lesson has finally shown you what words ARE keywords:-)

Dr Erhumu - twitter@drerhumu September 18, 2012 at 7:59 AM  

Hi Anne, I nominated you for versatile blogger award as I gain a lot from your writing. Link here: http://drerhumu.blogspot.com/2012/09/versatile-blogger-award.html

Anne Lyken-Garner September 18, 2012 at 3:13 PM  

Thanks, DrErhumu, I've left a comment on your blog.

Matt October 14, 2012 at 4:15 AM  

Topical keywords can also work very well. They can be the names of businesses, people, locations, etc.

Keep an eye on the mainstream media and if you notice specific words that you've never heard of before getting exposure, then you'll know people will be searching for them. If you target them in your posts it's often easy to get on page one for them and draw some good traffic for a few days or longer.

Anne's a published author, freelance writer and experienced editor. She's just signed her second publishing contract this year with 2 separate publishing houses. You can hire her or see her available books in the side panel on the right.
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