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Keywords: Unlocking the Ultimate Weapon


As amazing as the internet is, you can’t be found online by typing random words into your webpage. Unfortunately, you can get penalized by search engines if your content isn’t good enough. So, when we’re talking about online visibility: SEO, PPC and SEM are your battle plans and Keywords are your weapons. So how do we know what qualifies as a keyword, and how can we use its awesome power to conquer the web?

Well to start, what the heck is it?

A keyword is a common word or phrase searched for on search engines. “Pizza near me”, “How many inches in a foot”, “What are keywords”… You get the idea.

How to Determine Your Keywords

You want your keywords to reflect the product or service your business offers. So first things first:

1. Is the word relevant to your website’s content?

If you sell shoes, you shouldn’t try to rank for “Pizza” (Unless your shoes are made of pizza, just saying). Ranking for the right keywords that relate to your website content will make it so the people who will buy your product or service are finding you the right way. Also remember to include “long-tail keywords”. These could be the questions people are asking online that could lead them straight to you (“How to pick the best running shoe” for example). Also make sure to use the language that your prospects use.

2. Do some research!

There are a lot of great tools to help you figure out what kind of usage keywords have, and how difficult it would be to rank for it, and how lucrative it could be for your business:

  • is a great resource for keyword research! (It also can help you track competitors so we really recommend you check it out!
  • is a leading source of information for online SEO. Read everything they have.
  • is another great source. They have great articles too, so you should check them out.

3. Test it out!

If you are using one of the tools listed above, or some other tracking software for your website, chances are you are able to enter that keyword and test it against your competitors. It’s not an exact science, but it does give you an idea.

Using the Weapon

Keywords can be used for SEO, PPC (As adwords), and SEM. So use them as your weapon.

With SEO, here are some guidelines you want to keep in mind:

  • Keywords should be featured in all headers on your website.
  • Key words should be in the title of blogs and articles published online
  • If you’re only serving a particular age group, geographic area, etc., take it into account when building those long-tail keywords
  • Add keywords to the body of webpages, blogs, and articles, but be warned: some search engines see the use of too many keywords in the same post as “spam-y”

With PPC here are some guidelines you want to keep in mind:

  • Adwords are paid keywords, so the research is very important.
  • With Adwords, you can control the situation more than with SEO, and can even further influence it by adding targeting to the mix.
  • You can buy sample campaigns from Google AdWords and Bing Adcenter

Choosing the right keywords and using them to their fullest potential could mean the difference between okay sales, and conqueror of the web!


Patrick King

Patrick is the Founder of Imagine and advisor to places on brand strategy and creative. His insights have been published in Inc. Magazine, SmartCEO, Washington Business Journal, The Washington Post, and Chief Marketer, among other publications, and shared at conferences throughout the US. He also has an amazing sock collection.

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