Keyword Help for Dummies (or at Least for Novices)

  May 14, 2008   Category :     SE Internet Marketing | SE Online Marketing,   Search Engine Optimization | SEO   Philip O'Hara

Author: April Hall

Internet Copywriter

Warning: This Post is Embarrasingly Simple; Seasoned SEO’s May Wish to Turn Away or Laugh

Okay, so I consider myself a professional writer. After giving up my English teaching career more than a year ago for a career in copywriting, I worked hard to learn the ins and outs of internet content. I learned (admittedly mostly through trial and error) what keywords were, how they can help the site make it to the top of the search engine results page, and how many keywords should be used on a given web page. Not to brag, but after a few months of doing the work full-time, I felt very competent as an internet writer after a few months, and even had the freelance gigs to prove it.

I was working, making money, and churning out pages of quality internet content every day. Pretty soon, I had a full time job with one company and was feeling great about my new career as an internet copywriter. A few months ago, however, I was hit by the cold hard truth: I was no internet guru! I was an amateur-no better than a copywriter robot who could produce good copy, but had no real understanding of keywords and how to choose them… (It was a time of real depression around my house, let me tell you.)

You see, up until that point, I was simply given the keywords chosen for any particular site and asked to produce content that worked around those words. I could do this easily and fairly quickly, and my content was good (if I do say so myself). About this time, there was a change in personnel at my company; and soon, I was asked to come up with my own keywords for web pages prior to writing them. Again, I was chugging along just fine by using the keyword research already done by other members of our firm until I came across some sites that had no keyword research completed! What? How could that be? I am a copywriter, not a search engine optimizer! This was too much to ask! It couldn’t be done! And then, my patient (and surprisingly understanding) writer coordinator graciously pointed me to the mecca of keyword research: the Google AdWords Keyword Tool.

If you are a professional copywriter and have never heard of this tool, then you are as out of it as I was. (Or, more likely, you have been fortunate enough to have worked for a company with a staff large enough to have an SEO who coordinates this for you!) If you are a business owner who is designing your webpage yourself, Google Adwords Keyword Tool is a miracle tool.

The easiest option from there is to type in the URL of the page you are adding content to, and request some keywords suggestions. Google will then give you a list of suggested keywords. Of course, if you can, it is best to use more than one keyword; and maintaining a good level of keyword density is vital. (Optimum keyword density is a topic for another post!) Otherwise, you have some pretty good keyword research right there, and it only take a second or two. You really have no excuse for not being able to begin the optimization process right from the very beginning.

Now that I have gotten the truth of my incompetence off of my chest, I actually feel pretty good. I think I’m ready to begin learning more about Search Engine Optimization, which is really the next logical step. It feels weird to say that, since I’ve spent a year working in this industry; but the truth of the matter is working within the system, and actually understanding how the system works, are two separate things.

Experienced SEO Professionals: It’s Now Okay to Look, or at Least to Stop Laughing

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