Keywords - What Are They, How To Use Them, And Why They Are Important


What are keywords?

When someone is searching for information on the web, they will usually visit a search engine and type in some words describing what they are looking for. The search engine then checks its database and returns the results listing pages that meet the words submitted.

These words used by people searching can be called keywords or search terms. If you have done a search using the search engines, you will know that a single word will generate results that are very broad and frequently irrelevant. To fine-tune your search, you need to use a number of words or a phrase. This often gives you a more relevant search result.

Why are they important?

Keywords are important as they can be used successfully in conjunction with the search engines to provide you with a free source of targeted traffic to your web site. They enable people who need your product, service or information to find you. Appropriate keywords are like a telephone number for your business and the search engine is like the telephone book Ė it lists your name and number.

How to determine what keywords to use

So, how do you determine what keywords are relevant for your site? Firstly, you need to put yourself in your potential customerís shoes to determine what words they would submit to the search engine when they are looking for you. Also, review your web site pages and pick out key phrases and words that describe your business, product or service.

List these words and phrases as they will form the basis for optimising your web pages so that they will rank higher on the search engines. The more specific your keywords the better. Remember that single word keywords will have a lot more competition for top ranking search results than phrases.

Are people searching for your keywords?

Donít expect that the identification of your keywords and the submission of your pages to the search engines to result in an immediate flood of traffic to your site. Firstly, many of the search engines take a number of weeks to process your submission. Secondly, some search engines rank based on a number of factors including site popularity.

The number of sites that link to your site determines site popularity. Therefore, to improve your site popularity will require a reciprocal links strategy. There is a good resource on this at: .

Another factor is that people may not be searching for the terms you have defined as your keywords. It is important to know this as it can help give better direction to your marketing efforts.

The following resources will help you to determine what people are actually searching for when they use the search engines. CEBN's FREE Global Keywords Search Engine URL: allows you to search keywords to determine how often they are being used. But of greater importance is the ability to search one word and to see what combinations of words people are using with that word when they are searching.

This enables you to fine-tune your keywords to better fit what people are actually searching for. Remember that the aim is to obtain targeted traffic to your web site. Therefore, the more precise your keywords are, the greater the chances you will receive visitors that are interested in your services.

Word Market URL: provides a free software program that will check what people are searching for on the search engines. You need to be online to run this program and depending on how long it runs, it can generate very large databases.

WordSpot URL: will email you each week a free report of the top 200 search terms. They also provide other paid services helping business with keyword selection. A similar service is also provided by Keyword Market Share URL: .


The appropriate choice of keywords combined with optimised web pages submitted to the search engines can result in free targeted traffic to your site. This is a source of traffic that should not be overlooked.

About the Author

By Kevin Sinclair, CPA, of Be Successful! Business & Personal Success Resources -