Once you start to narrow your site topic to a reasonable niche, understanding keywords in that niche is your next step to getting started successfully.

Understanding Keywords: The Basics

understanding_keywordsI think the best way to understand keywords is to think about how you normally search for things online. When you go to Google (or whichever search engine you prefer) you type in a word or phrase and Google pops out results. The text you type into the search box is your keyword.

Think about it: anything you have ever searched for online is a keyword.

There are billions of possibilities. This incredible expanse of keywords is one reason why fears of a narrow affiliate marketing niche are usually unjustified.

Not only that, but the wealth of possibilities means that as a user you can be as specific as you want, and usually being specific is going to get you a better result. As a marketer, you’re going to leverage this fact – that users want specific, accurate results, commonly referred to as the long tail – to your advantage.

Think Like You Search, But Don’t Write Like You Search

Keywords can be a single word or a phrase, or even a collection of words that you would never actually use in a real sentence. For example, if you’re looking for a hosting provider for your WordPress blog, you might search “new blog hosting wordpress,” even though that phrase doesn’t really make sense if you put it into a sentence.

When you’re thinking about your niche (and later, when you’re finding topics to write about), try to think about your website in terms of what you, as a user, might search for in Google. Thinking like your user is a skill you should always try to hone, and using your own search habits to come up with keywords is definitely a good practice.

However, just because you might search for “new blog hosting wordpress,” doesn’t mean that you should engineer an article with that exact phrase. While matching keywords is important, the quality and natural flow of content always trumps an exact keyword match.

There is, of course, a lot more at play when it comes to keywords research analysis, how to find keywords, and how to monitor keyword rankings, but I hope this page at least helps you understand what keywords are and why they play an important role.