Keywords are vital for Internet traffic. They are the search phrases that people use when they are trying to find information. When your content matches these search phrases, traffic will be delivered. WIthout the match of keywords to your content, even the best articles will never be viewed.

Types of Keywords
There are various types of keywords, loosely categorized by length. A reasonable set of definitions is as follows:

Short - one or two word phrases. Not a key consideration of article writers. Too general.

Medium - three to six word phrases. The sweet spot for article writers as these tend to be highly specific, and relevant for viewers.

Long - more than six word phrases. Not relevant to article writers as they are specific to very few searches per month.

Long Tail - a long phrase which is made up an actual phrase plus a few specific search words. (Example: "How can I ...")

Viewers Delivered Via Search Engines
Potential viewers of your material use the search engines. They enter search terms for which they need information. They find pages that have been indexed via the complicated matching algorithm. When the search matches your keywords, the viewer is shown the title of your material. They then click and come to your page, hopefully.

Importance of the Title
The title is the first thing that searchers see when your material is presented to them. In most cases, you want your keyword to be present in the title. The title should also be interesting. You can make your title fairly long to ensure that your convey a lot of information by it.

Distribution of your Keywords

As mentioned, your main topic keyword should be in the page title. It should also be in the first paragraph, or even the first sentence. After that, you should aim to have it presented a few more times, depending on the number of words in the material. However many times it appears, it must always sound realistic. The past practice of stuffing such terms a multitude of times is now discouraged.

Length of Articles
There is no hard rule for article length. Essentially, you want to use enough words to get the point across, to convey as much information as possible, and to deliver your carefully crafted terms to viewers. This is difficult to do in a very small piece. At a minimum, most authors produce 400 to 500 words. Writing pieces with about 1000 words is also a common practice. For variety, you should write some of about 500 and some of 1000.

Alternate Keyword Terms

When you write, it gets pretty boring if you use the same terms over and over. Cat, cat, cat. It isn't natural. Instead, how about using alternates, or synonyms, for the animal. "Animal, feline, kitty, kitten", and so on. These increase the variety, which is more like normal speech. Search engines notice this type of writing as well. In fact, they are expecting it more and more. To them, it shows that the quality of writing is better. This is obviously a benefit to you. That and you may also pick up some viewers who are searching for the alternate keywords.

Long Tail Keywords
A lot of people interested in your topic may be using certain terms to better target their results. These additives are terms such as "Where do I buy", "What is the best", "How much is", and so on. These are valuable items to include in your article. You may match a popular term and get a lot of visitors delivered as a result.

Finding Valuable Keywords
SEOBook offers a helpful, free tool that lets you check the relative value of active keywords. You use it by entering in a term and clicking the search button. Results are returned. You have the ability to specify a fuzzy match, or more targeted.

An Example Search

A the SEOBook tool was used to find matches for "rubber mats". The results were:

Keyword Monthly CPC Value
rubber mats 6480 $6.85 $36990
rubber floor mats 3480 $6.66 $19314
rubber stall mats 864 $1.10 $792
rubby gym mats 576 $1.56 $749

By reviewing the list, one might determine that articles specific to "rubber mats" would be quite lucrative. While this may be true, the ranking is relative. It also does not show competition that the author may experience from other web sites. Also, the first entry in the list is a little generic. Thus people may find your match but it might not be what they want exactly. This results in a less than ideal viewing experience. The second term is actually a better one to consider. It is more targeted. The value per click, (CPC), is similar. The overall value is obviously less but it may be easier to present viewers with information that they actively require. The third and fourth entries are possible alternate terms that may or may not make sense to include.

As an added bonus, the web site includes a button that offers a download of the on screen information to your computer. Saved as a CSV file, this may be opened in a spreadsheet tool such as OpenOffice Calc. There you will see that the relative competion ranking is included for each entry. Use these to see which might be better to include in your article.

With the check complete, the author might want to consider finding a related product to promote from the Amazon catalogue. A quality matching product should be easy to find, one that has good owner reviews. Such a product would be excellent to include within an article or as an associated advertisement. Together, they represent an easy way for the author to gain potential value from both the article and affiliate Amazon sales.