Searching for Keywords
How do you create keywords (tags)?
Let's discuss how I created my keywords for this article. This is a good place to start, since I wrote this piece early this morning and had to create several keywords prior to publishing.
Creating keywords is a marketing function. Many talented writers are gifted at expressing a thought or sharing a perspective about a topic, but find sales a difficult process. Many talented sales reps I know would fail miserably at communicating in writing. Why is that?
Marketing is the gift of listening to an audience. To create keywords, you need to listen to your audience. This is the opposite of presenting to an audience as an author does when crafting a piece. It is the direction of the voice, from an audience for marketing and to the audience for an author, that will help clarify how to create quality keywords.
How did I arrive at the keywords (tags) that I used for this article?
I first identified a name for my article that captures the bigger picture of what I was about to say and typed it into the "Title" bar. It could have been a "hook", meaning something to draw you in, or simply a 4 word summary of what was behind the link. I then clicked on the "Check Availability" button to ensure I was safe to journey forward.
My next step was to address "Tags". What? You created tags before you wrote your articles? Yes. This helps me to frame in my mind the intended value I hope to provide the reader before pounding away at the keyboard. As I glance at the heavy bold print, the word "Tags" whispers to me in a puzzled voice "What is the problem an end user is trying to solve?" I always try to focus my keywords on providing a path to an answer or being a traffic cop to information. For this article, I added "how to use keywords" and "help me with tags" in that gray box under the "Tags" section. These are the phrases I would have typed into a Google search in hopes of finding information about keyword techniques. I then paused before writing this article to daydream for a moment and asked what a person in Kansas would ask when typing into a Google search box. After entering a 3rd tag, I then proceeded to ask myself what my daughter or wife might type into the great Google search engine. Again, I was trying to think like a customer or put myself into the thought patterns of someone in need of help.
A person pulls over in their car to politely ask directions to the Post Office. I might reply - go 2 miles down this road, take a right, go 1/2 mile, take a left, and it is the white building on Main Street. My wife might answer - go down this road until you see a yellow house on your right, take the next right, go until you see the Shell gas station, take a left and it's a little bit down the road next to the ice-cream place.
Both individuals are sincere in their efforts to offer assistance. Both provided clear directions. Each, however, used an entirely different approach to their response. One individual uses distance and direction, the other uses landmarks. Both successful?
Create 3 keywords (tags) in your thought process, then create 2 more in the speech pattern of someone else. This technique has proven extremely successful for me and avoids falling prey to over-analyzing my keywords and enjoying the next step, typing what is of value to the reader.
Finally, when I am done typing an article, I will read my tags, take 5 seconds, then re-read my article one last time and ask myself, "Did I answer the problem the tags asked?" If so, I click the "Publish" button with confidence. A week later, I will look under my Google AdSense account to see how the article is progressing with impressions and clicks.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
I don't claim to be a search engine guru. I probably use trial & error too often. How do I know if I am being successful? I listen to my customers. How do I do that? By creating URL Channels in AdSense and tracking the impressions and CTR (Click Through Rate) on a daily basis after my first week of being published.
I will use URL Channels in AdSense for a variety of analysis. I will look at weekend trends. I will look at RunRate trends. I will look at CTR and consider new article trends versus more seasoned article trends. I will look at title naming trends. I will look at the impact a keyword makes, not in a day or two, but over a month duration to provide a solid set of data to work with.
If I notice an article is tracking a slow CTR after a month, I will consider re-writing portions of the article to clarify my thoughts and also will consider changing my tags. I do not believe in overstuffing an article with keywords. I re-write an article to clarify, not stuff. Overstuffing is obvious to a reader and since it doesn't bring value to a reader, it is very likely the search engines will not appreciate the practice of stuffing keywords. Google isn't stupid. They have been successful by listening to readers. How do they "listen" to readers? They analyze market data (aka Click Trends), review the source web pages, and their marketing team makes informed recommendations to their programmers on new spam trends. I call it Turkey Trending. Stuffing a turkey in hopes of receiving praise does not necessarily add taste to the turkey.
- Focus your energy on providing an answer to a problem in your keywords.
- Provide quality content behind the keywords you select.
- Have confidence in Google's ability to find your article.
- Free your mind to write.
- Avoid spending lengthy hours on a guessing game with SEO and focus on helping a person find answers.