What Are Keywords and Why Are They Important? (Part 1)

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When I hear the phrase “SEO” or “Search Engine Optimization”, my eyes automatically start to cross and I want to automatically put my fingers in my ears and mumble “La, la, la! I can’t hear you”…not because I don’t want to know what it is, but because it can be so difficult to understand! What are keywords and SEO anyways?

As bloggers though, we need to know and understand SEO and how it affects our blogs and chances of gaining new readers. And that’s where Tim comes in. My friend Tim (@sogeshirts for you tweeps reading) is going to tell us exactly what are keywords and how they play such an important role in our blog posts and for SEO.

If you don’t know my friend Tim, he is one of the best people out there on Twitter. He is the re-tweeting master, is beyond helpful, and even owns a clothing shop called Soge Shirts. And he’s a genuinely nice guy. If you tweet but don’t follow Tim, go follow @sogeshirts now!

Anyways, Tim also does blogging, SEO, and social media consulting. He’s currently working getting a new website for that, so for now if you have any questions for him, either tweet or DM him if you are interested in speaking with him.

Take it away, Tim!

What Are Keywords And Why Are They Important To Building Your Blog

Keywords are essential for any blogger wanting to get more readers, fans, subscribers, and ad revenue for their blogs. What are keywords? Keywords are search terms that people search on search engines like Google or Bing to find your blog. If you can get ranked highly for a keyword that is searched a lot on Google or Bing, you will get organic traffic to your site. Organic traffic is great because it is traffic through the search engines and it doesn’t cost you anything. The goal to build your blog is to find many keywords relating to your blog that people search a lot, and then rank in the top ten in the search engines for those keywords.

Now that we know why keywords are important we need to figure out how to find good keywords to try to rank for. The keywords you should be targeting depend on what theme your blog or website has. The more specific your blog is the easier it will be to rank for keywords. For example it will be harder to rank for the keyword blog then something more specific like cooking mom blog or parenting blog.

Since the term blog is very general there is going to be much more competition. Another thing that will help in ranking high for keywords is if your website is a .com instead of a .blogspot.com or .wordpress.com. When you own your own domain anytime you have someone link to your website your site will get a boost in the search engine rankings, instead of blogspot or wordpress getting that boost. If you are blogging for money or wish to brand yourself, invest in the .com domain.

Let’s start finding some good keywords. I’ll use the example parenting blog. To find what keywords we should target if our blog is a parenting blog we should click on the google keyword planner We type the keyword parenting blog into the box where it says word or phrase, and fill out the annoying captcha. Then we hit the search button. 100 keyword ideas will come up. If you click on the local monthly searches you can have all the keywords organized in order of which search term gets the highest monthly searches for parenting blog all the way down to the lowest.

Notice on the left side of the screen you see match types and underneath the box, broad is checked. If you remove the check from broad and check the box exact instead you will see which exact phrases get the most local searches on Google, and the competition for each.

For example the keyword parenting styles gets 8,100 local monthly searches and appears to have low competition. To be in the top ten for keywords it is easier to find keywords that still get a decent amount of searches and have low competition, then go after a keyword that has a lot of searches and very high competition. If you eventually target many smaller keywords with low competition this can add up to some big organic search engine traffic from Google and Bing!

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Tim, thank you for sharing this and making it so easy to understand! But guess what everybody? There’s more to the keyword story! Here’s Part 2 of Tim’s explanation of keywords.

Comments

  1. Great info Tim! I always forget about SEO…as in, never think about it. I know…so bad.

    Natalie trying to hangout on Klout more too!
    Congrats on syndication!

  2. SEO is pretty hard to get your head around, but I see it bandied around a lot. So thank you for the helpful information.

    Natalie, congratulations on the Klout article syndication!

  3. Thanks Rachel and Alison. I messed up in sending Natalie the post and forgot to include the html version. The Google Keywords tool website is https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

    Hopefully this helps making the post be a little easier to know what I’m talking about since I use the Google Keywords tool to make examples.

  4. This was great information! I have to say, SEO is one area that kind of confuses me. I don’t think I’ve been doing it right.

  5. This is great info! One day I may understand it. Maybe. Kind of like Stumbling. Oy.

  6. Tim@sogeshirts says:

    C@kidthings SEO keeps changing daily so it is even a bit confusing for those who do it. However feel free to ask me any questions you have.

    Tracy Same offer goes to you if you have a question feel free to ask me. Stumbling confuses me too.

  7. JDaniel4's Mom says:

    I have read so many posts on this topic. This is one I understood.

    • Tim@sogeshirts says:

      Thank you so much. I remember when I first started learning SEO. I just wanted simple, easy to remember, step by step info. I tried to write this in a non complicated way so that people want to give it a shot.

  8. Wow, never even thought of that. Hence why my blog still only has 12 followers. (LoL)

    Thanks for the tips! Look foward to part 2.

    • Tim@sogeshirts says:

      Thank you Cindi. I’m going to follow your blog right now. SEO can definitely help get more followers.

      Also commenting on awesome blogs such as this one and making friends with people on twitter will get you even more followers.

  9. Well that makes it more exciting! I always feared the SEO!!

    • Tim@sogeshirts says:

      Thanks Kimberly! SEO can be pretty fun and exciting once you start getting organic traffic for free from the search engines.

  10. Tim,

    I love how easy you make it seem. I guess it could be, I just hate doing the research to see which keywords work for my posts. Which leads me to a question:

    I am a WAHM blogger. For my main page I use standard keywords like mom blog or wahm. I have been using those same ones for months now. My question is, when I write individual posts should I use my main page keywords or should I make up ones specific for that post?

    For instance, I write a post about SEO. Do I use keywords like mommy seo or seo wahm? Or should I use mom blog or wahm from my main page?

    THX,
    ~Allie

    • Tim@sogeshirts says:

      Hi Allie. Thanks for commenting first of all. What I would do is use keywords for specific posts and make sure to use keywords that get some traffic. I’m not sure that mom blog or wahm get too much traffic. Fire them up into that google keyword tool and find out. If they get a decent amount of searches and have low competition go for it. If not find some other work at home mom keywords that are searched more often.

      Even if you find a good keyword it’s important to use different variations of the keyword or phrase to get even more search engine traffic and not to be penalized by the search engines. The search engines don’t like the excessive use of a keyword. Say you do use wahm in your post. You would probably only want to use that phrase three times maximum in the entire post. If you still want to use that phrase use a synonym of it.

      I hope this helps.

      • Tim,

        Thanks. You made it so clear. Sometimes I get confused and, frankly, give up. I don’t like doing SEO and keyword searches but I know in the long run it is good for traffic to my blog.

        I never really thought of different variations on the same phrases. I like that idea and will work with it.

        Thanks again for your helpful reply and the nice tweet.

        ~Allie

  11. I didn’t comment before, but came back again today to re-read this because it’s great info! And Tim? So smart!

    We all owe him a drink at BlogHer for all of his RT’s and info. And niceness.

    And congrats on the Klout piece!

  12. Thank u Natalie and TIM!! I have a few “days” worth of work to do since I never tag anything. UGH. But I want to do it now. You gave me. The motivation!

    • Tim@sogeshirts says:

      Thanks Kir,

      Putting your keywords into tags definitely help. Also make sure to use your keywords two to three times throughout your blog post. Having a keyword in the title of the blog post and the first sentence will let the search engines know that it is important.

  13. Tim, thank you for explaining it in ‘dummies’ language. I never knew this and am looking forward to the second post!

    Thanks for hosting Tim, Natalie!

    • Tim@sogeshirts says:

      Thanks Fenny and yes thank you Natalie for hosting this. Also congrats on your Klout piece on Blogher!

  14. Good keyword information (that actually made sense and did not cause me to bang my head repeatedly against the wall), a Klout explanation, and s’mores?? This post is full of the awesome!

    I’m stumbling this one.

    • Tim@sogeshirts says:

      Thanks so much Tracie for the stumble. SEO can definitely require a helmet sometimes.

  15. Great piece Tim. Nat, thanks for having Tim share this information. You both rock!!!

  16. Very cool of you to write this up for those just figuring all of this out, and you did a great job of putting it “dummies” style, thank you! Looking forward to part 2, is it going to include anchor text info?

  17. really nice article, I agree- finally an article on SEO that I can understand. Most often, my eyes start to glaze over and I click away from such articles, even though I know I need to “get it”. I do try to use keywords, but I just kind of throw them out there, guessing on what variation might be searchable, I’ve never used the keyword search tool, I see that I need to do that now. Thanks for the tips. :)

  18. Great article, Tim. Very informative and easy to understand – especially since I’ve always had trouble with SEO. I didn’t even know what it was until March. True story.

    I’ve just discovered the Google Keywords tool (thanks to @mommyshorts!) and am becoming slightly addicted to it.

  19. Just wish to say your article is as surprising.
    The clearness in your post is just cool and i can assume you’re an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the gratifying work.
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  1. […] Tuesday, then you probably caught the Twitter-famous Tim’s (@sogeshirts) post all about using Google keywords and why they are so important for bloggers and SEO. If you missed it, head over and read it now. Go ahead…we’ll […]