What is a keyword? As they relate to the Internet, keywords are words or phrases used by search engines to find, rank and display results on search results pages. From a search engine user’s standpoint, keywords are specific words or phrase entered into an online search engine for the purpose of returning search results directly related to that word or phrase.  As consumers we use keywords to find products and services and relevant information about those products and services from useful web pages found on search results pages. For marketers, keywords associated with your website, social networks, blog, and business listing will all help improve search engine ranking on search results pages of those people conducting online searches using those keywords. .


For example: when you type the word “television” into the search box on Google, literally millions of results with the term “television” within them will be returned. “Television” is the keyword. All the results returned for that particular search in some way have the term “television” associated with them.  No results will appear that do not in some way have the term “television” associated with them.  If another online search is conducted using the keywords “Sony television”, the results will be much narrower and only return results with “Sony television” or both words “Sony” and “television” associated with them. The more specific the keyword or words entered into the search engine, the more specific the results.


For marketers trying to get found online it is important to know enough about your customers to know what keywords they would type into search engines so that you can associate those keywords with you and your business. Potential customers have a better chance of finding you at the top of search engine results pages if you have associated those keywords with you and/or your business.  Finding the right keywords is often not as easy as it seems and generally requires a little research. This is an important step to take as the success of your online marketing campaign may depend on traffic directed to you from search engines who display search results based on keywords.


One very good keyword research tool is Google’s keyword tool.

Author: Jim Merrick