Before you can start writing the essential text for your pages that will boost your search engine ranking, you have to know which keywords and keyphrases to use. This section will help you understand how to find the best keywords to use and how to incorporate them into your site text.

1. The Importance of Keywords and Search Terms

Search terms are the words and phrases that people type into the search forms of search engines. Keywords and keyphrases are the words on your site that match these search terms.

Before you do any type of search engine marketing, you have to understand your target audience and know the search terms they are using. Once you know the search terms being used, these can be included in the content of your Web site as keywords and keyphrases.

Your keywords and keyphrases will also be used if you plan to promote your site with pay per click or keyword based pay per impression advertising.

To learn more about Keywords and Search Terms:

Recommended Articles: We've organized all of the articles on the topic of keywords in our Keyword Category. For learning the latest techniques for discovering and implementing the terms that will draw the most traffic and convert the best for your site, this is the place to start. Here are some samples of what you'll find there:

  • Scouting Keywords That Will Become Your All-Star Players:
    What's my favorite keyword research tool out there? My favorite keyword research tool is a broad match keyword in a PPC account. Huh? Doesn't everyone say that broad match is extremely dangerous and you should only approach them with the utmost respect and gentleness? Well, yes that's true, but that doesn't mean you abandon them!

  • How to Optimize a Single Web Page For Over 15 Keywords and Get Ranked On All of Them:
    They say it can't be done. I'm told it's impossible. Ridiculous! Scandalous! In SEO school* we are taught that you can't optimize a single web page for more than two or maybe three keywords at a time. Many say you can't truly be effective optimizing for more than one. It just doesn't work! But what if there was a way that it could work? What if you could successfully optimize a single web page for 15 or more keyword phrases at a time and get rankings for all of them? What would that kind of information be worth to you?

  • Search Engine Optimization Basics Part 1 - Keywords - In the same way traditional advertising agencies survey their demographic audience, search engine marketers must ensure that their SEO campaign targets the correct keywords or search phrases.

  • Selecting and Evaluating Keyphrases for Search Engine Marketing - Keyphrases (those phrases that potential customers are using to find products or services on search engines) are the building block of any search engine marketing strategy. It is essential that they are chosen carefully, or else the remainder of the campaign, no matter how effective the implementation, will likely be in vain.

  2. Tools and Services That Will Help You Find Your Best Keywords

The following tools and services will help you discover what search terms are being used on the search engines. The information provided can help you choose the best keywords and keyphrases for your Web site.

  • Word Tracker
    Wordtracker helps you choose the right Internet marketing keywords that will help your search engine placement and ranking. Use Wordtracker for keyword research to learn what keywords and keyphrases your customers are using to find the products or services you offer. Provides basic access for free and a much more robust paid version.

  • Keyword Discovery
    Discover the right keywords to target on your website and PPC campaigns. Identify common keyword misspellings, seasonal trends, related and industry terms. Run keyword permutations and even translate your keywords to and from various languages. KeywordDiscovery has the largest keyword database of around 30 billion searches compiled from close to 200 different search engines. Offers basic access for free and a much more robust paid version.

  • Overture Search Terms
    Enter a term to find how many searches were performed using it the previous month on Overture. Free to use.

  • SEO Research Labs
    SEO Research Labs provides a very handy service that will identify the best keywords and search terms for your site. Their service is recommended for anyone that would rather have someone else handle the time intensive research work for them.

To learn more about Tools That Will Help You Find Your Best Keywords:

Recommended Articles:
  • An Ingenious Way to Use Wordtracker - Besides using Wordtracker to find keywords, John Alexander actually uses the service to target an audience s surfing behavior. Once he determines the surfing behavior, he can use that knowledge to target those who are most likely to purchase his clients products or services.

  3. Search Term Lists

These sites provide lists of the top search terms used on the search engines. These are not intended to help you find keywords and keyphrases specifically for your site. These lists are useful for looking for general trends.

  • Top 500 Keywords Of The Week
    This week's list of the top 500 most frequently searched keywords used on search engines.

  • Lycos 50
    Lists the 50 most popular user searches for the week.

  • Livesuche
    Shows the search terms people are using on the German search engine Fireball.

  • Ask Jeeves Peek Through the Keyhole
    Shows the questions that people are asking at Ask Jeeves.

  • Kanoodle.com - Search Spy
    Shows what other people are searching for on Kanoodle.com.

  • Metaspy
    Provides real-time display of searches being performed on MetaCrawler. Provides both filtered and unfiltered versions.

  • Yahoo! Buzz Index
    Find out what people are searching for at Yahoo! Subjects are ranked according to a buzz score which is based on the percentage of users searching for that subject on a given day.

Glossary of Terms Used on This Page

Search Term
The word or combination of words that someone types into the search form of a search engine.

A single word on your Web site that matches the search term.

A combination of words on your Web site that matches the search term.

Search Engine News Archives
Search Engine Guide's database of articles about search engines. This includes articles on Search Engine Guide and articles from other sites. Thousands of articles (each about search engines) are indexed.

Forum Threads
Search engine forums are Web sites where people ask and answer questions about search engines and search engine marketing. A thread is a "conversation" about a specific topic. Related forum threads are included as further reading to provide greater insight into the concepts covered on this page.