Back in 2005 when I first started online I couldn’t get this question out of my head. Every which way I turned I was told that learning how to do keyword research was an important part of the whole Internet marketing process, but even though I understood that point in theory…I really didn’t understand what a GOOD keyword was.
I’m not talking about any keyword in particular here…I just couldn’t grasp exactly what it was that made one keyword stand out more than any other – in any niche.
So I set off on a mission to find out if anyone could give me some answers, and along the way I learned plenty of stuff that made things a lot clearer. Things like…
Long tail, relevance, low competition, search volume etc…
They all struck a chord with me and definitely made the process of identifying keywords a lot easier.
I then began to question if that kind of knowledge was really necessary because let’s face it…the way keyword tools are designed nowadays, you only have to push a couple of buttons and within seconds they will spit out 100’s of potential keywords (And then some!)
But do they really help to find GOOD keywords?
Now at the risk of sounding a little cranky, I later discovered that no matter what I learned about the keyword research process…and regardless of how many whistles and bells my keyword tool had on it, I was only uncovering keywords that MAY have potential.
You see, things suddenly became clearer for me when I realized that…
A keyword only becomes a GOOD keyword when you learn how to do something good with it!
But really…just what the heck is a keyword? Many people overlook the simplicity of it all, and therefore fail to understand keyword research.
A keyword is simply something that people type into search engines when they are:
(a) looking for information
(b) looking to solve a problem
(c) looking to buy something
(d) bored…and again, they will be looking for info
So thanks to my collection of keyword tools I thought I had become something of an expert at spotting some amazing keyword opportunities, but in reality those weren’t good keywords that I was finding, they were just…well…keywords.
That was when I had my first ‘cart before the horse’ moment (one of many I might add), when I realized that keyword research means absolutely NOTHING if you don’t know what to do with what you find.
I’d already been busy with my hoard of keywords up until that point…ranking high in the search engines with articles on some pretty random keywords, and I regarded this as a pretty big success.
But was I able to MONETIZE them?
Well I won’t say ‘not at all’, but I will say…HARDLY.
All those hours of hard work that I’d put in – pretty much a total waste of time.
Then again, there was a major positive that came out of this whole experience, and for that reason I’m so glad that it happened. My brush with ground zero conversion rates had forced me to learn how to focus on the person behind the keyword and connect with them and their issue, rather than just hitting them with some loosely related content and hoping it would just do.
Let me tell ya…that was when EVERYTHING changed!
And it’s no coincidence that we talk a lot on here and at WA about building relationships with visitors to our websites/promotions (see Eddie and Jennifer’s posts), and it emphasizes the fact that how we use keywords is fundamental to our success online.
All successful marketers know and understand this point…but at the same time, most people struggling online DON’T.
Keywords allow us to open the door of opportunity in any market we choose, via any medium of online promotion. Understanding how to interpret and use them and understanding the person behind the initial keyword search is one of the most important skills that you could ever possess as an Internet marketer.
So if you ever found yourself wasting hour after hour scouring the Internet for those elusive keywords that you can dominate, think back to my early experiences and how I discovered that they didn’t really exist, without my own consideration for “people” behind the search. I promise that when you do, you’ll end up with more good keywords than you can possibly handle
Thanks for reading, and have a great day!