Keywords, keywords, keywords. You’ve heard the word thrown around constantly and you’re pretty sure you have an idea what they mean but aren’t completely sure. Allow me to explain what keywords are, how they can help you, and how you can use them to your advantage in Google AdWords.
Keywords are words and word phrases which people use via a search engine to find content. Google runs algorithms and comparison analytics to determine matches between the words that a user searches with and the viability of content that would align with what they want to see. i.e. If a user wants to find information about donkeys they might type “donkey” into Google, wherein Google will match that word to all the most popular sites relevant to that topic. If a user wants to find out “why are donkeys such a big deal in the bible” they might get completely different results because the keywords are now targeting a wider range of subjects. However, the beauty of keyword phrases is that the closer a keyword relates to the keyword phrases located within the website the greater the chance that the user will be navigated to that website. Takeaway: Keywords are nothing more than words that match other words; the longer the keyword phrase the more precise content has to be to strike a match within any given search engine.
Alright, now that we know what keywords are and how they help us to find content let’s go over how you can figure out what keywords you should be using for your business.
- Self-analyze Content: I like to think of this as the “common sense” search where you comb through all the articles, blog content, searches, comments, and even the mission statement and logo to see what keyword/keyword phrases you can find that are relevant to your content. Don’t forget, specific is great but a phrase isn’t a paragraph; do not copy and paste all your written material and hope for the best.
- Basic Google Search: Sometimes cheating is perfectly fine. Or at least that’s how I feel about using google search to find out what keywords might be relevant to my topic. Let’s pretend for a moment that your business involves activism for the LGBT community. Merely typing “LGBT activism” into Google search and waiting for the drop down to offer suggestions will give you some fantastic keyword phrases to incorporate into your content. You can also scroll to the bottom of that completed search to see related topics which might offer some other great keyword phrases.
- Google AdWords: Google offers an amazing service called Google AdWords which allows anyone to create digital ads for their business (To find out how NGOs and other small businesses might be eligible for grants which pay for these services be sure to read some of our other articles on the subject!). Once you start adding keywords the system makes recommendations based off of what other people/competitors have selected. Remember to pick relevant keywords and try to avoid the popularity as much as possible; the more popular keyword/keyword phrases will destroy your budget and may end up burying your content because of the amount of competition.