Keywords are terms or sets of words used as anchors for searches on the internet. They capture the underlying “essence” of the subject matter of a document. In information retrieval, an index phrase, subject name, topic term, or description, in electronic data retrieval, is simply a term that captures the nature of the subject of a document. However, index terms also make up a highly regulated vocabulary for proper usage in electronic data retrieval.
It is useful to be familiar with various classifications of keywords. Keywords can be primary, generic, qualitative, and quantitative. Primary keywords are simply terms with which a user immediately recognizes. These are the most commonly searched phrases in searches, such as “the best website.”
Generic keywords are those intended to achieve some common purpose. For instance, the terms used by eBay in Search Results are more generic than “the best website.” Qualitative keywords are more precise and indicate an intended meaning. Quantitative keywords indicate a rate or level of importance for a query. These are used most often by search engines in determining where to rank websites in their results.
The next classification of keywords is to specify how searchers should navigate a site to get to the information they are seeking. Meta-tags are additional keywords that are found within the actual HTML code of a web page and define the various ways to find pages. Meta-tags can be combined with other Meta keywords to increase the ranking of a site within search engines.
Another way to increase page rank is to increase the number of keywords that describe the service or product offered. These are called long-tail keywords. These keywords are very specific, relative to a particular audience, product, or service. As long-tail keywords are very competitive, it may take several months before a company is able to attract a significant number of daily searches using these long-tail keywords. However, there is no stopping a business that has identified these keywords because they are not only very effective but cost-effective as well.
A third way to improve ranking is to use keywords that searchers type in when looking for something like a website or product. An example is that if someone was looking for information on how to lose weight, they would likely type in something like “Lose Weight.” If we used the term “How to Lose Weight” we would have the keyword “Lose”. Now, if we replace the word “Lose” with another keyword, say “How to Stay Healthy,” we have created what is known as a phrase or keyword.
There are some companies who focus on keyword research and optimization so they understand what keywords are most effective for search volume and cost per click (CPC). They will test keywords against other keywords and provide lists of words, phrases or combinations of keywords that work best for them. This makes sense because the right keyword combination is going to get the most traffic, and the least cost for their clients.
The last method for helping a company boost its keywords is through a keyword tool. A keyword tool takes into account both the positive and negative keywords, a company is targeting and provides lists of words or phrases that are performing below expectations. These tools allow a company to identify keywords that may be performing below expectations or can lead to high search volume and low cost per click. In addition, a keyword tool can show companies how to take advantage of these keywords to gain a competitive edge. As a result, the right keyword grouping can dramatically increase search volume and create a competitive advantage for any online marketing campaign.