of the most widely asked online writing questions
my partner, Jill Whalen, and I receive in our
free newsletter The Rank
Write Roundtable, is how to discover
and write for keyphrases. Are keyphrases really
that important, or can I pull them out of the
air? Can I spam the engines with sneaky keyphrases
(like "sex")? Will I really receive
a number one ranking with just a couple words
and some strong body copy? So, let's hash out
what these keyphrases are and learn how the
heck to work (and write) with them.
should you care about keyphrases?
your keyphrases, if chosen correctly, will give
you the return on investment you want.
a case study, we have a client who specializes
in surgery for the morbidly obese (otherwise
known as gastric bypass surgery or stomach stapling).
When we reviewed his "old" keyphrases,
we found they weren't specific or targeted.
As an example, two of their keyphrases were:
of breath while climbing stairs
first, the keyphrase choices seem logical. After
all, aren't morbidly obese people experiencing
joint pain? Could "shortness of breath"
be something so common that it's a hot search
#1 of keyphrase research - don't assume a darn
keyphrase research comes before everything else
- your writing, your Meta tags, EVERYTHING!
To write successful, keyphrase-rich copy, you
need to find phrases that (a) specifically target
what you offer, and (b) are what people actually
type when they need products or services like
yours. If you optimize your site for the wrong
words - or if you *assume* what phrases people
are surfing for without some proof - you're
almost doomed to fail. That is, if we'd optimized
for "shortness of breath while climbing
stairs," we could have easily gotten the
client a killer #1 ranking in the search engines
- but the client wouldn't receive any traffic.
Why develop killer-marketing copy when bad keyphrase
choices can doom you to failure?
- once we found the right keyphrases, this client
went from 4-5 Internet clients a week to 10
- 14 a *day*! Not bad for the old bottom line!
the keyphrases you need
worry, it's not difficult. Your first step is
to brainstorm some keyphrases and then check
their popularity. Our "trick of the trade"
is a specialized database called WordTracker,
that lets you determine the popularity of certain
words and keyphrases. Need more information?
You're in luck! You can surf to Detlev Johnson's
excellent article, "
Method to the Madness:
Keyword Planning. "
general rules about keyphrase brainstorming