The Insider’s Guide to Using Keywords to Boost Traffic

By | July 15, 2011

Keywords.  They’re one major aspect to SEO and online marketing that many people are simply unable to figure out.

Maybe some people figure that the best keywords are the ones receiving the most searches – they assign keywords to their YouTube recipe videos that don’t belong in the niche, keywords like “Katy Perry video” or “laughing baby.”

Maybe others find keywords that match their site, sure, but don’t actually have any relevance within their niche.

Whatever the problems you’re having with keywords, there’s good news: you can fix them with a solid understanding of how the insiders use keywords to boost traffic and uncover the potential of new niches. Today, we’re going to look at a few of these tips in order to boost your site’s traffic and get you the kind of visitors that are actually interested in your site – and not in the latest laughing baby video.

Keywords Are About Striking a Balance

In the two examples of keyword failure we just provided, there’s something obvious about why the strategies are doing so poorly: there’s no balance in the keywords. Either someone is so obsessed about keyword traffic that they lose all sense of keyword relevance, or they’re so obsessed with relevance that they lose all sense of traffic.

The way you find success in using the right keywords for your site is not to search too hard for either of these types of words: instead, you should look for the keywords that strike the balance of both relevance and high traffic.

How does this work in reality? Let’s say that you have an online store that sells cookies. Maybe you’re starting out. Do you want to use the word “cookies” to attract an audience? Not right away, because there will be too much competition for a high-traffic keyword like “cookies.”

But you don’t want to swing too far the other way: a keyword like “home-made from scratch peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies” might sound enticing, but there’s a chance the phrase is just too long and too obscure to attract traffic – even if your site ranks #1 in the search engines for that particular phrase.

Find the balance. What unique keyword matches your site and also attracts a hefty audience? Maybe you should aim for something closer to “home-baked peanut butter cookies.” You’ll stand a better chance at actually being listed for that kind of key phrase – and when you are listed for it, you’ll find it attracts real traffic.

Applying What You’ve Learned About Keywords

Of course, if you’re a novice to online promotion, you might be asking yourself how on earth you’re supposed to even use keywords to your advance.

There are a number of ways to target particular keywords. The most obvious way is through meta descriptions – the place on your site where you can list particular keywords so that the search engines have a better idea of what’s going on there. Of course, since so many people have used these meta tags to “spam” search engines, their relevance always seems to be decreasing. But it doesn’t hurt to have good, strong meta tags with a relevant description and set of keywords.

The better way to use keywords for site promotion is to focus on direct applications. For example, let’s say you buy an advertisement through Google AdWords so that you can have a sponsored search listing. Choosing the right keywords will be crucial to building a good marketing campaign if this is the route you’re going.

Or consider other ways to promote your site – the title of your site, for example. Your site’s title should include a key phrase you really want to target. To figure out this key phrase, ask yourself this: “if my site showed up #1 for a particular search on Google, which search would I choose?” Of course, don’t choose “sex” just because it’s a popular search. Choose a key phrase that actually attracts the people you want visiting your site.

What if all of your keyword promotions have been in vain for one particular web site, but you’ve learned enough that you want to start a new venture? Browse the listings here at to see which kinds of sites – and therefore, which sets of keywords – catch your eye. The more you learn about online promotion, the more likely it is that your next venture will be the one that gives you the success you’ve been after all along.