Google Adwords — A Beginning

First a disclaimer: I have just started working with Google Adwords. It’s been about a week. This blog is my way of:

  • organizing my thoughts on how it works,
  • highlighting areas I need to dig into deep,
  • expose my understanding so that it can be corrected.

I have some good friends that are mentoring me through this process. So this blog is like a quiz. Continue reading

SEO Must #2e: Expand Your Keyword List

At this point you should have created your keywords list, organized the list, and expanded it. Now it is time to start using this list. In this blog article we shall go over a few things to do, and a few things to not do.

When it comes to using your keywords on web pages, that’s a most excellent idea. Just be sure to use them correctly, use them enough, and don’t use them too much. Keyword stuffing is a bad thing. Stuff yourself with turkey on Thanksgiving if you insist. But, do not, stuff your pages with keywords — not even one day a year.

Page Name

In this case, page name means the actual file name or URL that is used to access your page. If possible and reasonable, use keywords in the name. Use the dash (-) separator between the words so that search engines will recognize the separate words — rather than one humongous oddity. For example golf-art has no ambiguity. But if you remove the dash this word can be read in a few different ways — whatever gol means :)

Page Title

Use keywords in your title. In fact, the few two or three words in the title should be keywords. The page title I am referring to here is the one found in the <head> of your page.

Page Description

The page description is another prime spot for keywords. First and foremost make sure that your page description actually describes the page — just make sure to use keywords while doing that. The description is the meta tag found in the <head> of your page.

<h1>Header 1</h1>

Incorporate keywords into the H1 header of your web page.

First Paragraph of Page

The first paragraph visible to search engines should be rich with keywords. The first paragraph that browsers see may not be the same first paragraph that the search engines see. This could easily happen if you have a div that floats to the right of your page. In which case, the first paragraph may end up on the right side of the screen.

First Visible Paragraph of Page

If the first visible paragraph happens to not be the same as the first paragraph that search engines find, then make sure that the first visible paragraph (when viewed by browsers) is rich with keywords as well.

<h2>Header 2</h2>

Incorporate keywords into a few H2 headers on your web page. The H2 headers will typically define separate sub-sections of a page. This gives you an ideal opportunity to incorporate different keywords.

Internal Text Links

When linking from one page of your website to another page of your website use keywords as the anchor text.

External Text Links

When linking to your website from your blog, forum postings, friend’s websites, or anywhere other than your own internal website, also use keywords.

Image ALT

When adding images to a web page you should be properly using the image alt. Proper use of the image alt is a little more complex than we can describe in one paragraph here. The point for the moment, is that when entering text for the alt property of images keep your keywords in mind and use them as you are able.

Website Tagline

Your website should have a tagline. That tagline should be keyword rich.

What about keywords meta tag?

You will notice that nothing has been said as yet about the <head> keywords meta tag. That is because search engines still tend to ignore it. They will not penalize you for using it — if you use it properly. They just tend to ignore it. How does one use the keywords meta-tag properly? Don’t include a work in the keyword meta tag for a page unless that word appears on the page. If the word does not appear on the page you could potentially be penalized.

Constructing Pages

You have just spent a good deal of time brainstorming, organizing, expanding, and cleaning your keywords list. Thus, let’s take it for given that the keywords on that list are important to you.  If this is the case, then you should have at least one page on your website with a name created from each keyword and/or keyword phrase in your list. If for some reason you are making a one page website, then this would not be the case. However, unless for some reason you are intentionally restraining your website to a single page, then the more the merrier.

As you may know google plays their cards close to the chest — meaning they do not publish their search engine algorithms. Whatever you have heard about or will hear about search engine algorithms comes from observation, experimentation, conjecture, and perhaps the fantasy of various writers. Some of these writers have suggested that when it comes to pages more is better. The presumption is that the more pages you have on a website the more effort has gone into the website reflecting more intention and perhaps better content. Keep in mind that google is honestly trying to help people find pages with good quality content. Thus all of their algorithms are designed to detect and give higher ranking to pages with good quality content. So for the moment, more pages are a good thing.

So if you are going to be making more pages, make sure to make at least one page for each keyword and/or keyword phrase in your list. If  you find it difficult or impossible to make a page for some of your keywords then perhaps they did not belong on your list in the first place.

Organization of Your Website

As you may recall, during the generation of the keyword list there was an organize process. The organization of keywords that was established during the process is very likely an excellent hint on how your website should be organized.

Social Media

Some social media sites will only allow you to create pages related to your name or the name of your company. However, there are many social media sites that will allow for the creation of auxiliary pages. You should definitely see about nabbing pages created from your keywords. would be sweet.

Google Adwords, etc.

When you embark on using google adwords to market your website you will be using your keywords. This might be pretty obvious since you used google adwords in the generation process. However, the “etc” part includes any promotions and marketing for your website. Brochures need to incorporate keywords from your list. Classified ads in the newspaper should draw from your keywords list. Everything you do in relation to marketing your website should be influenced by the keywords list.

If after reading the above suggested ways of utilizing your keywords list you get the feeling that perhaps you should have put more attention in the process, perhaps now is a good time to go back and redo that work.

SEO Must #2d: Expand Your Keyword List

Now that you have created a keywords list and organized the list, it’s time to expand the list.

Why expand keywords list?

The objective of expanding of the list is not to make it bigger. The objective is to find keywords and combinations of keywords that you may not have as yet stumbled across.

Tools to expand the keywords list?

The following list will give you some ideas of where to go to expand the keywords list.

  • Your Products
  • Thesaurus
  • Google Search Suggestions
  • Google Adwords Tools
  • Friends, Family, and Co-Workers

Your Products

If you have not already done so, expand your keyword list by including product names, name of their manufacturers, and perhaps even product numbers. I like to keep these types of keywords in a separate list — off to the side. I use them in a slightly different fashion during development of the website content and creation of ads. So for the moment, collect them if you have them. But, keep them in a separate list.


Input keywords, one at a time, into a thesaurus program. For each keyword you will be presented with one or more lists of alternative words. This can be a gold mine of previously overlooked terms.

Google Search Suggestions

Have you noticed that google (depending upon your browser settings) will offer a drop down box with suggestions for a search based on a partially typed work in the input box. If you start typing a keyword into the input box you may find one or more interesting search suggestions offered. Play around with this for a little — just to see if you get lucky. Don’t belabor it.

Google Adwords Tools

Here you will find a wealth of amazing tools for working with keywords.

  1. Get a google account (if you don’t have on)
  2. Sign in with your google account, then select “Adwords” from your “My Account” screen.
  3. Sign up for Adwords if required.
  4. Access the Adwords Tools

The UI (user interface) is a little weird. I think they might be testing different interfaces because one day it will look one way. Another day it will look another way. Here is a link for Google Adwords Tools in case you can’t find it. Usually I will find it after a little poking around. It’s annoying to me that the tools do not have an entry in the top menu. Perhaps by the time you read this there will be such an entry.
When you find the tools play with them. There are several tools of great utility and value. They are more than a little tricky to understand. Adwords is a deep subject from which you will benefit by studying. But, that study is beyond the scope of this blog article. Google does have quite a bit of help on each topic. Hopefully you can blunder your way through. I would recommend the Keyword Tool (top of the list) as your first stop.

Friends, Family, and Co-Workers

Once again, don’t overlook those close to you. Being a stranger does not grant automatic knowledge. And being a family member or friend does not automatically disqualify someone as having potentially valuable input. Admittedly since you’ve been subject to observing the eating and mating habits of those close to you it is harder to imagine them as knowledgeable.

However, keep in mind you are looking for keywords that the common folk would use to search for your services and products. I think it is eminently possible for family members and friends to be of the common variety.

SEO Must #2c: Organizing Your Keywords

Delete Failed Keywords

Now is the time to look back over your list and remove any keywords that in hindsight you don’t believe belong on the list. Be brave, but don’t be brutal. Just remove those keywords you honestly believe don’t belong. The judgment here should not be based on strength of the keyword. It is appropriateness you are looking for. The reason for not removing keywords based on strength is because in the next blog we will use these keywords to expand our list and find stronger alternatives.

Create Groups

See if the keywords fall into natural groups. If there is more than one group, definitely divide your keywords
list into groups and put the keywords into whichever of the groups they belong. It may happen that some
keywords belong in more than one group — well, put them into each group it belongs.


Now look at each group and prioritize the list for each group. Put the keywords in order of importance — most important at the top, least important at the bottom. The importance is measured by your standard. The keywords that you believe to be the more important go at the top of the list.

SEO Must #2b: Brainstorming For Keywords

Brainstorming for keywords is the process of gathering candidates for keywords and keyword phrases. One place to find such keywords is off the top of your head. There are other places you can look for keyword phrases too. Here are a few.

Where to look

  • Off the top of your head
  • Your website
  • Websites of competitors
  • Amazon reviews of books related to your content
  • Correspondence written to you from readers and/or customers.
  • Suggestions from friends

Off the top of your head

This will be one of your easiest and most fruitful places to find keywords — assuming of course that you are creating a website with content related to something you are familiar with. If you are creating a website on a topic about which you know nothing then skip this section and jump down to “websites of competitors.” Otherwise, spend a little quality time with yourself jotting down all the keywords that relate to your websites topic and/or topics.

Your website

If you have an existing website, then definitely mine it for keywords. Read through your pages jotting down words that jump at you. If you want to get more detailed use a word frequency counter. The website is designed for writers. I would guess to make um, sure that um, they are um not using um certain um words to um much in their writings. Is a nice tool. You can copy the content from your page and just paste it into the appropriate box. Who knows you might even want to learn a thing or two about writing in general while you are there — but later. Just bookmark it for now. Keep in mind you are on a keyword hunt.

Websites of competitors

Might as well use this valuable resource to help you locate keywords that you may otherwise not think of. If you don’t know who your competitors are, then do a quick google search and go visit them — it’s about time.

Amazon reviews of books/products related to your content

If you know of books and/or products related to your website topic(s), then look on Amazon.The first place to start is on the search results page. Glance at the array of suggested answers to your search, look in the descriptions, jot down any keywords that jump out at you. Next, look at a product page or two. In the review section (toward the bottom of the page) you will find reviews — some of which are written by real people with real interest in the product. See what keywords they drop in their review.

Correspondence written to you from readers and/or customers.

If you have correspondence from existing readers and/or customers you are in luck. Look to see what they say. “Hey Joe, do you have a blank blank in stock.” This tells the keywords that at least one person uses to reference your products. So mine these correspondences.

Suggestions from friends, family, coworkers

Too many people ignore this useful resource. Whether from embarrassment or not wanting to impose, get over it and get on with it. Let these good people help you with your project. Later you are going to ask them to review your website in detail. So there is no time like the present to get them involved — not just through emotional support, but as part of the team.

How to look

Choose your keywords carefully. Turn up your attention. Bring yourself into present time. And, focus.

Be specific, be direct, be honest. Tricking potential readers to your website is not the way to start a fruitful relationship with someone.

Remember, keywords can be a single word or short phrases. A two or three word combination can be very
effective — actually essential.

Keep a look out for colloquial terms — characteristic of or appropriate to ordinary or familiar conversation rather than formal speech or writing; informal. Ordinary and familiar sounds like pretty good idea when hunting up terms that normal folks will use in looking for your content.

Write down every relevant keyword and keyword phrase you find. You will trim the list later. So don’t hesitate to include a work or phrase. This is brainstorming — so don’t be too restrictive. You can always delete insignificant keywords later.

Think like a customer or website visitor. Listen like a webmaster, but think like a customer or visitor.

Next to come is Organizing Your Keywords and Expanding Your Keywords.

SEO Must #2a: Know your keywords

Keywords have to be one of the trickier parts of this SEO business. And one of the more neglected.

Why are keywords so important? Because, keywords are used by search engines to facilitate fetching results for an online searches.

There are two basic approaches to dealing with keywords.

  • Approach 1 — ignore keywords entirely. Create your website by generating content without worrying about keywords. Just do whatever it is you do. If you happen to be selling zen meditation productions, just write about your zen meditation products and let the chips fall where they may.
  • Approach 2 — deliberately and voluntarily determine which keywords relate best to your content and will bring in users to view said content.

There is something to be said for the ignore keywords approach. If you don’t really know what you are doing the effort to monkey around with keywords might be so off-putting that you give up on the whole idea of doing a website in the first place. In that case it might make sense to just do your website, create the best content you can and worry about keywords later.

But then again there is much to be said for getting it right in the first place. If you have an existing website then it is about time to start the process of getting it right. If you are just starting to build your website, it is definitely worth the time to investigate keywords.

Picking keywords requires combining several factors. Two important factors are:

  • Which keywords best represent your website content
  • Which keywords do real people use in real searches

Both of the above must be taken into account. If you have a website devoted to finding, curing, or preventing disease in fish then the keywords “piscis” and “morbus” would represent your website content. However, given that most people don’t use latin when doing a search, it might be better to use “fish” and “disease” as your keywords.

Your first task it to use your wit and wisdom to make your best guess at a few keyword phrases that will both represent your website and actually be used in real world searches.

After you have a set of best guess keywords, it will be time to poke around in Google’s Adword  Tool Kit to refine your keywords.

See SEO Must #2b: Brainstorming For Keywords for the next step in this process.