While technically you don’t need keywords on your website, they are a must-have for any website search engine optimization plan if you want to be found for specific organic searches. An organic search is the search that displays under the yellow paid ads in a Google search.

What are Keywords?

Keywords are the specific words that someone would key into a search engine like Google, Bing and Yahoo. The search engines then create a list of what it thinks are the best online matches to the keywords that are entered into the search field.

The search engine uses many different criteria to deliver the listed results. A person who would like to rank on the first page of a search engine in the organic search must meet the search engines' many different criteria in order to rank in a search. Having matching keywords would be one of the many criteria search engines use, and it’s an important one. Knowing how to use the keywords correctly on your webpage is also important if you expect to be found online.

What are Good Searchable Keywords for My Business Website?

Well, this depends on many things. Most businesses would list the services they provide or the products they sell as keywords, but there may be keywords even better and not as obvious as listing products and services. Let me ask you a question: "What keywords do you use when you are searching online?" Most people use search engines to find answers to questions they need answered, so a searcher may type “how to, where to, where is, who is, how much is, or what is” into a search engine.

Try this experiment for a week. Every time you search, copy and paste your search words into a text document. Also copy and paste the URL of the site that answered your search best. After the week is up, take a look at what you searched and the keywords you entered to find your answer. More than likely you will ask some questions and you will use “long-tail keywords” (which means more than one or two keywords) to request a search. Chances are you will enter a very specific search to find what you are searching for. Your experiment results will be helpful in understanding how a keyword search is done. You will gain insight about how many words are typed into the search box on average for a search and how many different searches you needed to conduct to find what you were looking for.

How to Start Keyword Research and Choose Good Keywords

A great free keyword tool to start building your list of keywords is Google’s Keyword tool. Google’s keyword tool gives you search statistics on your short- and long-tail keywords. The keyword tool can offer suggestions and give you ideas on similar keywords, and Google keyword tool will tell you how many searches the words you input get monthly and whether the competition to rank for the word is high, medium or low. It's amazing to see how many searches are conducted. Here is a link to Google’s keyword tool:

Why Do I Need Keywords?

While technically you don’t need keywords, they are a must-have to help you get found in organic searches on major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Once you have your keywords researched and chosen, you can begin to add them strategically and effectively to your website.