Why Keywords Are Alive and Well

By John R. Aberle | Internet Marketing

Apr 20
Screen capture of SEOBook Keyword search on dog food showing CPC

Keywords are alive and well provided you use them correctly. Periodically, you will find some article saying that this or that doesn’t work any longer, e.g. Google no longer ranks you on keywords. Thus, all that SEO (search engine optimization) software you bought five years ago no longer works under Google Hummingbird, Google Panda or Google Penguin.

Screen capture of Google Search for "Keywords"

Google Search for “Keywords”


Search Engine Algorithms Now Downplay Value of Keywords

And to some degree, that is true because Google has made major changes to its search engine algorithm and how it ranks. To understand why this is, realize that Google’s business depends on ad revenue so Google must help the searchers find the best results relevant to their search. Despite these changes, keywords are still relevant to your search efforts.

But your focus needs to be the same as Google’s. What words and phrases are people searching for? And what are they really looking for?

As a marketer, it takes discipline to think like your prospects. What do they really want to know and how do they ask the search engine? The same holds true for Microsoft Edge, Yahoo! and YouTube as well as Google.

Look for a Long-Tailed Keyword

Since the major search engines, especially Google – and in a slightly different manner, YouTube, are looking for relevant, high quality articles and videos, they use indirect means to determine which articles and videos are quality by tracking engagement and “watch time.” This shifts away from the simple number of clicks which you can get with clever thumbnails and great titles. Those can hide a weak article, like a great façade to a building can conceal a slum inside.

So, your challenge is to find topics that people are really interested in and then provide real value in what you write. The first task is to ferret out what they really are searching for.

Above all else, remember when looking for a good keyword that people search for answers to their problems, seldom for the solution. When someone searches for a brand name or specific solution, they are more knowledgeable than the average searcher and typically have become a price shopper looking for the lowest price.

There are several ways to determine the most popular keywords.

  • Join forums and groups to see what people ask about
  • Look at community-driven question-and-answer (Q&A) website services, like the following:
    • Yahoo! Answers
    • Ask.com
  • Look at the suggestions the major search engines provide in a drop-down menu of other popular search terms based on the keyword or keyword phrase you started with. (An example follows below based on searching for “email marketing.”
  • Look at Amazon for popular terms (recommended by other marketers)
  • Use a keyword search tool like the one SEO Book provides.


Screen capture of Email Marketing Search on YouTube


Email Marketing Search on YouTube


As mentioned above, use the major search engines to help you discover the words people search on. Type in the main topic you want to research then look at the long-tail keywords that the search engine brings up for you. For instance, searching for “email marketing” on YouTube resulted in the following long-tail keywords:

  • Email marketing
  • Email marketing tutorial bangla
  • Email marketing tutorial
  • Email marketing tips
  • Email marketing best practices
  • Email marketing training
  • Email marketing course
  • Email marketing business
  • Email marketing campaign
  • Email marketing tools

A long-tail keyword is a keyword phrase that is three or more words long. Usually, the longer the keyword, the better prospect they are for purchasing because they have a better understanding of what they need and want. For example, “weeklong family camping trip in Northern California”



Screen capture of Amazon Book Categories - Business & Money

Amazon Book Categories – Business & Money



Use Amazon Search

Several successful book marketers have suggested using Amazon to search for what people care about, especially books. For instance, when you search on books, you will find a list of major categories on the left sidebar with the total number of books within each category. You can click on a category to drill down to the next level and even the next level after that.

There are several insights you can get from this:

  • The amount of competition in any category or subcategory
  • The subjects that are selling well (obviously, a factor of the title, cover design and description – to determine quality, look for the star ratings on individual books)
  • Reading the reviews tells you what people like and dislike

Screen capture of SEOBook Keyword Research for Email Marketing

SEOBook Keyword Research for Email Marketing



SEOBook Free Keyword Tool

While the suggestions from the search engines are fast and easy, they don’t provide much information beyond a few suggestions for other related terms. A more in-depth analysis of keywords requires a tool like SEOBook. The wonderful thing about this free tool is that you can get significant amounts of useful information, such as the following:

  • Keyword – as many combinations of the words you submitted as have any volume of monthly searches
  • Monthly searches
  • Daily searches
  • Google daily searches
  • Bing + Yahoo! daily searches
  • CPC (cost per click) – estimated keyword bid price on Google
  • Several other results as well including separate values for the UK.


Screen capture of SEOBook Keyword search on dog food showing CPC

SEOBook Keyword search on dog food showing CPC



Value of Cost per Click Information

From the SEOBook Free Keyword Tool, the first thing you will look for is a long-tailed keyword that you might want to write about. Then you look at the number of searches per month for that term. Normally, you will want at least 1,000 searches per month to be worthwhile.  

Now, you want to look at the cost per click (CPC). Although the search engines don’t give you CPC when you do a search on them, it is exceptionally valuable intelligence for any marketer because it tells you which keyword phrases convert to sales.

Moreover, Gina Gaudio-Graves, the JV Queen and Dean of Directions University, and an accomplished Internet marketer points out that “Those keywords with the highest cost per click and that have the highest searches are keywords related to a problem, not to a solution.”  Furthermore, “if the cost per click isn’t a decent value, then nobody’s making money on that keyword. If someone else is making money on it, you probably can too.”

Even though keywords are of negligible value today for Search Engine Optimization, they can be very insightful for what people are interested in, giving you the opportunity to write about topics that they will open in their emails or engage with your social media posts and videos. Be sure to focus on the problem then deliver a benefit in your post.

Open your heart in selling,

John's digital signature written with mouse
John R. Aberle


For help improving your Internet marketing with a focus on achieving a “Lifestyle Business” and on succeeding with a profitable business that you are passionate about, join Gina Gaudio-Graves and Jack Humphrey in their Motivation to Profit Program at Directions University.


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About the Author

I have a strong love for small businesses, especially brick and mortar companies. After an 18-year career in sales and marketing, I started my own service company, which I grew in both sales and profits for the first five years. In my sixth year, the bottom dropped out of the printer market such that it made more sense to sell my assets and return to Southern California. There I went to work for an international small business consulting company. I spent over three years on the road with them helping small businesses to become more profitable and better managed. I then started my own company specializing in sales and marketing consulting, coaching and training. My emphasis is on heart-centered, relationship selling that empowers prospects to make their own choices.