What is a keyword?

What is a keyword? – Where do you find them? Keyword Discovery is critical.

New to the Make Money Online space and want to understand more about one of the most important tasks that will need to be done – Keyword Research?

Keyword research is essential if we want to have any chance of success. It is not the only element needed but without understanding the concept it makes life extremely difficult. Before we can begin our research, we need to understand the concept of what a keyword is.

A keyword, with regard to computers and the internet, is simply the word or group of words a searcher speaks or types into a search engine.

A Keyword is also a database trigger to help search engines classify content so that it can be presented when someone is looking for that information.

What is Keyword Research?

Knowing the words or phrase the user is going to use is what basic keyword research is all about because understanding this will help us to create content that people want to know about and word it in such a way that it is classified correctly.

Once we discover keywords, we can take this information and research further. In my next post, I will cover researching these keywords.

Keyword Styles

I consider two types of keyword styles – informational and questions.

  • Informational – this usually means that the user knows what the subject is about and needs further information of a more general answer. For example ‘tips to photograph a sunset’.
  • A Question – A question relates to information regarding a particular topic and is phrased as a question. For example ‘how to take good sunset photos’.

In my opinion, the second example is more of a beginners question and should contain basic instructions as well as more advanced tactics. It could include tips, however, the former user is more likely to be looking for tips to improve.

This is my opinion based on what I would expect if I typed the keyword into search. You may consider things differently. Everyone is different and there is no right or wrong way. This is why there are lots of different styles of results in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) and people will write content differently.

I guess the concept of keyword style and wording is a matter of trying to get inside the head of your audience.

Keyword Discovery

Discovering keywords is critical to matching our content with what people are looking for.

We need to try to determine which phrases are most relevant to our audience and whether we need to use one phrase or write multiple posts targeting different versions of a keyword phrase.

Different keyword phrases mean different search results within the SERP results.

How to, Beginners Guide to, Tips to start are all phrases a beginner might use to find information on a topic. The information may be very similar but trying to understand what a user is looking for and whether it is relevant to your audience, can be daunting.

In the past, people would write three blog posts being careful to provide this information in different formats and wording. (If we don’t we will be punished for plagiarism, even though it is our own content.

Today the search engines are very intelligent and most people will now tell you it is better to have one long, thorough post containing all the information rather than three smaller ones.

We must, therefore, choose the most relevant content for our audience and try to discover through research which keywords are the least competitive.

The keyword must make sense.

In the past people may have typed ‘make cake chocolate’ into search, however, using voice search it is more likely words like ‘how to make a chocolate cake’ will be spoken. The latter is a long-tail keyword, it makes sense and will be categorized clearly by the search engines. These are the types of keywords we should be targeting relevant to our niche and audience.

How to find keywords.

There are 5 ways I use to find keywords. No one way is absolutely perfect or correct but if we concentrate on creating content that is thorough and answers all possible questions, then these tools will help us with content Titles, headings, and ideas.

Some people use Google Keyword Planner which is part of Google Adsense. However, I do not use this personally but it is a free option some others recommend. I found the volume too broad and did not see any great benefit if not considering paid advertising. I felt it was just repeating the information I was using within the 5 tools mentioned below.

Keyword Research Tools

  1. Ubersuggest
  2. Jaaxy
  3. Keywords Everywhere
  4. Google & Social Media
  5. My own brainstorming.


Ubersuggest is a free tool created by Neil Patel. I use this first to get an idea of different search wording. The words we personally use may not be what others are using. There are many synonyms for most words.


This tool does have a limited free option, but as I am a member of Wealthy Affiliate I have access to unlimited searches with this tool. I can save finds to lists and even print them out. I am an affiliate for this tool and will write a review at a later date.

You can find more information about Wealthy Affiliate in my review.

Keywords Everywhere.

This is a free chrome extension. As we type into Google Keywords Everywhere helps by giving ideas on search volume on the following:-

a) The actual search term as you type into the search bar.

b) The auto-suggestions in the drop-down list as you type in the search bar.

c) The People Also Asked results

d) Related searched at the bottom of the desktop page

Plus, it suggests related keywords and gives search volume for these as well.

You can then add each of these keywords one after the other into search and continue to gather information. You can select the best for headlines throughout the post and for content creation as well. Keywords can also provide content for image alt tags.


Once Keywords Everywhere is available, it makes your Google search even more informative. I found sometimes ‘People Also Asked’ does not have a lot of search volume, but I do believe if Google is adding it, then people may click rather than actually search in the search bar.

This is one of the reasons that I believe search tools are only a guide to give us ideas and should not be considered the only research source we use.  The results may not necessarily be correct.

Social Media

YouTube and Pinterest are search engines too. We can search their internal search bars to discover keywords. YouTube thumbnails, titles and descriptions contain keywords. Pinterest home page search will also show sub-category boxes to give ideas for keywords.

My own brainstorming

Tools are a guide and as mentioned above the results may not always be 100% accurate, or relevant to your audience. This is why they should be tools to use alongside our research, not instead of research. They do, however, provide a lot of keyword and content ideas.

Even Google search results can be adjusted to suit countries and your own personal searching history. Google is always trying to improve user experience and can be presenting the best match for the individual user, rather than the exact match by topic.

How many keyword variations can I find?

I do believe that using the tools outlined above, you can find hundreds of keywords to use as titles, content ideas, and headings within your blog posts. I have a notebook which I call my treasure chest. It contains every keyword combination that I find for each subject.

This helps me try to cover every question a searcher may have about the topic of my post even if I don’t use the exact wording. Having lots of headers helps readers who wish to skim to quickly discover the sections that they are interested in.

Are long-tail keywords better?

I do believe long-tail keywords are the best. They are often spoken into search and many people now use this option. Using a long-tail keyword does not mean that you cannot rank for the shorter terms or variations of a keyword. It has been suggested that in many circumstances, a long tail keyword can indicate a buyer rather than someone looking for very general information.

Keywords and ranking

Keywords are a part of search engine ranking, but only one part. It is what we do with this information that can make all the difference. We need to find keywords, research them and write content that matches.

SEO and keywords moving forward

I think we may see some changes as we move into the ’20s and I do believe that quality content and the best experience for those who land on our page will be what we should aim for.

I believe that as technologies and habits evolve from obscure to the norm, those that can think ahead of the masses are likely to be the authorities of the future.

However, good content that answers the searchers’ inquiry will always triumph over poor quality content.

For this reason, I believe that if we can do everything we can to cover all the bases in terms of technology and user experience then we will edge ahead of the competition in the future.

Tactics such as video, subtitles on video, hashtags, language translation, links to resources and helpful information and providing quality content that relates exactly to the title of a page, I believe will determine the authoritative sites of the future.

Speech search is the way of the future.

Many people now use speech search as it is easy to speak a longer sentence and get a closer result from the search engines. It saves a lot of sifting through SERP results to find the answer you are looking for. For this reason, I believe longer phrases are more beneficial.


Keywords, as they are the sentence that people may use to find out information, will always be important and I believe that we should target longer more specific keywords rather than short ones. To benefit from keywords we need to produce quality content that answers the search inquiry and use every technology available to present our page and make it the best possible user experience.

You have used various tools and discovered keywords to use in your title, headers, and content. What is the next step?

Keyword Research. You need to discover the best placement of these keywords and how you can make them work for you.

My next post, What is Keyword Research? will cover this in more detail and take our basic research that one step further.

Until then, never stop learning. This online journey is a long process.

kerry ann:


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