Key Words: What, Why and How – A Simple Explanation

As a writer you know how important it is to selection the correct words to convey a message, feeling or scene. The same is true when marketing your self-published book. Content Marketing is the number one marketing strategy you need to master; the exercise of using words to promote your books.

The foundation of that content marketing process is the key words that clearly represent your books, your voice and will help your target readers find you on the Internet.

What Are Key Words?

Here is a little clearer understanding of the different types of key words from HubSpot:

Let’s see what an example for an author of young adult books might look like:

Broad keywords:

  • Young Adult fiction
  • YA fiction
  • YA novels

Long-tail keywords:

  • Mystery novels for teens
  • Books about zombies invading the earth
  • Fiction story of teen love and loss

Why Use Key Words?

As the graphic display above shows, key words, especially unique long-tail keywords improve your search engine optimization and allow your web pages to rise above the competition.

Using key words in your website content, blog articles and press releases will help to increase your visibility and the association readers have between those words and your work. Changes in how Google sorts and organizing web content now favors content that uses long-tail key words. Long-tail key words mimic the search patterns of users; rather than just searching for a two or three word phrases, we are now typing in entire questions. Here is a great example to explain the process:

If I want to know the answer to a question and I go online, I am typically asking something more specific.

I probably already know who Walt Whitman is or I probably wouldn’t ask about him. I might, however, want to know what year Leaves of Grass, his seminal work of poetry, was released.

I would go to Google and search, “what year did Leaves of Grass come out?”

In the past, Google would most likely crawl webpages for the keyword “leaves of grass”, but with Hummingbird, this has all changed. Google has completely changed how the algorithm works in Hummingbird so that searches are much more organic.

This means that websites with long tail keywords are going to thrive, as they are more typically modeled after solutions or answers to questions.

How Do I Select the Key Word Phrases?

Now that you understand a little more about key words, you’ll want to begin to develop a listing of those phrases that closely represent you and your work. Going back to Hubspot for the answers, they offer these initial tips:

  • What products or services do you offer?Come up with an initial list of the products or services that you offer to your leads and customers. Try to focus on long-tail keywords over broad keywords.  If your company sells shoes, you should create a list of keywords that includes all the different types of shoes you sell. It’s the difference between “shoes” and “nike red running sneakers.”
  • What problems do your leads have that your company can help solve?Create a list of keyword phrases that matches the problems for which potential leads search for solutions. If your company sells iPhone cases that make an iPhone waterproof, your leads would probably be searching using keyword phrases like “Waterproof cases for iPhone” or “How do I waterproof my iPhone?”
  • How would you describe your business to someone who has never heard of your company?Leads might not know all the industry keywords for your products or services. They will instead try searching using keywords that they are familiar with. Also keep in mind that various keywords may vary in different parts of the world. For example, the terms that describe what your company does can vary by region. What is “pop” in one part of the world might be “soda” or “cola” in another part of the world.
  • What common questions do your leads ask?When you read through the blog user guide, you’ll learn that answering your lead’s most common questions in blog posts is a great way to produce quality blog content. Any of your salespeople should be able to tell you what questions their leads ask. Once you identify what these questions are, create a list of keywords that match all the different ways these questions can be asked. Leads typically have questions about what your products or services cost, what features they have, how they can purchase them and what support your company offers.

In future articles we will delve into the science of where to use these key words but you need to understand what they are first. Take time to formulate your list. Don’t be afraid to use key word phrases that are six and seven words long.zombie fiction for teens    Google Search

Test your key word phrases for competition by doing a quick search putting “quote” marks around the phrase. For example: “zombie fiction for teens” only has six websites using those exact words. Scroll to the bottom of the page and you’ll find other key word options you might want to consider:

zombie fiction online

zombie fiction stories

zombie fiction 2014

zombie fiction books

best zombie fiction

free zombie fiction

historical fiction teens

science fiction teens

If you are looking for online tools to help in your research, check out this article that offers 8 Key Word Search Tools.

Bottom line: It is challenging enough to help your book stand out from the competition, why not have your content marketing to be more effective by using the key words your readers are searching.