Enter your keyword
Search engines are a very powerful tool, both for the average, every day internet user, and doubly for businesses regardless their service and sector. Where users can easily use a search engine to find any information, service or other query amidst the infinite torrent of data, businesses can harness them to ensure users find them, when searching for what they specialize in.
As a result, SEO is a must-have tool in any business’ arsenal. However, even after several years of SEO being employed as a standard in the corporate world, it’s still regarded as something of an arcane magic understood only by elite computer sorcerers. This is the biggest reason most business owners are unsure of the purposes and benefits of a solid keywords suggestion tool.
It’s not their fault. The average business owner can’t really be expected to understand the importance of such a tool, when it’s been made so difficult for them to fully understand the nature of SEO itself. When researching the concept of SEO, one is greeted with endless articles filled with buzzwords, half-meaningless jargon and links to more of the same.
That’s right; SEO is so mysterious to the average person because blatant abuse of SEO itself makes cogent research of the concept nigh impossible. It’s ridiculous.
With all that in mind, it’s high time for the basic mechanics of search engines and the basic principles of SEO to be demystified. Only then can the importance and role of things like a keywords suggestion tool be fully understood and truly appreciated.
Of course, everyone who uses the internet on an at least semi-frequent basis understands the basic concept behind a search engine. One enters a search query, the search engine returns related pages, theoretically in order of relevance. How does this work, though? What are the criteria for relevance to search engines?
Truth be told, the answer to this is a tad muddier than it probably ought to be. The biggest attribute of a website that factors into determining how relevant it is to a search, are how often it contains instances of the keywords contained in a given search.
What exactly is a keyword? In broad terms, a keyword is a word or string of words in a specific order. That’s literally all they really are. They become keywords when they appear frequently enough in Google searches, for Google to log them as such, and begin to track their frequency of search and frequency of appearance in websites.
This is further demystified by a simple example.
Mouse pads are a common need for computer users, and mouse pads wear out. Ergo, there’s always a market for replacement mouse pads. Naturally, there are in turn going to be websites which sell mouse pads.
Users will search Google for “mouse pad” or “mouse pads” often as the need for a new one arises. Google will notice that these are frequently-searched terms. This is when they become proper keywords.
Receiving one of these searches, Google will then go through its data to find the websites that contain the most occurrences of “mouse pad” and “mouse pads”. The higher the count of these, the higher in the result rankings a page should appear.
Of course, this is entirely how it theoretically “should work”, but it’s not quite that simple. Traffic to a site, sites clicked among the search results (and in what order, if the results are revisited) also have a bearing on this as well. There is a reason for this, though.
The abuse of SEO – which will be discussed shortly – would otherwise allow “click bait” websites to simply flood their body text with key words. In that scenario, this would allow them to simply profiteer off of ad views while the user has wasted time and bandwidth on a useless dead-end link.
Armed with an understanding of key words and how searches are prioritized, how exactly does a search engine perform such in-depth comparison and lookup tasks so fast? Google searches tend to take seconds at best, and that’s entirely due to bandwidth issues when it happens.
Well, the answer to that will spoil the magic a little. In reality, Google doesn’t scour the internet on demand, to find these websites. Google has what’s called a cache. Periodically, functions in the Google infrastructure crawl the internet to find new domains, websites and even individual pages. It samples the metadata, titles and text content of a site, and logs this information in a cache database.
When a search is made, Google looks through this cache, rather than scanning the entirety of the internet to find matching results. This is the only way it’s actually possible to return such information at a remotely reasonable speed.
The need to be cached is why a new website will never appear instantly in search results, even if it’s the most relevant page ever.
So, understanding how the searches work, how relevance is determined, and how search engines find the information in the first place, now SEO can be easily grappled with.
SEO, for anyone not aware, stands for Search Engine Optimization. While this might sound like the process of making a search engine faster and more efficient, it’s actually optimizing a website to be noticed by the search engines.
How is this done? Well, knowing what keywords are and how they play into the relevance of a site in search results, this becomes mostly obvious. The largest part of SEO is the proper (and ethical) use of the correct keywords in the website content. This is generally achieved by very skillfully and organically placing these keywords in the text body of a page in a way that they make sense inside said text. Good SEO people understand that any percentage higher than 3-4 of keywords in a text body is abuse of SEO and walks the line of ethicality.
Looking back on the mouse pad example, a website selling these will mention mouse pads somewhere between 3-10 times depending on the length of the text in question. They will also often pepper in alternate versions of this keyword such as “mousepad”, “mouse pads” and “mousepads”.
Along with well-crafted text that reads naturally with these keywords integrated into it, metadata will also often include an instance of the primary keyword and possibly the secondary ones as well. Titles often contain the primary keyword as well. This latter one also attracts the search user when the entry in Google’s results directly says the thing for which they searched.
Now, there’s no point in denying that these were simplified looks at these concepts. There’s of course more to the inner workings of search engines, algorithms at play that further affect relevance of a given result, and of course SEO is in itself a science that can’t be purely explored in such a short piece as this. Still, the most important concepts of each have been laid bare.
With this understanding, the importance and benefit of a keywords suggestion tool can at last be looked at and appreciated. If keywords are the biggest variable that determine the relevance of a website, and keywords are determined, in the long run by user searches … how can one possibly know exactly what users are searching for? Selling mouse pads means said business knows their target demographics are searching for mouse pads. But, exactly how are they wording this term?
What other things are in the search? It’s perfectly likely that users are asking for specific types and/or shapes of mouse pads. They may be looking for specific colors or decorative graphics. Just guessing or trying to cram way too many probably keyword combinations into a page would end in disaster.
This is where a keywords suggestion tool comes in very handy indeed. Google, as said earlier, logs keywords. It also tracks how often these keywords are searched, by what general demographics, in what regions of the world and at what time. This information is transparent to those whom wish to access it.
Of course, while Google also logs what specific users search for, and where they go from the search results, Google does respect privacy, the publicly accessible data limited to what was said before.
While Google offers basic interfaces to look at these analytics, many would argue that these aren’t the most intuitive things to use. Even Google isn’t infallible when it comes to designing web services of course.
Various keywords suggestion tools (and indeed ones for other competing search engines) are intended to make this research much more direct, simple and to the point. With such a tool, users can enter a series of keywords, and find out how popular those keywords are at the time, and even see graphs showing the ebb and flow of their frequency of use. Along with this, they can also see what other keywords are commonly appearing in the same searches at a given time, as well as alternative forms of the originally researched keyword(s) as well.
Armed with this information, a speedy SEO expert can get relevant, informative content out there containing these keywords, to ensure the highest possible ranking (algorithms and traffic measurements willing) they can. This of course benefits the business, as they are more visible, and therefore more likely to be visited by potential customers.
But, it also benefits the customers just as much. It ensures that these potential customers will find what they’re looking for with minimal fuss.
SEO, properly harnessed by the insight provided by these keywords suggestion tools, is therefore not just important to the success of a business, but also the success of the search engine as it’s more capable of delivering the proper, useful information to a user. Of course, a customer would have one heck of a hard time finding exactly what they wanted if such a logical and well-used system weren’t in place to determine what is shown in what order.
Now, one might be thinking, now that this is all well and good, but what about those algorithms and traffic variables mentioned a few times? Surely this keywords suggestion tool’s granting of more powerful, accurate SEO can only go so far if such bogeymen are lurking in the shadows to complicate things, right?
Well, yes and no. it’s impossible to “cheat’ a traffic variable, obviously. However, as a website maintains timely relevance to searches made by its target demographics, the more traffic it will obtain, which will allow it to climb even faster as that traffic variable is no longer such an onerous gate keeper. In the long run, then, that hurdle is just a patience game.
As for algorithms … those unfortunately have to remain mysterious arcane sorcery, unlike SEO. Google and other search engines tend to keep these algorithms close to the vest for understandable reasons. It’s never really clear what the variables in these are, and how these algorithms work. All that is known is the turmoil that results from them being arbitrarily changed.
Many SEO experts believe that at least one of these algorithms is intended to spot the abuse of SEO keywords mentioned earlier, and this does seem likely, given in recent years, such sites are less likely to appear in the first fifty or so pages of results. Others remain a mystery.
Even though these algorithms are an unknown, proper use of SEO, enabled by a good keywords suggestion tool, along with providing excellent content (which is up to the business) is the way to gain popularity and visibility in search results. Everyone else, including big business sites, is just as beholden to the mysterious algorithms. This hasn’t stopped their powerful use of SEO (and massive traffic which was in the long term earned by said SEO) from skyrocketing them to the top.
Anyone can do it, it just takes good content, an understanding of SEO and tools like a keywords suggestion tool. Anyone.