Keywords and Their Function: A Beginner’s Guide to SEO

For a beginning marketer, the sheer volume of terms involved in online business success can be overwhelming, terms such as keywords, SEO (search engine optimization), lead generation and conversion. For most new online marketers it takes weeks and sometimes months of study and trial-and-error application of the principles of SEO to begin seeing positive results. This often difficult learning curve causes many new marketers to become discouraged and abandon their quest for online business success before they ever get started.

The truth is that online marketing and SEO are not that difficult, once you learn the basics. Understanding that the bedrock of search engine optimization is keywords is your first step toward online marketing and affiliate marketing success. This article will explain in the simplest terms what keywords are and how they function, allowing any marketer with drive and consistency to reach the level of online success they desire.

However, let’s put first things first, by answering the question, what is SEO, or search engine optimization? The key to understanding SEO is putting the emphasis on the word “optimization.” SEO simply means optimizing your chances of having search engines pick up your information, ultimately landing said information on the first page of results a potential client will receive in response to the words they type into the search engine. The words typed into the search engine are called “keywords.”

To make things truly simple, below is a keyword and one of the hypothetical journeys it could take to arrive on the first page of Google search results:

• An online marketer is selling dog houses. He sets up an online store, website and/or a blog. He adds the dog houses he wants to sell to his online store, with links to the store on his website or blog, as ways to offer potential clients the ability to buy his product. Every day, he writes blog posts on his blog using the keywords “dog houses.” He tags each blog post with his keywords. He writes and submits articles to articles directories, spreading the keywords throughout the text of the article in a natural fashion, with links to his online store, website and/or blog. He repeats these steps on a regular basis over a period of weeks and months. During this time the marketer may also apply other forms of SEO. For instance, he may build readership to his blog by signing up subscribers to a newsletter about dogs or dog houses, or becoming a member of and posting on forums for dog lovers.

• A consumer using Google as their search engine of choice wants to buy a dog house. They type these words into the search box. Dozens and dozens of pages of results involving the term “dog houses” will become available to the consumer. If the online marketer has done his job well, his online store, website and/or blog will show up on the first page of Google results. The customer will click on the link of that result and be led to the marketer’s dog house store, website or blog. The marketer begins making sales.

Basic SEO is as simple as the above scenario. However, you must remember that as a beginning marketer, understanding the function of keywords is your only concern. Down the road, you will likely want to learn PPC (pay-per-click), a form of advertising involving keywords, and many of the other forms of SEO, but for now, don’t confuse the issue. As a novice, you don’t need to overwhelm yourself with myriad IM (internet marketing) terms. SEO is effective and can even be fun, but the brutal truth is that many beginning marketers fail for one simple reason–they fall victim to information overload and never take action.

Your job as a beginning marketer is to take it one step at a time, to simply make a start, however small. Hopefully this article will help you do just that…begin.


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