What Are Keywords? I’m Very Glad You Asked.
If you have ever wondered “what are keywords?” or want to know why keywords are especially important to anyone in the card and gift industries then today’s article is for you.
Keywords are vital for any individual or business that promotes or sells online.
Even if you don’t have a website and just use social media keywords are important.
& yes, I do believe they’re very important to card and gift people and this is why.
What Are Keywords?
Keywords are the words and phrases that are key to your business, product or service.
They can be single words or a string of words. The latter is known as long tail keywords, this is when you have 3 or 4 words to describe a very specific thing.
For example “cards” could be a one word keyword, while “retro greeting cards featured on Card & Gift Network” would be a long tail keyword or keyword phrase.
Keyword phrases are also known as search phrases, as these are what people are typing into search engines to find items online.
As you’ll probably know from your own internet searches, these days people tend to use longer strings of keywords to ensure they get more accurate results from search engines.
Keywords therefore are the names, descriptions and specifics that we use to communicate online.
So now you know what keywords are, the next question is do you need them?
The simple answer to this is yes.
There’s a few reasons:
- Keywords enable people to find you and to understand what you do.
- Keywords are the foundation of how people discover almost anything online. Whether it’s through one of the big search engines or an internal search engine on a website, keywords allow people to find things.
- Keywords let search engines send visitors to you.
- Keywords decipher media that search engines don’t understand. At the moment search engines cannot understand images, they use the image name and ALT tags (and whatever keywords are included) to understand what a picture depicts.
Why Keywords Are Especially Vital for Card & Gift Businesses.
At the start of the post I mentioned that keywords were particularly vital for card & gift folks. This is a thought that regularly crops up whenever I see card and gift businesses promoting and selling online.
It comes down to these main reasons:
Marketplaces, Social Media and more.
In the card & gift industry designers and makers often sell beyond their own website. Many new card and gift businesses will start their life on marketplace sites such as Amazon, Etsy, Not on The High Street and countless others.
Marketplaces are a great way to sell online, enabling small businesses to get up and running quickly with little fuss. The downside however is that they’re huge, there’s so many products on these sites that people have to use the search options to find what they’re looking for … and those search facilities need keywords.
Indeed the same set up applies to many online sites that card and gift businesses use to sell and promote online. Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook all have hundreds of millions of user accounts and all have a search facility that enables you to find people on their platforms.
It’s important to note, that while traditional search engines like Google have complex algorithms that can pick up on typos or can recognise similar words or synonyms many websites have very simple search facilities that only work with exactly what a person types in the search box; making the right keywords even more essential.
Alongside our use of search-necessary platforms, the card and gift industry also needs to be keywords-savvy due to competition.
Our industry is big, with lots of players, which means that many businesses are trying to target the same words.
Greeting cards, gifts, gift ideas etc. are all highly competitive phrases. This means that smaller card and gift businesses have to be super smart.
Individuals and indie card & gift businesses have to get specific and look for the long tail keyword phrases. By using long tail phrases they can target a niche audience and don’t have to reply on competing for the one or two word phrases that will often be dominated by bigger companies with bigger budgets.
Not the Best Habits.
I don’t want to make sweeping generalisations because I see a lot of great card & gift businesses every day and I know many card & gift folks are seriously over-worked, but I see quite a few bad habits when it comes to how card and gift folks use keywords, or more accurately how they don’t use keywords.
In the card & gift industry product images are an essential tool for promotion and I get a lot of images sent to me, but I’d say that at least 95% of the time, the images are never labelled with a description. They might occasionally have a product code such as “CP002” but I cannot remember the last time I saw an image labelled (for example) “Handmade Age 30 Birthday Card by The Pretend Card Company”. Even though that description would be vastly more helpful to me, understandable to search engines and exactly what a buyer might be searching for online.
Beyond images, the same lack of keywords occurs in many places from product titles to product descriptions. As a wonderfully creative industry many of the new products launched have amazing range or collection names. Names that evoke the feeling or the inspiration behind the product, and while these are fab they need to be paired with the common sense keywords that spell out exactly what it is. I’ve seen more than my fair share of greeting cards that never use the words “greeting card” in the product name or description, which means that lots of searchers are missing out on ever finding the product online.
OK, Keywords Are Important. So What Now?
Now you understand that basics and can answer the question “what are keywords?” the next step is for you to research what keywords are important to your business and to implement those phrases into your business.
These are 2 important steps and I don’t want to rush them so I will tackle them in future online marketing tips. Keep your eyes peeled for those updates here on the blog, via our Facebook page or by joining the community “Marketing Made Easy” mailing list.