The Keywords Abide: A Primer
A primer on keywords and how to incorporate them effectively
“I’m the Dude. So that’s what you call me. You know, that or, uh, His Dudeness, or, uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.” —Jeffery Lebowski
A keyword encapsulates the essence of a given topic. If one were to type “The Dude” into a search engine, hundreds of thousands of results would appear relating to one of the finest examples of American cinema ever created, “The Big Lebowski.”
Out of the more than 20,000 words in the Cohen brother’s script, just one word unlocks the entirety of the Internet’s content on the subject. That’s the beauty of keywords. They help users find and share content of all kinds easily.
How Keywords Relate to My Order
When a Textbroker client asks for specific keywords to be included in an order, it typically means the client has identified these as a terms Internet users commonly search for on Google or other search engines. The goal is to incorporate these terms into the content so that the client’s Web page will rank higher in the search results.
Let’s say you are writing an order about bowling balls. In this hypothetical, the client has identified the term “bowling ball repair” as a frequently searched for term and requires that term be used three times in the order. By doing this, the client is hoping that, when Internet users search for “bowling ball repair,” their content will pop up as one of the top results, driving traffic to the page and increasing sales.
Creating Your Own Keywords
Occasionally, a client will ask authors to create keywords to include in the order. Try to include a variety of keywords, both targeted and broad. For example, if you are writing an order about making your own “Big Lebowski” costumes, targeted keywords could be “Big Lebowski costume,” “The Dude” or “Jeff Bridges outfits.” Broader keywords could be “Do it yourself,” “Halloween costumes,” or “Movie costumes.”
One of the easiest ways to come up with keywords for an order is to search for relevant pages on Google. Think about what words you would search to find useful websites on the given topic, and use those as keywords.
Tag, You’re It!
Meta tags are related to keywords insomuch as they help users find the content they need. However, meta tags are typically one word each. They tell the search engines and users what a particular website or blog post is about. While keywords are meant to catch users who might not have a specific site in mind, meta tags help users find more specific results.
Our e-Retail team, for example, requires that authors include five meta tags at the end of every order. It is important to remember that the meta tags are more specific, single words that describe exactly what the content is about. If you are writing an order about rug cleaning that requires you to include meta tags, consider tags such as “Oriental,” “steam clean,” “stains” or “rug.”
It is important to note that keywords come directly from the client. Textbroker has little to no control over the keywords required in each order. A client may decide that because so many people search for “make white Russian,” they want that exact phrase to appear in the order. Authors will never be penalized for using improper grammar or misspellings in keywords. It would not be easy to incorporate “make white Russian” naturally into an order, but try your best to do so.
One way a client can help alleviate this is to allow for inflections and stop words with keyword phrases. Inflections allow a keyword to be adjusted slightly in order to make grammatical sense. Using the previous example, with inflections allowed, the keyword phrase could be altered to “making white Russians.” The plural form of the keyword phrase may make more sense within the context of the order. With the allowance of stop words, authors can insert small connecting words within the keyword phrase to help it flow more naturally. For example, an author could write the previous keyword phrase as “make your own white Russian.” A list of acceptable stop words can be found at the end of this article.*
Please note that the TB system allows a maximum of four words per keyword phrase. If a provided keyword phrase contains four words, you will not be able to add stop words, even if stop words are permitted.
Nobody’s perfect. There will be times when a keyword is misspelled or an order contains a duplicate keyword. If you ever have concerns about a keyword, please always reach out to the client for DirectOrders and self-service client orders. If the problem occurs within a TeamOrder, send an email with your questions and concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org. In any communication related to a specific order to either the client or Textbroker staff, be sure to include the eight-digit order ID number.
As an author, it is more important to understand why keywords — and meta tags — work than it is to understand how they work. A little extra research on the subject will help you create spot-on keywords that please clients, leading to more work and better pay. Using quality keywords will really tie the whole order together.
*The following stop words are permitted:
a, able, about, across, after, all, almost, also, among, an, and, any, are, as, at, be, because, been, but, by, can, cannot, could, did, do, does, either, else, ever, every, for, from, get, got, had, has, have, her, hers, him, his, how, however, if, in, into, is, it, its, just, least, let, like, may, might, most, must, my, neither, no, nor, not, of, off, often, on, only, or, other, our, own, said, say, says, she, should, since, so, some, than, that, the, their, then, there, these, this, to, too, wants, was, were, what, when, where, which, while, who, whom, why, will, with, would, yet, your