What Are Keywords and How Do They Work

Nov 15, 2022
Cafe Saying What Are Keywords And How Do They Work

Today I’m going to help you finally get your head around what keywords are and how they work.

I’m going to explain what keywords are and how they work, and then I’m going to show you how they work and how they help you get more traffic (aka visitors) to your website so you get more leads and, ultimately, customers.

Oh, and there’s no tech today - I just want you to follow along and put yourself in the shoes of the business owners we’re going to use as examples.

Why don’t you see if you can apply the principles to your own business?

What Is A Keyword?

Ok, so here’s your first task. I want you to imagine that you’ve got a shop, a good old-fashioned brick-and-mortar affair.

Let’s say it’s a candle shop.

You’ve fitted it all out, and it smells gorgeous. Your shelves are lined with beautiful candles, and you’re feeling really excited about welcoming your first customers and watching your business take off.

So, you open your shop doors, and you wait, and you wait, but no one comes in to buy anything.

Well, every now and again, you get a visitor. Someone stumbles in to ask for directions, or your best friend drops in to buy a present for her Mum.

But it’s no more than a dribble, and now you’re getting worried.

It’s expensive to run a shop. You got bills to pay and loan interest to worry about. If things carry on like this, you're going to have to give up the dream.

So, you fall into the entrepreneurial spiral of doom.

You start wondering what’s wrong with you. Is it because you’re a terrible businesswoman? What is it you’re doing wrong? Maybe you’re not cut out for this?

Or, of course, it could be the candle's fault! 

They’re the wrong size, or smell, or they’re not as good as other people’s candles.

And if it’s not you, or your candles, then it must be your customers - they’re too fussy, or too tight, or too hipster or too traditional!!!

But actually, your tragic lack of footfall has nothing to do with you, your product, or your customers.

You just haven’t told anyone about what you’re doing.

So you take a look at your shop, and lo and behold, there’s no sign above your door, the windows are still whitewashed, and there are no labels on your candles!

  • No one knows you’re open for business
  • No one knows where your shop is
  • And no one knows what you sell.

So, what are you going to do?

  • Put up a shop sign
  • Create a window display
  • Label all your candles
  • Get a marketing plan

Yes, they’d all be really good things to do if you want customers to visit your shop and buy from you.

And you know what, if we were talking about an online business, those things, your shop sign and your labels, they’re your keywords!

Keywords are what tell people what your business is all about.

They tell people what you’re selling, and they show people where your shop is.

So let’s go back to the candle shop example again.

But this time, it’s an online biz.

You’ve built your website and created a lovely online shop to sell your candles.

But just like your bricks-and-mortar buddy, you’re not seeing the sales you hoped for.

So, you’ve started selling candle-making kits and doing online courses to help boost sales, but you’re still only getting a dribble of cash coming in, and it’s not enough to keep you in business.

So, yup, you spiral down and start blaming yourself, your horrible website and your non-existent clients and in your darkest 4.00 am moments, contemplate giving it all up and go back to a J.O.B where you don’t need to worry about all this stuff.


The universe isn’t having any of that, so you see an invite to a free keyword workshop on your Instagram feed, and after watching it, you realise that there might not be anything with you or your business after all.

Just like your bricks-and-mortar sister, you’re just not telling anyone you exist, what you sell, or where they can find you.

You’re essentially the internet’s best-kept candle secret.

But you learn that keywords tell the internet all about you and your candles, and the penny drops. 

Keywords are your shop sign, your window display, and your marketing plan; all rolled into one.

They tell people what you do and how to find your shop, and you realise that without them, you’re going to stay unseen.

So, how do keywords work?

So now you know that keywords are what tell people what you do; let’s look at HOW they do that.

Let’s leave the candles for now and look at another example.

Let’s morph you into a wellness coach.

So, you live in Hertfordshire and run an online business helping women balance their hormones. 

You specialise in diet, nutrition and mindfulness to help your clients feel good about themselves again.

You’ve got your classic dribble of clients, but you’ve just heard about keywords, and all of that is about to change!

So, how are you going to get more clients by using keywords?

You do your keyword research and find some cracking keywords that are perfect for your biz, and let’s say you decide to focus on getting more traffic to your services page because that’s the one you want most people to visit! 

This page is all about your 30-Day Hormone Balancing Coaching package, and you’ve found some amazing keywords for that subject and optimised your page with them.

So Google sends its bots out and picks up the new information on your page. They can now see your page is specifically about Hormone Balancing Coaching Packages, and it goes back to Google HQ and puts your website page in its index.

Just imagine it writing up a little white library index card that says your page is about Hormone Balancing Coaching and popping it away in the Hormone Balancing Coaching drawer.

Now, Sarah from Edinburgh, a perimenopausal mess, is on her knees and needs help big time with balancing her hormones.

So she goes to Google and types in Hormone Balancing Coaching. Google quickly looks at its index to find the best pages that give good information on Hormone Balancing Coaching - and ta-dah, it finds your website page!

So, Google pops your pages on the 1st Page of Google and Sarah from Edinburgh clicks on the link to your page, reads all about your coaching packages and clicks the link you’ve got on your page to book a discovery call.

Now, there is ALOT more to it (i.e. 200 factors of the Google Algorithm!), but fundamentally that’s how it works!


Here’s how it works again…

Step 1: Find your keywords.

Step 2: Put them on your pages and in your content.

Step 3: Get your pages and content indexed by Google.

Step 4: Rank well in the Search Results.

Step 5: Get more traffic (visitors) to your website.

Step 6: Over time, nurture your new leads and convert them into paying customers

Putting the right keywords for your business in strategic spots on your website will get you found by the right people, aka. people who want to buy your products and services!

If you don’t have the right keywords on your website or in your content (your blogs, youtube videos etc.), people won’t be able to find you.

Google won’t know what you’re about and won’t include you in the best search engine results because it doesn’t know how you can help its customers.

So the long and short of it is,,, you need some keywords, and you need to know what to do with them!

Want to know more about how to find keywords?

If you want some more help with getting your head around what keywords are and how to actually find them, you might want to take a look at my blog, which gives you all the tools and help you need to get started with doing some SEO keyword research.


S. x

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