A keyword service is based around the idea of using a phrase which people may search for online. The idea is that using that phrase in a webpage may help it appear higher up in search engine rankings. This can be particularly useful when attempting to attract readers to a page for commercial reasons such as promoting a product or selling advertising on a website.
The most important keyword service is to identify the most appropriate keyword for a website. At one time this simply involved using a combination of judgment and lucky guessing. Today there are more accurate measures including online services which can take a subject and then tell you which terms people are using most often when searching for relevant information.
These services can be particularly useful, as an expert may not realize the types of term people will look for. For example, the general public will often use generic or slang expressions for a product or service rather than its technically correct name. People often also search using terms which relate to their experience of a product or service rather than using terms from the perspective of the service provider. For example, people may look for “fix my lawnmower” or “broken lawnmower” rather than “lawnmower repair”.
Another type of keyword service is keyword writing. This is where a writer is hired to produce an article which contains the keyword a set number of times. This article will then be published online in the hope of attracting visitors through search engines. This practice is often called keyword optimization or search engine optimization.
There are a wide variety of styles for keyword writing. In some extreme cases, sites will use computer programs to create articles with the words, working on the basis that it doesn’t matter how interesting or readable the article is as long as it has the correct number of keywords. At the other extreme, a writer will be asked to write an article which is worthwhile and informative in its own right, then tweak it just enough to get the desired keyword mentioned enough times.
One of the most important variables in keyword services is keyword density. This is the number of times a word appears, divided by the total number of words in the article or page. In the past, some search experts advised using a very high keyword density to try to get to the top of the search engine rankings.
Today most search engines use so many other factors, such as how many sites link to the page in question, that keyword density is not so important. In some cases, search engines can penalize a page which uses a keyword too often as it is seen as an attempt to “cheat” the system. Of course, doing this can also make for clumsy writing. Today people offering keyword services are more likely to suggest a low keyword density, for example using a keyword once for every one hundred words of text.