Key Words Help Online Prospects Find You

Key Word Basics

Who are your people?  When you are presenting your services via online marketing, what words might potential customers type into a search engine like Google for the problem you solve, the issue you address, or your book or web site that answers their questions?  Identifying key search terms specifically targeting your niche will help you attract the people who are looking for the answers, solutions, and issues for which your books and resources address the need.

In search engines, key words are the search terms that people type in to find the information they need or the problem them want to solve. If you have a book or other info product, ideally you will have one or more key words related to your book’s subject matter in the title, making the book findable to the people who will be searching online for this information or resource.

For example, Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual is a book title that is key word and search engine friendly.

What follows is a list of resources that report on how many searches are conducted for various words and phrases in key word searches. Some of these tools break out search counts by search engine.  The most general search terms will have millions of searches.  Ideally you want to focus with specificity within your niche.  There are experts and strategies for sharpening your key word strategy, but these tools will get you started.

Spacky is a free and basic key word search tool. It pulls in data about searches from several different search engines.

KWmap is a site where you can see search results visually in a kind of mind-map string of terms that flow from your central (or seed) term.  Then the terms are listed alphabetically. Often by starting with the most general term, you will be able to identify the specific string of key words that most closely match your topic.

At Spyfoo, you can also get a reading on the popularity of search terms by seeing how much it costs to buy them on a pay-per-click basis.

Wordtracker has a free key word search tool, but they also sell by subscription. (Obviously you can more deeply analyze the data using their fee-based version.) WordTracker’s free key word search tool is:

In addition, Wordtracker offers free how-to articles from experts and info at  They also offer books for sale by some of their expert contributors.   is a round-up of several articles specifically about keyword research.

You’ll also find their free ebook guide to key word research at: