Keywords are More than a Side Dish

Keywords are More than a Side Dish

Making a Wholesome meal out of keywords


Keywords Are a First Ingredient

Far too often I encounter a project that needs to consider keywords. The story is common, it happens in every industry. A marketing director hands down an initiative to overhaul keyword strategy. The Director’s marching order is carried out, and new keywords are implemented. Time passes, but no new results surface. The initial thought is always that the wrong keywords must have been emphasized. This sends the team back to revise, and eventually they wind up in the same place again. In many cases, it turns out that just a few simple steps were overlooked, and a better strategy is waiting to be uncovered.

Another approach is to build the message around the keywords, and retool the old message completely. One tactic is to start with the existing message, and reduce that idea down to a few simple keywords. Think of them as the core letters of the alphabet that will create the entire brand communications library.

Cook the Message Down to Reveal Keywords


Having keywords is phase one, phase two is boiling down the core values of the brand to the bare bones. Even after reducing the message, the keywords are still in raw form. All aspects of a brand’s communication should say 

the same thing in unison, which should be the goal. Continuity across all channels keeps the message clear and potent. When keywords are sprinkled in after the message has simmered, the entire message could suffer from over seasoning.

Set the Table with Keywords


Rather than thinking of keywords as a bullet point that must be added to each paper, website, blog, or advertisement; consider they are actually potent doses of brand value. When you concentrate value into keywords, the message is simplified making it easier for everyone to understand. Words are symbolic, words are empowering, and when the correct ones are applied to explain the quality of a brand, more people can experience it, and spread the word.

“If you’re trying to create a company, it’s like baking a cake. You have to have all the ingredients in the right proportion.” -Elon Musk

Let the Keywords Breathe

keywordsNo one likes a chef who over seasons the meal, by the same token, this logic applies to messaging. If the directive is truly to uncover effective keywords, be sure to take the time to revise the supporting message around them and throw away anything that is detracting from the message.  Avoid any descriptor that gets in the way of the keywords making sense. This is also an excellent point in the process, to consider how to tell the brand story in a more visual way. Our world market is expanding, and images transcend language barriers, thus opening business up to everyone across the globe. Think about how those keywords can be brought to life, and allow the creativity to channel from there.


Why not make a delicious meal that works for everyone’s diet? Start with fresh ingredients that are the essence of the brand, and slowly mix in added value across all channels evenly. Avoid cutting corners, and don’t be afraid to start over again the right way; it truly is the most direct path to success.

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