Choosing Keywords for Your NewsletterThe most important part in all of your email newsletter marketing activities is choosing the right keywords for it. Keywords are the terms or phrases your target readers would search for to find information you are writing about in your newsletter.

To get started, list just 3 phrases (each consisting of 2-5 words) that you think would be the best terms to associate with your email newsletter when someone is using a search engine.

Why not use just single-word terms? Because they are too general and they also have too much competition. Keep in mind that longer search phrases are much more specific to what you are covering, making them more targeted and therefore leading to better conversion rates. Those who search with shorter keywords (1-2 words) are most likely just curious or don’t have a specific subject in mind whereas those who search with longer keywords are normally searching for something very precise. If your newsletter provides relevant content to what they are seeking, then you have a very good shot of making them a new subscriber.

It’s not all about the length though. It’s more about how specific your keywords are and their uniqueness opposed to more common search terms.. Even if it’s just a one word (for example, a rare product name or a unique book title) it still might be the most specific one. Try creating the most precise keywords possible. Answer this simple question: “What is your newsletter about? Now take a look at how you answered. Your keywords are there!

Usually it doesn’t take too long to find those 3 most important keywords for someone who knows his/her subject. However, if you are having trouble coming up with them, there are special keyword suggestion tools that are provided by all major search engines. Here are the most popular ones:

Google keyword suggestion tool
Overture (Yahoo) keyword suggestion tool

Type in the main word of what your email newsletter is about and it will give you many different suggestions. Those are the actual keywords people search for associated with the word you chose. These tools will even give you the search volume data for the keywords they suggest. This can be quite helpful in determining which keywords to use as you can see how popular each option is and select those that more people actually search.

Most of the keywords are very competitive so there is no need to optimize for them. However, you still need to get the ball rolling so the keywords that this process turns up just might be the ones you want to use eventually. Look to see if any of the results match what you think your keywords should be and expand these until they are terms people would search AS IS that would be relevant to your newsletter. For example, if your area of expertise is real-estate marketing, you would want to modify the keywords to be either real-estate marketing letter; or real estate internet marketing; real estate marketing online; real estate marketing tips; marketing real estate website; or real estate email marketing. Another keyword you might find useful from the list is: marketing for real estate agent. Those would be your best keywords. Check a competition level for each and choose less competitive ones.

Competition can be checked with many different ways. Here are the easiest ones:
Type the entire keyword in quotes in the Google or Yahoo search engine (example: “marketing for real estate agent”) and see how many pages are there (the number is in the upper-right corner of the results page). Also the above-mentioned keyword tool from Google gives the advertisers competition for the keyword which is also a good indication how competitive the keyword is.


Yahoo’s SERP:


Google keyword suggestion tool:


One more thing: be careful with professional jargon if your newsletter is for a wide, general audience. Your “average Joe” prospect might not know these terms. On the other hand, if your email newsletter is intended only for professionals in your field it is a good idea to use jargon to make sure only those who really understand your subject will subscribe to your email newsletter.

Make sure you have your 3 best keywords (each consisting of 2-5 words) before you read the next article of this blog’s Newsletter Marketing section because everything we will talk about from now on will rely on your chosen keywords. Until next time.

Shavkat Karimov
Director, Online Marketing
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