Confused About Keywords? Think Like A Reader!

By Rachel Thompson

Last week I discussed branding and got a lot of questions! Mostly about keywords and key phrases — which ones to use. I always say that keywords and key phrases are the foundation of everything you will do to market your work — social media, blog topics, SEO, copy for your Amazon page, advertising, etc….). A quick overview…

Let’s deconstruct.


1. A word or phrase you establish which are the right words or phrases that people would think of when trying find your business, product, service, or in our case, book (Source: Dibbern and Dibbern
2. Keywords are better when they focus on the smallest, rather than the largest categories. 


If there was an easy way to tell you what to pick, I would — but it’s more complicated than that. I can help you though. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What am I most drawn to sharing information about?
  • What am I an expert in?
  • What do I write about?
  • Who is my demographic and/or target audience?

These questions will help you to brainstorm some of the basic facts regarding your interests, your work, and what you want people to associate with you.


Keywords are a way for your to establish your branding. If that scares you, you kinda need to get over it. It’s really just a simple way to manage your audiences’ expectations. Nothing scary, nothing dangerous, nothing to run from, I promise.



Think like your reader: what will they type in to Google or Amazon? This is why keywords matter. If someone types in ‘top nonfiction books’ in Amazon, they get this: Broken Pieces #3 (remember, this is updated hourly so it will change, but my book is usually somewhere in the top five). This goes directly to advertising (using Google AdWords). (I’m no AdWords expert, but I do know it works!)


Everywhere! Your bios on social media and your website/blog, any buy links (Amazon, Barnes & Noble), etc, and as mentioned above, ads. This also helps focus your tweets, Facebook shares, Pinterest boards, and even blog topics.

Think like your reader, and this process shouldn’t be that difficult. Pick five keywords or phrases, and remember, they’re just a guideline. You can always update and change them as you release new books.