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The Four Types of Keywords: Why They Matter

SEO keywords are vital tools in crafting an online marketing strategy. They primarily shape content to help your website rank high in search engines. The correct search keywords serve as a user’s gateway to your business’s products and services. They give you an idea of what ranks, and how you can rank in search engine results pages (SERPs). But what are keywords exactly? What do they specifically do?

Keywords are words or phrases that guide a search engine in delivering results from the overall topic of the content. Search engines like Google developed different algorithms to browse through millions of pages of content to give users specific answers to their questions.

SEO Keyword Search and the Importance of Keyword Analysis

SEO keyword search is about finding all the possible queries related to your business and your potential customers’ needs. It requires a keen understanding of your brand and your customers’ search intent.

Google and other search engines scan content and rank a website based on the keywords relevant to a user’s search intent. An SEO campaign begins with this in mind. Researching and selecting keywords are the basics of SEO as they help you execute the following:

  • Designing your website
  • Boosting your website’s homepage and landing pages
  • Organizing your products and service pages
  • Structuring your blog

Writing blog posts and creating successful content begins with keyword search, followed by keyword analysis. The different types of keywords help introduce your content better to search engines. Keyword analysis ensures that your keywords are relevant to your business. It should be a top priority when creating content because of the following:

  • Google’s algorithms pluck out unwanted websites based on content.
  • It provides you with a better understanding of your products and services.
  • You reach more of your target audience and drive traffic to your website.
  • It gives you an overview of the interests of your demographic and different types of search engines.

Here are some of the elements that you should consider when conducting keyword analysis:

1. Keyword Value

Remember that your search keywords are valuable to your target audience. For example, using common words as your keywords will likely attract more audiences than highly unique keywords derived from words that are not used in everyday conversations.

It is also safe to check the top-ranking sites with the exact keywords. Compare the keyword’s performance – if it attracted a good amount of website traffic, then that particular keyword will be beneficial to your content because there is a high search intent for it.

2. Ranking Expectations

Aside from making sure that the keyword you are using has value to the search intent of your target audience, it is also important that you check the expectations of the search ranking that you aim to achieve. A high ranking on search engines does not happen within a day or even a month, especially when using highly competitive keywords.

Your website is not ranking higher despite using the right keywords because your website does not have domain authority. Continue creating quality content and focus on central topics like industry-specific topics that will eventually attract your demographic and cause impressive traffic to your website.

3. Topic Importance

Speaking of website traffic, the best way to attract consumers and audiences to your website is to create popular and important topics to the common search intent. Find out the frequently asked questions regarding your industry or your services. People tend to visit websites that can immediately answer their questions.

With the arrival of new algorithm updates – passage indexing, for instance – in Google, it is best to provide well-researched content that is coherent. Ensure that all aspects of the topic are captured to give the content a higher chance of becoming a featured snippet in Google’s search engine.

Short-tail vs. Long-tail Keywords: A Quick Guide

When you start working with search engine optimization and keyword analysis, you may often come across short-tail keywords and long-term keywords. Before getting into the specifics of the different SEO types of keywords, do know that long-tail and short-tail keywords are umbrella terms for all keywords.

Short-tail keywords or focus keywords refer to the keywords that consist of three words or less. It is also known to refer to broad topics. Because of this, short-tail keywords are the kind of SEO types of keywords that are often popular, high-volume search terms. However, the downside to short-tail keywords is that they are very broad, and continuous use of them can be overshadowed by brands or businesses that can buy ads.

On the other hand, long-tail keywords are the opposite of focus keywords. These are the target-specific keywords that consist of three or more words. The term “long-tail” refers to the long tail of unpopular searches as conducted by Ahrefs.

Long-tail keywords are the better option if you want your content to stand out. The more unique your keywords are, the easier people will find your content. However, if you are a beginner at search engine optimization, it’s best to familiarize yourself with short-tail keywords first.

Kinds of Keywords in SEO

How many types of keywords in SEO? SEO specialists divide keywords into four types: navigational keywords, informational keywords, commercial keywords, and transactional keywords.

These four types are considered the primary forms of keywords and can be broken down into different categories. Knowing these keywords can help you, the content creator, know what are keywords that can launch your content into the highest rank of search engines.

1. Navigational Keywords

Simply put, navigational keywords are long-tail keywords that instruct search engines to lead queries to pages that aim to navigate. For instance, if you are looking for directions and use keywords such as “near me,” most often than not, you have been using this particular type of long-tail keywords.

Unlike the other types of keywords SEO, navigational keywords are limited in terms of optimization. In most cases, people using this keyword already have a brand in mind before searching for answers for their query. For example, “Barnes and Noble book deals.” This means that if you want your content to impact search engine results, you should not rely on this type of keyword alone.

2. Informational Keywords

Informational keywords are the most commonly used types of keywords in SEO. Guides and tutorials often use this keyword. After all, these are keywords used when searching for general inquiries and answers.

Using this type of keyword usually happens when the user already has a particular query in mind. For example, “how to knit a jacket.”

3. Commercial Keywords

The use of commercial types of keywords in SEO is mostly focused on revealing the user’s interest in a specific brand or product. Commercial keywords are often used when people want to know more or research a particular product.

Listicles, comparison articles, and reviews are the most shared content that can benefit from this type of keyword. If your content involves selling merchandise, this particular keyword should be maximized for search engine optimization.

4. Transactional Keywords

Transactional keywords are almost similar to commercial ones because they pertain to the user’s relationship and their preferred brand. The difference is that transactional keywords are used when a user wants to buy a specific product.

Out of all the SEO types of keywords, this particular one has a higher chance for conversions, which means you can make money by maximizing these forms of keywords, especially if your brand involves selling merchandise.

Now that you have an idea of what these four common kinds of SEO keywords are, it is best to apply them in content creation. Compare the ranking of your content once you have successfully applied these keywords.

Although there are other kinds of keywords – mostly those other types are more business- or market-oriented – you will still need these four types to succeed in SEO and digital marketing. Think of these four forms of keywords as the basics. No matter how much experimentation and tweaks you do on your SEO strategy, you will always have to use them as the backbone of your content.

Other Kinds of Keywords Search in SEO

As mentioned, digital marketing professionals use other forms of keywords to make sure that their brand or business ranks high in search engines. Unlike the first four types, the following are mostly business and industry-specific keywords.

1. Market Segment Keywords

Market segment keywords are often broad keywords referring to a whole industry. A market segment refers to people that are grouped for marketing. This is an important step in marketing because you will have an idea of the overall interest of your demographic.

While creating market segments can be beneficial to your digital marketing campaign as a whole, market segment keywords are a bit difficult for search engine optimization. Market segment keywords are not enough to have your website rank higher on search engines.

2. Customer-Defining Keywords

Customer-defining keywords are more specific and can help your content reach your target audience. These keywords describe the customer. For example, “Spam musubi recipes for college kids.”

The success of using customer-defining keywords relies on how much you know your target market. It is easier to build connections with your audience through your products when you know their interests.

3. Product Keywords

Product keywords are another specific type of industry-based keywords. This particular type includes specific brands or services. Using product keywords can easily connect your content with people specifically searching for information about a specific brand. For example, “second hand Gibson Les Paul guitar.”

4. Competitor Keywords

Competitor keywords contain words about a particular brand or popular competitor. For instance, if your product is Apple, a competitor keyword might include Samsung or LG.

One of the marketing or advertising practices is to be continually aware of your competitor’s market performance. It is best to always be aware of their activities – in this case, their search engine ranking. This can also give you an idea regarding what your target audience is particularly looking for.

5. Geo-Targeted Keywords

Keywords that contain directions are called geo-targeted keywords. This type of keyword helps users in their search for directions and areas. Geo-targeted keywords can answer queries about specific neighborhoods and cities.

Broad geographies can also be included in geo-targeted keywords. Geo-targeted keywords are proven beneficial for local businesses because they can give them the necessary reach in their local area. A perfect example of a geo-targeted keyword is “dive bars in Seattle.”

How to Test Keyword Value

In a decade, Google and other search engines have developed algorithms that will maintain the playing field for brands and businesses in terms of search engine ranking. These algorithms aim to provide users with a quality search experience and serve as filters to prevent uncanny websites from causing confusion.

Although search engine optimization has become competitive, this should not stop you from optimizing your content and getting your brand out there. But you might be wondering how to identify if your keywords have a high value. Here are some ways to check your website’s keyword value:

1. Use Google AdWords or Similar Platforms

If you’re still at the stage where you are still thinking about the keywords that you’ll use, using keyword checking applications like Google AdWords may help. You can also set up a campaign using your chosen keyword and track its performance throughout the week or month.

2. Tracking Traffic Performance

Most websites nowadays are operated using web hosting services. Usually, these web hosting sites have their website traffic monitoring and maintenance applications. Tracking traffic performance is crucial because it will give you an idea of which keywords and content are performing well.

Always consult the monitoring application for a complete view of your site’s daily, weekly, and monthly performance.

3. Consult A Professional

It is quite understandable that all these terminologies and rules can overwhelm startups who are taking their first steps in the world of SEO and digital marketing. At this point, it is better to consult a professional who can easily give you a rundown on keyword strategies to use for your brand’s online marketing campaign.

SEO professionals can also give you advice on how to properly plan your content calendar over the months, and provide you with the details on how to approach your content that will produce a good search engine result.

Keywords and Good Content

Keywords and SEO strategies can do wonders for your brand or business. However, the key to the success of your website is creating good content. In truth, no matter how valuable your keywords are, your website will still have a low search engine rank if your content is disorganized and incoherent.

Once you are done with keyword research, the best thing to do is to plan your content carefully. Base your content on the list of keywords you have researched. Ensure that the content you are creating will cover the common questions asked about that specific topic. Always consult your content calendar regarding the right topic and the necessary approach for your website blog. Good content is complete content, which means you should tackle every possible question a user will think of regarding a topic. If you can create well-researched and well-written content, Google’s algorithm will work in your brand’s favor.

Google introduced new algorithms that will help users have a good search experience. Some of these new algorithms are featured snippets, passage indexing, and First-Input Delay. Design a website that can pass these new algorithms because they affect how Internet users view your brand or business.

For example, when Google assigns your content as a featured snippet, most people will probably immediately click on your website because they will automatically think that your blog contains all the answers to their query. Using adequate keywords according to your content will enable Google’s algorithm to scan your website easily and properly — this will help in having a higher search engine rank and a more successful digital marketing campaign.

Advanced Digital Media Services Will Help You Find the Right Keywords for Your Website

Looking for help boosting your brand’s web performance? Advanced Digital Media Services can help you find the right keywords that will allow your website to rank higher on search engines.

When you are looking for SEO services in Denver, consider calling ADMS. We can help you with web development, content creation, and ensuring that your business gets the best digital marketing services. Call us now at 877-237-6969, and let’s get that strategy working!

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ADMS Paul Donahue

About Paul Donahue

Paul Donahue has been in the digital marketing realm since 2009. He has an intense passion for creating a dynamic digital presence for his clients through modern websites that rank well on Google. His company’s website is Colorado’s top-ranked SEO company. Author of three books published on Amazon, he is particular about staying abreast with the constantly changing SEO and digital marketing industry trends.

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