An extremely common and important question that is asked by SEO professionals is what is a keyword in SEO. SEO keywords or keywords in SEO are referred to as single words or phrases that are searched by people in the search engine.
Importance of SEO driven content:
Before explaining the process of finding a good keyword to write in your copy, it’s essential why should you spend time reading this article. Any and every business that writes any form of content should definitely embed SEO in its efforts. The SEO driven writing helps businesses :
- Rank on search engines for their products and services
- Drive relevant quality traffic to their site
- Increase conversions
- Increases brand popularity
SEO Keywords: The Basics
Before explaining in detail, there are a few terms, we should get ourselves familiar with. I am using an example here, to illustrate these terms
- Search volume: This is the amount of time that keyword has been searched by users. Generally, monthly data is given. This determines the popularity of the SEO keyword. The higher the search volume, the higher is the popularity of the keyword for SEO. In the above image, you can see that the term ‘bamboo toothbrush’ has been searched 3600 times in a given month whereas the term ‘bamboo toothbrush India’ has been searched 720 times.
- Search Intent: This talks about the intention of the users or consumers while making the searches. This is like your sales funnel, the search terms can tell you the intent of your users, whether they are just exploring or are ready to make a purchase. In the above example, the users searching for the term ‘bamboo toothbrush amazon’ are more likely to make a purchase as compared to users searching for the term ‘bamboo toothbrush’. You have to be aware of the search intent of your users as you are doing keyword research for SEO. You have to create content that aligns with the search intent of your users or consumers to stand the best chance of ranking for your SEO keywords.
- Value: While doing keyword research for SEO, it is recommended that you check the value of the SEO keyword. If you are using any keyword research tool, you can check the CPC (Cost Per Click) that is how much advertisers are willing to pay for an ad click from these keywords. In the above example, people are spending INR 8.44 for every click they earn for the keyword “bamboo toothbrush’ while they are only paying INR 6.28 for the term ‘bamboo toothbrush amazon’. The CPC also tells you which terms are helping your competition convert users into purchases. Higher the CPC, the higher the chances that more people are buying searching for that keyword.
- Keyword Difficulty: In the end, the last term to understand is the search difficulty or the keyword difficulty. Every keyword has a number assigned between the range of 1- 100 (it might differ according to the used tools). SEO keywords with lesser difficulty are more recommended as they are easy to rank for while the keywords with higher difficulty scores are much harder to rank for.
How to find SEO Keywords
Now that we are clear with the terms, let’s quickly scan through the process of finding the relevant Keywords with an example:
Let’s assume that we sell organic toothbrushes in India and our SEO goal is to increase the website visits with the relevant customer base. Now the SEO agency will find out all the terms or phrases that users search for using bamboo toothbrushes, and these can be in tens of thousands. A snapshot of a few related keywords are below:
- Finding keyword ideas
- Brainstorm “seed” keywords: In this scenario, the SEO person will sit with the sales and marketing team to understand the broad conversion terms. Let’s assume one of the terms is “Bamboo Toothbrush”.
- See the keywords that your competitors are ranking for: Find all the keywords that are generating traffic to your competitors’ websites.
- Use tools to research SEO keywords: There are many tools to help you with SEO keyword research like Moz, Ubersuggest, SEMRush et.
- Study your niche: Do user research and create the marketing persona of your prospective buyer. This will help you understand their journey and where to find them.
Grouping the KW: Narrowing down your keywords in SEO also involves grouping your SEO keywords well. In this part, we’ll talk about three ways to group your keywords for adding structure to your list.
- Group by parent topic: In the above example one of the groups for organic toothbrushes could be anything and everything with the bamboo toothbrush.
- Group by search intent: Understanding the top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, and end of the funnel intent of the users is important. In the above example, we can conclude that people searching for ‘benefits of bamboo toothbrush’ must be converting immediately given the advertisers are paying INR 9K for one-click.
- Group by business value: This will help you understand how to allocate your budgets between the keywords for PPC and SEO. For example, running a PPC campaign for the term ‘bamboo toothbrush amazon’ will be more beneficial rather than writing a blog piece for that term until and unless your brand is on amazon.
Prioritize your keywords depending on the following factors:
- Estimated traffic potential: Always check the search volume. Anything above 200 is good if you are starting your SEO efforts.
- Do you already rank for the specific SEO keyword? Check if you rank for some keywords, you can double down your efforts and try to rank for position 1 for that family of keywords.
- The likeliness of the traffic converting to sales: The intent is very important; We should write content for all stages of the funnel but try and rank for conversion based keywords. These will be obviously hard to rank for.
- Also, check how tough is the competition for that specific SEO keyword: If there is extremely high competition for a particular keyword drop the idea. You could probably rank for multiple keywords with lower competition and maybe get higher site visits with much lesser efforts.
Types of SEO keyword:
There are 18 types of SEO keywords. In this article, we have segmented them depending on various factors.
Targeting keywords: these are the phrases or terms that are related to your industry, offering, and audience.
- Market segment keywords: these are generic keywords that are associated with your industry. These SEO keywords are mostly used for niche marketing.
- Customer defining keywords: these keywords identify a specific subset of audiences or customers.
- Product keywords: this keyword in SEO refers directly to a company’s specific product or service
- Branded keywords: these keywords are used for targeting a brand’s names or other branded terms.
- Competitor keywords: these keywords are used for targeting the brand names of competing businesses, products, or services.
- Geo-targeted keywords: this keyword for SEO is referred to as search phrases that are used for identifying a specific location
Types of SEO keyword by length
- Short-tail keywords: these are generally one or two words long and is highly competitive to rank for. They have a high volume of traffic
- Mid-tail keywords: this keyword for SEO consist of mostly two to three words that are slightly more descriptive than the generic heads or short-tail keywords. These also have a high volume of traffic and hence they are highly competitive as well
- Long-tail keywords: these keywords are targeted for specific topics. They have lesser traffic and hence the competition is lesser as well to rank for. These SEO keyword generally has more conversion rates.
Types of On-site keywords: these types of keywords are used for creating any kind of content such as a new blog post or a landing page.
- Primary keyword: it is the main SEO keyword term that you target on a webpage. Each page of the SEO content must have one primary keyword that’s assigned to it.
- Related keyword or LSI(Latent Semantic Keywords): these are the terms or phrases that are semantically related to your primary keyword. These can also be variations or synonyms of a primary keyword. These are used to support primary keywords. Every page should have one primary keyword and four related keywords
Types of Google Ads Keywords
- Broad match keywords: it is a broad term that is targeted in Google Ad search campaigns
- Phrase match keywords: it is a specific search phrase that you target in Google Ad search campaigns. This suggests Google show your ad whenever there is a search made using the exact phrase or SEO keyword
- Exact match keywords: These keywords suggest Google shows your ad as search results when a search query has been made that includes the exact same phrase or eve phrases that are closely related to these keywords.
- Negative keywords: These are the phrases or terms that you intentionally exclude from search campaigns within Google Ads.
Types of Buyer keyword
- Informational keywords: these keywords are used to find general information about any topic. This SEO keyword is used mostly in the awareness phase of the purchase funnel.
- Navigational keywords: these keywords are used in the consideration phase of the purchase funnel. An SEO keyword is used by customers to visit a website of a specific brand.
- Transactional keywords: these keywords are used in the purchase phase of the purchase funnel.
How to appear in Google for keywords
To show up on the top of the search results page for relevant SEO keywords, there are mainly two ways:
- PPC(Pay Per Click)
PPC is a strategy that comes under the umbrella term of SEM(Search Engine Marketing). This strategy involves paying Google to display your page for the relevant search results. These results are separate from organic search results as these results are already marked as ads. Anytime someone clicks on those specific ads, they land on your website directly.
- SEO(Search Engine Optimization)
SEO comes under the umbrella term of Digital Marketing. The main broad focus of SEO is to optimize your website to boost the visibility of your website or business. SEO helps in getting more relevant traffic to your website and in the case of Local SEO, it can also lead to same-day store visits physically by the consumers searching for the relevant products or the services using the SEO keywords. The answer to the most frequently asked question that is what is keyword in SEO is extremely important as it helps SEO professionals understand the imperative role of keywords in SEO.
Tools for researching SEO Keywords
The best way to research SEO keywords is to use various tools that are available for researching SEO types of keywords. There are several free tools for doing Keyword Research for SEO. Some of these tools are as follows:
- Google trends
- Keyword Generator
- Keyword Sheeter
- Answer The Public
- Keyword Surfer
- Google Search Console
- Bulk Keyword Generator
- Google Keywords