What are keywords? 9 types of keywords and Google recommendations

Implementing an SEO campaign without a detailed analysis and a well-developed process to locate words relevant to your business (and searched for in Google) is similar to launching a new product on the market without conducting prior market research.

In other words, working blind. Don’t ignore the importance of keywords to the SEO process.

They are the backbone of an SEO campaign. Keywords give you highly relevant insights into your niche’s situation, data such as:

  • interest in your product or service
  • volume of searches on your niche
  • search intent of potential customers
  • difficulty of ranking on the first page (level of competition in the SERP)
  • your chances of success against competitors and many other indicators.

But what are these keywords? How do you locate them? What do you need to do to get the maximum benefit from them? What tools can you use to make the process of locating keywords effective?

You will get the answer to all these questions. Next we will address the most important issues. The key elements are:

  • What are keywords?
  • What is Keyword Research?
  • What are the steps to follow to carry out Keyword Research?
  • How do you analyse keywords?
  • What SEO tools can you use in this process?
  • Google’s recommendations for building a keyword list?

At the end of the article, you will have all the necessary elements to locate the most relevant keywords for your niche, but also clues about what types of potential customers are behind searches on these SEO words and how to position yourself according to their intentions.

Do you need professional SEO services for your business website?

We have chosen to write this article because the right choice of words in SEO has a decisive impact on search engine optimization.

In an SEO campaign, words play a vital role, so let’s show you all about keywords and how to determine which ones to choose for targeting with the content present on your website.

what are keywords

What are keywords?

According to the official definition:

“Keywords are those words and phrases inserted into the content of a website, which give potential customers the opportunity to discover that website through organic results provided by a search engine.”

A search engine optimised website is a website that “speaks the same language” as potential customers. Therefore, it is important to carry out a keyword analysis relevant to the field of activity of the optimised site.

For keyword analysis to be effective and comprehensive, and to provide you with all the insights you need to implement an SEO strategy, it is necessary to understand that there are several types of keywords.

There are 9 types of keywords.

Each of these types offers consistent benefits when correctly locating search intent and integrated into a compatible strategy.

The 9 types of Keywords:

  • short-tail (short words, consisting of maximum 3 words)
  • long-tail (long words, consisting of more than 3 words)
  • short-term fresh (short-term words, viral spikes)
  • long-term evergreen (long-term relevant words)
  • product defining (words that explain and describe the product or service)
  • customer defining (directly and clearly addressing the target audience)
  • geo-targeting (local words for targeting a specific area – county, sector, city or country)
  • LSI (latent semantic indexing – words close to the main keyword)
  • Intent Targeting (informational, commercial, transactional words, etc.)

Let’s detail each type a little:

1. Short tail

Are short, consisting of a maximum of 3 words.

This type of keywords have in most cases a significantly high search volume, which means that the level of competitiveness on these short and common information structures is high.

Examples of short keywords: women’s clothing or women’s footwear

2. Long tail

Are long keywords, consisting of more than 3 words.

Focusing your SEO strategy on this type of words can lead to an improved return on your SEO investment.

Examples of long tail keywords: how much does it cost to promote on Instagram or what is Social Media.

3. Short-term Fresh

Are short or long that show a significant spike in a well-defined period of the year.

These are evident when major events or viral news about certain topics or people occur.

In the case of these words, the spike in search volume and traffic sent only happens during certain periods, then everything returns to normal.

Example of a short-term fresh keyword: Halloween

4. Long-term Evergreen

These are words on the basis of which complex evergreen articles and guides (which do not lose their relevance over time) can be created.

These types of keywords remain relevant and consistent for the target audience in the long term.

Examples of evergreen keywords: how to lose weight, how to fry an egg, how to do SEO.

5. Product defining

These are keywords that clearly describe the product or service being marketed.

In this case, we are referring to the words used in the searches that a person makes for a specific product, service or data, whether they want to purchase it or just get information.

6. Customer defining

These are keywords that help you to get into the mind of potential customers, to understand their typology and the information they want in relation to a specific niche.

For example, if your business is related to scuba diving, one such word might be: underwater photographer.

7. Geo-targeting

These are keywords that try to target potential customers in a specific geographical area.

For example, such a keyword for our agency is: online marketing agency Targu-Mures

8. LSI or Latent Semantic Indexing

Those keywords, or those terms that are conceptually related to the main keyword and that search engines use to better understand the content of a web page.

For example, if you publish an article about milkshakes, search engines will also search for words such as filter, temperature, cold water, ice, etc.

9. Intent Targeting

These words fall into 3 categories of keywords of interest:

  • navigational
  • informational
  • transactional/commercial

For example, a navigational keyword for our blog might be – “BMFDigital blog”:

bmfdigital blog

You can read more about these 3 types of keywords that target the intent of potential customers in a separate blog post.

With this in mind, you can now learn more about how you will perform analysis to choose the most relevant keywords and LSIs for your business and website.

So let’s go ahead and talk about:

what is keyword research

What is keyword research?

Keyword research, or keyword analysis, is an essential process from an SEO perspective.

It involves identifying the words and phrases that people enter into search engines in their attempt to find a solution to the needs they have.

Firstly, performing this keyword analysis will help you understand how high or low the demand is for certain keywords.

Second, you’ll get clues about how hard it would be to compete for those terms in organic results, which gives you a clear direction for your optimization efforts.

However, keyword analysis (keyword research) is not just about the volume of searches for a particular keyword.

We’re also talking about exploring all the variations people use to search for an idea or topic.

As such, keyword analysis is not only an important element of the SEO process, but also a major element of content marketing. Why?

Because it can help you come up with ideas for articles to publish on your blog, help you learn more about the needs of your audience, and keep you up to date with the ever-changing language used by your website’s audience.

At the same time, keyword analysis contributes significantly to defining and aligning micro keywords with the search intent of potential customers when they turn to Google search.

So, the most important benefit of keyword research is a better understanding of your target market and how they search for your website content, services or products.

Keyword analysis (keyword research) gives you access to specific search data that can help you answer questions such as:

  • What do people search for?
  • How many people are searching?
  • In what format do they want the information they search for in Google?

keyword research in SEO

What should you do before any Keyword Research in SEO?

Ask questions.

Before you can help your website and therefore your business grow, you need to understand who your customers are and what their goals are.

This is where many people prefer to take the easy way out and skip this crucial planning step, as conducting keyword research is very time consuming.

After all, why spend a lot of time when you already know the words for which you want to be displayed on the first page of Google organic results, right?

But that’s not quite the case.

The words you want to be visible for and what your audience is looking for are often two completely different things.

That’s why it’s important, first and foremost, to focus on your target audience.

Then, using the data you gather will help you to refine the content and information you provide, to make your campaigns more successful.

I said above that you need to ask questions.

And not just any questions.

You want to get relevant, useful, insightful answers that will help you run a successful SEO strategy and get the expected results.

So the questions should be relevant too.

Here’s a list of questions to ask yourself before starting a Keyword Research process:

  • What are people looking for?
  • Who is searching for those keywords?
  • When do they search for those keywords? Are there seasonal trends over the course of a year?
  • How do people search and from where? (mobile, desktop, local, national, etc.)
  • What do people search for? (images, files, videos, podcasts, etc.)
  • What words do they use?
  • What questions do they ask?
  • Why do they search for those keywords?
  • How can you provide the best content to develop a community and meet the needs of people who are relevant to your site?

These questions will guide you more easily in performing your keyword analysis, but also in creating the content marketing plan that you will implement on your blog site.

Keyword analysis – what terms do people search for in the search engine?

Most likely you already have a way of describing what you do and what you offer through your website.

But you need to keep in mind that it is more important how your product, service or information is searched for by your target audience via search engines.

More than likely you already have a few keywords in mind that you want to be visible in the SERP and these usually represent the products, services or other topics that your site is targeting, so you can start with those.

How do you start keyword analysis?

First of all, you should know that keyword analysis is impossible without the help of a specialised tool.

Therefore, the first step is to enter the targeted terms into a keyword analysis tool to see what the average monthly search volume is.

Such a tool is offered free of charge by Google and is called Google Ads Keyword Planner (also known as Google Adwords Keyword Tool, Google Adwords Keyword Planner or Google Keyword Planner).

Besides Google Keyword Planner, the list also includes tools such as:

  • Ahrefs
  • SEMrush
  • Moz
  • SEOmonitor, etc.

These are, however, against cost.

We will talk more about these tools a little later.

Step 2, once you have located the search volume on your chosen keywords, is to locate other similar keywords, common queries and useful topics for blog content.

In this case too, most of the available tools offer you the function to locate keywords tangential to the ones you initially searched for.

In the process of analysing keywords relevant to the content of your site, you will most likely notice that the search volume for these keywords varies greatly.

Although you will definitely want to target the most searched terms, in some cases, it may be more advantageous to target terms with a lower search volume, because the level of difficulty (competitiveness) is much lower.

However, both keywords with a high level of competitiveness and those with a lower level of competitiveness can be advantageous for your website.

Therefore, it is important to learn more about your search volume, to know which words to prioritise and which terms will give you the greatest strategic advantage.

value of a keyword

SEO tools used to determine the value of a keyword

Do you know how much value a particular keyword would add to your website if it reached the top of the organic results?

You can probably imagine, but you don’t have a clear answer.

Well, you’re lucky there are specific tools you can use for keyword analysis. Each of the tools we’ll talk about next can help you get a concrete answer to this question and effectively choose the keywords you’ll focus your SEO efforts on.

1. Moz Keyword Explorer

Enter a keyword in Keyword Explorer and you’ll get information such as monthly search volume and other SERP features, such as local packs or featured snippets, that are displayed for that keyword.

This tool also provides a keyword difficulty score for each keyword you enter, which will help you understand how difficult it will be to reach the top of the organic results for your chosen keywords.

2. Google Keyword Planner

It is a tool that is part of the Google Ads platform and historically is the starting point for every keyword analysis.

3. Google Trends

It is a useful tool for discovering keyword seasonality fluctuations.

4. AnswerThePublic

An extremely useful tool to find out all the queries searched around a specific keyword.

5. Ahrefs and SEMrush

Tools similar in functionality to Moz Keyword Explorer, but each comes with its advantages and disadvantages.

6. SEO Monitor

Tool similar to Ahrefs and Moz, but this one has fewer features, compared to the other two, and is more cost-effective for sites operating on the Romanian market, without international SEO goals.

Google recommendations for building a keyword list:

Google has every interest that publishers working in the search engine achieve their SEO goals.

Google’s main goal is to provide users with the most relevant results.

That is why it constantly updates and publishes educational materials giving hints on the right mindset to achieve search engine success, in line with its main goal.

Here are 3 tips offered by Google, for publishers who want to achieve the goals set in their SEO strategy:

  • Think like a customer when making your keyword list
  • Select precise keywords to target precise customers
  • Select general keywords to target more people

As you can see, the tips aim to align publishers with Google’s direction: quickly solving the needs that platform users have.

RECAP:

What is the definition of keywords?

Keywords are those words and phrases inserted into the content of a website that allow potential customers to discover that website through organic search engine results.

What is keyword research?

Keyword research, or keyword analysis, is one of the essential elements of an SEO campaign. It involves identifying the words and phrases that people enter into search engines in an attempt to find a solution to their needs.

How do you do keyword analysis?

First of all, you need to know that keyword analysis is impossible without the help of a specialised keyword analysis tool. Therefore, the first step is to enter the targeted terms into a keyword analysis tool to see what the average monthly search volume is.

What SEO tools are used for keyword analysis?

Among the most widely used keyword analysis tools are SEO analysis tools such as Moz Keyword Explorer, Google Trends, Ahrefs and many others.

The next step in this case is to make pages that are useful and relevant to people, but also optimised for search engines.

So stay tuned to the BMFDigital blog, because we will provide you with all the information you need to create a website with correctly optimized On-Page and Off-Page pages.

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