Each day we sit down in front of our laptops and search for information, entertainment, products, or services through popular search engines. Sometimes we know what we want, so our searches are precise and to the point. And sometimes, we’re unsure or want more detailed information. Hence the query we enter ends up being a few words long. But somehow, the search engine always knows precisely what we are looking for. Interesting, right? Well, not so much if you’re on the other end, and your livelihood depends on it. We can’t stress this anymore, but understanding keywords is critical for SEO experts and marketers.
Keywords are the words and phrases that we type in the search engine’s search box to find what web surfers and potential buyers need. When it comes to digital marketing, successful strategies hinge on identifying the perfect keywords and incorporating them into SEO-friendly content. Experts use these keywords to improve website traffic and create leads for the brand/business.
There are different types of keywords. To know which one is best for your strategy, you must first understand the types. You can use free keyword research tools to determine numerous attributes related to keywords, but we’ll shortlist a few types of keywords for you.
1. Short-tail keywords
As the name suggests, a short-tail keyword is a keyword that consists of 1-3 words max. Due to their short length, they are also known as head keywords and are highly competitive to rank for. This is because the search volume at the searcher’s end tends to be high. A person only searches 1-3 word long keywords when they are at the research stage during the buying cycle. They intend to find more information about the specific product. For example, ‘shoes,’ ‘bags,’ and ‘healthcare.’
The main challenge with short-tail keywords is that it is hard to understand the searcher’s intent through their usage. The searcher’s intent may vary according to varying contexts. For this reason, the traffic generated through short-tail keywords is less likely to turn into leads and customers.
2. Long-tail keywords
Long-tail keywords have three or more words in them. The increase in words makes them even more specific than short-tail keywords. These tend to have lesser search volume per individual query, and subsequently, less competition for ranks. Marketing and SEO experts use several online tools to determine the search volume and competition ratio on these keywords. From the information acquired through these tools, they decide which keyword is the best for use. An excellent example of a long-tail keyword is ‘valet dry cleaning Tampa.’
The most significant benefit of long-tail keywords is that you can quickly pinpoint the searcher’s intent with them. Knowing the searcher’s intent helps you focus on creating strategies for converting web traffic into leads. The people who conduct long-tail keyword searches are more likely to make purchases. Also, long-tail keywords are an excellent choice for marketers and business owners who seek to optimize their business for local search.
3. Short-term fresh keywords
Fresh keywords refer to the latest fads and trends on the internet. For example, suppose you run a blog about entertainment. In that case, you might want to focus on keywords focused on the latest celebrity news and gossip. For example, ‘the Avengers’ or ‘BVS.’
These keywords are called short-term fresh keywords because the search volume surges for a short time and quickly fizzles out. People will search for the information, product, or service as long as it is trending. Once the trend ends, and people find something new and more attractive to focus on, the volume drops drastically. You can use these keywords to stay relevant to the audience and generate lots of organic traffic. But keep in mind that you have to remain up-to-date on what’s currently hot and what’s not to get the maximum benefit out of these terms.
4. Long-term evergreen keywords
To cut a long story short, these phrases stay relevant at all times. Hence, they’re evergreen. While their search volume may increase or drop now and then, the rise and fall aren’t as drastic. This means that using long-term evergreen keywords will provide you with a sense of security. Think of it as making a safe investment in gold or real estate. While the prices may rise or drop, the changes won’t be too extreme – unless shit really does hit the fan!
However, being evergreen does not mean that one piece of information is accurate at all times. You will still need to update the information now and then to stay relevant and accurate. An excellent example of a long-term evergreen search phrase is ‘how to lose weight.’ Admit it; you’ve searched that at some point in time!
5. Product-defining keywords
As we discussed before, short-tail keywords are suitable for generating traffic, and long-tail keywords for converting leads. However, product-defining keywords are the ones that actually bring you, customers. These keywords, as the name suggests, define a specific product. When a searcher uses this type of keyword, they are looking for information about a particular thing. People who use product-defining keywords are more likely to purchase instead of those using generic short-tail keywords. For example, a person who searches for ‘dress’ might simply be browsing. But one who looks up ‘black evening dress is more likely to buy one.
6. Customer targeting keywords
While the five types mentioned above target what internet users search for, customer targeting keywords actually target the customers themselves. To use this category of keywords correctly, you first need to define who your customer is. You should know their gender, age, profession, interests, etc. Once you know that, you can use customer targeting keywords to make your services or products even more relevant.
The type of content you draft depends heavily on the keywords you choose. So before you start throwing in every possible keyword that comes to your mind, conduct a thorough analysis. There are many keyword research and analysis tools available to help you understand the popularity, search volume, competition, etc., of a specific keyword. Once you know what type of keywords best serve your purpose, you can make a successful digital marketing and SEO strategy for your website and business.
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