Have you ever wondered why it is that when you search ‘buy laptops’ on Google, you see sites that sell Apple, HP, Dell laptops rank at the top? Does this mean that if you change one word, it can yield a whole set of other results? What are these words known as? Do the marketers of these top-ranking sites know what exactly their users look for on Google?
When you search for something on the Internet, how exactly do you do so? First, you open a search engine. Then, in the search box, you type in what you want to search. After that, you get relevant options or links to the information or services that you desire.
The phrases or words that you type in the search box are called ‘keywords’, or ‘key phrases’. For a marketer, keywords offer relevance in terms of the information that you want your website to get ranked for.
The exact phrases/words that users look for on Google are search queries, and the ideal search query that you can use on your site to rank higher in search results for those search queries are keywords.
Based on what you want to search, the search engine would show you appropriate results, and the keywords define your intent about what you desire to get out of your search. These keywords are also what businesses look to incorporate into their content to offer you the most relevant information.
There are three types of keywords:
- Short-tail keywords
- Middle-tail keywords
- Long-tail keywords
Short-tail keywords: These are keywords that are one or two words long. They fetch a high search volume, but there is great competition to rank for them, and they have low conversions.
Example: Buy TV
Middle-tail keywords: These are keywords that are two or three words long. As the name suggests, they fetch a decent search volume, and there is medium competition to rank for them.
Example: Buy LED Smart TV
Long-tail keywords: These are keywords that are three to five words long. They fetch a low search volume, but it is easier to rank for them. They have higher conversions.
Example: Buy LED Smart TV under ₹30,000
Long-tail keywords are the most effective in making conversions, as the search query is specific and the user has an intent to purchase and answer the question following it.
Apart from the classification of keywords based on the length and search volume, there are three more types depending upon your on-page optimization to get ranked. These are:
- Primary keywords,
- LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords, and
- Branded keywords.
First, we will discuss primary keywords. A primary keyword is the main keyword for which your web page or website is looking to rank on the SERP. Every page that you optimize for SEO must and will contain a primary keyword. Correct keyword optimization would help you rank and attract traffic to your website.
The next category is that of LSI keywords, which are used to provide additional context to your web page. They are synonymous, or add extra meaning, to the primary keyword used for that web page. Usually, while optimising content, we use one primary keyword and about three to four LSI keywords on a web page to provide content that resonates with the customer’s/audience’s search requirements. Let’s take an example to understand this better.
Branded keywords include the name of the brand. For example, ‘buy Apple laptop’ is a branded keyword.
It is important that you choose your keywords carefully. You should always select keywords that align with your marketing objectives. How you use these keywords depends upon the stage of the funnel at which the customer is and the stage where you want to target your customers in order to align them with your goals. These are some questions that you need to answer to make your business decisions.