When you’re trying to get your site’s search rankings to improve, the first place you look to is the keywords.
Out of the more than 200 ranking factors that Google’s algorithm uses to rank search results, keywords are among the most important.
You want to focus on keywords, but to make SEO effective, you need to use the right keywords. You need to learn the types of keywords that people use to search.
Keep reading to discover the types of keywords you need to use on your website.
1. Branded Keywords
Branded keywords are the most simple keywords to understand. You’re using a company’s name as the keyword.
You can use a brand name, or a similar variation of the brand name. You might wonder if this is legal, especially since you’re approaching intellectual property law.
You used to be unable to use your competitors’ branded keywords in Google Adwords. It’s now fair game, as long as you don’t use any trademarks in the ad itself.
You can do the same with your content by using the various brands in your industry in your keywords. Keep in mind that you can’t trash-talk your competition. Readers will see through that and you’ll lose credibility in the process.
2. Generic Keywords
Generic keywords are short keywords that generalize your industry.
An example of a generic keyword is fitness. Insurance is another example, as is the term blog.
These are words that can categorize a search. They’re very broad terms that get a high volume of searches. The mistake the people make is that they focus on these general terms, but don’t get results. You’ll understand why that is in the next type of keyword.
3. Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords drill down what the user is really looking for. Very rarely will someone look for a keyword that’s generic or very broad.
Think about it, when you’re looking for something online, you have a specific goal in mind. A long-tail keyword gets less search volume, but it’s highly targeted.
When someone searches for fitness, you have no idea what they’re trying to accomplish with that search. However, someone that searches for the best kettlebell workouts to improve fitness does.
It’s much easier to tailor your content to the needs of the person searching. The quality of the traffic will be much higher since it’s more specific.
A keyword that’s too specific may only get a few searches each month.
You have to balance the specificity of the keyword with the search volume. You have to find keywords that have enough search volume to generate traffic.
4. Primary Keywords
Primary keywords are the main keywords that you want to use on a page. People have many different ways to search for the same thing online, and you need to keep that in mind when you’re doing keyword research.
Someone might search for DIY home projects. Someone else might search for DIY home project ideas or DIY home projects on a budget.
These are all keywords that are similar that you can add to your content. You want to make sure that you pick one as your primary keyword. That will appear in your title, description, and in your content.
5. LSI Keywords
What do you do with those other keywords? You just add them to your content. Those are called LSI keywords, or latent semantic indexing keywords.
Google’s algorithm recognizes that people are looking for the same thing in different terms. That’s why you may not see an exact keyword match in search results.
You want to naturally add both primary and LSI keywords throughout your content.
6. User Intent Keywords
User intent keywords correspond to the buyer’s journey. A person may be doing product research or they may be ready to buy.
The search terms will be different for each stage of the buyer’s journey.
7. Google AdWords Keywords
If you’re using PPC ads, you have your own set of keywords. There’s an exact match keyword, which is used when you target a specific term, like fitness equipment. The ad would be shown for that search term and very similar searches, like equipment for fitness.
A negative keyword is a term that you exclude from your campaign. It may be related to your targeted search term, but it doesn’t match up with your ad copy or landing page.
Keywords and Content
You know the types of keywords. What do you do with that information?
You can start to analyze the content you already have on your site. Do the right keywords appear in the right places?
For example, you may have a blog post that shows people how to exercise at home. Instead of the keyword being exercise at home, your keyword is working out at the gym.
You want to make sure that your keywords are aligned and fit the expectations of the user when they visit your site. That simple step will help you increase your conversions because you’re giving people what they need.
You can also use this information in content planning. You may find that your content doesn’t have branded keywords or long-tail keywords. Figure out where the opportunities are in your content strategy and plan content around them.
You may consider the help of an SEO professional to make sure you got it right. At his SEO agency in Boise, Bear Newman and his team can help your site get better search results.
The Types of Keywords to Improve Search Results
When you’re trying to improve your search results, there are many things to look at. You need to focus on the type of keywords and adjust your content accordingly.
What matters most is that you understand your audience and how they search. You can then adjust your strategy to match their needs. That gives you the best opportunity to improve your search rankings and the quality of traffic you get to your site.
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