Different types of keywords

‘This is Part 2 of the series: How to do keyword research for SEO

Now that you have a better understanding of what keywords are, we now need to find keywords relating to your products or services with a high search volume and a little competition. In this article I’m going to share with you how I do keyword research, firstly by showing you the different types of keywords, and then by explaining why keywords with more searches aren’t always the most valuable ones to go for.

Short tail keywords

People don’t usually enter more than two keywords when they are searching for something, so shorter phrases get searched for a lot more. Unfortunately a lot of these are going to be too broad and usually competitive because everyone is going to be targeting them. However at this stage they’re still just researching and will usually just put in a very broad phrase.

Long tail keywords

These are usually three or more words and are a lot less competitive because they’re more specific to what you want to be found for. A general rule of thumb is if someone searches using three keywords, they’re interested, and a four keyword search shows that they’re a potential buyer. The more information they know about a subject, the closer they are to becoming a buyer. If people come to your website via long tail keywords, there’s more of a chance of them converting rather than just coming to do a bit more research.

Branded keywords

Branded keywords rank highly for your unique business name or website, and this is easy enough if your business name is unique. You can use a tool called ProMediaCorp which gives you suggestions of what other people are searching for on top of your brand name. For example, my product name is “Secret SEO System” and the Pro Media Corp tool allows me to see that people are also searching for things like “Pricing” and “Course” on top of the brand name which is very interesting and valuable information for your business.

Local keywords

Using local keywords involves adding your local area or country on to the end of a product or service. If I use SEO services as an example, as well as the fact I’m based in Fife in Scotland, I could do ‘SEO services Fife’ or ‘SEO services Scotland’. Keywords are usually a lot easier to rank for when you add a location to them, and again they’re easier to convert. If somebody is specifying a location, they’ve already decided that they want someone local. If they can find you via searching for a local phrase, then there’s more chance of them actually buying from you as well.

Converting keywords

By this I mean keywords that compel somebody to buy from you after searching for those specific keywords. For example, if someone was searching for SEO services and added in the words ‘buy SEO services’ or ‘SEO service prices’, they would have commercial intent. This is a buyer’s word meaning that they’ve already done their research and they’re looking to buy, so they’re using keywords like cheap, buy, pricing, price and coupons. You might not want to be found via the word ‘free’, but I might go for something like ‘free SEO audit’ or ‘free SEO report’ just to get the traffic.

I hope you now understand the importance of different keyword types and I hope it helps you in deciding the right keywords for your website.

In my next post I will show you some practical ways to start doing your own keyword research using the Google Keyword Planner.

If you have any questions or additional tips on keyword research feel free to leave your comments below.