Keywords, which are also known as search terms, are actually the key phrases that are used by the people to search their desired information through the search engine. Selecting the right keywords for website or landing page is, in fact, the first step of developing an online marketing strategy. So, understating the keyword and different search term is important before you can proceed with keyword research.
Here, I try to give an overview what type of keywords you should look for SEO success and what makes a keyword really good to serve your purpose.
Understanding the keyword structure
The first basic part to learn about the keyword is its structure. You may think what could be the structure of any search term or how can it be divided?
Well, a search term can be divided into three major parts like any living creature. Instance, if we think about human, then we have head, body, and legs. Or, if we take an example of a reptile, then they have head, body, and tail.
Similarly, we break down the keywords into three major sections i.e. head terms, body terms and the long tail terms.
It is the most generic term which usually has insane search volume. But, it hardly expresses the visitors’ intention. Most commonly, the head term only contains a single word.
Let’s take an example to make things much clear to you. Say, I am an SEO Service provider having a company website. I use to provide SEO services to business website owners in the USA.
Now, my main service area is “SEO” which will be always constant. It’ll never change no matter how people approach me for asking for SEO service or just want to know my pricing for SEO services.
So, what will happen if anyone type “SEO” and find my website? – S/he might have different intention like s/he may only want to learn about SEO tips or SEO related stuff. But, my site is designed for offering SEO services, not to teach people how to do SEO, right?
The outcome of the search will be either people won’t come to my site. Or, if s/he accidentally comes to my site, they’ll immediately leave the site for sure which results in a higher bounce rate.
Keyword Body Term:
On the other hand, a body of a keyword usually contains few more words which usually express more clear intention of the search performer, but of course, not the full intention.
A keyword with head and body usually contains 2-3 words. If we continue with the above example, then a person who wants SEO services from an organization and so is looking for a company. In that case, s/he might search with this kind of key phrases like “SEO Service Company” or “SEO Service Agency”.
Now when he searches with such terms, the search engine will return results from all over the world. What if, he is located in the USA and get top pages results with all the company website addresses located in a different country?
So the result is, in some cases these kinds of keywords are OK for targeting that can bring good visitors but not the most targeted visitors.
Such type of incoming visitors may indicate your website popularity, but as most of them immediately leave your site, it’ll result in higher percentage of bounce rate. It can give a negative signal about your website to the search engines.
Long Tail Keywords:
This type of keywords expresses the clear expression of the search performer’s intention and can bring the most targeted visitors. However, long tail keywords usually have the lowest search volume, but it can really help the website to get quality visitors and leads.
Long tail keywords usually contain 4 or more words. Let’s continue with the above example of “SEO Service”.
Instance, if anyone searches with these terms like “SEO service provider USA” or “SEO Services Company in USA”, then it is much clear about the search performer’s intention. S/he is actually looking for SEO service provider company located anywhere within the USA.
So when s/he find your website on the top of the SERP, s/he will definitely land on your website and spend much time to learn about your company, services, pricing, terms & condition etc.
Understanding the keyword intent
The next important step to understand the keyword nature is its Intent. Here also, keyword intention can be broadly divided into three major parts i.e. navigational, informational and transactional.
These types of keywords carry the less value. Because, with this type of keywords, searchers want to reach any particular website which is already known to them. So, while doing keyword research you can ignore this kind of keywords.
For example, you already know about Twitter or Facebook, but you may not have the exact website address. In that case, you’ll search for the company or website name.
Another example could be the money transfer service provider name. Instance, you want to transfer money abroad and so research a lot about it. You probably already know your desired service providers name and want to sign up an account with them. In such cases, you’ll probably search for “company name + sign up”.
So ultimately these kinds of keywords won’t give much benefit to you until you’re doing any affiliate marketing for any particular company.
These kinds of keywords are mostly suitable for blogs where you publish posts to educate your audience about your products or services. Or just only want to help your readers with some good information so that people frequently visit your site to learn something new and interesting.
What, How to, Why, When, symptoms, signs or these types of words are considered as informational types of keywords. While doing keyword research, you must consider these kinds of elements in your target keywords and select especially for the blog posts.
These are the kind of keywords which are mostly needed for a business website. Transactional keywords have the highest buyer intention to buy any products or services.
Few examples of commercial or transactional type keywords are, buy now, discount, coupon, deal, free shipping, best, affordable, cheapest, comparison, review or any specific product name.
Depending on the nature of the business you need to choose the right type of commercially intent keywords. To get a ready database of 220 transactional keywords, visit this blog post on Nichehacks.Com.
Keyword research is not a complicated thing, but of course, it’s a crucial one. Different paid SEO tools make things much easy to do this. However, as these tools are usually expensive to afford, so I tried hard to learn keyword research manually and in a scientific way at the initial stage of my SEO career. Here, I must say that it is very time-consuming too.
No matter, how you perform the keyword research for your own site or for your client website, it is important to know the pattern and structure of different keywords. What I share here is from my personal learning from different online sources. I appreciate to all if you have some important information which I may accidentally miss here. I’ll be glad to add them in the post if you share the comments section.