All words and phrases (keywords) searched by a user to access content are valuable, but some are more valuable than others. Some keyword phrases are more lucrative while others get no searchers. We all know that, but are we all on the same track when it comes to keyword usage in our website and content? I am afraid many of us are not.
In this article, I am going to tell you about types of keywords and their usage. This will bring each one of us on the same track.
Evolution of keywords
In the early days on the Internet, every keyword was considered similar and then came volume and competition benchmarks. Now a keyword that has higher number of searches per day and has low competition was considered a golden keyword.
This is where many of the SEO professionals are stuck. They refuse to believe that volume and competition, though very important, are not the only things that decide how useful certain keywords are. They have not seen the paradigm shift towards keywords that denotes commercial intention.
That is not all. A lot many things have changed in keyword research domain, and a sound understanding of it is required to crack wide open a niche with lots of hungry buyers waiting to devour on every single piece of information, software, or whatever. Let’s move ahead and classify keywords in more meaningful way.
Types of keywords
A keyword could be classified into the following categories:
1. Entertaining (keywords like funny pictures, cool wallpapers, etc.)
2. Informational (Define search engine, what is home shopping, etc.)
3. Commercial (buy sweatshirt, LCD TV review etc.)
The above classification of a keyword is done on the basis of searcher’s intent behind. Let’s see what each type of keyword means.
Entertaining and informational keywords are not the ones on which you can hope to build a business because people who come online for fun or for research are seldom the ones who take their wallets out for purchase. It is the commercial keywords that are considered worthy of attention, as they give you an opportunity to earn.
Having said that, I would suggest you to use all three types of keywords in your website as much as is possible without making it sound weird for the human reader. Commercial keywords when used with informational keyword produce much better result, as it pulls not only customers but future customers as well.
Other keyword selection criteria
Apart from the searchers’ intent, there are things related to keywords that matter a lot when deciding on which keywords to choose. The three things that you must consider when deciding on keywords are:
1. Search volume (local and/or global)
2. Competing pages
3. CPC (cost per click) of a keyword
If you are using Google AdWord keyword tool then the search volume you see refers to number of searches someone does in a month. Local search volume refers to the number of searches done by users for that particular keyword in the country you have specified (by default it is USA), and global search represents monthly search volume of the term in rest of the world.
Search volume is a powerful indicator of the traffic your website will receive if you reach to the number one position in Google SERP for the given keyword. You should not target a keyword which does not have a search volume of at least 100 a day. Anything less than that will not send a substantial amount of traffic to your website.
It refers to the total number of results that Google or any other search engine shows when a person search for a keyword. This we call competition, as we know it lesser the competition is better it is for a website.
You must see how many pages are competing for the given keywords in the phrase match search for the keyword. The lower the number is the better is the keyword.
This is the third thing which you should keep in mind when deciding on a keyword, but this is not that important for your SEO keyword as it is for a PPC campaign. CPC could mean how much money you will be spending per click. Hence, you should be wise in selecting keywords.
If a high CPC means more money per click and hence more investment per customer, but a low CPC does not mean less money per customer because you will or you will not get customers will depend upon the relevancy of the keywords.
Synonyms or related words
Once you have decided on which keywords you should use for your SEO or for your PPC ad, this is time to think of synonyms of the main word. Using such words in your content can help you rank for the related terms as well. You can also create a PPC campaign for a synonym on which CPC is low. This way you can get the same set of customers for a lower rate.
Synonyms also help your original keyword rank high in the search engines. You must look for such words and phrases for the keywords you want to rank for.
How to put these keywords to use
When it comes to using keywords in the content, often quoted advice is to use it as early as possible in the title. To a large extent, this is a sound advice, but you should not always follow this as verse written in a religious gospel because the purpose of a title is not just to make your webpage appear on the top of Google, but it is also to hint people of what is in there for them, which will make them click on the title. So, write your titles carefully and insert the keyword where it suited most (obviously within 69 characters — including spaces).
You must use your primary keywords in first 50 words of an article, and in the last sentence of the article. If you can include your keywords naturally in the heading tags then do that. Seed the synonyms and related words in the body of the content so that Google sees them related and even rank your website for such terms. Do not forget to add a keyword in the alt text.
These are the things you need to keep in mind when conducting a keyword research or using the keywords in your content.
SEO Resources: Check out my other posts and articles on SEO below:
- SEO at a Glance – From Keyword to Backlink
- SEO for E-Commerce Websites
- SEO and WordPress: How to optimize your WordPress blog
- SEO 2010: Looking back at 10 Things That Rocked the SEO World In 2009.