SEO Keywords Strategy - Part 2: 13 Keyword Types | ITM News & Articles

SEO Keywords Strategy - Part 2: 13 Keyword Types

Types of Keywords - Uses and Advantages

Leveraging Keyword Types

Each type of keyword serves a different purpose in your SEO search optimization and content strategy. Short-tail keywords help you reach a broad audience, while long-tail keywords allow you to target searchers with specific intent. Branded keywords cater to those already familiar with your brand, whereas non-branded keywords capture the attention of those still in the decision-making process. Geo-targeted keywords are essential for local SEO efforts, helping businesses connect with nearby customers.

By incorporating a mix of these keyword types into your content, you can create a well-rounded SEO strategy that attracts a diverse range of traffic, from broad audiences to highly targeted niche groups. 

Understanding the role of each keyword type enables you to craft content that meets users at different stages of their search and buying journey, ultimately enhancing your visibility and engagement online.

Understanding Keywords - 13 types of keywords

  1. Market segmentation keywords

Market segment keywords identify the industry or type of item a user is searching for. These search terms may be a broad category or a more specific item or service search. For example, a person might search for "web site designs." This is a general keyword that can trigger a range of results of search engines related to the website design industry.

  1. Customer-defining keywords

Customer-defining keywords include a descriptive word or phrase that narrows down the search term to a specific customer demographic. For instance, a user might search "websites for business owners." This tells the search engine to narrow the results from general population groups to those groups designated for business owners.

  1. Product specific keywords

Product keywords define the type of product and specific brand the user is looking for. For example, a product keyword might be "2024 Toyota Fortuner 2.8l." This reveals that the user is looking for a specific type of vehicle made by a certain manufacturer.

  1. Branded keywords

Branded keywords also contain a brand name, but they are more general than a product keyword. For instance, a user may search for "170l Bosch Fridges." This widens the search results to include different makes of cars by the same manufacturer.

Branded keywords include the name of a brand or company. Searches using these keywords are performed by users already familiar with the brand and looking for specific information or products related to it. An example would be "ITM Website Design" or "Starbucks near me." 

Branded keywords can have varying lengths but are distinguished by the presence of the brand name, indicating a higher likelihood of conversion due to the existing brand awareness.

  1. Non-branded keywords

Non-branded keywords do not contain any brand names. These keywords are used by searchers who are in the information-gathering or consideration phase of their buying journey, not yet committed to a specific brand. 

Non-branded keywords offer a significant opportunity for businesses to attract and engage potential customers who are exploring options. For instance, "website design reviews" or "best websites for marketing" are non-branded keywords.

  1. Competitor keywords

Competitor keywords are those that contain the brand names of your competitors. For example, consider the Mountain Fresh detergent company. A competitor keyword might be "Clean Day detergent." Companies can research competitor keywords to learn what users are searching for within a particular industry. The Mountain Fresh detergent company may find that visitors are searching for "Clean Day detergent money-back guarantee," which can inform them that the guarantee offered by their competitors brings them traffic. Mountain Fresh management can use this information to plan marketing efforts and product development.

  1. Geo-targeted keywords

Geo-targeted keywords include a specific location that narrows down the search results. For instance, you may search for "music festivals in Colorado." This can provide a more targeted list of results based on your geographic identifier.
Similarly, companies may focus on these types of keywords for their digital ads. For example, a music festival organizer planning an event in Denver may direct their search engine ad to run on results pages for keywords like "website designers in Port Elizabeth," "Social Media Marketing near the Addo Elephant Park" and "Gqeberha SEO."

Keyword Length

Keyword Length

  1. Short-tail keywords

Short-tail keywords, often referred to as "head terms," are broad, generic keywords typically consisting of one to two words. These keywords have a high search volume, meaning they're searched for frequently, but they also come with high competition and often low conversion rates. 

For example, "Hosting" or "Web Design" are short-tail keywords. They're useful for attracting a large volume of traffic, but they may not be the best at targeting specific customer intentions due to their broad nature.

Some examples of short-tail keywords include:

  • Web Hosting
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Website Design
  1. Mid-tail keywords

Mid-tail keywords are slightly longer than short-tail keywords and offer more  specificity for targetted search queries. They may be three to four words long, such as:

  • Online web hosting companies
  • Seearch Engine Optimization for beginners
  • Digital marketing tips
  • Social Networking groups

Mid-tail keywords may lead to less traffic than short-tail keywords, but they can deliver a more targeted audience.

  1. Long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords are more specific phrases that usually contain three or more words. They have a lower search volume compared to short-tail keywords but are much more targeted, often indicating a searcher's intent to take action. For instance, "Facebook advertising management for small companies" or "best SEO agencies for lawyers in Johannesburg" are long-tail keywords. 

These keywords are less competitive, making them easier to rank for, and they tend to attract more qualified traffic that is closer to making a purchase or conversion.

  1. Primary keywords

Primary keywords describe the main subject of a webpage. They identify the page content to better funnel users to your site. Consider using these keywords on your webpage in headings and naturally within the copy. As you select primary keywords, be sure to research what terms people are using to find your site and what related terms are popular in your industry or niche. 

Some companies may focus on short-tailed keywords because they already have wide brand awareness and competitive advantages. Other companies may target long-tailed keywords to find a more targeted audience.

Primary keywords example: Business website design in Cape Town

  1. Related keywords - LSI Keywords (Latent Semantic Indexing)

Related keywords, also called LSI (latent semantic) keywords, are words or terms that are similar to your primary keywords with minor additions or variations.

They help search engines understand the content's context and relevance to the search query. Including LSI keywords in your content can improve its visibility and ranking for related searches. They may also include spelling variations or spelling errors. 

Consider these related keywords for the primary keywords mentioned above:

Primary keyword: Business website design in Cape Town
Related keywords: Professional web design in Cape Town, Marketing web site designs in Cape Town

  1. Buyer keywords - Intent-Based Keywords

Keyword Intent

Buyer Intent-based  keywords are words and phrases visitors use when they want to learn more about a product or service or make a purchase. Different types of keywords can reveal where the customer is within the purchase process. 

Intent-based keywords can be classified into four main types:

Informational: Informational keywords apply to users who are just beginning the search process and are looking for information about a product or service. These keywords may be something like, "How to find a Logo designer."

Navigational: Visitors further along in the sales cycle use navigational keywords to go to a specific site. For example, you may search, "ITM Logo Design Gqeberha."

Transactional: Users incorporate transactional keywords when they are ready to make a purchase, such as "Get A Quote form for Logo Design in Gqeberha."

Commercial Investigation: When searchers are comparing products or looking for reviews before making a purchase decision, they use keywords like "Best logo designs in 2024" or "Freelance Logo Design vs AI Logo Design."

By integrating a mix of these keyword types into your content strategy, you can capture a broader spectrum of search intents, from broad informational searches to specific transactional queries. This approach helps in attracting a diverse audience, improving search engine rankings, and driving more targeted traffic to your website.

Keyword Research is a Science

Keyword research is a scientific, data driven exercise with clear goals and established procedures. Long gone are the days when businesse owners would generate long lists of keywords, or use keywords generation tools. Instead we use sophisticated tools to analyse and research data from search engines, such as Google, to identify keywords that are suitable for your business. By analysing traffic volumes, competition and undersatanding your audience needs, we develop a keyword strategy to grow your business visibility effectively over time.

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