Keywords: what they are and what they are for



We have written several articles on SEO, which you can read here, but what is the first thing to do before proceeding with SEO optimization of an article?

The first thing to do is the research of keywords. These, in fact, are the basis of all SEO optimization.

Let’s see together what they are, what they are used for and how many types they are.

What are keywords

Keywords or keyword are strings composed of one or more words. They are exact terms that are used to position a piece of content.

They should not be confused with the query. Any term entered in the search bar of Google, or other search engines, can be considered a query. Queries are typed in by the content searcher, so they can be misspelled, have incorrect grammatical forms or even be identical to keywords.

Keywords are therefore used by those who work on the site (marketers, seo, etc.) and are an abstraction of the queries that, instead, are used by users who query search engines to look for information on a specific topic.

What are keywords for

Behind every search there is an intention called search intent. The difficulty is then to identify the search intent to be able to then choose the keywords to use to index the contents and provide the user with what he was looking for just when he was looking for it.

Keywords must be carefully selected to get found on Google. In fact, these search terms must be used to optimize the website.

The most effective keywords are those that answer users’ questions. The more well-written and search-responsive your articles are, the more they climb the Google SERPs, get clicked on, and bring in potential customers.

How many types of keywords are there

We can classify keywords based on the type of intent, at research volume and to the role used in strategy SEO.

Type of intent

By intent we mean the search intention that is there by the person typing these words. We can divide keywords into:

  • Keyword Commercial: are also known as money keywords, they are those keywords that have a higher probability of attracting users to the site who are likely to convert into customers. So they are the most suitable keywords for e-commerce. To check if the keyword is right for us just type it on Google and check the type of SERP that appears, if there are other e-commerce and paid ads then the keyword is right for us.
  • Keyword TransactionalCompared to the previous ones, they target users who are really willing to make a purchase. They are therefore explicit and specific terms such as “buy”, “subscribe” or “on sale”. In this way, users landing on the site will be highly selected: they have taken information and now they want to buy.
  • Keyword Informational: are the ones with the highest search volume, i.e. the keywords used by people looking for information. They usually contain “where”, “how”, etc… They are not keywords suitable for selling, therefore not suitable for e-commerce, because they probably won’t bring revenue.
  • Keyword NavigationalThey are used to find the site of a brand when you don’t remember the precise address, for example “google” to get to the search engine. Sometimes it can be useful to use the name of our brand for Adwords campaigns, so that those who search for us find us first in the SERP. These keywords are also used by those who have already decided to buy a service or a product, or are already customers.

Search volume

In this case we are talking about:

  • Vanity Keywordare words with high search volume and low conversion rate. They are composed of one or two terms. They describe the site’s topic in a generic and unspecific way, such as “smartphone”. They therefore attract low qualified traffic which generates a low conversion rate.
  • Short-tail keywords: are also called short tail keywords, consisting of 3 terms or less. They have lower search volumes than vanity keyword, but still high. They have high competitiveness, so ranking in SERPs is difficult.
  • Long tail keywords: long tail keywords, very specific keywords composed of 4 or more terms with low search volume and therefore little competition, more targeted. Therefore, you have less traffic, but quality.

SEO usage type

Each type of key plays a different role in SEO strategy, so we can have:

  • Main key: is the most relevant and pertinent keyword. It has a high search volume. From this keyword, all content optimization is developed.
  • Secondary Keys: contain the main key, but are longer and add a prefix or suffix, such as a place “modena”, “bologna” etc…
  • Related keys: They do not contain the main key, but are still relevant. They are useful for designing the content structure.
  • Lateral or owl keys: are relevant but not relevant keys. They have a high search volume and low competition. They are still useful for creating content even if it is not directly related to your business, because they help bring attention to your site.
  • Brand keywordsis a key that contains the company name. A high search volume of brand keys is a very strong signal for Google: our company is trustworthy. This will allow us to get better content placements in SERPs. An example of a brand key could be a search query followed by the name “Aranzulla”.

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Photos by Nong Vang from Unsplash

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