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Types of Keywords

Everyone knows that keyword usage is one way of ensuring that your website gets ranked properly and in accordance with what you are looking to achieve. If you sell vacuum cleaners, you probably wouldn’t want your website to rank for books or washing machines, right?

In this post, we’ll look at the types of keywords that exist out there and that you can use to your advantage to increase your organic search traffic. For anyone who’s just built a website or doesn’t yet know enough about SEO, in general, the information below will prove to be valuable. 

Different types of keywords

There are a variety of Adwords keyword types or SEO keyword types, for that matter, and the reason we can’t organize them all based on a single category is that they achieve different things. 

Some can be a little more specific than others, some are longer, some are shorter, and the user intent is different based on the keyword types, too. 

  1. Long-tail or short-tail

Long-tail keywords are usually those that are composed of more than 3 words. They are somewhat more specific, so you will be able to target the right audience if you focus on using them. Since they usually have lower search volumes compared to their short-tail counterparts, they’re often easier to rank for, provided that you aren’t in a very competitive niche. 

Short-tail keywords are made of less than 3-4 words and they are usually generic, which is why they’re also very competitive. 

They’re also not very specific, which means that if you sell Dyson vacuum cleaners, for example, and you’re based in a specific region, and someone looks for ‘vacuum cleaner’, it’s a good chance that they aren’t going to come across your website. 

  1. Fresh or evergreen

Fresh keywords are sometimes easy to rank for if an event, person, or something else becomes really popular in a rather short amount of time. However, in most cases, the search volume of such keywords goes up, and then it quickly goes down.

Therefore, the pages or posts that you will create on your site around that particular keyword are probably going to get less and less traffic as time goes by, and the news is of no interest anymore.

By contrast, evergreen keywords are those that people look for on a regular basis and, more importantly, that they will look for forever. While it might be true that the search volume of such keywords isn’t as high as that of their fresh counterparts, they’re more stable, so they will bring in a share of organic traffic in a consistent manner. 

More importantly, you will not have created ‘useless’ pages and posts on your site, which will ultimately consume a part of your crawl budget for no reason at all. 

  1. Geo-targeting

These are keywords that relate to businesses or activities happening in a specific location. Many of them have a somewhat low search volume, but they also have a low competitive rate. They’re search-specific, so when people are looking for a ‘plumber in Glasgow’, they want just that, not an electrician and not a plumber located somewhere else.

The advantage of such keywords is that they ensure a high conversion rate, so they can be critical for local businesses or those that deliver merch to a specific region. 

  1. Intent-targeting

Whether they are transactional, informational, or commercial, intent-targeting keywords are among the best Google keyword types that marketers and website owners can use to their advantage. 

With informational keyword types, you’re merely educating your audience, thanks to the commercial ones you can sell merchandise to people, and the transactional types of Adwords keywords are often used by users who are already making comparisons between products or between online stores. 

Classic buyer-intent keywords usually sound in the lines of ‘buy water boiler’, ‘best water boiler for the money’, ‘cheap water boiler’ and a number of variations on the same theme. 

  1. Generic

As their name suggests, these keywords are very broad, and because of this, they’re practically impossible to rank for. Moreover, they don’t serve a particular purpose. If someone looks for ‘hair dye’, it’s not going to help you with something in particular. 

Besides, if you have articles on your site that deal with hair dye, you’ll probably rank for that keyword anyway, since you’ll naturally use it in your content. Of course, since the competition for these keywords is incredibly high, while you might rank for them, you’re probably going to show up on page 100 or more. 

In general, it’s best to be as specific as possible when performing your keyword research. Otherwise, you will miss valuable opportunities to increase your search traffic. 

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Craig Campbell

I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 18 years.

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