16 / 09 / 2021

What are keywords and how are they used?

SEO expert Barcelona
Gerard Osan
SEO expert
SectorLet's talk about

Use keywords to solve the users search intent.

What is a keyword?

A keyword is a term formed by one or more words that are usually used to search in Google. That is to say, if someone is thinking of buying a cheap reflex camera, he will probably search in Google: "cheap reflex camera", this would be an example of a keyword.

The same search concept can have keywords that vary slightly or add new search requirements, and Google, which is all over the place, always suggests keywords that are related to the search being performed to increase the options of results and improve the user experience.

keyword research google

How do keywords work?

The main function of keywords is to contribute to the organic positioning of a website and get users to access the website by searching for specific keywords.

For example, if you have an ecommerce of reflex cameras, you can introduce in the different contents of your website the main keywords that users usually use to search for the products they want to buy. And you may ask yourself: "How do I know what keywords people use to search for my products? Doing a previous keyword research.

How to do a keyword research?

It sounds difficult, and it is, but only a little bit. A keyword research consists of carrying out an exhaustive research on the keywords that have more searches and, therefore, the most important to use on your website and get users to click on the link to your website to take a look at your products or services.

But REMEMBER. You should not only look for words, but also phrases or concepts that solve the users' search intention. It is important to be clear whether a user wants to buy or obtain information, and to know what kind of keywords to use in each case. Depending on the services or products you offer on your website, you can adapt the keywords to meet the needs of users who come to Google.

Nowadays there are many tools that can help you speed up your keyword research. Choose the one that best suits your needs and become the Sherlock Holmes of keywords. Here is a list of keyword research tools:
  • Semrush
  • Answer the Public
  • Keyword Revealer
  • Keywords Everywhere
  • Google Trends
  • Ubersuggest
  • Ahrefs

What types of keywords are there?

Keywords are in a wide and vast universe, an endless horizon. But I will try to put some light at the end of the tunnel. Keywords are useful and necessary for SEO positioning, there is no doubt about that, but they are also essential to know what the user wants or needs and how you can solve that concern.

Knowing what types of keywords there are and how to categorize them can help you better understand when you can use them and in what way. Below, I will explain the main types of keywords that exist:

Search intent keywords:

Does the user want to buy or just need to find out about the product or service? With keywords you can respond to the user's needs and solve their doubts.
  • Navigational: This type of keyword refers to the search for a specific brand: "Canon". In this case, instead of searching in the browser bar for the official website, users type the brand name in Google, but it is important that the official website appears in the first position.
  • Informative: These are the keywords used by the user to perform an exclusively informative search that initially does not have a specific purchase objective. In this case, we can find keywords such as: "differences between reflex and digital camera", or: "how does a reflex camera work". This type of keywords help the SEO positioning of the web.
  • Transactional: These are the keywords that users use when they have a direct purchase intention, such as: "buy reflex camera" or "cheap reflex camera". These keywords are the most competitive and it is important to use them correctly within the web.
  • Commercial research: These keywords are usually used by the user to obtain information prior to a purchase. That is to say, they have the intention to get information and buy. A clear example is: "best reflex cameras 2021" or "best reflex cameras comparison". These searches are performed during the first stage of the purchase funnel, the acquisition phase. 
  • Premises: There are users who search for services or businesses in a specific location. If you have a business in a specific location you could enter the name of your city next to the service you offer. Here is an example: "digital reflex cameras Barcelona", or "reflex camera repair Madrid". This kind of keywords favor local SEO.

Seasonal keywords:

The year is full of special occasions and keywords can also be adapted to these annual times.
  • Seasonal: These are keywords that refer to specific events of the year, such as: Black Friday, Christmas, Valentine's Day or Sant Jordi. During these dates, new searches are generated by users who want to find gifts or offers. It is the time to add these keywords in your web content to increase positioning and offer the user what he is looking for.

Keywords by length:

Size matters, also in keywords. Depending on the set of keywords the degree of accuracy of the search will be totally different. The following criteria exist:
  • Short Tail: Generic and very broad words such as "camera" or "photography". They can refer to different issues and do not clearly define the user's search intention, even so, they have large volumes of searches.
  • Broad Match or Medium Tail: Terms that usually consist of 2 or 3 words. They are more specific and offer more information about what the user is looking for. In this case you can find keywords such as: "canon reflex camera" or "reflex photography course".
  • Long Tail: These are more complete and specific phrases. They clearly define the user's search intention. With Long Tail keywords you can know the specific needs of users. They do not have a large volume of searches, but they help to generate visits. These keywords can be: "photography course reflex camera in Barcelona" or "buy cheap reflex camera online".
Finally, it is important to emphasize the value of using keywords in the SEO content of a website or an online store. Using the right keywords to solve the search or purchase intention of the user is what Google values above all; for this reason it is necessary to give keywords the prominence they deserve, doing a good keyword research with which you can know well your target audience and offer them what they are looking for.  

Once you have done this, naturally introduce SEO content on your website, and every time you are in front of your computer screen to start writing, repeat the following mantra: "I want to help the user find what they are looking for". Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and start succeeding with SEO keyword selection for your website.
SEO expert Barcelona
About the author
Gerard Osan — SEO expert
Within online marketing I have focused my professional career on technical SEO and web analytics. I also spend some time programming, looking for web development to bring optimized resources to marketing.

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