Keywords make it possible for people to find your website and your digital content on search engines. Every time users enter queries in a search engine, they will receive a list of websites that provide the answers to those queries. 

Search engines use keywords to understand your content better. Unlike in the past, stuffing your online content with relevant queries won't be enough to increase your search rankings. Now, you must focus on creating relevant content for your audience with keywords making up only 1% or 2% of all the words on your page. 

What Is a Keyword?

A keyword refers to any query entered on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. It can be a single word or a short phrase. As a website owner or content creator, you want your webpages to be relevant to the queries that people are looking up.

Optimizing your content to match search queries will aid in search engine optimization and marketing efforts. Keyword optimization has myriad benefits, including the following:

  • Creating relevant content for the target audience
  • Improving search rankings
  • Driving qualified traffic to the website
  • Increasing conversions

Types of Keywords

There are three different kinds of keywords in terms of length. Each one has its pros and cons, but using them together to form an integrated keyword strategy enables you to rank for different queries, increase your visibility, and generate organic traffic. 

  • Short-Tail

A short-tail, also known as a generic keyword, is a general search query such as “laptops” or “tents.” It may have one to two words. This type of search term yields high competition among results. Since it's only a vague query, it can generate a lot of traffic. It, however, won’t always deliver the visitors you need.

  • Mid-Tail

A mid-tail keyword is more descriptive than a generic search term, which can help narrow down search results. It can have two to three words, like “best laptops” or “best tents.” 

  • Long-Tail

 A long-tail keyword is made up of three core terms: head, modifier, and tail. The order of the core terms doesn’t really matter. Users can, for instance, input “the best camping tents” or “the best tents for camping” to search for relevant results.

Since the search term is targeted towards a specific topic or audience, the search results will be lower in number compared to generic queries. The terms will also drive more convertible traffic.

Keyword Match Types

In Google Ads, there are five different match types you can use to optimize your campaigns. Familiarize yourself with each type so that you can generate the results you want.

  • Broad match

The broad match will give you the widest reach. It tells Google to show your ad for searches containing your chosen query, as well as for variations of that query.

  • Phrase match

If you target phrase match keywords, Google will show your ad only to searches that contain the exact query. Other words can come before or after the search query, as long as the exact phrase is used.

  • Exact match

An exact match might yield a small reach, but it will lead to highly convertible traffic. The search query has to match the exact keyword phrase in order for the ad to show up.

  • Negative

A negative match refers to the terms that you want to exclude from your campaigns.

The Main Qualities of Keywords

Aside from length and specificity, keywords have other qualities that will help you determine the most relevant and effective search queries to target.

  • Search volume

The search volume lets you gauge the popularity of a query. It shows the number of times a query has been entered in search engines. It also lets you know how much potential traffic you can drive by using a specific query.

  • Competitiveness

A search term’s competitiveness refers to the level of difficulty involved upon ranking it on search engines. If a query is popular, it’s most likely going to be highly competitive in terms of search results. Aside from the popularity of the term, the amount of competition within the industry itself will determine its competitiveness.

Doing a competitive analysis will lead you to high-volume queries that haven’t been used by other companies in your niche.

  • Price

Every search term has a price. The cost per click allows marketers to determine how much they need to pay each time a visitor clicks on an ad after entering a keyword on a search engine.

About the Author
With over 15 years in content marketing, Werner founded Influencer Marketing Hub in 2016. He successfully grew the platform to attract 5 million monthly visitors, making it a key site for brand marketers globally. His efforts led to the company's acquisition in 2020. Additionally, Werner's expertise has been recognized by major marketing and tech publications, including Forbes, TechCrunch, BBC and Wired.