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4 Types of Keywords and Their Differences

4 Types of Keywords and Their Differences

Effective content writing is a vital part of digital marketing for every type of business. Whether you’re writing a blog, content for your homepage, or content for a landing page, it’s crucial to know which keywords to target. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. With so many types of keywords to consider for your content, it can be difficult to settle on a final primary keyword and a list of secondary keywords. As an agency that has helped hundreds of businesses with their search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, the team at FirstPage Marketing knows how difficult it can be to select the right keywords for your content. That’s why we’ve compiled some information on 4 types of keywords and their differences to help you understand which options are best for your content, goals, and general marketing strategy.

Learn about some of the most common content mistakes and how to avoid them.

What are Keywords?

First, it’s important to understand what keywords are. In terms of SEO, a keyword is a word or phrase that is utilized in your writing to help your target audience find your content (and your pages) when they perform an online search. For example, if you own a small sporting goods store, you will likely target words like “basketballs”, “baseballs”, “hockey sticks”, and “goalie pads” to help customers discover your products. In addition to words and short phrases, you may also target phrases such as “kids softball equipment” or “hockey equipment in City Name” depending on your goals and the pages you are writing content for.

When selecting keywords for a page, you will typically select a primary keyword to target and a list of secondary keywords. For example, if you are writing content for your hockey equipment page, your primary keyword can be “hockey equipment”, while your secondary keywords can focus on different products like “hockey sticks”, “shoulder pads”, and “hockey helmets”. When using keywords in your content, it is important to understand how to choose the right SEO keywords based on your audience and their search/user intent. Without this information, you may end up selecting keywords that have no search volume or words/phrases that are not entirely relevant to your product offerings.

4 Common Types of Keywords

While every keyword works to bring traffic to your website and drive conversions, there are several different types that should be considered for your content. Though you may be tempted to only target one type of keyword for your content writing efforts, it is typically worth utilizing multiple types of keywords based on your audience and their search intent. The most common types of keywords include:

1. Short-Tail Keywords

These are extremely common keywords that consist of 1 to 3 words. Due to their shorter length, they are often much broader than other types of keywords. To continue with our sporting goods example, terms such as “hockey equipment” and “soccer balls” would qualify as short-tail keywords. While short-tail keywords tend to have really high search traffic, they can be quite difficult to rank for depending on the industry and the amount of businesses that are already targeting them. Short-tail keywords can be effectively utilized in page titles or within page content based on your goals and marketing strategy.

2. Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are phrases that are typically more than 3 words long. In some cases, they may even be a complete sentence. This makes them a great choice for blog titles and page titles, though they can also be effectively used within page content. Examples of long-tail keywords can include “hockey equipment for kids” or “sporting equipment for sale”. Long-tail keywords can also be used in conjunction with city names, allowing for more precise geo-targeting and increased local search performance.

3. Questions

Question keywords have become increasingly popular in recent years. As you may have already guessed, this type of keyword takes the form of a question. For example, if a user searches “what equipment is needed for hockey?”, this is a question keyword that you can use for your content writing efforts. While questions can be difficult to insert organically into paragraph content, they are the perfect keyword to target with blog article titles, landing page titles, and subheadings. This means that you can write a blog article with this question as the title and then create content that answers the question.

4. Intent-Targeting Keywords

These keywords help to indicate where users are on their buying journey. As referenced by their name, intent-targeting keywords are based on an understanding of user intent. There are four types of intent-targeting keywords: informational, transactional, commercial, and navigational.

  • Informational – When people are searching for informational keywords, they are looking to have their questions answered or to gather information on a certain subject. Question keywords are commonly classified as informational keywords.
  • Commercial – People searching for these keywords are likely interested in shopping around, but they are not quite ready to purchase something yet. Examples of commercial keywords can include “soccer shoe reviews” or “types of baseball bats”.
  • Transactional – If someone is using a transactional keyword, they are likely ready to purchase something. Transactional keywords are often long-tail keywords such as “where to buy hockey sticks” or “football equipment near me”.
  • Navigational – If someone is using a navigational keyword, they are trying to find a specific business or website. Navigational keywords typically include company names or brand names. For example, if someone were to type the name of your company into a search engine, this would be classified as a navigational keyword because they are trying to get to your website.

Learn what user intent is and why it matters.

To learn more about keywords, website content, and SEO, get in touch with the experts at FirstPage Marketing. We can be reached at 604-866-2230 or through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about content for your website.

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