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What’s a Primary Keyword? Debunking Your Main Keyword

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TrioSEO - Connor Gillivan

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In SEO, visibility is everything; we have primary keywords to thank for that. 

This comprehensive guide will debunk the primary keywords, also called main keywords, and clarify their significance. You’ll understand their importance, why they matter, and how to use them effectively.

Let’s get started!

What Are Primary Keywords?

As we dive into the topic of primary keywords, it’s vital to understand what they are and why they are indispensable. 

Primary keywords, often regarded as the cornerstone of SEO efforts, are the select phrases and terms that succinctly capture the essence of your content. They are pivotal in helping search engines understand pages, which is decisive in determining your site’s ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs)

Utilizing primary keywords offers numerous benefits. It not only improves your site’s visibility and accessibility but also paves the way for more focused audience engagement. This strategy can increase organic traffic and bolster your site’s credibility and authority in the digital realm.

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Why Are Keywords Important?

The importance of keywords must be balanced because it hinges on how search engines deliver accurate results.

  1. Keyword relevance: If you were a flower shop owner specializing in tulips, your main keywords could include “Buy Tulip Bouquets” and “Fresh Tulips in [City].” These phrases concisely encapsulate your business’s unique selling proposition.
  2. Visibility: With these pinpointed phrases, potential customers can quickly discover you when they type ‘fresh tulip bouquets’ into a search engine like Google.
  3. Competitive edge: Properly chosen and optimized main keywords give you an edge over competitors who have yet to use this SEO tool effectively.

Ultimately, do keywords matter in SEO? 


They bridge the gap between intent-driven queries from potential customers and relevant content creators ready to fulfill these needs.

Topics vs. Keywords: Are They The Same?

Interestingly, while topics and primary keywords seem closely related – they are not identical in SEO. 

Let’s untangle this web:

  • Topics: In practical terms, a case represents a broad umbrella under which numerous associated ideas can find shelter. For instance, if we choose the topic of ‘Digital Marketing,’ it would encompass many associated themes like SEO, social media marketing, email campaigns, etc.
  • Keywords: Whereas keywords, specifically primary ones, are far more hunt sharp. They target a specific aspect of the overall topic. Assuming our chosen subject is ‘how to choose keywords for SEO,’ relevant primary keywords could include ‘choosing keywords,’ ‘SEO keyword selection,’ or even something precise like ‘primary keyword strategy.’

Think of topics as overarching themes guiding your content, while primary keywords serve as targeted tools to draw interested visitors to your themed space. 

Working harmoniously, they play unique yet complementary roles in shaping a robust SEO strategy, ultimately enhancing your website’s search engine visibility and expanding audience reach and engagement.

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Why Should I Care About Keywords?

When it comes to managing a website, there are many responsibilities. You might pause and ask, “Do keywords matter in SEO?” 

The answer is a resounding yes – they play an integral role in your content’s success. 

Enhancing Your Website’s Visibility

Plain and simple- keywords help increase your visibility. When users search for something in a search engine, such as Google or Bing, having the main keyword for the search engine’ can help match your webpage with their needs. 

Serving as Web Content Guideposts

Another reason you should pay attention to keywords is because they act as guideposts for your content creation process. Before starting, do keyword research and identify your main keyword. That’s how keywords work; they ensure your subject matter tackles what users want to know.

Connecting with Target Audience

Utilizing primary keywords is essential in effectively reaching your target audience. These keywords involve understanding the terms potential customers use while searching for services or products you offer, enabling you to tailor content to their preferences and needs.

Beyond just boosting traffic, the right keywords help attract visitors who are genuinely interested in your offerings. 

This introduces the advantage of long-tail keywords— less frequently searched phrases with higher conversion rates as they appeal to users with specific intentions. Leveraging these can foster connections with individuals ready to purchase rather than browse.

Diving into SEO and mastering the nuances between search engine algorithms and user behavior is intriguing and potentially lucrative. Done correctly, it transforms casual browsers into actual buyers.

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How to Find Primary Keywords

Choosing the right primary keywords is essential in enhancing the discoverability of your online content. But how do you identify those pivotal phrases that can boost your visibility on SERPs? 

Let’s learn how:

Identify Your Niche

Your journey to an audience-centric keyword discovery begins with understanding your niche or industry. Take time to analyze what type of content is relevant in your space, including market trends, topics generating buzz, or recurring issues faced by audiences within this sector.

Analyze Competitors’ Keywords

Monitor the SEO strategies of competing brands as they provide valuable insights. Look specifically at what main keywords they target across their digital platforms. A wealth of tools are available online for competitor keyword research.

Harness Digital Tools

Use SEO software tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, Moz Keyword Explorer, or Ubersuggest as part of your keyword research. These powerful apps can generate lists of potential keywords and provide valuable metrics such as search volume and competition levels.

Remember that different tools may throw out differing results due to their unique algorithms and databases, so cross-referencing between multiple platforms is critical to success.

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How to Optimize Your Main Keyword

Optimizing your primary keyword is crucial. However, a strategic approach is involved.

Identify the Intention Behind Your Primary Keyword

First and foremost, try to get behind the motivation or intent of the people who use your primary keyword. Does it align with informational, navigational, commercial, or transactional searches? This perspective will guide you through crafting content that fulfills this need, making your efforts more effective.

Position Your Keywords Strategically

Avoid reckless sprinkling of keywords on a website; instead, place them strategically in prominent places like the title tag, meta description, headers (H1 and H2), URL slug, and naturally throughout your content. Remember to include them in image alt texts, too. This way, you’re informing search engines what your page is all about.

Incorporate Variations And Synonyms

To make your content sound natural, incorporate variations and synonyms of the primary keyword. For instance, “How do keywords work” could also be formulated as “the mechanics behind keywords.”

Utilize Them Within The Right Context

Last but not least is relevancy – keeping those SEO keywords meaning intact by contextualizing them can significantly impact how their power is harvested. 

In simpler terms, don’t force a square peg into a round hole – ensure that related topics organically support context around your primary keyword.

Follow these steps religiously when trying to figure out how to choose keywords for SEO; it’s much more than merely selecting phrases relevant to your business or website—it involves careful consideration.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a few frequently asked questions surrounding this topic:

What Keywords Are Best To Target?

Targeting keywords shouldn’t be a shot in the dark; there’s an art to it. It starts with understanding your target audience and their search behavior. 

Traditionally, the best keywords to target align with your products or services and have high search volumes and low competition. It would be best to look for a blend of primary keywords, relevant synonyms, and related phrases.

However, consider factors like user intent behind keyword searches and how these match up with your business offerings. SEO keywords’ meaning will vary depending on the context, so it is essential not just to optimize for popularity but also for relevance.

Where Should Primary Keywords Be Used?

Primary keywords should smoothly integrate throughout your web content to help guide search engine bots and users. 

However, specific spots are especially critical:

  1. Title Tag: It’s often the first thing Google reads.
  2. Meta Description: Though less vital than the title tag, it helps describe your page more accurately.
  3. Headings & Subheadings (H1, H2..): Using primary keywords here makes it easy for readers (and search engines) to understand what the page is about.
  4. URLs: Clean URLs optimized with primary keywords can boost your rank.
  5. Alt Texts of Images: Use descriptive, optimized text to tell users and search engines what images are about.
  6. Body Content: Sprinkle them naturally without sacrificing readability.

Remember, always aim for a natural keyword instead of forcing them where they don’t fit.

Dos and Don’ts of Primary Keywords

Below are a few dons and don’ts of primary keywords:


  • Use various online tools, like Ahrefs or Moz’s Keyword Explorer, while researching effective primary keywords.
  • Do consider longer, conversational queries because people often use voice assistants nowadays.
  • Remember to track which keywords perform well over time using analytics tools like Google Analytics.


  • Use keywords sparingly, known as keyword stuffing. Not only can this lead to a negative user experience, but it can also trigger Google penalties.
  • Think twice before choosing very competitive keywords that industry giants may dominate.

How Many Primary Keywords Should I Use Per Page?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer here because the number and usage of primary keywords depend on your content length and readability. A good rule of thumb is 1-3 primary keywords per 500 words of content for best results. Remember, search engines prioritize quality over quantity, so don’t compromise your content’s natural flow or relevance to cram more keywords.

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Primary Keywords vs. Long-tail Keywords – What’s the Difference?

The most significant difference lies in their expansiveness and specificity. 

Primary keywords are broad, highly searched terms like “vintage cars.” Long-tail keywords are narrower phrases (typically three or more words) with lower search volumes, such as “best vintage sports cars from the ’60s”.

Despite their low search volume individually, long-tail keywords collectively account for most web searches. They tap niche audiences and yield better conversion rates due to their specific nature.

What Does a Search Engine Do When You Enter a Keyword or Phrase?

When you key in your query, search engines index pages under relevant topics in microseconds. Knowledge graphs are developed using complex algorithms that allow these engines to understand user intent (semantics) behind queries apart from matching exact keywords.

Next, they rank these based on hundreds of factors, including relevance of page content (how well does this content answer the searcher’s question?) and page authority (what is the source? Is it credible and trustworthy?). 

Therefore, keep proving value with high-quality content optimized using related main keyword strings to help boost visibility on SERP (Search Engine Result Pages).

Search Terms vs. Search Keywords – Are They The Same?

While similar, they’re different. 

A search term is precisely what a user types into a search engine, including spelling mistakes and odd phrasings. In contrast, a search keyword (or just ‘keyword’) is an industry-targeted term professionals use to optimize web content for SEO.

For instance, the keywords you target with your SEO might be “winter gloves,” but a searcher’s actual phrase could be anything from “warmest winter gloves” to “buy winter gloves online.” 

Although understanding keywords is critical for SEO, getting insights into actual search terms leads to more effective strategic decision-making.

Why is it Important to Include as Many Relevant Keywords as Possible?

Using relevant keywords expands your reach to diverse audience segments, accommodating how people phrase their searches, influenced by region, age group, and language proficiency.

However, avoid keyword stuffing; incorporating irrelevant keywords will not enhance your page’s relevance to Google bots or human users. It could harm your site’s standing. Remember, maintaining relevance is key.

Wait a minute! Want to explore more SEO content?


Understanding primary keywords in SEO is crucial for building a robust online presence. These keywords are central to your content strategy, helping direct relevant audiences to your website and increasing its visibility on search platforms.

When selecting these keywords, ensure they meet search engine criteria and resonate with your readers, emphasizing user intent. Recognizing the distinct roles of various keywords, including long-tail and primary keywords, is vital for optimizing content effectively.

Regularly update your keywords to align with changing trends and user preferences, utilizing keyword research tools to aid this process. Mastering primary keywords means adapting to evolving algorithms and user behaviors, a practice central to enhancing website visibility and engagement. 

We hope this guide has served you well!

TrioSEO - Connor Gillivan

Want more traffic and leads? Turn your website into a traffic generation hub. Get started and we’ll conduct a free SEO audit to see if working together is a good fit. 

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Steven is the Co-founder & CEO of TrioSEO. His background is in large-scale blogging where he co-owned 40 websites and helped grow the portfolio to 7-figures within 3 years. Follow him on LinkedIn for daily SEO tips, tricks, and strategies.

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