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Types of Keywords- Categories, Examples, and More

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TrioSEO - Connor Gillivan

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The heart of any successful SEO strategy lies in one key element: Keywords. But have you ever taken a step back and thought about the various types of keywords?

In this article, we’ll explore all types of keywords, their categories, and examples. Our guide will give you insights into SEO keyword usage and paid search.

Moving beyond general knowledge, we’ll outline how to choose keywords and understand the significance behind ‘keyword intent.’ 

Whether you’re an entrepreneur eyeing online recognition or a content creator eager to make a splash digitally, mastering keyword dynamics is vital. 

Let’s get started!

What Are SEO Keywords?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, enhances your website’s visibility in organic search results, mainly through strategic keywords. Individuals frequently use these phrases or words in search engines when seeking specific information.

Incorporating the right keywords into your content is like sending out invitations across the internet, guiding potential visitors to your website where they can find the answers they seek, thus boosting your web traffic and outshining competitors.

Keywords act as bridges connecting searcher queries to your site. They range from broad ‘head’ or short-tail keywords to more specific long-tail phrases that encapsulate the main topics on your webpage, including the services and products you offer.

Selecting potent and profitable keywords with keen judgment is essential in drawing the right audience, enhancing engagement, and improving conversion rates for heightened online visibility.  

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Keyword Categories and Examples

For a better understanding, let’s dive into the categories and examples of keywords that form the cornerstone of any SEO strategy. 

Short Tail Keywords

Short tail keywords generally contain one or two words, like “iPhone.” While these category keywords can drive vast amounts of traffic due to their generic nature, they’re incredibly competitive and often lack the specificity needed for high conversion rates.

Long-Tail Keywords

Opposite to short-tail ones, long-tail keywords comprise three or more words like “best iPhone deals 2021.” Specificity is their primary attribute; as such, they attract less competition and highly targeted traffic ready to convert.

Informational Keywords

As an example of informational keywords, consider phrases like “how to train a puppy.” Users employ these query types when seeking knowledge on a specific topic. Though not immediately profitable, consistently providing valuable information builds brand credibility over time.

Navigational Keywords

Navigational terms include branding like a company name – “Amazon” or “Tesla.” Typically, people use navigational keywords to locate certain web pages. 

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Commercial Keywords

Commercial intent keyword examples might involve searches such as “best piano for beginners,” indicating prospective buyers conducting preliminary research before purchase. Catering to commercial queries improves the chances of directing warm prospects toward sales channels.

Transactional Keywords

The transactional category usually involves explicit intent to purchase products or services. Example: “Buy Sony 4K TV.” Positioning your business against transactional search can significantly boost ROI by driving hot leads ready for conversions.

Primary Keywords

Primary keywords are directly related to your website’s leading subject matter. For instance, if you run a blog about healthy recipes, “healthy cooking” could be your primary keyword.

Secondary Keywords

Secondary keywords are supportive terms relevant to the topic. Following the above example, “nutritional meals” and “low-fat recipes” would be suitable secondary keywords. They enhance SEO without cannibalizing the primary keyword’s significance.

Geo-Targeted Keywords

Geographical indicators within a search query typify this category. “Coffee shops in Los Angeles” is an example of geo-targeted keywords. These favor businesses serving local clientele and can significantly improve visibility among local search results.

LSI Keywords

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords help Google understand your content better using related terms. For a blog about ‘diet plans,’ LSI examples could include ‘meal prep’ or ‘calorie counting.’ Including these improves organic visibility and brings more specific traffic.

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Types of Keywords for Paid Search

When optimizing your pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, it’s crucial to understand the different kinds of keywords. The way you mold your keyword strategy affects visibility and cost-effectiveness. Consequently, Google Ads offers four match types: Broad Match, Phrase Match, Exact Match, and Negative Keywords.

Broad Match Keywords

Broad match keywords are the default category in PPC advertising. You’re giving the platform a direction regarding ad display; however, the exact search terms differ significantly from your chosen keyword. For instance, if you’ve opted for “women’s running shoes,” your ad might show up for queries like “sporting goods” or “running gear.”

This type of keyword captures a wide range of searches and can draw more traffic than others. But beware–a broad match can also lead to irrelevant clicks, draining your budget without much return.

Phrase Match Keywords

With phrase match type, an individual’s search must include the exact target keyword. In other words, specific words must appear together and in order.

Regardless of surrounding words or phrases within a query—a user might search “buy light blue dinner plates” or “cheap dinner plates”—your ad will appear since “dinner plates” is included in both these examples.

Phrase matches narrow down the audience circuit while maintaining versatility.

Exact Match Keywords

As the name itself suggests—exact match is stringent when it comes to matching keywords with searches. An advertisement marks a position only when someone enters an identical or strikingly similar phrase designated under this category. This approach yields hyper-targeted visitors but has comparatively lower impressions than broader categories.

Until recently, exact-match was stricter—only activating ads on identical strings—but now includes close variants like restructured sentences retaining core intent or slightly altered forms, including singular/plural switches.

Negative Keywords

Negative keywords work by excluding specific terms. You may be thinking, where’s the benefit in that? Simply put, it allows marketers to weed out irrelevant search traffic.

For instance, you might sell handmade soap but not in ‘liquid’ form; you would set ‘liquid’ as a negative keyword. Therefore, Google Ads won’t show your ad when someone searches for ‘liquid handmade soap.’

By filtering unwanted clicks, negative keywords conserve the budget and augment the click-through rate (CTR) by luring a more appropriate audience.

In conclusion, understanding these keywords is instrumental in creating successful paid campaigns. Making informed choices cultivates relevant traffic suited to individual marketing objectives—visibility or targeted conversions—which can amplify returns phenomenally.

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How to Select Keywords

Choosing the right keywords is akin to laying a solid foundation for your digital marketing strategy. It’s vital for crafting SEO-friendly content that reaches and resonates with your target audience. 

Here are some guidelines to steer your selection of pertinent terms:

Understand Your Target Audience

Before diving into keyword research, you must understand whom you’re targeting. What is their demographic profile? What sort of topics interest them? Knowing your readers’ preferences aids in brainstorming relevant category keywords and phrases.

Implement Keyword Research Tools

When selecting keywords, consider the significance of keyword research tools, such as Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush. These platforms offer critical data about popular search terms related to your product or service keywords, providing insights on competitiveness and potential monthly traffic.

Opt for a Mix of Keyword Types

Incorporating an all-inclusive mix of different keyword categories can increase the visibility of your content manifold. Each type uniquely improves SEO results from short-tail to long-tail, primary to secondary, and geo-targeted to LSI.

Examine The Competition

Studying which keywords competitors rank for serves as an effective technique for identifying meaningful search terms. You might uncover digital marketing keywords they’ve overlooked, offering an excellent opportunity to gain high rankings with less competition.

Consider Search Intent

The purpose behind users’ searches is equally significant when choosing appropriate keywords. Be sure the selected transactional or informational examples align well with what people hope to find when typing these queries into search engines.

To conclude, while there isn’t a concrete answer on how many types of keywords in SEO should be used, striking a balance between quality and quantity is key. Ultimately, remember that consistency is king: regular auditing and adjusting will keep your list fresh and competitive within ever-fluctuating search trends.

TrioSEO - Types of Keywords - Keyword Categories and Examples

How to Identify Keyword Intent

Recognizing keyword intent or understanding why a searcher uses specific terms can dramatically improve your digital marketing strategies and fine-tune your SEO efforts

Here are some steps towards untangling this web:

  1. Consider The Type of Keyword: As we’ve established, different categories of keywords often reflect various levels of intent. For instance, ‘transactional search’ terms usually signify readiness to purchase.
  2. Analyze Search Results: One of the most effective ways to gauge keyword intent is to scrutinize Google’s SERP (Search Engine Results Page) for those words/phrases. If the majority leans towards informational pages – blogs or articles- it strongly suggests an informative example or intent.
  3. Assess Competing Pages: Simply scanning through competitor content under the same set of keywords could give you invaluable insights about user expectations when they perform said searches.

Whether the user’s priority is getting some general information, finding a specific website (navigational search), making a purchase (transactional search), or somewhere in between, you can help tailor your content strategy with precision using relevant SEO keywords.

In doing so, you would want to optimize for category keywords and seek more targeted phrases based on predicted user needs, leveraging keyword examples within your sector for maximum impact.

It’s also prudent at this stage to understand what kind of format users prefer – text listings, videos, images. This, again, can temper your approach towards a more successful engagement with potential leads or customers.

Navigating keyword intent isn’t always straightforward; however, it can significantly increase the relevancy — and, by extension — effectiveness of all your SEO practices. 

While it does involve detailed research and analysis, comprehending search types can yield dividends when applied strategically.

Wait a minute! Want to explore more SEO content?

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How Many SEO Keywords Should I Use?

When it comes to employing SEO keywords, some digital marketers find themselves in a quandary — “How many types of keywords in SEO should I use per page?” 

This is a common question and one that merits an elaborate answer. 

However, stuffing your content with excessive keywords isn’t ideal, and keyword usage should always be relevant and natural.

Let’s break this down further:

  1. Quality Over Quantity: First, the Google algorithm prefers high-quality content over sheer quantity flooded with buzzwords. Therefore, prioritizing your content quality and keeping keyword usage relevant makes more sense than filling each paragraph with as many search words as possible.
  2. User Experience Matters: To keep readers engaged on your page or site, user experience (UX) is pivotal. Thus, crafting coherent sentences using appropriate keywords becomes necessary; anything less can lead users to exit your page hastily due to poor readability.
  3. Keyword Placement Counts: Where you place those hand-picked golden nuggets also counts! Strategic placements like titles, headings or subheadings, and meta descriptions take precedence over others since they directly impact how beneficial these keys are for elevating page rankings.
  4. Balance Keyword Density: Ideal keyword density typically lies within the range of 1-2% percent; ensuring adherence here prevents detrimental side-effects from what’s termed ‘keyword stuffing.’ 

In conclusion – there’s no magic number for definitive keyword quantity. 

Depending upon context, marketing strategy, niche competition, and intended reader demographic – three to five keywords per 100 words may suffice, but a flexible approach is advised. 

Hence, let’s replace ‘how many’ with ‘how effectively,’ as we value quality content with innovative keyword application over just raw numbers sans any tangible qualities.


As we wrap up our exploration of the multifaceted world of SEO keywords, remember that mastering keyword usage is both an art and a science. Leveraging different types — from short-tail to long-tail and understanding user preferences and intents — can profoundly impact your digital marketing strategy.

Understanding keyword intent, from informational to transactional searches, helps tailor content to user needs. Moreover, using geo-targeted keywords can be vital for local businesses, while being savvy about broad versus phrase match can refine your paid advertising reach and prevent unwanted traffic with negative keywords.

But SEO isn’t just about keyword quantity; it emphasizes strategically incorporating the most relevant words into quality content. We wish you the best of luck with your next keyword strategy!

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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