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How to Do Keyword Research: 7 Keyword Types to Focus On

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Conducting keyword research is important for SEO, but doing keyword research effectively requires knowledge about the different types of keywords. Whether you’re building a content strategy or looking to better optimize a website, here are the keywords and phrases you need to focus on when doing keyword research.

Broad Keywords

Typically, the first step with keyword research is to look for broad keywords. These keywords provide you with a broad view of a topic and give you a starting place for building a keyword list. Also, broad keywords often have the highest monthly search volume, making them the most difficult keywords to target for SEO wins.

Say you’re creating website content for a landscaping company. Your broad keywords might be:

  • landscaping
  • landscaping companies
  • landscaping services

Main Keywords

Similar to broad keywords are main keywords. The difference between the two is that broad keywords are more like a general category, whereas main keywords are a focus within that category. Think of it like industry vs. service. A business is part of a larger industry, but offers certain services within that industry.

Continuing with our example of the landscaping company, let’s say you primarily serve residential customers with landscaping services. Your main keywords may look like:

  • residential landscaping
  • residential landscaping company
  • residential landscaping services

Related Keywords

Related keywords are secondary terms that help you narrow the focus of your broad and main keywords. These keywords allow you to target more specific phrases that branch off of the larger topic.

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When building a keyword list, you’ll have more related keywords than you will broad or main. Many of these secondary keywords will also have lower monthly search volumes than broad or main keywords. This is because their focus is narrower, which makes them easier to target for SEO wins.

Once again, using our landscaping company example, related keywords could include:

  • front yard landscaping
  • side yard landscaping
  • backyard landscaping
  • front yard design
  • backyard design
  • backyard garden design
  • backyard water features
  • retaining wall installation
  • patio installation
  • pool installation

Long-Tail Keywords

What is a long-tail keyword? It’s a keyword with a more specific search phrase. Usually, long-tail keywords will include three or more words and have some kind of modifier related to a searcher’s needs (e.g., cheap).

While these keywords often have low search volumes because of their specificity, they’re valuable for SEO because they’re less competitive. But most importantly, they’re more likely to drive website traffic and conversions because the searchers using them are looking for particular products or services.

With our landscaping company example, long-tail keywords could be:

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  • affordable residential landscaping services
  • residential landscaping services for elderly
  • landscaping company for retaining wall installation
  • landscaping services with lawn care and snow removal

Geo-Targeted Keywords

Especially if you’re a business that serves local customers, you’ll want to include geo-targeted keywords in your list. These keywords are essentially a type of long-tail keyword, in that they combine broad, main, and related keywords with a local area modifier (e.g., near me).

Using our example of the landscaping company, geo-targeted keywords might include:

  • residential landscaping in Chicago
  • patio installation company near Lincoln Park
  • Chicago area landscaping services
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User Intent Phrases

Like long-tail keywords, user intent phrases are specific and centered around an “intent.” In many cases, the intent is an answer to a question. User intent phrases typically include a broad, main, or related keyword and are used by searchers to find answers online (most commonly through voice search).

Despite having lower search volumes, these phrases are worth including in your keyword research because they show you which questions are being asked by online searchers (who could be potential customers), as well as which questions are relevant to the content you plan to create.

In line with our landscaping company example, user intent phrases may look like:

  • How much does landscaping cost?
  • What does landscape design include?
  • Do I need a retaining wall in my front yard?

Semantic Terms

Semantic terms are simply words related to your broad keywords. As you come up with your SEO keyword list, it’s a good idea to include these terms because they can help you come up with more keyword variations, and they’re good to work into your content optimization, as they provide context around the keywords you use.

For our landscaping company example, semantic terms might include:

  • yard
  • mulch
  • maintenance
  • flowers
  • gardening
  • mowing
  • aerating
  • lawn
  • patio
  • trees
  • shrubs
  • installation
  • sprinklers
  • lights

Need website optimization help? Hurrdat Marketing offers content marketing services and SEO services that can help you target relevant keywords and get found in search engine results. Contact us today to learn more!

Source: Colin Ball

NEWS

Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”

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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.

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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.

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But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.

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One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.

Citations

Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

[embedded content]

Searchenginejournal.com

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