When it comes to the idea of keywords, anything you can type can be a keyword (otherwise known as a search query), as long as there are lots of people also looking for or typing it into search engines too.
The dictionary defines a Keyword as such:
noun-a word that serves as a key, as to the meaning of another word, a sentence, passage, or the like.-a word used to encipher or decipher a cryptogram, as a pattern for a transposition procedure or the basis for a complex substitution.-Also called catchword. Library Science. a significant or memorable word or term in the title, abstract, or text of a document or other item being indexed, used as the index entry.-Digital Technology. a word used to classify or organize digital content, or to facilitate an online search for information:Search the database for the keyword “Ireland.”
That’s great, but what does that really mean for the everyday searcher or customer?
In this short blog post, we’re going to throw out some of the more relevant criteria and ideas around what a keyword is and what it does when it comes to search intent or commercial intent (a.k.a. marketing efforts).
What are Pay Per Click keywords?
Pay Per Click, or PPC (and also sometimes referred to as CPC or Cost Per Click) keywords are aimed at placing an ad (think Google Ads) or piece of content in front of the searcher at the bottom of the marketing funnel when they are ready to make a purchase. You’re presenting them with a solution, be it a product or service, for their problems.
There is a serious art to this as it’s not quite as simple as it sounds, especially when using the largest marketplace on the internet, Google Ad Network.
There are things like exact match, broad match, and other modifiers that can mean the difference between a successful campaign, or an empty bank account. However, you can start by adding your competitor’s URL’s into the keyword tool to understand some of the keywords they are going after and trying to beat their bids to win those clicks for yourself. As you get more comfortable and profitable, you can test some of the other keyword modifiers that will open your ads up to a wider audience.
What are SEO Keywords?
Much like PPC keywords, Search Engine Optimization focused keywords are about serving the user relevancy after they type in a search query. This time, more often than not, you’re dealing with a different part of the “funnel”. Instead of picking specific keywords or keyword clusters that are closer to the purchase level of a funnel, you’re up a few levels aimed at informing the searcher of your product or service by answering potential questions they may have.
When doing your keyword research for SEO, you want to pay attention to keyword search volume a little more closely when it comes to keywords for SEO as you don’t want to go after highly trafficked and competitive terms if you have a relatively new and small site with little ability to impress Google’s Search Rank Algorithm. This is called Keyword Difficulty. Though we won’t get into the math behind it as each keyword tool out there has its own way of calculating Keyword Difficulty, the idea is that it takes the volume of searches divided by the number of pages filled with SEO content that is trying to rank for that keyword and spits out a number, usually 1-100, on the ease or difficulty of a site to rank for that keyword.
There are a few more factors like backlinks and domain authority that go into that math, but you get the idea. Again, the harder or higher the competition, the more powerful and established site you have to have to rank for any given search term.
How to find your Key words
There are literally hundreds of keyword research or SEO tools, if not more, out there that are focused on the metrics, traffic numbers, and types of keywords you could possibly rank for, but one of the best free options that we’ve pointed out in many of our posts comes from Google it’s self. The Google Keyword Planner is a free tool within the Google Ads platform that will help you build a list of keywords around a single word or keyword phrase and give you an idea of the competitor landscape as far as search volumes and cost per click pricing.
There is no perfect keyword, but we like to give SEO tips as often as we can: if people are paying for a keyword, there is most likely a conversion behind that keyword… which makes it a great target for PPC or SEO, depending on the type of content you are planning to create.
Anything that has search volume behind it can be a keyword. Some are more valuable than others. The key mistake that most newbies and business owners make is paying for or creating content around keywords that aren’t being searched.
You can create a stunning ad or piece of content, but if no one is searching for what you’re putting out there, it will never matter!
Let us help you craft the content or ads that folks are searching for!
For 15+ years now Adam has helped business brand, plan, and grow.
With a background in media buying and specializing in data-driven marketing he founded the Painted Brick Digital Agency to act as your in-house marketing and advertising department.
“Cookie cutter doesn’t work in a world that is constantly evolving.”