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Different Types of Keywords and Their Use in SEO Practices

Last updated: Sep 22, 2022

What is a Keyword for SEO?

Keywords for SEO are the strings of words used by users to find information about a particular topic on search engines. When a user enters a keyword on the search page, the search engine will display various websites with pages containing that keyword.

In conducting searches, users use various types of keywords. There are users who enter keywords with only one word count, there are those who enter keywords with the aim of wanting to make a purchase, and so on.

These types of keywords depend on word length, audience, time of day, and search intent.

The Use of a Keyword for SEO

The use of a keyword for SEO will play an important role in the website's improvement. If a website wants to appear in the SERP for a certain topic, then you must determine the target keywords for the related topic.

By determining target keywords, you can display your website to an audience that matches the niche of your website or business.

Types of Keywords for SEO

Here are some types of keywords that you need to know:

Based on Number of Words

Types of keywords for SEO based on the number of words are divided into two, namely short-tail keywords and long-tail keywords. Short-tail keywords are keywords with only 1-3 words. Long-tail keywords are keywords with a word count of more than 3. What is the difference between the two and when is the right time to use each type of keyword?

Short-tail keywords:

  • High search volume and fierce competition.
  • It is difficult to rank for these keywords, especially if your website is new or has low domain authority
  • You can still target short-tail keywords for words that are not common and rarely discussed.

Long-tail keywords:

  • Rarely searched by users because the topic is very specific, so that the search volume is low. 
  • Your content can easily get ranked because the level of competition is also low.

Based on the Time Period

Keywords are also divided based on the time period. There are keywords that have increased searches at certain times or seasonally. There are also keywords that are suddenly much sought after, but after some time, their popularity decreases. The types of these two keywords are trend keywords.

Unlike before, there are types of keywords that are continuously searched by users. These keywords are referred to as "evergreen" keywords. If you want to get organic traffic growth for the long term, then your focus should be on targeting evergreen keywords.

However, if you want to follow trends and get a significant increase in traffic even in a short time, you can use a trending keyword for SEO.

Based on the Audience

You can also divide the types of keywords for SEO based on the audience. There are two types of keywords based on the audience, namely general keywords and specific keywords. To determine the use of this type of keyword, you must first identify the target audience through the buyer persona.

If your audience is the general public or beginners who don't have much knowledge about a particular topic, use general keywords. These keywords use general terms that are widely used by the community and are beginner-friendly.

While special keywords are keywords with uncommon terms and are only understood by people who have knowledge of the topic,

Based on User Intent

The last two types of keywords are based on search intent and user intent. Every user must have an intention or purpose when searching for a keyword. It could be because you want to answer a problem, get inspiration, clear doubts, or make a purchase. The types of keywords based on their user intent are as follows:

  • Informational keywords: used to learn more about a specific topic. 
  • Navigational keywords: used to find specific information about a brand. 
  • Commercial keywords: used as a consideration before making a purchase decision. 
  • Transactional keywords: used to perform conversion actions such as buying, filling out forms, downloading, and so on.
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