What are SEO Keywords? Keyword Research Guide: Type, Tool & More

What are SEO Keywords? Keyword Research Guide: Type, Tool & More
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SEO Knowledge

# SEO Knowledge

SEO keywords are terms and phrases users look for on search engines, each with different queries. Performing keyword research is vital for SEO performance.

What are SEO Keywords?

SEO keywords, or Search Engine Optimization keywords, are specific words that people enter into search engines to look for information, products, or services. They can be words, terms, phrases, or even questions.

In the context of digital marketing, SEO keywords are strategically selected and used within web content to improve a website's visibility on search results.

These SEO keywords are crucial because they help search engines understand the content of a webpage and match it with user queries, resulting in driving organic traffic to websites.

Why Are Keywords Important in SEO Strategies?

Keywords are the essential elements of any effective SEO strategy. Let’s look at the reasons why SEO keywords are important.

Increase Visibility

When you include relevant keywords in content, it increases your website's chances of appearing with higher rankings. This improved visibility can lead to more organic traffic, as people are more likely to click on results that match their search intent.

Reach More Customers

Keywords allow you to target specific audiences based on search queries. Matching your content with the keyword’s query in mind, you can reach and engage potential customers who are actively seeking what your website offers, whether it is a product or a service.

Enhance Click-Through Rates

Well-optimized content with the right keywords tends to attract more clicks. Targeting the right SEO keywords can boost your CTR and bring high conversion rates. This is because users are more likely to click on search results that feature their search terms in the obvious part, opening up a door for conversions.

Competitive Advantage

The right keywords also help you stay competitive or even go ahead within your industry. By identifying and targeting keywords that your competitors overlook, you can gain an edge in the online marketplace. Impress more potential audiences ahead of your competing parties.

Different Types of Keywords in SEO

There are different ways to categorize keywords. We will look at the 2 most common ways to learn different types of keywords in the field of SEO.

Short vs. Long Tail Keywords

Short Tail Keywords

These are typically shorter with a generic style of the word. They have high search volumes and are often competitive but with a more versatile kind of search intent behind them.

Words like: “Cantonese”, and “Cantonese tones” can be great examples.

Long Tail Keywords

These keywords are longer, more specific phrases or questions. They usually come in low search volumes but with more detailed search intent.

Take the example of “Cantonese”, the long-tail keywords derived from it can be: “how long does it take to learn Cantonese”, “is Cantonese hard to learn”, or “how to master Cantonese tones.”

If you are still a bit confused about long-tail keywords or want to know more about selecting long-tail keywords, check out out guide here!

seo keywords

Types Based on Keyword Search Intent

We can also break down different types of keywords by various search intent. There are 3 categories to group search intent and their keywords. seo keywords

Informational Keywords

The intent is to learn information about certain topics. People want to know specific answers or solutions to questions and problems. It can be a guide-type of article, recipe, and tutorial. These keywords often include phrases like: “how to…” or “what is…” or “...meaning.”

Navigational Keywords

The intent is to go somewhere specific, either a website or a webpage. For example, the intent of “NBA reddit” is probably to find the Reddit page for NBA discussion.

Commercial Keywords

The intent behind these keywords is to learn and make a decision. Users want to learn information first, but the ultimate goal is to complete an action, for example, a purchase. For this type of keyword, as it signifies that users are ready to take action, it is important to provide users with the right landing pages and content to increase the chances of conversion.

If users look for “best vitamin brands”, they are probably looking for pages that can help them complete this purchase of vitamins while getting information about vitamins first.

Transactional Keyword

Users want to complete a specific action, usually a purchase. The intent is much simpler as it narrows down the scope, suggesting users now will take an action, like a purchase.

For example, “buy iPhone 15” is a pretty clear sign of what action users will perform after searching.

Understanding the various types of keywords and their nuances is crucial for effective SEO strategy development.

When crafting your content, it's important to strategically incorporate both short and long-tail keywords, as well as keywords aligned with the specific search intent of your potential audience.

This approach maximizes your chances of ranking well in search results and attracting the maximum amount of valuable organic traffic.

How to Conduct SEO Keyword Research

seo keywords

Keyword Research: Step-by-Step

Step 1: Build a List

The first crucial step in your SEO strategy is building a comprehensive list of target keywords. To start, brainstorm keywords that closely relate to your business or are highly relevant to the content on your website, your product, or your service.

Think about the queries potential visitors might use to find your products, services, or information and ensure they align with your business goals.

This initial brainstorming process will help you create a diverse and extensive list of potential keywords that can serve as the foundation for your SEO efforts.

We recommend using keyword tools to get as many as possible inspiration and insights from your original batch of keywords.

Getting more ideas and keywords is the key for this stage.

Step 2: Analyze by Metrics

Once you've compiled your batches of keywords, it's time to delve deeper and analyze them by key metrics. Two critical metrics must be focused on when filtering: Search Volume and Keyword Difficulty.

Search Volume:

This indicates how frequently a keyword is searched for a period of time, normally on a monthly basis. High search volume keywords can potentially bring significant traffic and a number of views to your website, making them lucrative targets to rank for.

However, keep in mind that the competition for these keywords can be challenging, making it more difficult to secure a top position in organic search results.

Keyword Difficulty:

This metric measures how challenging it is to achieve a high ranking for a keyword. It takes into account the competition from other websites targeting the same keyword. As we have mentioned before, long-tail keywords are often with lower difficulty.

While they may not generate as much traffic and clicks as high-volume keywords, they are easier to rank on top for sure. Find out more tips on how to research long-tail keywords.

Use keyword tools to get all the metrics for your keywords. Different tools may provide slightly varying results as in volume or KD, so you can use multiple resources or tools as references.

seo keywords

Step 3: Target Your Final Choice

When choosing your target keywords, you face a choice between high-volume keywords and low-volume, long-tail keywords.

To succeed with high-volume keywords, optimize your website and content to deliver exceptional value to users.

Quality, informative content is crucial to stand out in the intense competition.

Long-tail keywords may not generate massive traffic, on the other hand, but they are perfect for drawing targeted audiences keen on your niche. With lower competition, achieving higher rankings becomes more manageable.

By weighing in all metrics to your consideration, you are able to filter out the most suitable keywords for you to target.

A balanced approach can be a good idea, combining both high-volume and long-tail keywords that connect with your content and business goals.

For more information to carry out effective keyword research, we have listed more valuable tips in our guide on using Google Keyword Planner!

Free Keyword Research Tool

In our previous guide on SEO, we covered many top keyword tools for SEO to solve your problem of how to find the best keywords for your website.

Here we are going to introduce you to 3 more free options to help you conduct keyword research efficiently and effectively.

Google Keyword Planner

GKP offers basic features to help you carry out thorough keyword research. It is absolutely free. Although it is primarily designed for Google ads, you don’t need to be running actual ad campaigns to use the tool and it is very useful for SEO, too.

Don’t miss out on our piece if you want to master Google Keyword Planner.


This tool claims to be the best alternative to Google Keyword Planner for SEO and PPC research. It is also free, and you don’t even need to have an account to use this resource. One of the biggest features of Keywordtool.io is it can generate hundreds of long-tail keyword suggestions for any given term or topic with Google Autocomplete technology.

seo keywords

WordStream Free Keyword Tool

Another great free option is the Keyword Tool by WordStream. It is designed to help marketers conduct comprehensive keyword research, like categorization, suggestions, searches, and analysis for both SEO and PPC purposes. It also supports getting keyword suggestions from a URL input to help you grow a more competitive SEO strategy.

seo keywords

How to Use SEO Keywords

Where to Put Keywords on a Website or in an Article?

We all know that target keywords might be mentioned in the article, but where to place them? Here are some key locations to bury your keywords:

Meta Title and Meta Description

As the most important elements of on-page SEO, mentioning your target keyword in the meta title and meta description is a must-do. They not only send out a clear signal to search engines to understand your page’s topic and content but also a great way for users to know the information on your SERP. seo keywords

Subheader Tags

The next step is to put target keywords and long-tail keywords in the subheadings. For example, H2 and H3 tags can be used to organize subtopics.

By laying out the structure with these relevant keywords, users won’t have a hard time understanding your content. You can usually see all subheader tags in an article’s table of contents at the very beginning.

seo keywords


Naturally, integrate keywords into the body of your content. Mentioning the target keyword in the intro or in the first paragraph of your content is a good practice as they are like a short summary, making users understand the outline of your article in the early stage to create a good viewing experience.

Don’t stuff keywords in your paragraphs.

It will not only hurt your SEO efforts but also harm your article’s readability. Keep the natural flow in your context and focus on providing valuable information to your readers.

seo keywords

URL Structure

The URL slug also plays an important role in presenting your page. Keeping your target keyword in the URL slug can make your page more trustworthy in the users’ eyes. They will know immediately what your page is about.

seo keywords

Alt Text for Images

Many often forget about setting the alt text for images, but they provide great value to users who can’t view images and they can help search engines to read your images and understand your content better.

How Many SEO Keywords Should You Put in Your Article?

The other commonly asked question is the number of target keywords to be put in the article.

We do recommend you put only one target keyword in your article’s content.

Focusing on only one keyword can define your content more clearly, either for users or search engines. With more than one target keyword, the queries might vary. You wouldn’t be able to outline your content structure cleanly and neatly.

For either shorter or longer articles, you can include a couple of related keywords to be put in the article as valuable subtopics. Make sure they can fit into the context of the content naturally.

For longer articles, try to filter out more long-tail keywords from your target keyword to make your content richer as long as they are relevant to the topic. It will also increase your rankings.

Like we have said before, one thing you definitely want to avoid is keyword stuffing. Don’t excessively mention keywords in a way that would create a bad reading experience.

Also, if you stuff too many keywords in your article without a proper context, it might be deemed as black hat SEO which is a practice standing against Google’s guidelines. Don’t take the risk of facing a penalty from Google.

Maintaining the natural flow of your writing is the priority.

Have Trouble Selecting the Best SEO Keyword for Your Business?

In conclusion, SEO keywords are the foundation of successful online content. They enhance visibility, target specific audiences, and improve click-through rates. Understanding different types of keywords and conducting thorough keyword research are essential steps in developing a robust SEO strategy.

If you're still struggling with where to start your SEO campaigns or having a hard time choosing the right keywords, Welly is here to help! Our professional team is the expert in conducting keyword research and developing SEO strategies. If you want to know more about SEO or get a free SEO audit report, contact Welly via the yellow button below! Let’s take your SEO performance to new heights!


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