Frequently Asked Questions about Keywords and SEO

Previously, SEO was just about keywords, and keyword-stuffing was the ideal strategy for most businesses. So much so that people started over-abusing the use of keywords. And search results were full of spammy pages blindly stuffed with keywords.
Fortunately, search engines started digging into the issues, and they updated the search algorithms. Their first update, Google Panda, penalized the sites using keyword stuffing to rank on SERPs. Here’s an example of a site’s position changes on SERP post this update.
The new series of algorithm updates made the contextual search the focus of every search query. Now, businesses cannot stuff keywords blindly throughout the page. Instead, they have to deliver value from their content and stay relevant to the search’s intent.
Does this mean keywords are no longer crucial for SEO? No, keywords are still the base that drives your SEO. However, the SEO world has moved from exact-match keyword stuffing to the use of intent-based keywords.
Today, your business requires a more defined and researched SEO-keyword strategy. So, here we bring you a set of the most common Keyword and SEO FAQs with their answers. Read these to understand keyword research and optimization better.

What are Keywords in SEO?

Keywords refer to the search words or phrases users enter into the search bar to find relevant results for their queries. Typically, the relevantly used phrases suggested by Google when you start typing in the search bar are called keywords.
When Google wants to retrieve a result for a query from its index, it uses these words.
However, it is not like in the past, where Google only used the exact-match keywords from a query to source results. Instead, Google algorithms now understand the context of a query. They blend the focus keyword in a query with its adjoining words to learn the purpose of a search. And they nominate results accordingly.
Google decides the position of these results based upon several algorithms and ranking factors.
You can understand it as – ‘Your exact-match keywords make your content eligible for a search query. But your content and context-based keywords decide your relevancy for that query. ‘

FAQs on Keywords and SEO

1. Why are keywords important for SEO?

Searchers use keywords as the terms that describe their query. And a search engine uses keywords to screen and source relevant content from its database. The pages with the optimum number of keywords having quality content rank on top.
Therefore, until you add keywords to your content, search engines cannot understand its relevancy.
Keywords are the quintessence of your SEO strategy. They help you optimize your content’s relevancy and its performance in the search engine.

2. How can I find the best keywords for my website?

Finding the right keyword for your website requires diligence. You can follow the steps listed below:

  • Define your target audience and list down the broader queries they would use to search for your offerings.
  • Find relevant keywords for these queries by using Google Keyword Planner or other keyword research tools.
  • continuation by removing full stop: like Wordtracker, Moz. or Ubersuggest.
  • Choose from the keyword options based on the relevance, search volume, and competition.
  • Do competitive research to check for keyword ideas. SEMrush and Ahrefs tools will help you here.
  • Further, narrow down your primary and secondary keywords.
  • Your secondary keywords will include long-tail and LSI keywords that add context to your focus keyphrase.
  • Use Google Autocomplete, Related Search, and other tools to find LSI and long-tail keywords.
  • Finally, note down your keyword list, and now you can start adding it to your website content.

3. What are the several types of keywords?

The main types of keywords businesses use in SEO include:

  • Short-tail keywords : These comprise of 3 words or less. And their attributes include high search volume, high competition, low conversion rate. They are the shortest search queries to reach relevant results.
  • Long-tail keywords : These keywords include more than three words. They feature low search volume and are less competitive. They deliver high conversions owing to their specific search intent. Use Answerthepublic to find a wide range of long tail keywords for your business.
  • Branded keywords : These keywords include your brand name or its variations. It is usually a combination of a keyword with your brand name. Example: “Nike running shoes.” People familiar with your brand use these keywords.
  • Non-branded keywords : These are all the keywords that do not include your brand name (surprise!). These keywords generally target a majority of your target audience.
  • Geo-keywords : These keywords include a location name or location attribute (near me). Local businesses use these keywords to promote their business based on their location.

Other than these, there are intent-based keywords like:

  • Transactional keywords (Associated words - buy, hire, purchase)
  • Informational Intent keywords (Associated words – how, why, who)
  • Commercial Intent keywords (Associated words – price, cheap, comparison, rate)
  • Navigational Intent keywords (Search queries to reach a URL or a location)

4. What do you understand by a generic keyword?

As the name says, generic keywords are the broadly-used terms relevant to your business offerings. These keywords lack a specific search intent and are too broad to target specific queries. Generic keywords feature high search volume and a low conversion rate. Ranking for these terms is difficult owing to the huge search volume.

5. Can you explain the difference between primary and secondary keywords?

Primary Keywords are generally short-tail keywords that display a high search volume and broad intent. It generally includes the nature of your offerings (product or services). For example:

  • web development service
  • multi-cuisine restaurant
  • sports shoes

All the above examples display the categories of various offerings. It is extremely tough to rank by using these keywords alone as they have high competition and are generic. You need to use a combination of primary and secondary keywords in your content.
If the primary keyword is web development, the secondary keyword will be as shown in the image.
Secondary Keywords add intent and details to the primary keywords. These are LSI or long-tail keywords that are hyper-related to the primary keywords. They have a low search volume but a specific intent and high conversion-rate. Some examples of secondary keywords are:

  • hire WordPress developer in Melbourne
  • Italian restaurant at budget near me
  • basketball shoes in white color

So the above keywords are more specific than primary keywords. Moreover, these can have different intent like – informational, transactional, commercial, etc.

6. Explain money keywords and why are they used?

Money keywords are keywords that source qualified traffic to your website. And these are the keywords that bring the highest conversions for a business. Now, don’t confuse it with the keywords with the highest search volume or bring the highest traffic.
For example: If I rank for a keyword like “newest Canon 90D,” it can draw huge traffic to my website. But the visitors can have different intent like – informational, comparison, purchase, etc. It is mixed traffic, and the conversion rate might be super low. So, this is not my money keyword.
On the other end, if I rank for the keyword “buy Canon 90D at the best price,” I will attract qualified traffic. This keyword might draw me less traffic than “newest Canon 90D,” but it might give higher conversions. And this would become my money keyword.
Therefore, finding the right money keywords is important for your business. People also use A/B testing to find and optimize for the right money keywords for their business.

7. What is the correct strategy to target a keyword in SEO?

Optimizing for a keyword or targeting a keyword in SEO includes some essential steps like:

  • Researching the right keyword set for your website and deciding the theme keyword (for specific webpage)
  • Establishing the secondary keywords relevant to your primary keywords
  • Sprinkling these keywords in your page content
  • Using the main theme keywords in the title tag and meta description
  • Use this tool to check and edit your existing pages with keywords and create a new title and description for the new page.
  • Adding the relevant keywords in the page URL and Heading tags (H1-H6)
  • Adding theme and context-based keyword in the introduction to improve the relevancy
  • Researching for LSI keywords to make the content semantic for relevant search queries
  • Optimizing the content for long-tail keywords and using these keywords in relevant blogs
  • Analyzing the performance of various keywords and optimizing for money keywords
  • Practicing A/B testing and optimizing for keywords offering high conversion-rate and CTR

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8. Which are the best keyword research tools?

The use of various keyword research tools helps you finalize the right keywords for your business. Some of the best tools include:

  • Free keyword research tools – Google Keyword Planner, Google Suggest tool, Google Trends, and Google Search Console.
  • These tools mostly give the real-time keywords that are trending or being searched at the moment.
  • Paid tools – SEMrush, Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, SECockpit, Moz PRO, etc.
  • LSI and Long-tail keyword tools – LSIGraph,, Long Tail Pro, Keyword Tool

Most of the paid tools allow you to execute comprehensive keyword research.

9. What can we understand by keyword difficulty?

Keyword difficulty describes the competitiveness of a keyword or how difficult it is to rank for that keyword.
For example, the keyword “real estate” has 75% difficulty to rank in the UK region. The lower the difficulty, the higher is the chances of ranking on top.
Primary keywords and short-tail keywords generally display great keyword difficulty. These keywords display high search volume and are capable of attracting high traffic. Most businesses wish to earn high positions in SERPs for these keywords. Thus, increasing the competitiveness (difficulty) of these keywords.
Except for keyword difficulty, your site authority and SEO ranking factors decide your position in SERPs.

10. What is the definition of seed keywords?

Seed keywords or “head” keywords define the starting node of your keyword research process. It is the topic or the sub-topic which further expands into a long list of keywords. These keywords then form several article and content ideas for your SEO.
Let’s say you own a shoe company, so your starting topic or keyword is “shoes.” Now, you can expand on this keyword through Google Keyword Planner or by Google Autocomplete.
The above image shows how several different topics spawn from the “shoes” keyword. Now let’s just add a category “men” to define a direction.
Now, you get various other keywords as seed keywords.
You can see how there are several more topics (and keywords) in the direction we chose. So, a seed keyword helps you expand, decide, narrow down and choose several directions for your SEO strategy.

11. How to check the performance of the keywords I chose?

It is quite an important question. SEO is not just about keyword implementation but also requires keyword optimization. You need to be sure about the keywords you choose, and you can do it by analyzing keyword performance.
So, to scrutinize the performance of your keywords, you need to:

  • Check the rankings of these keywords through Google SERPs or a tool (SEMrush, Ahrefs, etc.)
  • Analyze which keyword is drawing you the highest traffic
  • Use Google Analytics to check the CTR you receive on these keywords.
  • YOu may also check the CTR on the search console.
  • Analyze which keywords are drawing you qualified traffic and offering you a higher conversion rate
  • List the performing keywords and the non-performing keywords.
  • You can now use these metrics to find new keywords or for optimizing the present keywords.

12. Should I mainly target low-competition keywords?

You need to understand that your keyword choices depend upon your business and industry. With this, choosing low-competition keywords can be the right choice if it delivers sufficient traffic. You can get this data from any premium tool or keyword planner.
A keyword might be less competitive in the first place if it offers a low conversion rate. Therefore, choosing a low-competition keyword cannot be the ideal keyword research strategy.
Your keyword research must be a combination of long-tail and short-tail keywords. It depends on several parameters like –

  • Search volume and the traffic it is capable of offering.
  • The keyword’s competitiveness or ranking difficulty
  • The relevancy and intent of a keyword, its capability to attract qualified traffic
  • The expected click-through rate a keyword offers
  • The expected conversion-rate if you rank for a particular keyword

13. What is the right way to use long-tail keywords?

Long-tail keywords generally attract qualified traffic for your business. People using long-tail queries have a specific-intent, and they are most likely to take action on the result pages. Optimizing for the right long-tail keywords can help you multiply your conversions dramatically.
Factors to consider while choosing long-tail keywords:

  • They must be intent-specific and must be hyper-relevant to the behavior of your target audience.
  • Research the right keywords using various tools like, Long Tail Pro, Keyword Planner, etc. The website ‘Soovle’ gives you a wide range of long tail keywords suitable for various search engines.
  • Compare the search volume and competition for various options.
  • Do competitor analysis for these keywords.

14. What LSI keywords stand for?

LSI or Latent Semantic Indexing is a way in which Google reads and retrieves information from its index. It focuses on the intent of a query and allows Google to source relevant results.
LSI keywords are terms that add a specific context to the primary keywords.
Let’s assume your theme keyword is “wooden closet.” Now the LSI keywords for it include –

  • wooden closet price
  • wooden closet shop
  • wooden closet size
  • buy wooden closet
  • wooden closet designs

Adding LSI keywords to your content grows its relevancy for such specific-intent queries. And it enables you to grow the webpage visibility and also earns you qualified traffic.

15. How can I optimize my keyword for higher positions in SERPs?

Your keyword positions in the SERPs depend upon a series of ranking factors. Some of the most important factors include –

  • The number of backlinks you own
  • The quality of your backlinks
  • Check the number of quality backlinks of each individual page here to build more links and increase KW position on SERPs.
  • The relevancy and quality of your content
  • The choice of keywords and their optimization
  • The social proof of your business
  • The user metrics and engagement on your webpage
  • The responsiveness and performance of your webpages

Now, your keyword choices and the way they are optimized impact your relevancy and search rankings. SEO involves researching the right keywords, implementing them, analyzing their performance, and optimizing.
So, the steps to keyword optimization for growing your visibility include:

  • Analyzing various keyword metrics – ranking keywords, high-conversion keywords, high CTR keywords, etc.
  • Using metrics to optimize for the performing keywords
  • Doing split testing for two main keywords sets to find the better performer for your business
  • Optimizing content relevancy by adding LSI and long-tail keywords
  • Creating information cluster around your main topic and theme keyword

16. How many keywords should I use for better SEO?

Now, based on your content quality and ranking potential, your webpage can rank for hundreds of keywords. But most of these keywords would be long-tail keywords with low search volume and specific intent. So, there is no fixed number as to how many keywords you can use on your page. It can depend on your page length, competition, and topic scope.
It’s believed that a density of 2-4% of the total number of words in the content is considered ideal.
The ideal practice is to optimize your webpage around 1-2 main high-volume keywords. And you can add up to 1000+ long-tail keywords relevant to the main topic (or keywords). A few businesses use 5 to 7 high-volume keywords and rank for them. However, the ranking significantly depends on their DA (Domain Authority) and PR (Page Rank).

17. Short-tail vs. long-tail keywords: what should I use?

It is a common FAQ, but there is no one-word answer to it. So, let’s understand how to choose the right direction.
Both short-tail and long-tail keywords are essential for SEO success. Short-tail keywords usually have a huge search volume and can earn good traffic to your site. These keywords have a broader intent, and a significant amount of click-through traffic might be irrelevant. Moreover, ranking for high-volume short-tail keywords takes abounding efforts for about 1-2 years.
On the other end, long-tail keywords have a low search volume and attract less traffic to your website. But, since these keywords feature specific intent, the traffic they attract has great conversion potential. Moreover, it is comparatively easier to rank for less competitive long-tail keywords.
Now, even if you rank for 100+ long-tail keywords, you might not get sufficient traffic. But a short-tail keyword with a high search volume (about 10K) can offer you higher traffic. But, then which keywords earn you more conversions?
Therefore, it is essential to use a well-researched combination of short-tail and long-tail keywords. You can analyze keyword performance metrics to optimize your keywords further.

18. Can I use the same keywords for more than one webpages?

No, just like each page has different theme topics, they need different keywords relevant to the specific page topic. When you employ the same keyword set for more than one page, it is the phenomenon of keyword cannibalization. Here, Google cannot understand which page is more important to you among the two. And it can rank any of the two pages for that keyword set based on page authority and relevancy. Now, if your blog ranks higher than your service page for a purchase-intent keyword, it is a loss of potential customers.

Wrapping Up

I hope these answers help you solve keyword and SEO queries. Further, if you are struggling to craft a stellar SEO strategy for your business, connect with us.

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Joseph Schneider

He has spent more than 12 Years in strategising and executing SEO campaigns. He is interested to writing Digital-marketing, PPC and Social Media Marketing related topics.