9 Types of Keywords in SEO You Should Consider

9 Types of Keywords in SEO You Should Consider

Choosing keywords for SEO should start with strategic keyword research – this usually involves taking into account the volume of monthly search and the competitiveness of your potential target keywords in terms of search and paid difficulties. But it doesn’t end with such an analysis; knowing which types of keywords in SEO to target is what will set you apart from your competitors.

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So, today, we will talk about the different types of keywords in SEO that you should consider when creating a content strategy for your website.

Here we go.

Here are the 9 Different Types of Keywords in SEO that You Should Carefully Consider When Building Your Website Content:

  • Primary Keywords
  • LSI Keywords
  • Market Segment Keywords
  • Customer-Defining Keywords
  • Branded Keywords
  • Product Keywords
  • Competitor Keywords
  • Geo-Targeted Keywords
  • Buyer Intent Keywords

Before we dig deeper into each of these types of keywords in SEO, let’s clearly define one thing first.

What are Keywords in SEO?

Keywords are the building blocks of search engine optimization – without them, SEO would not exist. Without the right keywords, your SEO efforts would be in vain. Hence, an excellent keyword research strategy is essential.

Basically, keywords in SEO are the topics or ideas that tell what your web page content is all about – these are the terms or words that search users type into their browsers or the phrases that they use when doing a voice search.

The 3 General Types of Keywords

Keywords in SEO commonly fall into three general types:

  • The short-tail keywords
  • The mid-tail keywords
  • The long-tail keywords

Short-Tail Keywords

Short-tail keywords are also known as head keywords or generic keywords because they usually cover broad search terms that normally gather high volumes of search traffic – due to only having one to two words. Hence the term short-tail keywords.

The most common characteristic of short-tail keywords is their competitiveness in search ranking – they are probably most challenging to rank for among other types of keywords for SEO.

Example: laptop accessories

Mid-Tail Keywords

Mid-tail keywords, as the name suggests, commonly consist of two to three words, which give more description to what the user intends to search.

The characteristic of mid-tail keywords often shifts from having a high traffic volume and more competition to having low traffic volume and less competition.

Example: best laptop accessories

Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords commonly consist of four or more words, and they are the most descriptive as well as the most specific keywords to target in your content. This keyword type has typically low traffic volume and lesser competition than the first two types of keywords in SEO – giving you the chance to rank and convert easily for long-tail keywords.

Example: best laptop accessories for MacBook Pro

Now, the following types of keywords for SEO vary in terms of word length, search volume traffic, and search or paid difficulties – these types of keywords are defined not just by the number of words they contain but also by their role in your web page content as well as how they are shaped by your customers’ journey with your business.

Primary Keywords

Your primary keyword must be the main topic or idea that you should target on a particular web page content – every single page on your website must have a single primary keyword to target.

There is a caveat, though; do not stuff your keywords. Otherwise, the search engines, especially Google, will see it as keyword spamming and will most likely penalize your web page for it.

If you are not confident about your primary keywords usage on a single page, you can always consult an SEO expert.

Primary keyword example: laptop for graphic designers

LSI Keywords (Latent Semantic Indexing)

LSI keywords are also referred to as related keywords -these types of keywords come from search engine systems analyzing the terms used by people when searching the web and coming up with different sets of words surrounding a particular topic or search interest.

Basically, LSI keywords are terms that bear similar semantics or meaning to the primary keyword. So, a web page must have a single primary keyword and at least three or more related terms to vary the target keywords in your content – this helps you avoid keyword stuffing and ultimately help you cover a wide range of search terms used for a single topic.

You can find related or LSI keywords by using online keyword research tools like Ubersuggest.

LSI keywords example:

types of keywords for SEO - LSI keywords

Market Segment Keywords

Market segment keywords are usually generic terms that are linked to general industries, brands, or products. Your target audience might use this at the start of their product research, also known as the first step to the purchase journey.

Example: laptop for graphic design

Customer-Defining Keywords

Customer-defining keywords are terms that are commonly used by a subset of audience or customers, giving more description to what they are looking for and defining who needs the thing or service that they are trying to search or buy.

Example: laptop for professional graphic designers

Branded Keywords

Branded keywords are terms that purposely include a brand’s name along with specific product descriptions, or a product name, or a product type. Branded types of keywords in SEO usually come from customers who are only interested in products that come from a single, specific, company, or brand.

Example: best Apple laptops and accessories

Product Keywords

Product keywords are search terms that specifically look for certain products and services of a company. Product types of keywords in SEO are commonly analyzed and utilized by e-commerce retail stores of products from different manufacturers in a particular niche.

Example: MacBook Pro laptop specs

Competitor Keywords

You see, brands purposely find keywords for SEO that are being used by their competitors – researching the keywords of competitor brands is a beneficial practice because it allows you to target similar buyer interests and potential customers who are not yet familiar with your brand or website.

Example: For Apple laptops, a competitor keyword could be “best Microsoft laptop for students”

Geo-Targeted Keywords

Geo-targeted types of keywords in SEO are terms that target a specific country, state, city, or neighborhood.

This keyword type comes really handy for local businesses that want to reach more customers nearby.

Also, search users that type geo-targeted keywords to their browsers are most likely looking for physical stores or service locations near them.

Example: MacBook laptop shops in Travilah, MD

keywords in SEO - Geo-targeted keywords

Buyer Intent Keywords

Buyer intent terms are probably one of the most important types of keywords in SEO because these are the words used by potential customers who are ready to purchase your product or take advantage of a service that you offer.

Basically, buyer intent keywords help you identify where a potential customer is in the purchase journey, also known as a funnel.

There are three different types of buyer keywords that generally describe the intent of a customer when using particular keywords to search:

1. Informational keywords: what’s the best laptop for students

This type of buyer keyword represents the intent to “know” or learn more about a particular topic. This is the awareness stage – whether it’s a need, want, or a brand.

2. Navigational keywords: MacBook Pro vs. MacBook Air

This type of buyer keyword shows the intent to “go” for more specific information. This is the stage where a customer has identified different brands or products and is visiting various product pages and even different websites.

3. Transactional keywords: Buy MacBook Pro

This type of buyer keyword indicates that potential customers are going to “do” something or they are ready to buy certain products – they have done their research, identified what they want to buy, and are looking for the right place to purchase the product or service.

Final Thoughts

Identifying the different types of keywords in SEO can definitely set you apart from your competitors. Most importantly, using these types of keywords for SEO will help you create a great content strategy that will cover various phases of your niche and the stages of your potential customers’ journey in your marketing funnel.

Indeed, researching the right keywords in SEO and analyzing them can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re planning to build a massive content resource.

If you’re having some difficulties and uncertainties on how to find keywords for SEO, remember that you can always choose to tap the keyword research experts.


Head of SEO & SEM - Matt Calik

Head of SEO & SEM

Technical SEO specialist experienced in creating scalable processes based on agile methodologies. Responsible for international SEO strategies. He has strongly analytical approach to online marketing supported by over 12 years of experience. Previously associated with IT, motorsport, tobacco and financial markets. He has been building Delante for 5 years where he is Head of SEO and SEM department.

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