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What Are the 2 Types of Keywords in SEO?

May 9, 2023 Clare Sheehan

What Are the 2 Types of Keywords in SEO?

We all know how important keywords are in creating an SEO strategy. But how many types of SEO keywords exist? Starting with the basics, there are two main types of keywords in SEO you should remember.

  1. Short-Tail Keywords | Short-tail keywords are broad search phrases that typically include one or two words. Because short-tail keywords are so broad, they are ideal to use as topics for your longer-from content, where greater context and elaboration can be provided. Due to their broad nature, short-tail keywords typically get a lot of traffic and are more competitive and challenging to rank for in search engine results pages (SERPs). Here’s an example of a short-tail keyword: “examples of keywords”
  2. Long-Tail Keywords | A long-tail keyword is a phrase that makes a statement or asks a question. These keywords include three words at minimum, but they can be longer. Because long-tail keywords are more narrow in focus, they more accurately reflect your audience’s search intent and can be used to guide your content’s structure. Lastly, the hyper-specific nature of these keywords makes them less competitive than generic short-tail options. Although this means long-tail keywords have a lower search volume compared to their short-tail counterparts, they are no less valuable. Here’s an example of a long-tail keyword: “types of keywords in digital marketing”

Ideally, you will include a combination of short- and long-tail keywords in every piece of content you create to generate the best SEO results. But that’s not all you need to do. Strengthening your SEO takes a lot more than memorizing the different keyword types. You need to understand how to choose the right keywords and seamlessly integrate them into your content. Gone are the days of keyword stuffing to “trick” search engines; it’s time to master keyword research and create truly helpful content. Let’s jump in!

What Are the 3 Main Elements of Keyword Research?

The answer to this question depends on who you ask. The world of SEO is very fast-paced, and the “rules” change all the time. However, three pillars of keyword research remain consistent across the board: Relevance, search volume, and competition.

Three Pillars of Keyword Research

1. Relevance | Choosing keywords that are relevant to your brand and align with what you are offering is vital. For example, if you are an athletic shoe company, you would want to choose keywords like:
    • What tennis shoe is best for running?
    • Durable tennis shoes
    • How can I tell if a tennis shoe is worth the money?

However, we should note that it can be helpful to include broad keywords if you work in a niche industry. Before choosing a keyword ask yourself: is this relevant to what I am offering and will this be valuable information for the reader? If a keyword is valuable information, but is tangentially related to your business, it still might be worthwhile to include.

2. Search Volume | Search volume is a tricky beast to tame, but it can be done! In general, you don’t want to rely heavily on keywords that are “oversaturated” in SERPs. This means highly competitive keywords should not be the main focus of your content. We’ve found that using keywords with very specific intent, but middle-of-the-road search volume ultimately helps boost your rankings overall.

3. Competition | Look to your competitors when choosing keywords. This will help you determine what topics to focus on and how you can overtake the competition in SERPs. If your competitors are ranking for various long-tail keyword questions, this means two things.

  • Your target audience is searching for answers to those questions.
  • You should get in on the action and follow your competitors’ lead.
This keyword research strategy helps you connect with your target audience, and allows you to showcase key differentiators in your content and illustrate why your brand is the best of the best.

Find the Keywords You Need to Reach Your Audience With DemandJump

Now you know how to select keywords for your content, but what do you need to put it all together? That’s where DemandJump comes in. Our platform and revolutionary Pillar-Based Marketing (PBM) methodology make it easy to create a content strategy fit to rank on page one.

Let’s start with the platform.

DemandJump’s automated keyword research capabilities simplify the research process, decreasing time spent on content strategy and creation by over 50%. What’s more, our one-click SEO content briefs give you a prioritized list of keywords so every piece of content in your strategy is fully optimized and ready to rank.

Okay, what about the strategy?

Honestly, we could write paragraphs upon paragraphs about PBM and why you should jump on the bandwagon. But, in the interest of time, check out our podcast episode where we explain how PBM works and why you should care. If you want all juicy details, check out our best-selling Pillar-Based Marketing book!

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