How to use keyword types: 8 Types of Keywords For Search Traffic Success

Written By Trudi Holden. Updated 20th July 2021
Head of Digital Engagement and the face behind our social media. Trudi leads our social media strategy and content development, with a particular passion for increasing intuitive engagement.
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When we live and breathe SEO and know all the hidden hacks for optimising organic search traffic, we sometimes forget that understanding keywords, and how to use keyword types, isn’t always common knowledge.

In the world of business, and indeed in life, the words we use matter. It’s the difference between your potential customer finding your product or service or falling into the hands of your competitor.

The clever use of a Keyword for Search engine optimisation will get you more website traffic, increase conversion rates, and give you a general sense of smugness for mastering SEO like a boss.

So, sit back with a cuppa, and let us guide you through how to use types of keywords to get your digital content seen in no time!

What Are Keyword Types?

OK, a quick recap on how keywords work. In a nutshell, a keyword is a word, phrase or sentence people use in searches to find information, products, and services.

These keywords (or search queries) help search engines find relevant and accurate content for this query in search results.

So, when planning the structure and content for your website using an exact keyword, it’s useful to think from your customers point of view and what your user's search for. What questions are they asking? What language will they use? What is the problem they are trying to solve?

Simply throwing in ‘washing machine’ lots of times on your website is not an effective use of keywords!

You can also break them down into keyword types - each holding its own specific use and usefulness for your organic website traffic.

Your keyword selection should match the search term your customer is looking for
How to use keyword types: 8 Types of Keywords For Search Traffic Success 7

How To Use Keyword Types For Your Landing Page

Long-Tail Keyword

Equating to around 70% of search engine searches I’m going to skip right ahead and introduce you to one of the most effective keyword strategies: Long-tail keywords.

These keywords find a beautiful balance between traffic and conversion rates. Why are these keywords great for conversion? Because you know for sure that if someone has landed on your website from these, it’s because they really want what you’re offering.

long-tail keyword tends to have:

  1. Highest level of conversion
  2. Less competition
  3. Less search volume

We love this type of keyword because due to the low competition, though the search query volume is less, it’s so much easier to rank for them, and you really will see a higher rate of conversions.

If your service or product is niche these are perfect as you can really have a monopoly over your competitors with just a few carefully placed long-tail keywords.

Examples of a long-tail keyword are:

  • Which type of keyword is best for increasing conversions
  • How to write blog copy for high web traffic
  • Manchester Digital agency expert in SEO
  • Which is the best coffee to drink when you work in marketing

You get the drift…

Searches that include the exact phrase and exact match keyword perform better
How to use keyword types: 8 Types of Keywords For Search Traffic Success 8

Generic Keyword

A Generic keyword is search queries that isolate a topic but don’t really elaborate beyond the item name. They are literally the laziest search terms – easy to include in content, very competitive and honestly, really not the best type of keyword for a winning SEO strategy.

Examples of a generic keyword would be:

  • Water Filter
  • Gin
  • PPC Agency
  • Coffee

I mean, these things WILL get search queries, but the chances of you ranking high with

Three reasons we don’t prioritise these in the world of SEO:

  • We are missing the intent, or indeed solution, for your customer. It’s just too vague.
  • Your competitors are super high. Like, endless…
  • Conversions will be low as they could be looking for all types of information surrounding this topic
Consider broad match keywords which which are close variants to searches
How to use keyword types: 8 Types of Keywords For Search Traffic Success 9

Our advice: naturally be aware of generic keywords relevant to your business as a baseline, then elaborate out to focus on the intent, solutions and specifics of that keyword.

i.e. Instead of focusing on ‘coffee’ as a keyword, consider things like ‘best ground coffee from Colombia’ or ‘buy bulk bags of coffee beans online’ or ‘which coffee is the strongest in the UK?’

Brand Keyword

If you’re a well know brand (yay you!) then your customers will already be wanting to head straight your way. Equally, if you're in the game of selling branded items online, brand keywords are for you.

Examples of a brand keyword are:

  • Adidas trainers
  • Shark vacuum
  • Made by Factory SEO Services

Again, these keywords may be a bit too vague and lack any indication of intent. You will also find that either:

1.    The brand is you and therefore your website is searched for already

2.    You are in direct competition with the brand

3.    If the brand is big you will have huge competition from other retailers

Short Tail Keywords

This is a form of the generic keyword (see above), but they consist of just two (sometimes three) words, and don’t contain a “head” or “tail”.

A head would be a word like buy before the keyword like “buy ground coffee”.

A tail would come after the keyword like “ground coffee shop”.

phrase match keywords so you can optimise keyword types for optimum landing page conversion
How to use keyword types: 8 Types of Keywords For Search Traffic Success 10

Broad keywords

Broad keywords offer great web traffic with less competition because it’s taking a general keyword and going specific.

If a potential customer knows the type of thing they are looking for and narrows down the keyword search, they are more likely to find exactly what they are looking for.

So, once again taking our favourite tipple, coffee, as an example broad keyword would be:

  • Decaffeinated coffee
  • Fairtrade coffee
  • Colombian roast coffee
  • Organic Coffee pods

Exact Keywords

On the opposite end of generic keywords is another favourite of ours: Exact keywords. These gems are when a customer knows exactly what they want and how to search for it!

Rather than stabbing in the dark searching basic phrases in the hope of finding their dream company (i.e. you), they are savvy with using keywords that equate to exactly what they want and the type of information in their search query.

Examples of exact keywords would be:

  • Best Organic Coffee pods
  • Decaffeinated coffee reviews
  • Taylors Colombian roast coffee

As you can see, generally exact match keywords fall into one of two camps: informational or commercial content.

Exact match keywords are gems because they often have high search volumes and great website conversation though they have high competition.

Do your keyword research to find close variants to increase search volume
How to use keyword types: 8 Types of Keywords For Search Traffic Success 11

Buyer Keywords

Hmmm, what could this type of keyword possibly mean? Yep, you guessed it: Great SEO uses buyer keywords for people who are ready to buy what you have to offer.

Here they are either looking to directly purchase online or grab a quick discount first.

The trick is in the word accompanying the general keyword -

For example:

  • Buy Organic Coffee pods
  • Taylors Colombian roast coffee
  • discount
  • Decaffeinated coffee deals

This is a must for eCommerce sites and websites with a strong call to action – getting the right page show up in search queries when people are searching these terms makes a seamless link between searching to buy your coffee and getting it delivered straight to your cup.

Tyre Kicker Keywords

Last up in our guide to types of keywords for search engine optimisation is one we try to avoid if you’re looking for meaningful action.

Though tyre kicker keywords are fantastic at extending reach and getting a big boost of website traffic, these searchers are all about the freebies.

Here search terms include words like:

  • free
  • torrents
  • Download 

With smart automation – such as email capture and targeting, you may be able to convert these deal seekers later, but it’s not going to get you those instant, meaningful customers straight off the bat.

How to use keyword types: 8 Types of Keywords For Organic Search Traffic
How to use keyword types: 8 Types of Keywords For Search Traffic Success 12

What’s the best type of keyword?

The question on everyone’s lips is: what keyword strategy works best for me?

First up, make sure you’re picking out the right keywords with our guide to keyword research. Seriously guys it will save you SO much time in the long run.

As you have seen, the best type of keyword will vary depending on your desired outcome. Understanding keywords and their uses in different scenarios will really help make your SEO strategy watertight.

As a whole, we’d suggest you follow these 5 keyword rules.

5 Ways to Use Keywords Types

1.    Do your Keyword research and regularly revisit them. Surfer SEO offers great tools for expanding on keywords to include phrases and questions

2.    If you could only pick 1 keyword type use long-tail keywords with informational or commercial intent.

3.    Focus on Intent, driving traffic or both. Set out clear objectives for your keywords as use the most effective type of keyword accordingly. Focus on search terms your customer is likely to use.

4.    Be strategic and plan a plan for each type of keyword – i.e. content for acquisition and audience building vs content for direct conversion for commercial sales

5.    If in doubt, find a marketing agency expert in SEO, like us!

Search Query Success

With Page one for ‘SEO in Manchester and ‘SEO Agency in Manchester’ the results speak for themselves.

The best part is, this makes us jump around a bit in excitement, being a bit nerdy and all. Made By Factory is a web and SEO Agency in Manchester.

We specialise in crafting speedy, visually amazing SEO optimised websites and then delivering killer SEO and Ad Campaigns.

Being seen on Search Engines is a means to an end. Search Engine Optimisation is all about sales, revenue and converting leads into money!

That’s why we take an all-round approach and use the whole range of white hat tactics for on-page and technical SEO.

Page one rankings aren’t the dark art people assume they are. With a solid SEO strategy, time, implementation and a little know-how, we can have your site performing with the best of them!

Based in Manchester, we are a fully-fledged remote working SEO Agency, with clients all across the UK, the EU and the United States, so we are available via zoom, wherever you are.

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3 comments on “How to use keyword types: 8 Types of Keywords For Search Traffic Success”

  1. Hi Trudi! thanks for sharing this super informative article with us, I am doing some self learning about keyword research.And I must say that, this article contains all the information that I was looking for, I got alot to learn from it. definitely pinning this article for share.

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