What Are Keywords and Key Phrases?

What Are Keywords and Key Phrases?

People often talk about keywords, but what are keywords? When talking about keywords try to understand that there are keywords and key phrases. The technical terms are short and long tail keywords.


A long tail keyword is long, includes modifiers and more information, while a short tail keyword is short and often consists of only one word without modifiers.

So, a short tail keyword might be 'diet' whilst the long tail keyword might be 'how to have a healthy diet on a budget'.

What a Search Engine Does

When people search for information online they rarely actually put just one word. Most people ask a question or put in more than one word called a keyword phrase, or a long tail keyword. So, what are keywords and long tail keywords? Well, these are often known as keyword phrases.

Therefore, keyword phrases are super important to your SEO plan because they help your audience find you. Most importantly, if you use the phrases that people are searching for, your website will show up if you use those same words when someone searches.

The search engine’s job is to serve the search engine’s clients with relevant content per their search.

Ty​pes of Keyword

Bear in mind that some keywords are related to the market and some are related to the customer. There are also product-focused keywords, thought leader keywords, competing keywords, buyer keywords, and related keywords.

This means that you will probably need to use all of these types of keywords. Also, you’re going to want to find long-tail keywords, keyword phrases, and low-competition keywords. You will need to start, and maintain, your own keywords list.

Consider that a low-competition keyword is easier to rank for because the big-name brands aren’t spending a lot of money trying to attract people to that keyword.

These are the types of keywords that you should be targeting to improve SEO.

Use Keywords and Keyword Phrases Throughout the Content

Importantly, keywords and key phrases should appear throughout your content. They should appear normal though, and not contrived.

For example, don’t purposely misspell words just because other people do, and don’t add extra keywords to affect the flow of the content you’ve created.

Above all, remember that the keywords that you use should fit seamlessly into the content and expand on the meaning of the content too. This can take some thought and planning.

What are Keywords and write normally

Write Normally

The best thing to do is to write normally. Write how you talk. Don’t try to sound like someone else. You have your own unique voice that your target market wants to hear.

Certainly keep the keyword phrases you’ve chosen in mind, but just write normally. Then when you edit the content go back and add the keyword phrases that work best and make most sense without altering the meaning of the content.

It’s best not to include any keywords if it makes the content look weird or lose its meaning. Your first job is to write for your audience, not the search engines.

Do Your Research

The first thing you need to do is conduct keyword research. At first, don’t try to come up with too many keywords.

But understand that each page needs to have its own main keyword for which you want it to rank, meaning that when someone searches for that keyword, you want them to find that particular content you’ve created for that keyword.

What are Keywords and how to find them

Find Your Keywords

But first, find the keywords. There are many ways to go about it.

  • Guess - This might seem like terrible advice, but if you’re part of your own demographic then you probably already know some keywords. Make a list of what you’d search for if you were looking for information about your niche. That’s a good starting point for finding more keywords.
  • Your audience’s vocabulary – Find where your audience hangs out and observe their discussions and questions. The type of words they use are words you should add to your keyword list.
  • Use keyword tools – Google Keyword Planner Tool comes with your Google AdWords account. You can use the planner to help you find good keywords and keyword phrases, as well as assess the competition level of the keywords you choose.
  • Google Trends – This is a great way to find out what is trending in terms of what people are searching for in each niche. You’ll be able to find a lot of content ideas, especially during seasonal spikes.
  • Amazon.com – This is another great way to get ideas for keywords. Just start searching with your guesses and see what comes up. 
  • YouTube – Like Amazon, finding keywords using YouTube is a way to find what’s popular.
  • Twitter – Twitter is an amazing search engine that you can use to find keywords, starting with other keywords to see what turns up in a search. 

Bear In Mind When Using Your Keywords

The thing to keep in mind about keywords is that you don’t want to over-stuff your website and content with them. Each page of your website - whether it’s your home page, contact page, about page or a blog post should focus on only one keyword. In addition, you want to keep your keyword density between 1 and 2 percent.

Before using keywords, you want to use the tools available to you. You can find out how in demand the keywords are and how many people are searching for this information. If you don’t know that a phrase is in high demand you could be wasting your time adding them to the content. Make sure you keep your keywords list current and up to date.

Use keywords for  blog post titles, alt text for images, headings, subheadings, bullet points and so forth but use keyword phrases sprinkled throughout the content to enhance understanding as well as help search engines find your information. Don’t forget to use synonyms too, but always check with tools to ensure that the keyword or keyword phrase produces results or not. If you don’t check you don’t know.


When someone types a question into a search engine, results pop up. You want your blog to be one of the results that pop up.

How do you do this? You try and imagine what your target audience would type into the search engine. Let's say you had a weight loss site. If you had a weight loss site, you wouldn't have a huge site about everything dieting. But you might have a diet site for the over 50's, or for vegetarians for example. Your target audience are unlikely to type diet into a search engine. But they might type in best diet for over 50's or how to lose weight when you are a vegetarian. These are the keywords that you target.

Finally, keep in mind that the main part of your SEO strategy, is around the groups of keywords that you will target. Keep a keywords list and develop it as you do more research.

Let's Recap

These are the things you should do around keywords and phrases.

  • Make a list of the general keywords in your niche. Chose your main general keyword.
  • Make a list of the specific keywords that stem from your main keyword.
  • Research these keywords for competition.

Any comments or questions, please enter them in the comment box below. Speak soon.

If you missed the post from day 1, go back and read it here.

  • Great info as usual, but your content needs appropriate images! Try Pixabay.com for NO ATTRIBUTION images.

    Also, please boldface your sub-headings. They should stand out more.

    Your site’s design is VERY professional. It should provoke plenty of targeted interaction.

    Best of success,


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