Keywords in SEO 2020 – for beginners

Speak the language of customers by wisely choosing the right keywords!

Keywords are a common term that you start listening to once you land up doing an SEO course or a digital marketing certification. As a beginner in SEO, it is important to understand all the buzzwords and concepts in detail. So let us start learning A to Z about keywords. There are two terms one should be familiar with and are the basics of any SEO.

keywords in SEO | SEO for beginner | types of keywords | importance of keywords

What is a keyword in SEO?
A keyword is a term (can be a word or a phrase) that best describes the content written on a webpage. 

What is a search query?
Search query is simply what the user types into a search engine such as Google to pull out some valuable information or idea that he or she needs.

What is the difference between keywords and search query?

Search queries are those words or phrases that real-time users type into the search box of a search engine to get valid and relevant results. However, keywords are terms that advertisers use or find out using various keyword-finding tools to address those needs of the search queries. On a broad scale, both are same and changes according to the context. When a user puts it for getting information it becomes a search query and when an advertiser puts it, then it becomes a keyword.

Simple examples of keywords and search query for SEO:

Example of search query: A user wants to buy a birthday cake online and he can type the following in Google search to get the information he wants

 Birthday cakes near me, chocolate cake online, best vanilla cake

Seo keywords examples:  Now the SEO part is taken care of by the advertiser who sells cakes online. So he will look up for search terms that users type. He can get the list of search terms from various tools available online. So, he can come up with keywords that best suit his business and that are relevant to search queries entered by the users.

Example: Best birthday cake online, Cakes online, birthday cakes, chocolate cake

Types of keywords in SEO

If you are thorough about keywords that means you are doing great with your website’s SEO factor. Better and relevant keywords directly imply better visibility in search results and thus results in profitability. Various SEO keyword tools are available at free of cost where you can find relevant keywords and search volumes of the same. You can then use the best of best keywords to use in your content for improving your visibility in search results. It is essential to know the inherent keywords types while doing SEO for your content

Basic keyword types

  • short-tail keywords – consists of one or two words, very hard to rank, and has a high traffic volume
  • Mid-tail keywords – consists of two to three words, competition is high, high search volume and conversion rate is higher than short-tail keywords
  • Long-tail keywords – mainly phrases just like a small sentence, gets low traffic or search volume but has higher conversion rates than the above two types of keywords
  • Primary keywords – the main keyword for which you want your website or a webpage to rank. Example: Birthday cakes
  • Secondary keyword – this type of keyword play a supportive role to the primary keywords. Example: Cheap birthday cakes
  • Location-targeting keywords – this is useful for local business to target a particular area, such as a city, town, or state. Example: Birthday cakes in Houston tx
  • LSI keywords – LSI (Latent semantic indexing) keywords are almost related variations or synonyms of the keyword. Example: if the keyword is Cakes, then LSI keyword would be Cheesecake, cupcakes, Coffee cakes, tea cakes etc
How many keywords are best for a webpage or a post?

The best and tested number is “one” keyword per page or a post is an ideal way to scale up to the top pages of Google search results. Using too much of keywords in a single page will confuse the search engines; moreover, it will affect the content quality.

What is keyword density? 

Keyword density is the total percentage of keywords that you use on a page or content. For example: If there are 30 keywords in a 1000 word article, then the keyword density is 3%.

How much keyword density is ideal for SEO?

There is no ideal percentage as such; some say 3% some say more or less. However, the best way is to write a natural article of course with keywords in main titles and the subject body where it has relevance. Do not forcefully stuff keywords into your article, as it will not help. You can try LSI keywords instead of repeating the same primary keyword in your page repeatedly.

What is keyword stuffing?

Repeating your keyword on and on in your articles such as in Meta tags and every other place is called keyword stuffing.
Example: “We sell birthday cakes online and are the best birthday cake shop in Houston. Our online store offers cheap birthday cakes in different flavours.” The highlighted words are keywords that have been used overtly which is a big ” no” while writing an article or from a Seo perspective.

Keyword stuffing is an unethical practice in SEO

This practice worked and helped websites to rank until a few years back. Google algorithms have changed and now keyword stuffing no longer works. It is an unethical practice and only contributes to the downfall of a website or a webpage.
Google uses artificial intelligence to understand the contents of a web page so when you write an article keep the end-users in mind. Do not write content for the search engine bots, instead, write for potential customers. This practice will eventually help you to bring relevant and useful traffic.


It is important to understand and have an idea about keyword and a search query even before you do keyword research.  Understanding user intent and then using your brains to think like a customer is important to gain insight on the term “keyword”. However, using the right set of keywords and in the best possible way so that it will help you to land relevant traffic to your website. 
On the other hand, using irrelevant keywords will do more harm than gains. Therefore, research about your audience and then “do keyword research” before you write an article. Write relevant content, rather than focusing on the number of keywords. Great content deserves great rankings.


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