Primary Keyword: Basics & SEO Strategies




Updated 4/29/2024

Primary keywords are the target SEO topic for a webpage. This article covers the basics and how to use them in your strategies.

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What is a Primary Keyword?

A primary keyword is the target keyword phrase for a webpage, used to focus and measure SEO efforts.

Primary keywords help create and maintain strong content that serves users arriving via search engines. They are typically paired with useful data about the keyword, such as search volume, keyword difficulty, traffic potential, and other metrics.

Importance of Targeting Keywords

Primary keywords serve multiple purposes:

  1. Improved SEO: Proper use of primary keywords helps improve your content’s SEO, making it more discoverable to search engines and users. Basically, if you’re more strategic with your content and its value, you should earn better engagement.
  2. Higher Traffic: By aligning with user searches, primary keywords can drive more organic traffic to your site. Strategically targeting the right keywords can result in transformative SEO results.
  3. Increased Relevance: Primary keywords help ensure your content stays relevant to the topic and provides value to users. The more you serve the user with your content, the likelier it is to perform well with your audience.
  4. Better User Experience: Creating content around primary keywords can provide your users with a more satisfying and streamlined experience. If your content is focused and serves a goal, that will translate to improving the user’s experience and better satisfying your customers.

Selecting The Right Keywords

Here are some considerations when choosing your target keywords:

  1. Relevance: Your primary keyword should accurately represent your content. It should be the main theme or idea of your content.
  2. Search Volume: Opt for keywords with a high search volume to increase the likelihood of your content being discovered.
  3. Competition: Consider the keyword’s competitiveness. High-competition keywords might be harder to rank for, especially for newer websites. Sites with higher website authority will be much harder to beat and outrank than younger or less authoritative sites.
  4. User Intent: Consider what the user intends to find when they type this keyword into a search engine. Your content should meet this intent.

Tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, and Moz can help you find and analyze potential primary keywords.

How to Use Primary Keywords

Once you’ve selected your primary keyword, it’s important to use it effectively:

  1. Title Tag: Include your primary keyword in your title tag. This is one of the first things both users and search engines notice.
  2. Meta Description: Incorporate your primary keyword into the meta description. This gives potential visitors a glimpse of what your content is about.
  3. Headers: Use your target keywords in headers. This not only helps search engines understand the content, but it helps readers scan the content and find what they need quicker. Use sparingly though. No need to include keywords in every header, as that can lead to overoptimization.
  4. Body: Use the primary keyword naturally throughout your content. This shouldn’t be too hard, since your target keyword is usually the page’s main topic. Write naturally and avoid keyword stuffing, which can harm readability and SEO. Google and people pick up on when you’re trying too hard pretty easily. ?
  5. URL: If possible, use the primary keyword in your URL. This can provide additional clues to search engines about your content’s subject matter. Make sure URLs are lower-case, separating words with hyphens.

Types of Keywords

Understanding the different types of keywords is a fundamental part of SEO. There are a couple of methods for sorting them, as shown.

By Search Volume

One popular way to group keywords is by how much searchers use the keyword. This usually translates to grouping your strategy based on the data.

  1. Primary Keywords: These are the main keywords that your content revolves around. They are the core theme of your webpage and the principal terms you want to rank for. Primary keywords are often the most generic and have a high search volume.
  2. Secondary Keywords: These are supportive keywords that relate to your primary keywords. Secondary keywords help to enrich your content and provide additional context. They also offer an opportunity to rank for a broader range of queries.
  3. Long-Tail Keywords: Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific keyword phrases that visitors are more likely to use when they’re closer to the point of purchase or when using voice search. They often have a lower search volume but can have a higher conversion rate because they are more specific.

Intent-Based Keywords

Another way to categorize types of keywords is by search intent. Here are some common methods for those strategies:

  1. Geo-targeted Keywords: These are location-specific keywords. They are vital for businesses that operate in specific areas and want to attract local traffic. Including the name of a city or a town in your keywords can help you rank higher for local searches and improve your local SEO.
  2. Transactional Keywords: These keywords indicate an intent to make a purchase. They often include terms like “buy”, “order”, “discount”, “deal”, and other phrases that suggest the user is ready to buy. These are highly valuable, as they indicate the user is in action mode and are at the end of the funnel, ready to convert.
  3. Informational Keywords: These are used when the user is looking for more information on a specific topic. They often start with “how,” “what,” “why,” “does,” “top ways to,” and other similar phrases.
  4. Navigational Keywords: These indicate that a user is looking for a specific website or page. They usually contain brand names or specific website names.

Knowing the different types of keywords and how they are used can help you develop a more effective and comprehensive SEO plan. The goal is to use these keywords to create valuable and relevant content for your users.

Bottom Line

Primary keywords are just one part of a basic SEO strategy. While essential, they should be part of a comprehensive plan that includes related keywords, backlinks, quality content, and more.

The ultimate goal is to provide valuable, relevant content to your users. Primary keywords are a tool to help you achieve this.


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