What is meant by a focus keyword


What is a keyword? [Edit]

A keyword (German: search term, key word, catchphrase) is used by search engine users such as Google to search for information on the Internet. The search engine creates the search results page based on the keyword. Keywords are important elements for search engine optimization and search engine advertising. They can help optimize content on websites for corresponding search queries.

Meaning of keywords for search engines in general [edit]

For simple search engines, keywords provide the basis that stored data records can be found and accessed. A simple search engine works similarly to a library catalog. There, users can search for the names of authors, editors or authors on the one hand and enter subject areas or epochs on the other. So that these entries can be found, the search categories are created as keywords.

The difference is that keywords are a kind of description of the overarching topic. They don't necessarily have to appear in the content. "Keyword" is sometimes used as an umbrella term for keywords, but a keyword does not describe a topic category, but a certain part of the content of a website and is therefore much more specific.

Modern search engines use many different clues to deliver the right search result based on a keyword. Elements such as meta keywords on a website are almost irrelevant today[1]. Rather, search engines try to determine the relevance of the pages available in the index using a search term. At the same time, not only the body of the text plays a role, but several factors are used that influence the subsequent rankings.

Types of keywords [edit]

In online marketing, a distinction is made between different types of keywords. The user's intention can be derived from the type of keyword. In classic search engine optimization, a distinction is traditionally made between up to six keyword types:

  • Brand keyword
  • Commercial Keyword
  • Compound keyword
  • Informational keyword
  • Navigational Keyword
  • Transactional Keyword

Brand keywords [edit]

SEOs and SEAs speak of a brand keyword when a user searches specifically for a brand he already knows.

Commercial keywords [edit]

The term commercial keyword is used to describe the search phrase that a user uses when they have a purchase intention and are looking for certain products.

Compound keywords [edit]

In marketing, compound keywords are keywords that fulfill two user intentions at the same time. For example, a user can use brand keywords and commercial keywords together in a search query if they want to purchase an item from a specific manufacturer.

Informational keywords [edit]

This type of keyword is a search term that users only use to search for specific information - for example in advice or guides.

Navigational keywords [edit]

With navigational keywords, users want to find the desired landing page on a specific domain.

Transactional keywords [edit]

Sometimes the user intention behind a transactional keyword can overlap with the search intention, which also suggests a commercial interest, i.e. a purchase. This is why this type of keyword is used synonymously with the commercial keyword. However, one also speaks of transactional keywords when it comes to non-commercial search queries. For example, when users are looking for free downloads.

Do keywords [edit]

Do keywords according to what marketers call transactional keywords. Google defines these keyword queries as "the intention to achieve a goal". According to the definition of the search engine operator, this goal can be to download something (an app or an eBook), to buy something or to receive something (for example newsletters and updates). However, interaction with a website or an app or mere entertainment can also be understood as such a Do goal. Google writes: "Users want to Do something."[2]

In e-commerce, the term “money keyword” is used synonymously. In July 2018, Google expanded its do-intention to include the so-called device action.

Device Action [edit]

For Google, the device action represents a special type of Do search query, namely the voice-controlled Google search via smartphones. With a device action, users start voice searches, which means that the device uses a voice command to perform an action. In this case, the do request or the do keyword would be, for example, the activation of the speech recognition: “OK Google” or “Siri” or “I want ...”

Know keywords [edit]

Know-Keywords are Google's counterparts to Informational Keywords. Or as Google writes: "Users want to know more about something."

Know keywords are often phrased in the form of a question. Examples of this are "how do I cook an egg", "what is a canonical tag" and similar queries to which the user expects an answer. The question does not have to be written out explicitly, but can also be implied, for example in the case of "demographic data" - here the "what are" is implied, and Google designs the search results accordingly.

Know-Simple-Keywords [edit]

In 2015, Google introduced a sub-category for know keywords called Know Simple. This means inquiries that aim at a very specific answer. The answer to know-simple queries are optically highlighted in the SERPs and displayed at the top of the search results. The answers to such search queries are usually a maximum of 2 sentences long or are displayed in the form of a short list. A question does not have to be formulated for searches with know-simple keywords. Google itself says that very few of these queries have a question word.

Go keywords [edit]

This type of search query is also called navigational keyword in marketing, SEO and SEA, but also overlaps with the definition of the brand keyword. The user wants to reach a certain goal here, for example by entering a brand name or a specific domain.

Google defines user intent rather than keywords [edit]

Overall, Google seems to prefer to categorize search query types based on user intent rather than keywords. In the Quality Rater Guidelines, for example, there is talk of “Know query”, “Do query”, “Website query” and “Visit-in-person query”. But not from keywords specified with the same name. So it's less about precise key terms, but more about whether a website can answer the user's search query as appropriately as possible. Search phrases and context seem to become increasingly important in Google's algorithm.

Long-tail & short-tail keywords [edit]

The aforementioned keywords can be further subdivided according to the first, user-intention-based classification: Depending on the length of the keyword, a distinction is made between long-tail, mid-tail and short-tail.

This subdivision is based on a thesis by journalist Chris Anderson. His thesis assumes that companies with many virtual products generate the majority of their sales not with a few bestsellers, but with many niche products, the so-called long-tail products. Applied to keyword marketing, this means that long-tail keywords are more like niche keywords that do not have a large search volume individually, but generate a lot of traffic in bulk[3].

A short-tail keyword, also known as a head keyword or head term, on the other hand, is a search term that is much sought after and accordingly has a very high search volume. Current definitions characterize short-tail keywords as search queries that consist of one word.

It is now common to differentiate between three keyword lengths: Short-tail keywords, which consist of one term, and mid-tail keywords[4]that consist of two to three words and long-tail keywords that are made up of four or more words.

The subdivision can be illustrated using the following example:

  • Short tail: "Web analysis"
  • Mid-Tail: "Web analysis software"
  • Long tail: "Software for analyzing websites"

Keyword research [edit]

Keyword research is a central aspect of online marketing, as sustainable SEO and SEA strategies can only be created and implemented on the basis of the right keywords. There is a helpful article for successful keyword research in Ryte Magazine[5].

Keyword research for individual web projects is made easier by using useful tools. In addition, keyword tools are very useful for content optimization. Many of these helpers are free. Some of these tools are listed in the following section.

Keyword research tools [edit]

  • Keyword planner: The free tool from Google was actually created so that advertisers in AdWords can determine suitable keywords for their ads. With a few tricks, however, it can be used as a great keyword tool for content creation and keyword targeting of websites.
  • Google Suggest: This is primarily not a tool, but a function of the Google search. If you want to find closely related search queries for a term, simply enter the main keyword in the search bar and you will immediately receive suitable additions. The tool Übersuggest is used to evaluate this function.
  • Google Trends: This keyword tool can be used to read the tendencies for the popularity of search terms and analyze historical data on search queries.
  • Soovle: This tool uses several popular search engines such as Google, Amazon, YouTube or Yahoo. If the user enters a keyword in the search bar, he immediately receives additional suggestions from all search engines, similar to the suggest search.
  • MetaGer Web Associator: The keyword tool of the MetaGer meta search engine provides associations with entered search terms. This can be very useful for text creation or content optimization.
  • Answer The Public: A tool that creates questions based on entered keywords, links the search phrase with common prepositions that users often use, outputs comparative search queries, and lists terms related to the keyword in alphabetical order. A site that is suitable for both topic finding and keyword research.
  • Semager: This tool determines synonyms, advanced search terms and associations for a keyword. Semager is very suitable for optimizing texts intuitively on WDF * IDF.
  • OpenThesaurus: The OpenThesaurus works similarly to Semager. He also uses the results of Wiktionary.
  • WikiMindMap: With this keyword tool, MindMaps with similar terms can be determined using Wikipedia articles.

Companies such as Searchmetrics, SISTRIX and Xovi also offer tools for keyword research in their software. However, these are chargeable.

Significance in OnPage optimization

From the point of view of technical search engine optimization (SEO), a keyword is an important element of a page. A search engine uses a keyword analyzer to determine the relevance of a document and checks whether that page matches a search query. In addition, the keyword proximity is crucial. In the early days of search engine optimization, keyword density was also an important factor. The keyword density indicates how often a keyword occurs in relation to the rest of the words on a page. In the meantime, however, the keyword density no longer plays a role in the ranking in search engines; a keyword density that is too high or noticeable can even have a negative effect on the user experience and ranking.

It is advantageous to include important search terms in the title tag, in the meta description, in the header tag and in the context and thus set a keyword focus. If this is not the case, it can happen that the search engine does not consider the page to be relevant when a search is made for a certain keyword. This page is then downgraded in the rankings or not taken into account at all. When optimizing keywords, it is not case sensitive, as Google interprets all search queries in lower case. In the future, however, Google could introduce the so-called case sensitive search, which would make the case sensitivity of the keywords more important.

Too frequent use of relevant keywords on a website (keyword stuffing) can even lead to an exclusion from the search engine index. A ranking downgrade cannot be ruled out either. A massive accumulation of keywords is viewed by Google and other search engines as web spam and viewed as a manipulation of the SERPs.

The sensible use of important keywords within a page is recommended. An HTML document should ideally target a single keyword. With a good keyword analysis for your own industry, you can find out about the relevant search terms on your own website in advance. At the same time, the keyword selection depends on the target group. Because ultimately a website should be found by the users to whom the content or offers on the website offer added value and benefits.

If this is not the case, it can happen that the search engine does not consider the page to be relevant when a search is made for a certain keyword. This page is then downgraded in the rankings or not taken into account at all.

When optimizing keywords, upper and lower case is not relevant because Google interprets all search queries in lower case. Nevertheless, correct spelling and keyword declinations are part of a serious website and should always be in the foreground, even when creating content that is optimized for keywords. Google's algorithm now recognizes semantic and grammatical deviations and understands how to assign them correctly.[6] Another indication that keyword proximity, context and semantic search are becoming more and more important. Should Google introduce the so-called case sensitive search in the future, which would make the case sensitivity of the keywords more important, correct spelling and grammar could become a decisive factor for evaluating a website in the search ranking.

Significance in OffPage Optimization

Both internal and external links depend heavily on the context in which and with which link text hyperlinks are linked. Relevant keywords should therefore be available in both cases so that the linked page can be assigned to a term.

However, caution is advised here: Since the Panda Update, Google has been increasingly monitoring external anchor texts on a page. If a link text is used too often, it can penalize a page (or an entire domain). Brand names or domain names that are used as anchor text and have the keyword for which they are to be found and rank are an exception. Brands can even strengthen their SERP position through incoming external links with such a keyword-based, always the same anchor text.

Even if a keyword is used in the wrong context or is classified as irrelevant by Google (bad keyword), this can lead to a devaluation.

If many variations are used in the link texts and emphasis is placed on naturalness, it can benefit the ranking of a page. In this case, naturalness means that your own domain - ideally as a deep link - is not always linked to the same keyword on external websites. Variations and even half-sentences as anchor texts that contain the keyword are an ideal way to generate such natural-looking backlinks.

Meaning for SEA [edit]

In search advertising and marketing, keyword-based advertising campaigns are crucial. Several campaigns and ad groups are created with specific search terms. If one of the keywords is searched, the advertiser's ads appear in the search results.

With Google AdWords and search engine optimization, it is particularly advisable to pay attention to the search volume of a keyword. The search volume gives an indication of how many users are actually searching for a particular term. The search volume can be approximated with the keyword planner.

When it comes to keyword planning for ads, morphology and semantics have become increasingly relevant in recent years, as the keyword planner does not evaluate each keyword individually for measuring search volumes, but creates clusters that also include grammatical and orthographic variations of the keyword. This can falsify the data analysis for a single keyword.

References Edit]

  1. ↑ Google does not use the keywords meta tag in web ranking webmasters.google.com. Retrieved on March 25, 2019.
  2. ^ Search Quality Guidelines static.googleusercontent.com. Retrieved on March 25, 2019.
  3. ↑ 11 reasons why you should rely on long-tail keywords for SEO above all else on neilpatel.com. Retrieved on March 25, 2019.
  4. ↑ Glossary: ​​Mid Tail Keyword etracker.com. Retrieved on March 25, 2019.
  5. ↑ It's all part of it: The 3-minute keyword research ryte.com. Retrieved on March 25, 2019.
  6. ↑ Keyword options support.google.com. Retrieved on March 25, 2019.

Web links [edit]