Keyword Research The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

by Mr Vilen

In search engine optimization, keyword research is important to determine what words or phrases are most commonly searched in search engines and to find out how much traffic these can bring to your website.

A bad keyword research process can lead to a lot of wasted time and money in the long run, so it’s important to do your keyword research properly.

In this guide, I will show the entire keyword process step by step, but first, we must learn the fundamentals.

What is Keyword

Keyword in the SEO industry stands for a specific word or phrase that people type into search engines to find the content they are looking for. 

Keywords for searcher:

A keyword is a word or a phrase that a person uses to search for a product or any information on the web.

A keyword can be a single word, phrase, incomplete sentence, complete sentence and so forth.

For example, if you want to buy some new clothes, you type “clothes” or “best t-shirts for the winter season” in the search engine, then it’s a keyword.

Keywords for Website Owners:

As a website owner or content creator, you need to choose the right keywords for your product, blog post, article or page.

Then they can use identified keywords to SEO your website and get the content on top of search engine results.

Because by choosing the right keyword for your product, you will be able to bring potential targeted visitors to your website.

Keywords for Search Engines:

Search engines such as Google, Bing and Yandex use keywords to rank the search engine results.

A search engine uses keywords to understand the content of a web page and rank it accordingly based on SEO factors.

Keyword Types

Now we know what keywords are and now let’s see what types of keywords are there.

This contextual grouping to classify keywords based on common criteria to have a better understanding.

Most of the time definition for these keyword types will vary from person to person.

SEO Keywords: Keywords for SERP Ranking

SEO Keywords are terms which created from SEO lingo; basically, it represents organic or SERP keyword.

Seed keyword

Seed keywords are words or phrases that are considered a starting point for their industry.

For example, if I write a blog post on “Best Practices in SEO 2021: Evergreen Search Engine Optimization Principles & Tips”, then “SEO” is my seed keyword.

Primary keyword

The primary keyword in SEO is your target or popular phrase or a word that you want to rank high for in search engines.

For example, if I am writing a blog post on “Best Practices in SEO 2021: Evergreen Search Engine Optimization Principles & Tips”, then “Best Practices in SEO” is my primary keyword.

Secondary (Related) keyword

Secondary keywords or related keywords are the additional keywords that are related to your primary keyword.

These keywords help broaden the web page’s reach in SERP and add more content for people searching for these keywords.

For example, if I am writing a blog post on “Best Practices in SEO 2021: Evergreen Search Engine Optimization Principles & Tips”, then one of my secondary keywords is “best places to buy the domain name”.

LSI keyword

The acronym “LSI” stands for Latent Semantic Indexing.

It is a natural-language processing technique created in the 1980s.

LSI is a method of assigning meaning to words by extracting the semantic relationships between them.

The first important thing is that there is no such thing as “LSI keywords”; it’s an improper term we use.

Since Google does not use the LSI NLP model and they have confirmed it too.

Instead, what they do is they have created their algorithms based on semantic words & entities to identify learn the meaning of the web pages.

For example, words such as “phone” and “apple” might have two different meaning, but when we put together then it points to “Apple brand phone”.

It’s an advanced SEO keyword strategy used by search engines to find & rank webpages even if the keyword is not mentioned on the webpage but still relevant for users.

You don’t need to complicate this.

  • You can use general knowledge or common to figure out semantic keywords.
  • You use synonyms.
  • You can use the search engine’s auto-complete, people also ask snippets and related keywords.
  • Use keyword research tools that can identify all these keywords, and it’s usually called “NLP data.”
  • and more

For example, suppose I am writing a blog post on “Best Practices in SEO 2021: Evergreen Search Engine Optimization Principles & Tips”. In that case, one of my LSI keywords is “Namecheap”, which is one of the domain registrars I recommended in that article.

Time-Based Keywords: Timespan based keyword research

Timespan based keywords will be in demand only during a particular time frame.

Short-term fresh keyword

Short-term fresh keywords have been recently created, and it has a large amount of traffic and is still growing.

The fresh keyword will have explosive search traffic but will have a harsh fall when the hype is over.

E.g., This includes movie name or incident.

Long-term evergreen keyword

Long-term evergreen keywords have been around for a while and have the potential to bring in consistent traffic over a long period of time.

For example, ‘Learn SEO for free’ is a long-term evergreen keyword because it has been searched for decades and will be in future too.

Seasonal keyword

Seasonal keywords are those that have a certain time frame in which they are relevant.

For example, ‘Christmas gifts’ is a seasonal keyword as it would be relevant for the time period from November to December.

Dying keywords

A dying keyword is a keyword that has lost its value in search engine results.

The term “dying keywords” is often used to refer to keywords that are no longer relevant to the results of a search query or the industry is slowing shutting down.

For example, a product from a company that closed down recently or people is moving away from an industry like “Film-roll camera to digital.”

Keywords By Length: Words Length and Intent

Length based keywords are keywords that are based on the total length of the keyword phrase.

Short or single word keyword

Short or single word keyword in SEO is the keywords which have only one word or short phrases.

For example, a Single-word keyword “SEO” is a short “search engine optimization” keyword.

Usually, these keywords will be very hard to rank for in search engines because the SERP results page will be full web pages with a lot of SEO power.

Regular or mid-tail keyword

Regular or mid-tail keywords are the keyword phrases that have between 2 and 6 words.

These are the common keywords you will find the most while doing keyword research.

Usually, these keywords will be medium to hard SEO competitive keywords.

Long-tail keyword

Long-tail keywords are keyword phrases that have between typically 6 and 20 words.

Long-tail keywords aren’t searched very often but will have low SERP competition compared to other keywords.

Questions keywords or sentence keywords also makes for good long-tail keywords.

These terms are also called “low-hanging fruit” because they are easier to rank and will likely have less competition with great conversions since the intent is very focused.

Business or Customer-Centric Keywords: Identifying Industry and Customers

These keywords refer to a word, phrase, or idea geared towards identifying the business’s stakeholders.

A well-defined business or customer-centric keyword is clearly defined and focused on the target customer’s needs or identify the customer.

Market segment keyword

Market segment keywords are the words, phrases, and topics related to a specific market or industry.

For example, the keyword “SEO” is a market segment keyword because it is associated with the Search Engine Optimization industry.

While not all keywords are associated with a specific industry, some broad and general terms may be considered market segment keywords.

Customer-oriented keyword

A customer-oriented keyword is a phrase that has the word customer in it.

A customer-oriented keyword has been derived from customer-focused research and is based on the needs and wants of the target audience.

For example, a customer-oriented keyword might be “best web hosting for small business owners” This keyword is derived from research on niche and target audience.

Product/Service keyword

Product and service keywords are words or phrases that describe a product or service.

For example, a product or service keyword might be “WordPress hosting.”

Brand keyword

Brand keywords are words that are associated with a particular brand.

For instance, Google is known for its search engine, while Apple is known for their products.

Competitor keyword

A competitor keyword is a keyword that is related to your competitor’s company or product or keywords targeted by competitors.

The term “competitor” is usually synonymous with “competing business,” The tactic includes using their name or brand in a relevant and contextual way on your SEO process or going after keywords that your competitors use.

For example, for Bing, a competitor keyword might be “Google search engine” or “Best search engine” if Google is targeting that keyword.

GEO Targeted/Local keyword

A GEO targeted/local keyword is a keyword that is relevant to a particular region, city, or language.

This type of keyword is very important for local businesses that want to target only their local market.

For example, if you are a digital agency in Colombo, Sri Lanka, you might use the keyword “Colombo” when marketing your services to customers in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Misspelled or Industry Lingo keyword

Industry lingo keywords are specialized words or phrases used in a particular industry.

Misspelled keywords are when someone makes a mistake in typing the keyword that they want to rank for.

For example, someone might type “drink” as “drik”, and search engine optimization is known as “SEO”.

Buyer Keywords: Understanding the Intent

Buyer keywords means the keywords which you can use to find your potential buyer.

Keyword intent means what searchers want to achieve by typing your keyword into the search engine.

For buyer keywords, keyword intent is important because you can identify in which buying stage cycle your audience is in.

The major buyer keywords are Informational, Navigational & Transactional.

Informational Keywords

Informational keywords are words used by people who want to find out more information about a topic or topic they know little about to learn something new and useful from it.

For example, if you create a blog post about “SEO guide”, this will be an informational keyword because it can help people learn about SEO.

Navigational Keywords

Navigational keywords are going to keywords used by people who want to find the way to achieve a goal or considering finding solutions to buy.

For example, if you create a blog post about “Best all-in-one SEO tools”, this will be a navigational keyword because it can help people find all the options available for them to do what they learned.

Transactional Keywords

Transactional keywords are words people use to buy something or have an immediate commercial intent behind a search query.

For example, creating a blog post about “Semrush review” will be a transactional keyword because they understand the problem, know the solution, and pick a specific product for them.


Why are keywords important?

Keywords are important because they allow a user to find content that is relevant to their interests. Keywords are used as search terms for SEO, as tags on social media websites such as Instagram or YouTube and more.

Choosing the wrong keywords for SEO can affect your whole SEO and content marketing process.

What is keyword intent?

The keyword intent is the search engine’s approach to using keywords to determine what content is.

Search engines will look at the surrounding words, the topic, and related terms to pick out what kind of content will be matched for a given keyword.

What’s the difference between Informational Keywords vs Navigational Keywords vs Transactional Keywords?

Informational keywords are used to provide information about a site or product or topic, or service.

Navigational keywords are used to help users find their way around.

Transactional keywords are used to perform shopping-related searches.

What are keyword types in SEO?

Keywords can be broadly classified into various logical categories for better understanding and organization.

Keyword types include SEO keywords, time-based keywords, Keyword Length Based keywords, Business or Customer-Centric Keywords, Buyer Keywords & more.


In this lesson, we learned about keywords and keyword types in SEO.

Keywords are the most important part of any SEO campaign.

If you do not understand them well, you can never be sure if your site is ranking for the right keywords, and the whole SEO process can lead to failure.

In the next lesson, we will learn keyword research and what makes a good keyword.

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