Today, I want to delve in a little bit into keywords.
What are keywords?
Are they texts you’re shown on a spreadsheet, or a presentation deck?
Are they words that SEOs stipulate must be used across your site?
Are they texts that have numbers, called ‘search volumes’, associated with them?
What are keywords?
Think of keywords as familiar texts that people use to search for something.
Why am I describing keywords this way?
When a search is performed, there is something that triggers the searcher to perform the search.
This trigger leads the searcher to perform the search using words they are familiar with.
The words they’re familiar with will be what they know, or remember, of what they seek.
A couple of months ago, I came across the Disney Plus service advertised on TV.
I thought, ‘ah cool, Disney has a new streaming service’. Thought nothing of it afterwards.
Recently, well, a few weeks ago, I saw an image of the Black Widow movie.
Now, I love movies. Hey, I love movies!
Seeing this image triggered me to think of Disney’s streaming service.
I was curious. I wanted to find out more about it.
So I Googled it.
I didn’t remember the name of the service so I simply Googled ‘Disney streaming service’.
You see, I searched with what I knew, what I remembered of what I was looking for.
I didn’t remember the name of the service – the brand.
What I did remember was the service itself – a streaming site, by Disney.
People search with the words that will bring them closer to what they seek.
These words are what they are familiar with. And in the case of advertising, people will be familiar with what they most remember of the advert.
This is why, every year, there is a search demand for ‘John Lewis Christmas Advert’.
So, people search with what they are familiar with.
How does this equate to what tools like Google Keyword Planner and SEMRush show during keyword research?
These keyword research tools provide an aggregate of what people search for.
Just as I searched for ‘Disney streaming service’, many more people, at some point, would have done the same thing.
These keyword research tools provide an indication of the amount of times people have searched for a particular keyword, and similar keywords to it.
We, as SEOs, use such data to make informed decisions on the keywords we recommend to target on a site.
This is why keyword research is important.
With research, we get to find the most memorable pieces of information (i.e. keywords) that people have, and do use, to find what they seek.
Keywords can be put into groupings. Three typical groupings are Brand Keywords, Generic Keywords and Product Keywords.
Let’s go through each one of these – just as an overview.
Brand keywords are searches people make with a brand name.
Think ‘Apple’, ‘Amazon’, ‘Disney’.
These types of keywords suggest the searcher is looking for something specifically by the brand.
Generic keywords are searches people make, which do not contain a brand name.
Think ‘Laptop’, ‘eBook Reader’, ‘Streaming Platforms’, ‘Streaming Services’.
Now, when it comes to SEO, why do you think generic keywords are special to traffic acquisition?
Let’s say you work in the Dell marketing department.
What is the difference to you, between someone who searches for ‘Laptops’ and someone who searches for ‘Macbooks’.
Someone who searches for ‘Macbooks’ is specifically interested in laptops from Apple.
Whereas someone who searches for ‘Laptops’ is interested in the device, and has not yet decided which brand to go with. This is an assumption but an informed one based on the keywords used.
If you worked at Dell, you wouldn’t be interested in searches for ‘Macbooks’ because there is less of a chance of you acquiring business from those searches – the searchers want Macs!
However, you would be highly interested in searches for ‘Laptops’ (a generic term) because you have a chance of convincing the searchers to go with your brand.
Because people search with what they know, when a person searches for ‘Laptop’, you would want to be present so they consider your brand.
This is why visibility for generic keywords are highly competitive! They are open to the entire market!
Just like Dell wouldn’t want to compete to acquire searches for ‘Macbooks’, Apple wouldn’t want to compete for searches for ‘Inspiron 15 5000’.
However, they would both want to compete to acquire searches for ‘Laptops’!
OK, let’s progress!
The third keyword group I want to touch on is for products.
Think iPads, iPhones, Kindle, Macs, etc.
Now, across these 3 keyword groups, (and any other keyword groups) what is the common trait with the use of keywords?
Regardless of the group, keywords have a search demand because of their popularity.
Why does a keyword become popular?
Because many people are familiar with it and use it in their search query.
Consider this… in order for words to be searched (whether branded or generic), searchers need to be aware of the words to use.
So, the question then is, how do keywords come to be?
How Do Keywords Come To Be?
Branding, you may say.
People know to search for Coca Cola because they are aware of the brand.
OK. This is true.
However, people don’t always search with, or for, a brand.
They search with what they’re familiar with, and with what’s forefront of their minds at any point in time!
This is why TikTok now has a (growing) search demand, whereas prior to 2018, it did not.
Now. you may say people search for this keyword because it’s a brand.
I say people search with keywords they’re familiar with – whether brand, generic, product, or something else.
People do tend to be more familiar with brand terms.
Why do you think this is…?
Why do you think people search more for ‘John Lewis Christmas Advert’ rather than something else about the ad?
Why do you think people search more for ‘Laptops’ rather than ‘Personal Computers’?
It’s what’s more familiar. Whether branded, or non-branded.
After viewing the John Lewis Christmas ad, one of the most memorable pieces of information you would use to search for the ad is indeed ‘John Lewis Christmas Advert’.
People search with what they know.
When was the last time you heard someone use the term ‘personal computer’?
Why would one search for ‘personal computer’ when ‘laptop’ is a part of our pop lexicon?
This is how keywords come to be – within any topic!
Using tools such as Keyword Planner and SEMRush, you get to see what words are most memorable to people when they seek something via a search engine.
This data becomes vital when it comes to creating content on your website.
The logic to this is, if people have recently used certain words in their search, they’re highly likely to use them again.
When they do, the goal is to have one’s website present in the SERPs with content that is pertinent to what they seek.
This is how keywords come to be!
They’re not just terms on a spreadsheet, dashboard, or a keyword tracking tool.
They come from what one knows of what they seek!
So now, think about this…
If people search with what they know, is it possible to project what they will be searching for in the near future…?
Is it possible to anticipate which keywords will have an increased search demand based on an ATL campaign being planned…?
Is it possible that the wider marketing team can work with SEOs to increase organic traffic when traditional marketing campaigns are carried out…?