8 Most Important Types of Keywords for SEO

We’ll check out the sorts of natural key phrases everybody fascinated with search engine optimization will have to know.

In case you simply desire a fast evaluation of the kinds, see the cheat sheet beneath. Learn the overall article to be informed extra about their significance and learn how to to find them to your search engine optimization tasks. 

Most important types of keywords - cheat sheet.

Seed key phrases are phrases or words that you’ll be able to use as the place to begin in a key phrase analysis procedure to unencumber extra key phrases. 

If profitable key phrases are the output of key phrase analysis, seed key phrases are the enter. 

Using seed keyword in Keywords Explorer
On this instance, “sneakers” is the seed key phrase producing thousands and thousands of key phrase concepts in Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer.

Tips on how to to find

There are a large number of techniques you’ll be able to get a hold of just right seed key phrases:

  • Brainstorming 
  • Investigating competition’ key phrases 
  • Taking a look at website online navigation menus
  • Staring at language folks use on social media 

And extra. 

Let’s do a snappy instance. Say you wish to have to start out a meals weblog. You return to a competitor’s weblog to search for concepts, and also you discover a recipe for “vegan meatballs.” You’ll write a equivalent recipe or use that as a seed key phrase to determine if folks seek for any permutations of the dish. Listed here are a couple of you’ll to find in Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer

Parent Topics in Keywords Explorer

In our different assets, you’ll to find extra nice seed key phrase assets with detailed directions:

2. Key phrases by means of seek intent

Search intent is the explanation in the back of the quest question (i.e., key phrase). It’s what folks anticipate finding by means of the usage of a key phrase in a seek engine. 

More or less talking, we will be able to differentiate 4 elementary sorts of intent key phrases: 

  • Informational – The searcher is on the lookout for knowledge, e.g., “who invented the mouse.” 
  • Navigational – The intent is to discover a particular website online, e.g., “fb login.” 
  • Business investigation – The searcher desires to shop for a particular product however must do extra analysis, e.g., “ahrefs evaluate.” 
  • Transactional – Natural purchasing mode, e.g., “purchase iphone 14.”

On peak of that, we’ve were given so-called high-intent key phrases that point out the person is with reference to making a purchase order; business investigation and transactional key phrases mixed.


Seek intent isn’t a characteristic of the key phrase however a characteristic of the SERP. Categorizing key phrases by means of seek intent is commonplace, nevertheless it’s now not fully technically proper. Which means seek intent can exchange through the years, and search engines like google can display a SERP with combined intent (aka fractured intent). 

The extra common the key phrase, the much more likely it is going to display a combined intent SERP. As an example, in case you Google “espresso,” you’ll see within sight espresso retail outlets, a few large espresso manufacturers, and articles on espresso. Take a look at our guide on mixed search intent to be informed extra.

Tips on how to to find 

You’ll use modifier phrases. Listed here are a couple of concepts:

Keyword modifiers by search intent

And right here’s how the method would glance in Keywords Explorer:

  1. Input a seed key phrase
  2. Cross to the Matching phrases file 
  3. Use your modifier phrases within the Come with clear out; you’ll want to set the clear out to “Any
Finding keywords by search intent in Keywords Explorer

3. Lengthy-tail key phrases (topical and supporting)

Lengthy-tail key phrases are seek queries that get a small collection of searches in keeping with month.

They’ve were given their title from the so-called seek call for curve. For any subject, the preferred searches are the short-tails (often known as the fats heads or the top phrases), adopted by means of the center, and finally the long-tails. 

Search demand curve

Concentrated on long-tail key phrases is a commonplace tactic in search engine optimization: 

  • They’re much less aggressive than the short- or middle-tail (alternatively, now not all long-tail key phrases are simple to rank for). 
  • There are many them.
  • They’re generally particular; you’ll be able to draw in guests with particular intent.

Tips on how to to find

There are two sorts of long-tail key phrases. 

There are topical long-tail key phrases, which can be subjects in themselves. And there are supporting long-tail key phrases, which can be much less well-liked techniques of attempting to find the topical ones. 

It’s a very powerful distinction as it handiest is smart to focus on topical long-tail key phrases. Right here’s a very easy solution to memorize it: bring to mind them as units and subsets. 

Topical keywords vs. supporting keywords

So right here’s learn how to to find topical long-tail key phrases in Keywords Explorer

  1. Input a vast subject
  2. Cross to the Matching phrases file
  3. Set the Quantity and Visitors Doable filters to a most of 300 
  4. Browse key phrases by means of Dad or mum Subjects 
How to find topical long-tail keywords


In case you don’t to find fascinating key phrases, check out expanding the amount and Visitors Doable. There’s no “reputable” quantity threshold for long-tail key phrases. It’s in large part dependent at the business. The extra seek call for the top time period has, the longer the “tail.”

4. Low-competition key phrases 

Low-competition key phrases, or low-hanging key phrases, are the key phrases which might be in most cases more uncomplicated to rank for. 

Their declare to reputation is that they may be able to give sooner leads to the fast time period, so they’re incessantly really helpful to new web pages with no robust hyperlink profile. 

Tips on how to to find

The best way to seek out low-competition key phrases is to make use of an search engine optimization software that includes a problem rating. At Ahrefs, we merely name it Key phrase Problem (KD). 

  1. Input a seed key phrase
  2. Cross to the Matching phrases file 
  3. Set the KD clear out to max 20 
How to find low-competition keywords

This system will filter key phrases which might be ruled by means of pages with a large number of oneway links. Alternatively, there may be nonetheless a chance that one of the most key phrases with low KD shall be harder to rank on account of:

  • Fashionable manufacturers at the SERP.
  • Top content material high quality from competition. 

You’ll additional refine that record by means of the usage of the “Lowest DR” clear out by means of inputting your website online’s DR. This may display you if web pages together with your DR or decrease already rank within the peak 10 or peak 5. 

"Lowest DR" filter in Keywords Explorer

Area of interest key phrases are transparent and particular subjects that enchantment to reasonably small, incessantly specialised portions of a given marketplace. 

They have a tendency to be more uncomplicated to rank for. And on account of their specificity, they may be able to be high-intent ones. In different phrases, each and every area of interest key phrase can ship you small however extremely certified site visitors in a little while. Put in combination, they may be able to be a pillar of a long-tail business (promoting low volumes of uncommon pieces). 

Instance key phrase: “vegan child cleaning soap.” It’s were given a low seek quantity, nevertheless it’s very particular. And this product is most definitely somewhat uncommon. So there’s a excessive probability that the searcher shall be available in the market for the sort of product. Plus, it will have to be somewhat simple to rank for. 

Niche keyword example with low volume and low difficulty

Tips on how to to find

Area of interest key phrases are very similar to long-tail key phrases. Alternatively, area of interest key phrases don’t seem to be handiest about seek call for. There’s a marketplace side to it, so that you’ll want to spend extra time researching the real factor the key phrase stands for. 

As an example, this key phrase has site visitors doable however doesn’t denote an current product. It’s a misspelling.

Fake niche keyword

To unravel this, you’ll be able to use a few concepts for refining your key phrase record. Right here’s an instance: 

  1. First, input a seed key phrase.
  2. Set the Quantity and Visitors Doable clear out to one thing low. For my instance, “cleaning soap,” the amount of 500 is somewhat low. 
  3. Use modifier key phrases that refer to make use of circumstances, segments, or options. For example: “choice,” “for,” “change,” “vegan,” “loose.”

And that is how we find a area of interest for customers who don’t need their cleaning soap to have a perfume.

Niche topic example

6. Branded and unbranded key phrases 

Rating for non-branded key phrases lets you draw in people who find themselves looking for merchandise or products and services associated with your corporation however would possibly not essentially know your emblem. 

Rating for branded key phrases lets you draw in people who find themselves in particular looking for details about your corporate.

As an instance the adaptation:

Branded vs. unbranded keywords

Tips on how to to find

So long as the key phrase doesn’t include your emblem or product’s title, it’s an unbranded key phrase. You’ll make a choice any of the strategies from this text to seek out the ones.

To search out branded key phrases, you’ve were given 3 choices. 

Possibility 1. In case you paste your emblem and merchandise in Keywords Explorer, you’ll see branded key phrases at the side of their search engine optimization metrics and who ranks for them. 

How to find branded keywords—option 1

Possibility 2. You’ll view handiest the branded key phrases the place you rank the usage of Ahrefs’ Site Explorer. Simply come with the branded phrases as modifiers. You’ll additionally use the Place clear out to peer underperforming key phrases. 

How to find branded keywords—option 2

After all, you’ll be able to take a look at the entire branded key phrases the place you don’t rank. To do this, you want to match the record of all branded key phrases to the key phrases the place you rank. Right here’s a step by step tutorial on how to try this, plus additional information on branded seek. 

7. Your competition’ key phrases 

Who wouldn’t wish to see their competition’ key phrases? Amongst many causes, the ones key phrases are a goldmine of subjects to your personal website online. 

Whilst you know a competitor’s key phrases, you can:

  • Goal the similar key phrases. 
  • Use your competitor’s key phrases as seed key phrases for analysis.

Tips on how to to find

There are two techniques. 

First, you’ll be able to cross to Site Explorer, paste your competitor’s URL, and cross to the Natural key phrases file. 

Organic keywords report in Site Explorer

From there, you’ll be able to use filters to refine the key phrases record. As an example, low-competition key phrases or key phrases containing particular phrases. 

You’ll additionally view the competition’ key phrases the place you don’t rank. In Site Explorer, there’s a distinct software for it referred to as Content Gap. All you want to do is paste competing domain names. 

Content Gap tool in Ahrefs


Your marketplace competition don’t seem to be essentially the similar as your natural competition. So if you wish to see who else ranks to your key phrases, use the Natural competition file. But even so a listing of domain names, you’ll see key phrases that you just proportion and key phrases the place you don’t rank.

Organic competitors report

8. Number one and secondary key phrases 

The main key phrase is the primary subject of a web page. It’s additionally the only key phrase to optimize a web page for or, in different phrases, the explanation to do key phrase analysis within the first position. 

Secondary key phrases are key phrases intently associated with the principle key phrase that you just’re concentrated on together with your web page.

As an instance, if the principle key phrase is the identify of the e book, you’ll be able to use secondary key phrases as subtopics. 

Primary vs. secondary keywords

Tips on how to to find

To search out just right number one key phrases, you want to do right kind key phrase analysis. Your number one key phrases will have to:

  • Have seek site visitors doable.
  • Display seek intent you’ll be able to align with.
  • Have industry doable or different worth on your website online.
  • Be inside your rating features (many of the time). 

See our complete guide on keyword research to be informed the entire main points. 

Discovering secondary key phrases is determined by your number one key phrases (as those are comparable). You’ll use the Similar phrases file in Keywords Explorer or the Content Gap tool in Site Explorer to match top-ranking articles for a given key phrase.

Related terms report
Make sure you permit the “Most sensible 10” toggle.
Content Gap tool used for secondary keyword research
In case you’re the usage of the Content Gap tool for locating secondary key phrases, go away the ultimate enter clean.

Ultimate ideas

The ones are the 8 vital sorts of key phrases. Listed here are a couple of varieties which might be simply value realizing: 

  • 0-volume key phrases – In case you see a captivating key phrase with 0 seek quantity, it’s going to nonetheless be value concentrated on in case you assume its recognition goes to jump or it has excessive industry worth on your website online (extra in our take on zero-volume keywords). 
  • NORA – No Proper Solution key phrases might develop into extra vital with the upward push of AI search engines like google. Some consider this type of key phrase is the place AI-generated responses will take many of the clicks from natural effects. 
  • LSI key phrases – A myth of the SEO industry
  • Meta key phrases – Value realizing that they are no longer used by Google to rank pages. 
  • Paid key phrases – No longer used for search engine optimization however value realizing in case you’re working paid seek advertisements. You’ll be informed extra about their varieties on this guide to PPC.

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