Understanding keywords

Last updated: September 13, 2017

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A keyword is generally a word or phrase that is a topic of significance. Searchers use keywords as a way to identify and verbalize their problem or topic in which they're looking for more information. Businesses create content around relevant topics to their business which helps them rank and be the content in which searchers find.

HubSpot's keywords tool can help you manage and keep track of keywords that are important to your business. Inside of the tool, you are able to see which keyword phrases are working for your business to attract and convert leads. The software will also provide you with information about which ones are worth pursuing if there is an opportunity to rank, as well as provide intelligent suggestions around variations, conversion opportunities, and even opportunities to rank better. Read this article to learn about the importance of keywords and the different types. 

Why do you need keywords?

  • Keywords are the foundation of your website content. The topic of every page and what it is about should tie directly back to a keyword or keyword phrase. Since keywords are topics, they are also prevalent when creating offers and emails.
  • Keywords help visitors and potential customers understand the purpose of your page. When reading the content of the page, a visitor will often scan for the keywords they searched for.
  • Keywords help search engines understand the purpose of your page. When a search engine crawls your website pages to index them, it will parse the keywords on the page to determine the purpose of your pages.

What are the different types of keywords?

There are two different types of keywords: broad keywords and long-tail keywords. Broad keywords are short words or phrases that, while they may apply to your own industry and company, they might also apply to every company in your industry or even to those in other industries. Long-tail keywords tend to be longer words or phrases that are more specific to your company or industry.  

Here are some examples of each:

HubSpot Help article screenshot

When you're first getting started, you definitely will want to start by targeting long-tail keywords because these are easier to rank for and they also bring in the most relevant and qualified traffic. In the graphic below, the plus sign shows the definition of each type of keyword, and the equals sign shows how that factors into traffic and rank.

HubSpot Help article screenshot

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