Digital Marketing

3 Types of Keywords Needed for Successful SEM


By Jason Poulos (@TheSaganaki)

When trying to create content that’s friendly to both organic search and paid search it’s important that your digital strategy utilizes keywords from these three main buckets below. Each type of keyword has their own pros and cons but wrapping these all together in one solid keyword strategy will yield the strongest results.

Generic Keywords

Just as the title suggests these are very generic, unspecific terms that get searched for. Something like “Tennis Shoes” or “Digital Cameras” would be considered a generic term. When developing an organic search strategy we typically stray away from these terms as they are highly competitive and not specific enough to the sites actual content. However, if you are able to rank for a generic keyword your site should receive a decent amount of traffic from that term. Conversions for that term might be a little low as a user is hitting your site for a very generic overarching topic and nothing too specific.

When running an AdWords campaign its nice to integrate some of these generic keywords to make sure that every opportunity is covered. Due to the competitive nature of a generic keyword they will cost more per click. If the ad ranks well and receives a good Ad Score from Google, decent traffic might follow. Just as with organic search, once a user gets on the website from the search engine, conversions will most likely be low for this term.

All in all, generic terms are a tough decision to pursue and I tend to avoid them unless I have the right site with the right content and the right promotion behind it.

Broad Match Keywords

For me, broad match terms are the core of SEO. Terms like “Red Tennis Shoes” or “Canon T2I Digital Camera” will present a stronger opportunity and engagement than a generic term. Optimizing for broad match terms will provide good traffic with not as much competition because not as many sites are trying to rank for these type of terms. A broad match searcher has a specific item/content that they are searching for and optimizing for these type of terms will provide the strongest conversions.

All in all, broad match terms are right in the middle of things and are highly recommended due to moderate competition/cost and click through rate. A site that bases the majority of its content around these type of terms should perform pretty well.

Long Tail Keywords

The last of these three types of keywords to consider is the long tail keyword. Think of these as the sentences that get typed into Google. Something like ”how do I set the aperture on my Canon T2I digital camera” would be considered a long tail keyword. Long tail keywords might not be the biggest traffic drivers to your site but if you rank for a long tail term you will get traffic from it due to its specific nature and low competition. From an AdWords standpoint, these terms will be the most affordable out of the three keyword options discussed.

The meat of a strong keyword strategy will reside within the broad match keyword but long tail and generic terms should be integrated from both a paid search and organic search perspective to maintain a balanced approach to your search engine marketing campaign.

Bookmark and Share
About Jason Poulos:

With a degree in communication design from VCU as well as experience in web development and digital marketing, Jason brings a unique blend of assets to PadillaCRT. In 2012 Jason helped win 4 awards for his SEO work on PureCanadaMaple.com. Outside of his digital work, Jason enjoys brewing his own beer and restoring his1970 Chevrolet Nova. Jason is a new father and enjoys spending time with his family and his 150-pound English Mastiff.

2 Comments on “3 Types of Keywords Needed for Successful SEM

  1. Pingback: Sweet SEO Case Study! – The Buzz Bin

  2.  by  Pretty Vegas
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Vote Now:
    0 votes

    Very helpful!! We are struggling with getting good organic search results as our market is quite localised, a Wedding Band in the North West if England. Using tags and keywords, we rate differently for Northwest and North West, and we are probably not maximising for specific cities or counties.

    Should I try using things like Northwest Wedding Band and the other variation, or go for specific cities? And how would it be best to get these around as backlinks, and also internal links without ruining the user experience?? Would it be better placing in meta descriptions?

    Very noob I know
    Ritchie
    Wedding Band Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>