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5 Major Types of Keywords for a Successful Digital Marketing Strategy

Are you facing difficulty in choosing the right keywords for your content?

Well, even I was facing the same issue a couple of months ago, when I was collecting the secondary information for my dissertation work.

I did spend a lot of time browsing. But, I was not able to find the classification of keywords comprehensively.

Somehow, I found an article published on Alexa Blog by Jennifer Yeshbeck. That article was a game-changer for me. 

It helped me to understand a lot about keywords and its classification.

Let me help you in understanding the different types of keywords for an effective digital marketing strategy!


Before moving onto the types of keywords, let us have a look at the definition of a keyword.

Yoast SEO has defined keyword as a word that describes the content on your page or posts the best. 

In the layman sense, it is the search term that you want to rank for on a search engine result page.

I hope that you have understood the definition of the keyword in a vague sense.

Types of Keywords

Major types of keywords
                             Types of keywords

Keywords classified into five major types based on their purposes. They are:-

  1. Targeting Keywords
  2. Keywords by length
  3. On-site Keywords
  4. Buyer Keywords
  5. Google Ads Keywords

Targeting Keywords

These are keywords about the niche or the offerings from a particular brand. It is also related to the audience segment.

Types of keywords
                    Types of targeting keywords

Here, the targeting keywords further classified into:-

  1. Market Segment Keywords
  2. Customer-Defining Keywords
  3. Product Keywords
  4. Branded Keywords
  5. Competitor Keywords
  6. Geo-Targeted Keywords

Market Segment Keywords

Market Segment keywords are those keywords that always target audiences, who are looking out to get general information about a particular segment.

Terms here can be broad-based, about an industry or particular to a niche market.

Market segment keywords
              Example for Market Segment Keywords

Example: Cricket Bat, Tennis Ball etc

Customer-Defining Keywords

These are keywords that identify a particular set of audiences. Generally, the audiences prefer using defined words to cater to their needs and want on a search engine query.

Customer Defining Keywords
              Example for Customer defining Keywords

Example: Cricket bat for kids

Product Keywords

These are keywords related to particular offerings by a company. These are keywords that directly mention company products or services

Digital marketers need to have a separate keyword strategy for each of the products and services.

Product Keywords
               Example for Product Keywords

Example: SS master cricket bats

Branded Keywords

These are keywords that include a brand’s name or its other terms related to the brand. It may also include those product name, type, and description.

Branded keywords
                 Example for Branded Keywords

Example: SS Ton Master 7000

Competitor Keywords

Competitor keywords are those keywords that target rival brands, products, and services

Researching the competitor’s keywords help the brand to attract audiences or potential buyers who show interest in the rival’s brand.

competitor keywords
                 Example for Competitor Keywords

Example: For Kookaburra, its competitor’s keyword could be Gray-Nicolls cricket bats, SS cricket bats, SG cricket bats, etc

Geo-Targeted Keywords

These are location-based terms. Usually, searchers prefer looking out for results that are available in their vicinity or in a particular location where they show interest in buying.

geo targeted keywords
                Example of Geo-targeted Keywords

Example: Kashmir Willow cricket bat store near me

Let us move on to the next type of keywords!

Keywords by length

Here, the keywords are considered based on their size. This type of classification of keywords is has been very important as the majority of the Digital Marketers pay heed to keywords by length.

Types of keywords by length
                     Types of Keywords by length

Following are the three types of keywords in this category:-

  1. Short-Head Keywords
  2. Mid-Body Keywords
  3. Long-Tail Keywords

Short-Head Keywords

Short head keywords are generic keyword. These are well known broad terms that result in high traffic during a search. These are very competitive. Usually, they contain one or two keywords.

Example: Cricket bats

Mid-Body Keywords

These are keywords that are between head and tail keywords, those having traffic volume with high competition and long keywords, which has low traffic volume with lower competition and better conversion rates. 

They are generally descriptive than Short-Head keywords as they contain 2 to 3 keywords.

Example: Cricket bats for sale

Long-Tail Keywords

These are the lengthy search terms which are useful in targeting a specific niche or segment of the audience. 

Generally, they have low search traffic & lower competition, thereby resulting in better ranking. Since they are particular, they have better conversion rates than other kinds of keywords.

Example: English Willow cricket bats for sale

Are you confused about the length of keywords?

Let me make it simple with the help of graph.

Graphical representation of keywords by length
                           Graphical representation of keywords by length

In this graph, I have considered conversion rate and search volume on the horizontal and vertical axis, respectively. Here we can observe that short head keywords have high search volume, whereas it has a low conversion volume

Generally, the searches for these keywords are general. Coming to Long-Tail keywords, we can observe that they have low search volume and high conversion rate. 

In this case, the searcher uses specific keywords. Thus, they are bound to undergo conversions, as the search results have also become specific.

I hope that things are clear now.

So let us move on to the On-site Keywords.

On-site keywords

These are the keywords employed during the on-site optimization process. The on-site optimization process involves the creation of a new post. Sometimes it could be landing pages too.

Types of on site keywords
                      Types of On-site keywords

On-site keywords classified into:-

  1. Primary Keywords
  2. Secondary Keywords

Primary Keywords

These are the main terms that target on a website/webpage. Every page which is optimized should have a primary keyword assigned to it. 

The page if follows keyword optimization, sends a clear message to both the readers and search engines that the content is about those particular keywords. Practising this method will result in a better ranking on search results.

Example: Kids cricket bat

Related Keywords

These are also known as Latent semantic keywords or LSI keywords. These are keywords that are synonymous with the primary keyword. They act as a feeder to primary keywords. 

Generally, each webpage provides with one primary and 3-4 related keywords, which aids search engines in understanding the context and improvise the ranking.

Example: If the primary keyword, in this case, is  ‘kids cricket bat’, then LSI keyword could be: Kids cricket bat sales, Kids cricket bat types, best quality kids cricket bats, etc

Next is Buyer Keywords!.

Buyer keywords

These are keywords that are used by searchers when they are looking for a product or service.

These keywords are categorized when the searcher is on the verge of purchasing. In a sense, each kind of keyword has different search intent.

You may be confused about search intent, right!

According to the SEMrush blog, Search intent is the why behind a search made.

They include questions like:

What was the reason for search by a particular user?

Were they looking for something?

Were they looking to carrying out a purchase?

Search intent helps both the search engine and business to understand user behaviour, which could help them improvise the search result or tailor the content, respectively.

Following are the types of buyer Keywords:-

  1. Informational Keywords
  2. Navigational Keywords
  3. Transactional Keywords
  4. Commercial Investigation Keywords
Types of buyer keywords
                                    Types of Buyer Keywords

Informational Keywords

Informational keywords are those keywords that users search for when they are about to find information about a topic. 

They are also known as know keywords. Generally, they are preferred when users are in the phase of awareness in a purchase funnel.

Here, the user is aware of the problem/the necessity, aware that they need an answer to this problem, and are often looking out for it.

Example: Which are the best quality cricket bats?

Navigational Keywords

These are search phrases used by a user when they want to visit a particular website for a specific brand. 

They are also known as ‘go’ keywords. These keywords are preferred when a searcher is in the consideration phase of the purchase funnel.

Here, they are researching for different brands to identify which provides the best solution to their query

Example: Direction to the cricket stadium

Transactional Keywords

These are keywords used by the users when they are on the verge of purchase.

They are also known as ‘do’ keywords because they are preferred when the users are finally in the conversion stage in the purchase funnel.

Usually, the user knows the thing that they are going to buy. Therefore, they use particular keywords to assist them in finding the right place to buy.

Example: Best deals on DSC bats

Commercial Investigation Keywords

These are keywords in which the searcher is looking to make a purchase but has not decided on the product. Here, the user is in a dilemma about whether to go with a product or not.

Example: Cricket bats below Rs. 1,500

Before moving onto the next type of keywords, let us have a look at the purchase funnel.

The purchase funnel is a consumer-centric purchase model that illustrates and explains the consumer journey towards the purchase of a product or service.

Purchase funnel
                   Stages in the purchase funnel

It consists of three phases they are as follows:-

  1. Awareness and discovery: This is the phase where people would be looking for general information about a particular topic.
  2. Consideration and Evaluation: This is the phase where potential customers are seeking for further information
  3. Conversion and Purchase: This is the phase where a customer would like to identify a brownie point about the product concerning competitors or looking out for how to make purchases.

Google Ads Keywords

These are keywords used during the Google Ads campaign run by the marketer.

Generally, they are preferred while targeting different types of audience. Google Ad keywords may not be beneficial for those digital marketers who are eyeing for organic results.

Still, these keywords are very helpful in obtaining the search volume for any particular keyword through Google Keyword Planner. Google Ads keywords are available in both general and advanced options.

Types of Google Ads keywords
                               Types of Google Ads keywords

Under general options we have:

  1. Broad Match Keywords
  2. Negative Keywords

Under advanced options we have:

  1. Broad Match Modifier
  2. Phrase Match Keywords
  3. Exact Match Keywords

Broad Match Keywords

These are terms that target audience in a Google Ad campaign. When a broad-based keyword is preferred, it displays ads to any query made that could also be a variation of the keywords.

Ads are displayed to users if they search for a similar word, singular/plural forms, wrongly spelt words, synonyms, or related to the broad term.

Example: An ad for the broad match keyword bats should show during a search for terms such as cricket bats, bats for sale, cricket bat store, buy bats, etc.

Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are those keywords which are omitted from the Google ads campaign to obtain better results. They are an intricate part of broad match, phrase match, and exact match keywords. 

Generally, they are related but might be irrelevant to the ad campaign as they are not related to the ads, content on the page, offer provided in the ad, etc.

Example: If a broad match keyword is bat sale and the ad is only relevant to Kashmir willow bat, negative keywords could be English Willow bats, Powder bats, Popular Willow bats, etc

Broad Match Modifier

These are broad keywords with a ‘+ sign’ in any sequence. The variations could comprise of synonymous terms. They could include words appearing before, after, and in between the words.

Example: An ad for the broad match modifier keyword + bats should show during a search for terms such as cricket bats, bats sale, Kids cricket bats, etc.

Phrase Match Keywords

In a Google ads campaign, if a specific search phrase is considered targeting, then it is called Phrase match keywords. Google will display those ads with phrase match keywords when the query matches with the exact phrase. 

It is applicable, only if the search query has words different from the keywords, that is before or after the exact phrase.

Example: An ad for the phrase match keyword, ‘cricket bat’ should show for search terms such as kids cricket bat, English willow cricket bat, branded cricket bat, etc.

Exact Match Keywords

Exact match keywords prefer targeting audiences through Google Ads. Google displays only those search results which are precise or related to the match keywords. Words that also fall under exact match are words that spelt wrongly, stemming, abbreviations, synonyms and paraphrases.

Example: An ad for the exact match keyword ‘cricket bat’ would show for searches for terms like cricketers bat, bat for cricket, bat cricket, etc.

That’s it!

We are done with the types of keywords.


Choice of keywords is very pivotal for us in devising the marketing strategy. Even though you choose the apt kind of keywords, there are certain factors which affect the keywords for an effective marketing campaign. They are:-

  1. Location of Keywords
  2. Keyword Density

Location of Keywords

Search engine bots check for the location of keywords, whether they appear in header, title, alt tag, URL, etc.

Keyword Density

Density here implies that the number of keywords present to the number of words on the page. The number of keywords in the title and body is pivotal for optimization purpose. Generally, the preferred density should not be more than 8%.

So, while planning a marketing campaign it is advisable to carry out keyword research and also to have a peek at different types of keywords.

That’s it for now.

Thank you for reading,




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6 thoughts on “5 Major Types of Keywords for a Successful Digital Marketing Strategy”

  1. These Keywords are v useful in Digital Marketing Strategy, Earlier before going through it, I was faced a lot of difficulty in choosing the right keywords for my dissertation content. but later on I gone through it and its help me v much,nd I wud like to thanks beerappa for his effort and contribution ..once again thank you .

  2. Digital marketing one of key early reach customer and digital marketing key words one of the strategy, I leren this digital marketing shot cut key


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