Home SEO-SEM Types of keywords or search terms

Types of keywords or search terms

Types of keywords or search terms

Differentiating the types of keywords is vital to rank them and start setting positioning objectives by establishing priorities. It will be necessary to optimize the contents to obtain the favor of the search engines.

In SEO, this classification is part of a study in the keyword research stage. And it serves, among other things, to make a comparison with the search terms used by the competition. It will allow you to make decisions about which keywords to include among the elements and tags that make up the publications.

We present below the main types of keywords. If you do an activity that is born or needs to be supported by the online field, do not stop reading, this interests you, a lot!

Keyword ranking based on composition

The keywords or search terms respond initially to be classified into three main groups. They are generic, semi-generic, and long-tail keywords. These in turn depend on the interests and search criteria of the user for their composition.

Its classification according to different sources of information invites further analysis to define the strategy associated with the interests of the company or brand. Always depending on the state or stage in which it is, to make itself known trying to receive many visits. Getting the most conversions depends on it. But the volume of related searches is very different in each case.

Generic keywords

Generic keywords are usually used in the first phase. In it, the user intends to search for general information about products or services, without specifying specific characteristics.

The person concerned is collecting data to later refine more and more in terms of specific characteristics of what he needs. Probably, the existing offer and variety are still unknown.

The results you get from using these initial search words will help you inform yourself and shape a purchase decision.


Italian restaurant, laptops, children’s fashion, pans, compare insurance, soft drinks, car insurance, etc …

Advantages of generic keywords:

  • A relatively low number of them can attract a lot of traffic, about 20% of the total on most websites.
  • Positioning yourself with them can mean becoming a benchmark.

Disadvantages of generic keywords:

  • Traffic that originates from these types of terms is of poor quality in terms of conversion possibilities.
  • The conversion rate is much lower than other types of keywords.
  • These types of keywords or search terms typically do not add value to web analytics results.
  • In most cases it is difficult to compete with other web pages in search results as they are widely used by the competition.

Semi-generic keywords

The user uses this type of keywords in a more advanced phase of knowledge or consideration of what he needs or seeks. You are already partially informed thanks to other generic searches carried out previously or by other means.

In this phase, the user refines the description and characteristics without these becoming very specific. Words associated with categories, types and families of products or services are added.

The results obtained from these searches make the user think about other alternatives. Also on aspects and details that previously had not valued. Among them, product ranges, characteristics, qualities, prices and brands are mixed. In most cases, these are the type of searches in which you spend the most time. The reason is obvious, since they involve a process of selection and discrimination.


cheap Italian restaurant, 15 inch laptops, children’s clothing, non-stick pans, compare car insurance, homemade soft drinks, car insurance for vans, etc …

Advantages of semi-generic keywords:

The number of searches based on these types of keywords can range from 20% to 40% with varied terms. Diversity in the composition of search terms is widened.
They have higher chances of conversion than generic keywords.
Competition in these types of words is usually less strong than in generic ones.
The traffic obtained with this type of search is of higher quality in terms of conversion possibilities compared to the previous ones.

Disadvantages of semi-generic keywords:

In the case of terms composed of several words, it is necessary to choose between many types of combinations and synonyms to bet on them.

Long-tail or long-tail keywords

At this point, the user has a pretty good idea of ​​what he wants. You are probably close to making a decision to make a purchase, download, order or call. If your expectations are met, you will soon purchase the product or hire the service.

The search term is transformed into different phrases with which the user hopes to find the specific type of product or service. In many cases also its price, to make a comparison.

The results that the visitor obtains thanks to these search words will become the main reference to decide. Making the purchase or order will in turn depend on the price being competitive and the bidding entity inspiring confidence. The user will do so at the time he considers appropriate.


cheap italian restaurant in madrid, hp envy 15-inch laptops, clothes for 6-year-olds, fagor non-stick pans for vitroceramics, compare car insurance prices, cola soft drinks for diet, safe price for opel vivaro, etc …

Advantages of long tail keywords:

  • The number of searches with these types of keywords can range between 40% and 60% with a very wide variety of terms. The sample obtained is heterogeneous.
  • Thanks to these types of words, the highest conversion rates are usually achieved.
  • They tend to have much less competition, or considerably less than in the cases of the previous ones.
  • Sometimes they offer the possibility of competing in a less direct way, using niche terms that went unnoticed by the rest of the companies in the sector.

Disadvantages of long tail keywords:

  • The number of visits that are obtained thanks to the searches with these keywords are quantitatively much lower compared to the previous ones. Landing pages must be optimized as much as possible to favor conversions.
  • The criteria of the different users to compose the sentences can be very broad. Something that makes segmentation difficult to satisfy them separately in terms of content generation.
    Repetitively including them in posts to make them gain weight and prominence as recommended by Google can be tricky. It involves several chained words.

Other important keyword considerations

When we talk about search terms and strategy it is also important to consider other characteristics of keywords. These are some related to its composition and typology:

  • Analyzing the traffic of almost any website with a considerable number of pages it is possible to see that the pareto principle is fulfilled. Generic searches cover 20% of the total, while the remaining 80% comes from different searches with more specific terms.
  • As seen in the first examples, that the search terms can be categorized as generic does not mean that they correspond to a single word. There are a large number of initial concepts to search for products and services that it is impossible to refer to without using keywords composed of two or more words.
  • Sometimes the user searches for keywords in the consideration phase and adds the pages they find as favorites using the browser bookmarks. The following accesses from these are considered direct traffic. These types of visits have more value from the point of view of positioning. More than those from organic traffic through the browser field, and also those from referred traffic.
  • The statistics of the different types of keywords show that the majority of users visit the same online store several times. They do it after knowing the specifications of the product they need and before making the purchase or order.
  • Products with a higher cost or price are likely to require a greater number of searches under different criteria. In these cases, the user needs to justify with different arguments the advantages of making the decision to acquire them. The outlay involves spending a considerable amount of money.
  • Some analytics and monitoring tools by default attribute the origin of a visit to the origin of the last browsing session. This has to do with the lifetime established by the session cookie and used to count visits.

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I am John Divramis. l had studied marketing and l have an MBA degree from Bucks University in London. I am a professional SEO specialist and since 2000 l work full time on SEO.

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