Search terms are a string of words or phrases that a user types into the search engine to look up what they want. They are also called search queries. These can either be single words like “keyword” or a combination of words like “SEO service providers”. They can even be complete sentences or questions like “how to book a flight?”.
Each user has their own search intent and can phrase their search terms accordingly. So, ten people looking for the same thing might use different search terms to look it up. So, what makes search terms an important thing to keep an eye on for SEO? Let us find out.
What is a Search Term?
Have you ever struggled to search online for a movie’s name you cannot remember? Or that moisturizer you were advised to apply but lost the prescription for? Searching on the internet has almost become a reflex in today’s time. Thus, we have all become accustomed to searching queries online to quickly reach a conclusive answer. It is this word, phrase or query that is most commonly referred to as a search term.
It is important to note that a search term may or may not be a keyword. However, a keyword will always be categorized as a search term.
Why are Search Terms Important for SEO?
Every time a search term is fed into a search engine, say Google, Googlebot crawls relevant pages and indexes them in the results page. In simple words, a search term is responsible for kicking the website crawler into action and returning a suitable response in the form of URLs, images, news and/or videos. A page or URL will only be picked up by the crawler or rank on SERPs if it is optimized for that search query. Thus, we can say positively that SEO is directly related to the search terms being searched online.
How to Select the Best Keywords While Considering Search Terms?
Several factors should be kept in mind when selecting the best keywords for consideration of search terms. These include
- Always keep the search intent in mind
The recent Google Content Update in August 2022, spoke about how important it is to curate and create content in response to what the readers wish to consume when they visit your website. This is what is called the ‘search intent’, in other words, the reason for conducting a search from the user’s perspective.
We say ‘always keep the search intent in mind’, but how does one actually adhere to such a standard? Well, this is where one needs to smartly incorporate search queries into their content that answer the commonly asked questions. For example, if you run an e-commerce website that sells apparel, placing search queries throughout the content can get bring the right organic traffic to your platform.
- Examine long-tail keywords
Long-tail keywords can not only pose difficulty when placing them into the content but also have a low-search volume. This could mean two things- either your content may seem to force-fit keywords or successfully manage to target users’ unique needs. Thus it is important to examine them carefully and understand the need to place them in your content as it will directly impact the ranking of your website in Google SERPs.
- Track the search terms report in Google Ads
When you receive visits after placing sponsored links on Google, there is a way to keep track of the terms that were searched to reach the desirable URL. And that is referred to as the Search Term Report. But why should you keep track of such actions? What is the significance of the Search Terms Report on Google? It is this very report that provides insight into the searches that trigger your ads and how those searches are performing.
Essentially, this report indicates whether or not your content strategy is heading in the right direction. Furthermore, this report helps you discover what can be improved on your site from a creator’s perspective that is perfectly in line with what your consumer base/ target audience is looking for.
Difference between Search Term and Keyword
While it may look like search terms and keywords are the same thing, there is a difference between them.
A search term can be anything that a user types on the search engine to find out what they are looking for. However, a keyword is something that a search engine has indexed. Search engines crawl webpages to find the purpose of those pages and index them based on the keywords identified in the pages.
When a user enters a search term, search engines break it down and understand it from the pool of their indexed keywords to present the best results to the user. In an ideal case, search terms and keywords can be a perfect match too.
Importance of Search terms for Search Engine Marketing
Assisting users in finding what they are looking for is the main purpose of search terms. The autocomplete function in search engines is meant exactly for this purpose. This helps the users find the perfect match of their search query to their intent.
This function also helps you in finding related search queries and keywords. If your search term is very closely similar to another one that might be searched for more often, the SERPs will also include the results of the latter.
Search terms also come in handy in the advanced search feature of search engines. Users can choose to exclude certain terms from their search results, leave blank spaces in their search queries, or even look at results from a very specific domain or region. While this is not done by most users, it definitely assists advanced users in finding the most relevant results.
Search Engine Advertising
Search engine advertising is one of the key reasons why search terms are so important. Based on what you put in the search box, you can be directed to SERPs that contain ads. Identifying the most-searched-for terms can significantly boost the access of your ads to the target audience.
Advertisers know this, and hence select very specific keywords to target their ads. For instance, if a user’s search query is “sports shoes for sale” and the keywords your advertiser has chosen for your ads are “sports”, “sports shoes”, and “sale”, then your ad has a very good possibility of showing up on the SERP.
You should also optimize your content for all the specific search terms and queries relevant to your industry, as it will significantly help your website with its SEO.
While ranking pages on SERPs, search engines take a close look at the search terms or queries and break them down into multiple keywords. Search engines then look within their index to find the most suitable results based on the search intent and rank them accordingly.
Relevancy of your website content with respect to search terms can heavily affect your rankings and SEO. This is why you must ensure that your content organically includes search terms for enhancing your website’s on-page SEO.
How to find Search Terms?
Google Search Results
You can look up the “related searches” section on SERPs with your search terms to find more. You can even take a look at the autocomplete suggestions below the search box while typing in your keywords.
Google Trends is a very handy free tool, which can let you find all the related search terms and queries to your main search term. It also provides information like trending search terms, popular search queries, and much more.
Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is yet another free tool by Google that can help you find keywords related to your search terms. All you need to do is enter your search terms, and the tool will give you information about all the related keywords with their data like keyword competition, search volume, etc. displayed.
Realize the True Potential of Search Terms
There is much more to search queries and terms than one might expect. Search terms are associated with keywords by search engines to rank pages. Diving deep into how your target user base might search the internet can help you in executing successful keyword research and marketing campaigns.
Get in touch with an experienced SEO company like Infidigit today to realize the true potential of search terms, and get ahead of your competition.
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