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What Are Search Terms and How Do You Find Them?

4 min read

Are you building a best search engine optimization (SEO) campaign for your business?

There are different elements surrounding SEO to familiarize yourself with. Though “keywords” is the word you often hear when talking about SEO, there is another important element playing a crucial role: search terms.

Continue reading below for a breakdown of what they can do for your marketing strategy.

What Are Search Terms?

Search terms or search queries are exact, specific words or phrases people use when using Google and other search engines. These are the words or phrases you type on the Google search box.

Technically, a search term may contain a single keyword. Search terms can be a single word. For example, if users want to research pizza, they can type the word “pizza” on the search box.

A search term can also be a specific name. It can be a company name like “Nike” or “Adidas.” Consumers type these names if they want to search for products from these two companies.

In some cases, a search term can also be a keyword. If they’re looking for pizza in Chicago, they may type the words “best pizza in Chicago” in the search box. This example shows words containing keywords.

Search terms also feature a complete question. Users wanting to improve their poker skills can type “what are the best poker strategies?”

Interestingly, users may type their search terms incorrectly. Nevertheless, they will still find the answers to their queries. Search terms may contain errors in spelling or differences in word order, for example.

With 70% of small businesses lacking an SEO strategy, careful planning is essential. Part of effective planning is understanding your audience’s common search terms.

Search Terms vs Keywords

Though search terms and keywords intersect, they remain different in terms of function. As we established earlier, search terms are the exact words and phrases users enter in the search box.

Meanwhile, words and phrases also form keywords. However, keywords are the ones advertisers target using their ads. Moreover, Google and other search engines also use keywords in their indexing.

During this crawling and indexing stage, Google will crawl a specific page. From there, it will identify and extract connected keywords. As it ranks the pages, they analyze the users’ search queries.

Thereafter, they break it down into different keywords. They also find the matching pages using their index. How does this difference come into play?

It begins with the advertiser’s selected keywords. If their keywords align with the search terms in the Google search box, their ads will appear on the search engine results page. Thus, if you’re an advertiser, determining what users are searching for is where the action begins.

From there, you can formulate and strategize the most effective keyword targets.

Finding Search Terms

How do you find the search terms to use for your digital marketing? Thankfully, different tools can help you find the best ones for your campaign. For starters, use Google search.

By typing a particular search term on Google, you will see the “Related Searches” and “People Also Ask” sections. These can point you to keywords related to relevant search terms.

You can also use the Google Keyword Tool and Google Trends.

The Intent Factor

Search intent or user intent pertains to the user’s purpose in conducting a specific online search. Generally, the intent for performing a search is to find an answer to a particular question.

Sometimes, people want to buy something and wish to learn more about the product. Hence, they do an online search to get more information before buying the product.

There are four types of search intent: informational, navigational, commercial, and transactional. Informational intent is when users want to get information about something. It can be information on the latest stock market trends.

It can also be news on the latest weather disturbances. Despite this seemingly straightforward approach, Google’s algorithm goes beyond the simple understanding of the intent. Even if you typed the search term “stock market” to get the latest market trends, Google knows you may want to learn about investing in the stock market.

Meanwhile, navigational intent is when people want to go to a particular website. If you type “Facebook,” it is likely you want to visit Facebook’s official page.

As for commercial intent or investigation, it’s when people are planning to buy something at a later date. Thus, they search for information about the product and use it to finalize their decision.

Lastly, transactional intent is when users decide to buy something online. They perform the search leading them to complete an online purchase.

The Value of Researching Search Terms

Search terms play an integral role in the success of search engine marketing campaigns. If you know the search terms your target audience use, you can create a more effective SEO campaign.

You can use the search terms as a guide to match their intent and build new interactions. We mentioned advertisers target keywords with their ads. When using Google ads, you want your audience to click your ads.

To do so, determine the search items the audience frequently uses when searching for products and services related to your business. From there, create your keywords featuring these search terms.

If these things overwhelm you, a trusted Houston SEO company can help you start on the right track. They can guide you with head keywords and keyword optimization, among others.

Boost Your Digital Marketing Strategies

Now that you know the value of search terms, you can use them to build a more effective SEO campaign. You can connect with the right audience, bringing in new leads for conversion.

However, SEO is only a facet of the different marketing strategies to use.

Learn more about other digital marketing strategies. Check out our other articles and boost your branding and online presence today.

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