When conducting keyword research it’s important to understand the different types of keywords that exist. You have broad keywords, long-tail keywords, negative keywords and more. Today we’ll go over broad keywords and how they are different from long-tail keywords.

A broad keyword can be a keyword or phrase that is searched in any order, and the results can include any or all of the search terms entered. A long-tail keyword usually contains quotes around it and must be in order as listed to return results for that long-tail keyword. So, the same phrase can actually be both. But, often long-tail keywords are less common, more defined, and more specific.

Example: Hawaii Cruise Vacations

This is a broad search and will return results for any and all of the three words. But, if you simply add quotes around it: “Hawaii Cruise Vacations” then you create a long-tail keyword from the broad search and the results will be more specific and include only results that have all three of these words in order.

There are benefits and drawbacks for broad keywords and long-tail keywords. You should be using both within the content of your site to attract the most organic traffic through the search engines. While you would not put quotes around the terms within your copy, you can help a search engine along by including the words in order within HTML text, in titles, headers and subheadings.

Start Broad Then Refine

When conducting keyword research, it’s a good idea for you to start with a broader keyword or keyword phrase to help you find the less competitive long-tail keywords that your audience is using to find you. Think about it – if someone wants to go on a cruise to Hawaii they don’t type in just one word; they type in several words because they want to get more accurate results to find what they need.

Use Google Suggest

You can try it right now with Google Suggest. Start typing in a broad term and it will make suggestions automatically on other words to add to your search terms, helping you create better long-tail keywords to use for your own content across your online real estate. If you sign out of Google and aren’t confined by your geographical location you’ll get better and more restrained results.

Try Other Tools

Don’t limit yourself to one keyword tool. There are many keyword tools like Wordtracker.com, Wordstream.com and others that will help you narrow down your keywords and keyword phrases better. Using a variety of tools will help you create a working list of more keywords, which will give you better results in your content marketing than if you just stuck to one.

Analyze the content on your own website to find out what search terms you’re ranking for. This is more limited than it used to be due to the updates on Google, but you can still use Bing and Yahoo! (which have merged their site explorers) to find out what keywords and keyword phrases are ranking on your site. This is a good way to create more long-tail keywords from broad keywords in which to rank.

Bing link: http://www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster

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