A search query is a word or phrase an Internet user enters into a search engine. The search results are all sites, videos, and pictures where this phrase occurs.
For a page or the entire site to appear in search results for a specific query, webmasters place “keywords” in the content – the words the user types into the search engine.
Keywords and phrases in search engine optimization (SEO) are words and phrases specific to the topic on which the site or its separate page is promoted in search engines. They are also abbreviated as keys (SEO keys). A simple key consists of a single word (one-word dictionary). A compound key (complex, lengthy, wordy) is a semantic or whole phrase.
The semantic core is a set of words and phrases reflecting the theme and structure of the site.
Making up the semantic core, you answer the global question: what information can be found on the site? Since customer orientation is considered a main business and marketing principle, you can create a semantic core from the other side. It would help if you determined which search queries users use to search for information that will be published on the site.
Thus, SEO keys are not just words and phrases describing the company’s business if we are talking about a commercial site, but these are the words and phrases that should most closely match the search queries of real people. In this case, the company’s website will likely be shown to users in the search for such queries, which means that the maximum number of potential buyers (target audience) will go to the site from the search. This principle of forming and laying keys is the main one in search engine optimization of site texts, although there are a lot of other nuances of truly successful SEO.
Matching keys to search queries is an occurrence; sometimes, the key is called in the text. If the match is exact (the request is to buy a computer, and the key is to buy a computer), then the occurrence is called exact (complete, direct). If the match is inaccurate (the request is to buy a computer, and the key is to sell computers), the entry is called inaccurate (incomplete, indirect). There may also be synonymous occurrences (query – display for computer, key – monitor for computer). Search engines also recognize them as relevant, i.e., having a suitable meaning.
Thus, when choosing keys for your site, you need to rely, of course, on the topic that the site represents, but in the end, it is necessary to start from search queries – from how this topic is presented and voiced by real people. In the latter case, “manual” and automated approaches can be used to select keys – or, more precisely, search queries.
To achieve the best result in the search promotion of sites, you should more or less accurately realize who are already visitors to this resource, predict who will visit the site in the future, and, accordingly, compare the existing audience with the desired one.
It is not difficult to guess that when a person asks a question in Google, “how to cook dumplings yourself,” he will not go to the dumpling shop but wants to practice the art of cooking at home. And when he gets to the website of a restaurant or cafe, the actions are predictable — he will immediately leave and go to the website where the recipe will be indicated.
Therefore, when filling the site and choosing a promotion strategy, a competent optimizer should have an exhaustive idea of what search queries are and promote the site for those keywords that will bring targeted traffic to the site.
What are the requests?
We can divide requests into different groups
Types depending on popularity
RF – The most frequently entered queries. There is very high competition for such requests. Values from 5000 and above define a high-frequency request.
Midrange Queries created with an average frequency. The approximate values of such requests are from 500 to 5000 within a month.
Low-frequency queries entered by users the least number of times. Most often, this value ranges from 0 to 500 requests per month.
The difference in frequency estimation is related to the different popularity of topics. If you create a core for an online store selling laptops, the phrase “buy a Samsung laptop” with a display frequency of about 6 thousand per month will be an average frequency. If you create a core for a sports club website, the request “Aikido section” with a frequency of impressions of about 1,000 requests will be high-frequency.
According to statistics, about two-thirds of all search queries are low-frequency. Therefore, it is necessary to have the widest possible semantic core, which should be constantly expanded due to low-frequency phrases.
Does this mean that high and medium-frequency queries can be ignored? No, you can’t do without them. But consider low-frequency keys as the main resource for attracting targeted visitors.
Types depending on the meaning
Navigation queries. A navigation query is a query that a user enters to find a specific site.
- Official website.
Such queries are entered in cases when the user does not remember exactly how to spell the site URL correctly or knows the brand or trademark and searches for them.
The ultimate goal of the user who makes such a request is to find a specific site and search for information directly on it. Therefore, it does not make sense to add navigation queries unrelated to your brand, company name, or brand to the semantic core. People, even when they see your resource in the first place of the issue, will still pay attention to other site display parameters, particularly the URL address, and are more likely to go to the desired site.
An information request implies the user’s desire to find the information he is interested in on the Internet. It does not imply any particular site.
- Why do mosquitoes drink blood?
- The history of Ancient Greece.
Such queries are characterized by: a large depth of viewing search results. With a high probability, the user can go to sites in the first ten positions and look at 20-30 lines.
As can be observed, requests of this nature often contain the words: “How,” “Why,” “When,” “Reviews,” “Forum,” etc.
Users can search for the most complete and comprehensive information, so it is likely to focus on several sites simultaneously.
Most often, requests of this kind interest those whose sites are informative, popular science, and educational. The owners of such sites may refrain from pursuing commercial goals or, on the contrary, are engaged in attracting a mass audience to earn money from advertising.
An SEO specialist needs to realize that the search engine, when ranking documents by information requests, takes into account factors related to the general thematic focus of the resource and the level of trust in it to a greater extent and to a lesser extent, commercial links from other web sites.
In the case of promoting a commercial resource, optimization for such requests is most likely done to increase the level of trust in a particular company or brand. In this case, the target pages are internal pages of 2-3 levels of nesting or more, containing articles, reviews, and recommendations.
Transactional requests are exactly the requests for which a selling, commercial site should be promoted. Such requests express the user’s desire to perform some action (transaction).
- Order a toy talking dog.
- Prices for plastic windows.
The key queries of this category lead the target, solvent audience to the resource, creating the main competition on the Internet. It is understandable because here we are talking about making money. This means that the importance of other factors increases, such as the design and usability of the site itself, prices for goods (services), a good catalog, special offers, etc.
Fuzzy or general queries
This type of request includes implicit, often concise requests. When entering this request, the user does not specify his specific desire.
- A two-wheeled bicycle.
- Kitchen layout.
As can be observed, such requests do not reflect the exact desire of the user. Whether a person wants to order a kitchen layout or turn to a forum where homemakers advise on the apartment’s furnishings is still being determined.
Many of these requests have unjustifiably inflated competition, so promoting a site on them is often quite difficult. The conversion of people who visited the site into buyers is minimal because, as already mentioned, many of these requests are informational.
Therefore, when promoting, both the customer and the optimizer should pay special attention to assessing general and inaccurate requests and the reasonableness of the promotion costs if less frequent transactional requests, at lower costs, will bring more buyers.
Search queries have a number of characteristics
Multimedia – words are associated with multimedia content (watch videos, download music, photos).
Seasonality and eventfulness – the query has pronounced bursts of activity and recessions at certain times of the year, months, and dates. Such options are “Buy winter boots,” “gifts for March 8”, and “seedlings.”
What you need to know about the anatomy of search queries
Search phrases consist of several parts: body, specifier, and tail. This can be considered as an example.
What can be said about the “cake” request? It cannot be used to determine the user’s intention. It is high-frequency, which determines the high competition in the issuance. Using this request for promotion will bring a large share of non-targeted traffic, negatively affecting behavioral metrics. The high frequency and specificity of the “cake” query are determined by its anatomy: it consists only of a body.
Pay attention to the request “buy a cake.” It has a “cake” body and a “buy” specifier. The latter determines the user’s intention. The specifiers indicate that the key belongs to transactional or informational ones. Look at the examples:
- Buy a cake.
- Cake recipes.
- How to serve a cake.
Sometimes specifiers can express the exact opposite intentions of the user. A simple example: users are planning to buy or sell a car.
Now look at the request “buy a cake with delivery.” It consists of a body, a specifier, and a tail. The latter does not change but details the intention or information need of the user. Look at the examples:
- Buy cake online.
- Buy a cake in Tula with delivery.
- Buy homemade cake in Orel.
- Buy – specifier
- sofa – body
- in Moscow – tail
The anatomy of a search query
The person’s intention to purchase a cake is visible in each case. And the tail of the keyword details this need.
Knowledge of the anatomy of search phrases allows you to derive a conditional formula for selecting keys for the semantic core. You must define basic terms related to your business, product, and user needs. For example, customers of a confectionery company are interested in cakes, pastries, cookies, cakes, cupcakes, and other confectionery products.
After that, you must find the tails and specifiers the project audience uses with basic terms. Thanks to the “tailed” phrases, you simultaneously increase the reach and reduce the competitiveness of the core.