Can SEO Keywords be Phrases?

January 2, 2023

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Here’s the straight-up truth about SEO: can a keyword be a phrase? Absolutely, mate!

A lot of folks in digital marketing reckon that if they chuck out quality content, their job is done and dusted. They think, “If I put up top-notch stuff on my site, people will naturally find me”.

If only it were as easy as pie…

If you’re serious about boosting your search rankings, you need to get real savvy with how you use keywords and phrases in your content.

Otherwise, you’re just taking the “throw another shrimp on the barbie approach” to

Understanding Keywords and Keyphrases in SEO

In the world of search engine optimisation (SEO), it’s important to understand the difference between keywords and keyphrases. A keyword can be a single word or even a phrase, while keyphrases always consist of more than one term.

The Lowdown on Keyword Phrases

A keyword phrase, such as ‘Digital Marketing Agency’, can encompass your business operations or the services you provide. When users enter this into their search engines, it becomes part of their search queries. Search giants like Google then search websites to find content that best matches these user requests.

Diving Deeper Into Single Word Phrases

Often referred to as head terms, single-word phrases usually face tough competition due to their broad nature. For example, if we consider an online shoe store: using ‘shoes’ as your primary keyword will put you up against countless other businesses selling shoes.

This doesn’t mean that single-word phrases should be completely disregarded; they still play a role by providing a general direction for your website’s theme and content. However, relying solely on them may not yield the best results because they lack specificity about what sets your offerings apart from others available online.

Tapping Into Multi-Word Keyword Phrases

Expanding beyond individual words opens up opportunities for greater precision with multi-word phrases, also known as long-tail keywords. These longer keyword phrases typically have less competition but accurately target specific customer needs. Continuing with our shoe store analogy: instead of just focusing on ‘shoes’, consider targeting something more specific like ‘women’s leather boots size 8’. This narrows down the audience but increases the chances that those searching will find exactly what they’re looking for, potentially leading to higher conversion rates.

This gives us an insightful look into why these types of keyword phrases are so powerful.

Parsing Between Keywords & KeyPhrases

The main difference between keywords and keyphrases lies in their composition: while both serve similar functions within SEO practices – helping improve visibility through better ranking positions – there is a distinct difference

Key Takeaway: Whether it’s a single ‘head term’ or a more precise long-tail phrase, both keywords and keyphrases play crucial roles in SEO. While the former provides general direction for your site’s theme, the latter targets specific customer needs with less competition. It’s not just about selling shoes; it’s about selling ‘women’s leather boots size 8’.

The Importance of Long Tail Keywords in SEO Strategy

Long tail keywords are the unsung heroes of a successful SEO strategy. These specific search terms, often used by customers on the brink of making a purchase or utilising voice search, can significantly boost your website’s ranking on search engines.

In digital marketing’s competitive landscape, long-tail keyword strategies offer an edge: these phrases typically face less competition than more generic single-word keywords. This means you have higher chances to dominate top spots in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

Finding Your Long Tail Goldmine

To unearth valuable long tail keywords for your business is simpler than it sounds. Begin by pondering over potential questions that customers might ask about your product or service.

Once you’ve got some ideas cooking up there, Google’s Keyword Planner comes into play as an invaluable tool for identifying popular key phrases boasting high search volume and low competition levels.

Bear in mind also to consider synonyms or variations based on those initial thoughts – they could be additional goldmines targeting different segments within your audience effectively.

A Deep Dive Into Competitor Strategies

An essential part of finding precious long tail keywords involves understanding how competitors target similar audiences. Tools like SEMrush and Moz provide competitor analysis features which allow insights into what keyphrases other businesses rank well for – offering inspiration and revealing potential market gaps where targeted content around relevant long-tail keyword combinations could yield results.

Tapping High Commercial Intent Keywords

Certain types of longer-term searches carry high commercial intent; users conducting such searches are usually further along their buying journey, potentially leading to increased conversion rates once they land on destination sites. Hence, focusing efforts towards optimizing webpages around these queries not only improves visibility but may directly lead to enhanced sales revenue too. It’s clear then why adopting a strategic approach incorporating both short-term generic terms alongside carefully chosen longer ones forms an essential component of any successful online advertising campaign today.

Key Takeaway: Long tail keywords, the unsung heroes of SEO strategy, can catapult your website’s ranking on search engines. They’re less competitive than single-word keywords and often used by customers ready to buy or use voice search. To strike gold with long-tail phrases, consider potential customer queries about your product or service and utilise tools like Google’s Keyword Planner for popular keyph

The Role of User Intent in Keyword Strategy

When it comes to SEO keyword strategy, understanding user intent is a game-changer. It’s not merely about what individuals are trying to find; it’s the purpose behind why they’re typing in those search queries.

User intent can be broken down into three main categories: informational, navigational, and transactional. Each category reflects different needs and behaviors from your audience, so let’s delve deeper into each one.

Informational Searches: Quenching the Thirst for Knowledge

In an informational search scenario, users aim to gather information or find answers on specific topics. The scope of their questions might range from broad subjects like “how does solar energy work?” to more detailed inquiries such as “what benefits do solar panels offer homeowners?”.

Your role here is providing clear-cut answers using relevant SEO keywords that align with these questions. Search Engine Journal suggests creating informative blog posts, how-to guides, and explainer videos targeting these kinds of queries.

A navigational query indicates that users have some idea about what they’re looking for specifically; perhaps they know which company offers it but need help finding their way around its website. This requires careful planning regarding site architecture, internal linking strategies, and proper schema markup.

Moz suggests

Precision Matters Most.

If someone types ‘your business name + product’ into Google’s search bar, you’ll want them landing directly on the correct page. This level of precision within your digital presence helps guide potential customers exactly where you’d like them to go, making sure none get lost along the way.

Transactional Searches: Sealing the Deal

This type of query signifies high buying intention; this could include brand-specific product names along with terms like ‘buy’, ‘price’, ‘deal’, etc. If an ecommerce store sells shoes, for instance, and someone looks up ‘buy Adidas running shoes size 8’, you’d ideally want one (or several) of your pages showing prominently within SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).

Key Takeaway: Understanding user intent is crucial in SEO keyword strategy. It’s not just about what users are searching for, but why they’re doing so. By tailoring your content to cater to informational, navigational and transactional searches, you can guide potential customers right where you want them – no one gets lost on the way.

Optimising Your Website Content with Key Phrases

The process of optimising your website content isn’t just about sprinkling keywords here and there. It’s a strategic exercise, placing key phrases in a way that enhances readability while boosting search engine visibility.

Digging Deeper into ‘Key Phrases’

In the realm of SEO, ‘key phrases’ refer to specific combinations or strings of words people might input into a search engine when searching for information related to your business. These are usually more detailed than individual keywords.

A Strategic Approach To Placement

To effectively incorporate these keyword phrases, careful placement within your website content is required. This doesn’t mean cramming them wherever possible; instead, they should be seamlessly integrated so as not to disrupt user experience.

SEO Best Practices is an excellent resource outlining best practices regarding balancing user experience against achieving strong organic visibility outcomes.

Finding Balance Between User Experience And SEO Goals

By carefully selecting and deploying well-researched long-tail queries across different sections within site architecture – whether blog articles, product listings, service breakdowns, FAQs, contact forms, and beyond – businesses stand a better chance of capturing high-intent searches, driving qualified leads, conversion points, and ultimately revenue growth overall.

Remember: effective use entails thinking beyond mere insertion towards a holistic approach.

Step #1: Grasp the Essence of Meta Descriptions

The first thing to understand is that meta descriptions are brief summaries appearing under your website’s link on search engine results pages (SERPs). They’re crucial for enticing potential visitors and improving click-through rates, which in turn boosts search engine result rankings.

A Closer Look at Effective Meta Descriptions

An effective meta description has certain defining features. It should ideally be between 50-160 characters long – any longer could lead to truncation by search engines, cutting off important information.

Your chosen keyword or keyphrase needs a prominent spot in the meta description. This not only helps Google understand your page’s relevance but also highlights matching terms within SERPs when users perform related searches.

Remember, each page requires its own unique meta description. Duplicates across multiple pages can cause confusion for both users and search engines alike – potentially damaging site credibility and ranking capability.

Tips For Writing Engaging Meta Descriptions

  • Incorporate Relevant Keywords: This strategy assists Google in determining what queries this particular webpage answers best.
  • Create Curiosity: Pose questions or share intriguing facts about the topic without giving away too much detail to encourage clicks.
  • Show Value: Demonstrate why clicking through would benefit them by outlining solutions offered or insights gained from reading further.

Maintaining Readability While Using Keywords

Balancing targeted keywords with readability isn’t always straightforward – especially if you’re dealing with long-tail phrases. However, remember this golden rule: never force-fit keywords where they don’t naturally belong just because ‘SEO says so’.

, provides excellent examples demonstrating how one might balance keyword usage against reader-friendly language effectively.

Keep all these aspects including writing great titles, URLs,

The Power of Unique Keywords in Driving Organic Traffic

Unique keywords are your secret weapon for driving organic traffic. They’re the specific search terms that your target audience enters into their favourite search engine when they’re looking for products or services like yours.

Your unique keywords set you apart from the crowd, boosting visibility and attracting more visitors to your site. But how do these special phrases work? And why don’t exact word matches always matter?

Why Exact Word Matches Aren’t Always Necessary

We’ve all heard it before: “exact match” is king in the world of SEO. However, this isn’t necessarily true anymore – welcome to a brave new world where context reigns supreme over individual words within queries.

This approach, called semantic search, focuses on understanding user intent rather than just matching keyword searches exactly with content. So even if you create content around topics related to your unique keywords without using those exact phrases, chances are good that you’ll still rank well because what matters most now is satisfying user intent.

Finding Balance Between Popular and Unique Keywords

When it comes to keyword research, striking a balance between commonly used terms and more precise words is essential. Popular keywords are the ones that have high search volume and are commonly used by your target audience. On the other hand, unique keywords are more specific and less competitive.

While it’s important to target popular keywords to attract a larger audience, solely focusing on them may result in tough competition and lower visibility. By incorporating unique keywords into your SEO strategy, you can tap into niche markets and attract highly targeted traffic.

Finding equilibrium between the two types of keywords is essential. Use popular keywords to increase your visibility and unique keywords to target specific audience segments. This way, you can attract natural visits to your website while also satisfying the desires and inclinations of your desired crowd.

Key Takeaway: Unique keywords are the secret sauce to driving organic traffic, setting your site apart from others. The era of ‘exact match’ is over; it’s all about semantic search now, understanding user intent rather than exact keyword matches. Strike a balance in your SEO strategy with popular and unique keywords for optimal visibility and targeted audience reach.

Step #1: Choose Your Focus Keyword Wisely

The first step in crafting a blog post with SEO at the forefront is to choose your focus keyword. This should be closely related to what you’ve written and something that potential readers might use when searching for information online.

Finding High Search Volume Keywords

Your chosen keyword needs to have high search volume, meaning it’s frequently used by people conducting searches on your topic. But beware of overly popular terms as they can make ranking more challenging due to stiff competition.

You can leverage tools like Google’s Keyword Planner which provides insights into how often certain words and phrases are searched, giving you valuable data about their popularity.

Step #2: Integrate Your Focus Keywords Naturally

Once you’ve selected your focus keywords, weave them naturally throughout your content without overdoing it – this practice known as ‘keyword stuffing’ could lead Google’s algorithm penalising you for affecting user experience negatively.

Ideal Placement For Keywords

Your primary keyword should ideally appear within key areas such as title tags, headings and subheadings, introductory sentences, conclusion paragraph, anchor text (text hyperlink), title descriptions, meta descriptions, etc., all while ensuring natural readability remains intact. If done correctly, it will not only help improve visibility but also boost organic traffic significantly.

Step 4: Balancing Quality Content With SEO Optimisation

In pursuit of better rankings, it is crucial to remember that quality always takes precedence over pure optimisation tactics. Users come first – if they find value in what you’ve written, they are likely to stick around, share links, make purchases, and return at a later date. All these actions send positive signals back to search engines about the relevance of your content. So aim to create engaging material that offers value to users while keeping in mind the principles of effective SEO practices.

Step 5: Building An Ongoing Strategy Beyond Single Post

An effective approach goes beyond a single article and instead forms part of a broader ongoing

Key Takeaway: Choosing a focus keyword wisely, integrating it naturally into your content, and balancing quality with SEO optimisation are crucial steps in crafting an effective blog post. Remember to avoid ‘keyword stuffing’ as it can lead to penalties from Google’s algorithm. Lastly, don’t just stop at one article – develop an ongoing strategy for continued success.

Step #1: Harnessing Keyword Tools for Effective SEO

Your first move is to understand and utilise the power of keyword tools.

Here’s how you can leverage these platforms:

Select The Right Tool For Your Needs

Different businesses have dissimilar needs, so it is fundamental to opt for an instrument that matches your exact demands. You might need data on search volume or want insights into competition levels; choose accordingly.

Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs Keywords Explorer, and SEMrush Keyword Research Tool

The above-mentioned are some popular choices among marketers due to their comprehensive features such as providing details about keywords including difficulty score, estimated clicks per month, competitive analysis features alongside its keyword research capabilities.

If you’re seeking a free option, Moz Free SEO Tools offers an array of resources like the MozBar browser extension, Link Explorer backlink checker, and more. These assist in improving your website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Fine-Tune Your Search Queries And Phrases

It’s important to remember that the keywords and phrases you choose should be relevant to your business or industry. Avoid selecting terms based solely on high search volumes as this could lead to increased competition.

Monitor Trends Over Time

A key feature offered by many keyword tools is trend monitoring. This allows users to observe changes over time regarding interest around certain topics or phrases which could influence future content creation decisions.

Use Semantic Searches To Improve Relevance Of Content

Sometimes we focus too much on exact word matches while forgetting context matters just as much if not more when it comes down ranking higher SERPs. So remember to use semantic searches to improve the relevance of your business.

Keep Up With Algorithm Updates

In order to stay ahead of the game, always keep up with

Key Takeaway: Choosing the right keyword tool tailored to your business needs is paramount for effective SEO. Remember, relevance trumps search volume in keyword selection. Keep an eye on trends and use semantic searches for context-rich content. Lastly, stay updated with algorithm changes to maintain your edge.

FAQs in Relation to Can a Keyword Be a Phrase

Is a keyword a word or phrase?

A keyword can be both a single word and a phrase. It’s the term that searchers input into search engines to find relevant content.

What is an example of a keyword phrase?

An example of a keyword phrase could be “best Italian restaurants in Sydney”. This is more specific than just “restaurants”, helping users find exactly what they’re after.

Can a keyword be a phrase or question? True or false?

True, keywords can indeed be phrases or questions. They represent what people are searching for online, which often includes full queries and sentences.

What is considered as a keyword?

A keyword refers to any term used in digital marketing to help guide your SEO strategy. These terms should align with your target audience’s searches on platforms like Google.


So, you’ve made it to the end of this SEO journey, mate. You now know that a keyword can be a phrase and how crucial they are in driving organic traffic.

You’ve discovered long tail keywords and their role in your SEO strategy. These specific search terms have less competition but high commercial intent – pretty nifty, right?

We delved into user intent too. Understanding why users are searching for something is more important than what they’re looking for.

Optimising your website content with key phrases? Check! Crafting compelling meta descriptions? Done!

And let’s not forget those unique keywords that make all the difference when attracting visitors to your site.

The power of crafting blog posts with an eye on SEO is something we shouldn’t overlook either. Focus keywords, engaging content based on what you’ve written – these elements will set you up for success.


Australian Internet Advertising, our digital marketing agency is here to help Aussie firms like yours climb the ranks using effective keyword strategies. Don’t linger – kick off right away!

Billy P.

About The Author

William Polson founded Australian Internet Advertising in 2013 and has over 12 years of experience immersed in Digital Marketing.

With an in-depth level of digital marketing knowledge, William has been sort after by and worked for, many large national brands including Subaru, Blooms The Chemist, and Nova 96.9.

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