All Types of Keywords for SEO that You Should Know

All Types of Keywords for SEO that You Should Know

5 mins read11K Views Comment
Syed Aquib Ur
Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Assistant Manager
Updated on Dec 12, 2023 20:16 IST

Unlocking the power of effective SEO starts with understanding the nuanced world of 'types of keywords'. From Short Tail Keywords that encompass broad searches to Long Tail Keywords offering specificity, each plays a vital role. Mid-Tail Keywords strike a balance between the two. Delving deeper, discover how buyer intent influences keyword choice and how industries benefit from tailored keywords. Unravel the mystery of 'types of keywords' to elevate your content strategy and SEO finesse.


Choosing the right cluster of keywords makes a page easier to rank. For SEO, there are many types of keywords. Some can be just one or two words. Others can be long phrases. 

All of these words and phrases that people search for are necessary for keyword research. These are target keywords that help your page gain visibility. And, they are usually defined and subdivided within specific categories.  

Here are the types of keywords you need to know. 

SEO Keywords By Length

There are three types of keywords in SEO in this category. 

Short Tail Keywords

These are keywords that have one or two words with high search volume. They are often known as focus or head keywords. 

Short tail ones have high competition.  They also do not specify what exactly the user is looking for. 

Suppose, you type ‘SEO’ on the Google search engine. It has more than 91K monthly search volume. It is unclear what the user is looking for. Because, the results for this target keyword will be varied. 

To specify, s/he has to use ancillary words to narrow down the search. In almost every situation, then, the search volume will be lesser. 

Long Tail Keywords

They are keywords with more than two or three words and act as phrases. They may not have a high search volume compared to short tail ones, but are specific. 

Long tail keywords are generally three or more words. 

If you take the same example above, the related long tail keywords would be ‘ best free seo tools’, ‘on-page seo techniques’ and so on. 

They may have low search volume, but will help your page rank easily. That is, the conversion rates for long tail keywords are high. 

Mid-Tail Keywords

These fall between short tail and long tail keywords. They are longer than short tail and shorter than long tail keywords. Their search volumes are moderate i.e., more than long tail ones. 

Let’s take the previous example. A long tail keyword would be ‘ best free seo tools’.  The medium length keyword would be ‘seo tools’. 

The former has a search volume of 590. The latter, 15K. 

SEO Keywords By Buyer Intent 

Buyer intent helps you narrow down the choice of keywords.


In this category, there are broadly four keyword types. 


Such keywords are those that users ask to gain awareness about a product or service. They often have questions beginning with ‘how’, ‘what’ ‘is it’ and so on. 


When a prospect is looking for an item in a specific store, they would use a navigational keyword type in the search query. Here, the user is aware of the product and the brand, but needs more information. 


Now that the internet user is aware of the brand, they want to understand more about the product. Typically, the prospect’s search query revolves around the price and/or feature comparisons with similar items that competitors sell. 


Here, the keywords are targeted to those prospects who are ready to make a purchase after gaining information and are happy with the price after comparing the product with the competitors. 

SEO Keywords For Specific Industry

These types of keywords vary from one industry to another. 

Market Segment 

These keywords are used in one industry or its verticals. They are generic and broad in nature, but help the target market understand what the company sells. 

For instance, a clothing brand uses ‘clothes’ as a keyword. 


As you can guess, they are words or phrases related to a specific type of customer. Marketers use them to reach an audience that shares common characteristics, such as age, gender, etc. 

Taking from the previous example, the customer-defining keywords for a clothing brand would be ‘clothes for men’, ‘clothes for teens’, etc. As you may infer, these keywords have to be context-based. 


These types of keywords have brand names on them. They come with higher conversion rates within a niche that prefers or are loyal to the offerings of a brand. 


They are based on locations and are extremely helpful for local businesses. A HubSpot study shows 46% of Google searches are about local information. 

A typical example of a geo-targeted keyword is ‘where can I buy [product] in [location]’. 

Parting Thoughts

These are all the types of keywords to help you get started with keyword research. Find more readings below.

SEO Checklist to Maintain a High Ranking on Google
SEO Checklist to Maintain a High Ranking on Google
Having an SEO checklist within easy reach is vital for every digital marketer. Does your business website follow all? Find out here.
How to Rank Your Website on Google – SEO Guidelines For Beginners
How to Rank Your Website on Google – SEO Guidelines For Beginners
Most online experiences begin with a search engine. In fact, 93% of them start with users typing keywords (Forbes). On Google, 50% of searches end without a click, more


What are short tail keywords in SEO?

Short tail keywords, also known as focus or head keywords, consist of one or two words with high search volume. They have broad meanings and high competition, making it challenging to determine user intent. For instance, typing 'SEO' yields varied results due to its ambiguity.

What defines long tail keywords?

Long tail keywords are phrases containing three or more words. While they may have lower search volumes than short tail keywords, they offer specificity. Examples include 'best free SEO tools' or 'on-page SEO techniques,' aiding in better page ranking and higher conversion rates due to their specificity..

What are mid-tail keywords and how do they differ?

Mid-tail keywords fall between short and long tail keywords in length. They are longer than short tail keywords but shorter than long tail ones. These keywords strike a balance with moderate search volumes. For example, 'SEO tools' is a mid-tail keyword with a search volume between the extremes of short and long tail variants.

How can I determine buyer intent through keywords?

Keywords can reveal buyer intent, categorized into four types:

  • Informational: Users seeking awareness about a product/service, often beginning with 'how,' 'what,' or 'is it.'
  • Navigational: Searches aiming for a specific product in a known store, seeking more information.
  • Commercial: Queries centered around price and feature comparisons after being aware of the brand.
  • Transactional: Keywords used by ready-to-buy prospects after comparing and being content with information and price.

What are the different types of keywords tailored to specific industries?

Keywords in specific industries serve distinct purposes:

  • Market Segment: Broad keywords indicating the industry's offerings, like 'clothes' for a clothing brand.
  • Customer-Defining: Phrases targeting a specific audience, such as 'clothes for men' or 'clothes for teens.'
  • Product: Keywords including brand names that generate high conversion rates within brand loyal niches.
  • Geo-Targeted: Location-based keywords beneficial for local businesses, catering to users looking for local information, like 'where can I buy [product] in [location]
About the Author
Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Assistant Manager

Aquib is a seasoned wordsmith, having penned countless blogs for Indian and international brands. These days, he's all about digital marketing and core management subjects - not to mention his unwavering commitment ... Read Full Bio