What is a Keyword Phrase?


When you are a small business, attracting the attention of your target market is necessary to succeed. In today’s digital world, more and more customers look for products and services through search engines like Google. Search engines are one of the best ways to showcase what you sell to prospective customers. Making sure your business website appears in the search results of Google is crucial to converting your target market into supporters of your small business. If you want to attract customers via search engines, the first step is to show up on search engines. This is where keywords and keyword phrases come into play. If you aren’t familiar with search engine optimization (SEO), you may be asking yourself, “What is a keyword phrase?”

At Succeeding Small, a digital marketing agency in Colorado Springs, we work with small businesses throughout Colorado and beyond to expand their digital reach. Our team of digital strategists believes all small businesses deserve every chance to grow, compete, and succeed. As your digital marketing agency, we will work with your small business to get you the online visibility needed to achieve your business goals in today’s competitive environment. When your small business works with Succeeding Small, you gain a supportive marketing partner who can help grow your business online through SEO.

If you want to learn more about SEO, the differences between keywords and keyword phrases, and why your small business should invest in SEO, then keep reading!

A picture of someone typing on a computer and looking at data.

What are Keywords?

In SEO, a keyword is what searchers use on search engines to find content. In other words, these are the words that searchers type into the search engine. The searches, or search queries, bring up relevant content depending on the keywords used by the searcher.

For example, if a searcher types in “puppies” on Google, the search engine will bring up relevant content on the keyword, “puppies.” This content may include images of puppies, pet stores near you, and educational information on puppies.

What Google and other search engines do when you type in a keyword (like “puppies”) is choose the most relevant results to show to you.

What are Keyword Phrases?

Keyword phrases are similar to keywords. However, keyword phrases are separate words built into a phrase that searchers type into search engines. Keyword phrases are typically three or four words long and these search queries are much more specific. 

For example, let’s say you are planning to adopt a puppy in Colorado Springs. If you search the keyword “puppies” on Google, your search results will include general information on puppies from images, puppy breeds, and informational articles. The search query, “puppies”, is too broad, and you are unlikely to find adoption information for puppies in Colorado Springs by searching with this keyword.

However, if you search with the keyword phrase, “puppies for adoption Colorado Springs”, you will get search results that are much more specific to what you are searching for. This search query will bring up relevant content, such as local adoption shelters in Colorado Springs.

This means when you search with keyword phrases, you will get search results that are much more specific, targeted, and relevant to the content you want from Google or other search engine platforms.

What are the Differences Between Keywords and Keyword Phrases?

Keywords and keyword phrases are very similar to each other. They both work to describe what type of content the searcher wants from the search results. 

The main difference between keywords and keyword phrases is the number of words. Keywords are one-word (“puppies”) while keyword phrases are multi-word search terms (“puppies for adoption Colorado Springs”). Additionally, keywords are much more broad compared to keyword phrases. Keywords have a higher search volume whereas keyword phrases are targeted and specific. 

Keywords and keyword phrases both play a crucial role in SEO. The goal of SEO is to optimize the digital assets of your small business, such as your website, so your content appears when searchers type in their search queries. 

Finding the right keywords and keyword phrases for your small business matters when it comes to getting your business online visibility. When you use the same keywords and keyword phrases that your target audience uses, you are one step closer to capturing the attention of potential customers through search engines.

A picture of someone using a pointer to point to data on a computer screen.

How to Select the Right Keywords for SEO

Now that you know what keywords and keyword phrases are and their differences, how do you go about finding the right keywords and keyword phrases for your digital content? 

Keywords and keyword phrases play an essential role in driving traffic to your website, increasing your brand visibility and credibility, as well as strengthening your long-term marketing strategy. Keyword research is one way to strengthen the SEO for your small business. The goal of keyword research is to find the best keywords and keyword phrases that you can use to grow your online visibility. 

Here are the top five tips to consider when selecting the right keywords and keyword phrases for your small business’ SEO.

Understand Search Intent

Search engines work when searchers type in a search query. This means to understand how keywords and keyword phrases work, you need to understand why people search.

Your audience uses Google and other search engines to look for information. So, you need to think like a customer.

Some of the questions you want to have in mind include: What type of keywords and keyword phrases would my audience use to find my business? What type of information is the searcher looking for? How can I use keywords and keyword phrases to make my audience visit my website? 

The content for your small business should be optimized using keywords and keyword phrases to drive searchers to your digital assets. For example, a well-designed website or blog can help capture the attention of your target audience as they search using the same keywords and keyword phrases.

Research Your Competition

When searching for the right keywords or keyword phrases that you can use for your small business, it is always best to research competitors. Keyword research tools can help you discover your competitors’ keywords, such as Semrush and Surfer SEO.

By discovering what keywords and keyword phrases your competitors use, you can also use these keywords to strengthen your SEO marketing strategy, drive traffic to your website, and increase your brand awareness online.

Know Keyword Types

When conducting keyword research, it is vital to remember the different types of keywords, such as short-tail keywords versus long-tail keywords. Short-tail keywords are shorter, usually a word or two in length. Long-tail keywords, or keyword phrases, are multiple words and much more specific compared to short-tail keywords.

Both short-tail keywords and long-tail keyword phrases are essential to incorporate into a small business SEO strategy. By understanding these differences in keyword types, you can better understand what your target audience is searching for on Google and other search engine platforms. 

Narrow Your Keywords With LSI

Latent Semantic Indexing, or LSI, is how Google recognizes word associations to display relevant results to a searcher. 

When you type a phrase into Google, you will notice that Google recommends related searches to you. If you type in “puppies for adoption Colorado Springs”, related searches may include “free puppies Colorado Springs”, “puppies for sale Colorado Springs”, and “small dog adoption Colorado Springs”.

Your small business can use these recommendations by Google to select additional keywords and keyword phrases to target. Google sees these recommendations as important and relevant for searchers, so use them to strengthen your SEO strategy for your small business!

A screenshot of a Google keyword search that reads, "puppies for adoption Colorado Springs", with related searches.

Match Your Content

When adding keywords and keyword phrases to your digital content, it is crucial to ensure that they make sense where they belong. Google is strict about removing websites and pages that look like spam, so stuffing a bunch of keywords into your small business website is not the way to go about appearing in the search results.

Remember that Google rewards relevant and optimized content. This means you need engaging content in combination with strategic keyword research to appeal to both the consumer and the search engine.

Get the Best SEO for Small Businesses With Succeeding Small

SEO is an essential part of the digital marketing strategy for your small business. While this is a high-level overview of SEO, keyword phrases, and keyword research, it is crucial to understand how important keywords and keyword phrases are to growing your business. Ensuring your website appears in the search results of Google and other search engines is the best way to ensure your small business remains competitive in today’s digital world. With strategic keyword research, you can better understand what keywords to use for the digital assets of your business as well as what keywords searchers are using to find products and services online. Knowing what keyword phrases are and how to use them is the first step in having a successful SEO strategy for your small business.

At Succeeding Small, we are SEO experts. As a digital marketing agency in Colorado Springs, getting small businesses visibility online is our passion. We help businesses throughout Colorado and beyond gain more leads, pass their competition, and achieve their business goals through strategic keyword research. We take a unique approach to SEO by combining our technical expertise with our deep understanding of consumer psychology. At Succeeding Small, our digital strategists will work with your small business to craft a comprehensive SEO strategy designed with your target audience in mind. If you have questions about keyword phrases, or if you are ready to succeed in SEO, contact Succeeding Small!

Grow your Small Business With Succeeding Small

Succeeding Small is an expert in growing small businesses through our amazing digital marketing, SEO, branding, web design and social media services.  Learn about our services today!

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