Dec 2, 2022

14 Types of Keywords Every Smart Marketer Should Know

Suman Samal, Asst. Marketing Manager
Suman Samal
14 Types of Keywords Every Smart Marketer Should Know
Suman Samal, Asst. Marketing Manager
Suman Samal
Dec 2, 2022

14 Types of Keywords Every Smart Marketer Should Know

Want to know the different types of keywords and when to use them? Read this blog to know about their meanings, benefits, and uses in detail.
14 Types of Keywords Every Smart Marketer Should Know

Table of contents

Without keywords, we would have never met. 


It is because you searched for something related to ‘different types of keywords’ that you found this blog. And it is because we targeted specific keywords that Google showed our blog in its search results. 

In our world of information overload, keywords are the bridge between good content and the people looking for information on that topic. 

If you are a content marketing professional looking to understand different types of keywords to increase your search traffic, this blog is for you. 

If you are a content writer, editor, SEO professional, or web developer just looking to enhance your knowledge of keywords for better rankings, this blog is for you too. 

Irrespective of your profession, keywords are something that all of us use to find quality information on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, or Yandex. 

In this blog, we will help you understand the different types of keywords and when to use them. 

Why is knowing different types of keywords important?

A deep understanding of keywords and their different types helps content marketers reach out to potential customers and drive results. 

For example, if you are marketing a sportswear brand, simply creating content that includes obvious keywords like “sportswear” will not be enough. Google has more than 200 million results for that keyword. 

You need to focus your content creation efforts on targeting a different set of keywords with every piece of content. Suppose you have a line of sportswear for men. Create something like “the ultimate guide to sportswear for men: what to wear for different sporting events.”

A piece like this will target a group of keywords with less competition. 

We are not saying that ranking among 146 million is easy, but with the right mix of long-tail, mid-tail, and short-tail keywords, you will start seeing some motivating results. 

Without the knowledge of what types of keywords you can target with your SEO efforts, chances are that you won’t be able to create the right mix. 

14 types of keywords you should know 

For content marketers, keywords are the keys to a door that leads to your target audience. Let’s dive in to understand the different types of keywords in the SEO world that you can use for your next marketing campaign. 

Types of keywords by length 

The length of your keywords can help you understand the kind of competition and the amount of effort you need to put in to rank for those terms. Common one- or two-word search terms have higher competition than their longer versions. 

Generic or short tail keywords 

Generic or short-tail keywords are popular broad terms with tough competition and high search volume. Referring to the previous example, “sportswear” is a generic keyword. Short-tail keywords are usually between one and three words long at most. 

Where to use short tail keywords

  • Company description
  • Website homepage CTAs
  • Website homepage meta description
  • Blogs homepage meta description
  • Online business directories

Long Tail keywords 

Long-tail keywords are search terms that contain three or more words. These types of keywords have lower competition and lower search volumes. By focusing on long-tail keywords, many companies have been able to become thought leaders in their niche. 

To know more about these underestimated gems of content marketing, refer to this blog, ‘10 Smart Ways to Find Long Tail Keywords With Low Competition.’

Where to use long tail keywords

  • Blogs targeting specific topics
  • Social media posts
  • Product landing pages

Types of keywords by intention

More than the length of your keywords, the user intent with which searchers use them gives a fair idea of where to use them. For instance, somebody searching for “Indian restaurants near me” is specifically looking for an Indian place to eat. 

Whereas, people searching for “Indian food” may or may not wish to eat it right away. There are four types of keywords based on intention. You may want to refer to this detailed Scalenut blog on user intent for more information. 


Informational keywords are generic terms that suggest the user is looking for some information. Keywords like “electric cars”, “Indian food”, or “hybrid cars” have an informational intent where the searcher is looking for more information on these topics. 

Where to use informational keywords

  • Educational blogs
  • Community forum Q and A
  • E-books, guides and their landing pages


Navigational keywords are search terms that direct the user to a specific location. For example, keywords like “Scalenut blog” and “Directions to the White House” are specifically asking for navigational information. It could be an online website or an offline place; if the search term defines an entity and a specific place, it is likely to be navigational. 

Where to use navigational keywords

  • Blogs homepage meta tags (title, description)


Transactional keywords are search terms used by people ready to take action. Keywords like “iPhone 14 price” and “house cleaning services near me” are ideal examples of transactional keywords. These types of keywords are used by people with a clear intention of buying a product or service. 

Where to use transactional keywords

  • Product pages
  • Product descriptions
  • Affiliate marketing content


Commercial keywords are search phrases that ask for very specific information about a product or service. For instance, somebody looking to buy a camera will search for a commercial keyword such as “best cameras of 2022.” These keywords are either looking for brand-specific information about product types or vice versa. 

Where to use commercial keywords 

  • Comparison blogs
  • Community forums
  • B2B posts

Types of keywords for SEO 

When it comes to optimizing your content for search engines, keywords are categorized in technical terms. You might have heard these terms before, but for better understanding, let’s take a look at different types of keywords for SEO.

Primary keywords

Primary keywords are head search terms with many different versions. These are head terms that a user uses when starting to search for information about a certain topic. For instance, "electric charging stations" is the main search term that includes a whole group of keywords. 

Where to use primary keywords

  • Web page title
  • Web page descriptions
  • Blog titles
  • Blog descriptions
  • Blog headings
  • Landing page CTAs

LSI keywords 

LSI keywords are similar or related primary keyword variations. If the primary keyword was a tree, LSI keywords would be the branches. 

For “electric charging stations,” LSI keywords would be related search terms such as “electric charging infrastructure,” “electric charging stations in New York,” and so on and so forth. LSI keywords add more context to a user’s search. 

Where to use LSI keywords 

  • Blog subheadings
  • Image alt texts

Types of keywords for PPC

Pay Per Click is the most popular paid promotion strategy. Platforms like Google Ads help companies publish ads and market their products across their search engine results pages and affiliate websites. 

Knowing the different types of keywords for PPC will help you improve your conversion rate. The following are different types of keywords for PPC. You can also consider these as the types of keywords for Google ads. 

Broad match keywords

Broad match keywords mean that your ads will show only when a user searches for anything related to your keyword. A marketer publishing a broad match PPC ad for sportswear is asking Google Ads to show their ad whenever a person searches for anything related to sportswear. 

Where to use broad match keywords

  • Publishing common ads
  • Big budget ads
  • When you are not sure about the keywords you want to target

Phrase match keywords

As the name suggests, using phrase match keywords for your PPC ads means asking the platform to show your ad only when a person searches for phrases similar to your keyword. A phrase match ad for “sportswear running shoes” will only show up if a person is using keywords related to running shoes. 

Where to use phrase match keywords

  • Publishing targeted ads
  • When you have tight budgets
  • When you are sure about the type of keywords you want to target. 

Exact match keywords

Exact match keywords is a PPC strategy where your ads will only show for search queries that contain the exact term. If you publish a phrase match keyword ad for “sportswear for men,” your ad will not show for anything that does not contain the term “sportswear for men.” 

Where to use exact match keywords

  • Publishing highly targeted ads
  • When you have tight budgets

Negative keywords 

Negative keywords are search terms that you do not want to show your ads for. For example, if you are publishing an ad for “lawn tennis sportswear,” your negative keywords would be “running sportswear” and “basketball sportswear.”

Where to use negative keywords

  • Highlighting the keywords that do not match your product or service

Types of keywords based on trends 

We live in a world of trends. Anything could become an international sensation at any point in time. And who better than search engines to identify trends? 

There are two main types of keywords based on trends. 

Short-term trending keywords 

If there is one common thing about every trend, it is that they change every now and then. Short-term trending keywords are search phrases that trend for a while, and then people lose interest in them. These are ideal for moment-marketing. 

For example, Rishi Sunak becoming the first Indian-origin British Prime Minister is a short-term trend that is giving birth to short-term trending keywords like “Rishi Sunak British PM” or “New British PM.”

Where to use short term trending keywords

  • To capitalize on trending topics
  • Meme marketing
  • Moment marketing

Long term evergreen keywords

Some trends become evergreen topics, and the terms people use to search for them are called long-term evergreen keywords. With Rishi Sunak becoming the first Indian-origin Prime Minister of Britain, keywords like “first Indian-origin British PM” are going to become evergreen keywords. 

Other examples of this type would be “sportswear for men,” “running shoes,” “lawn tennis sportswear,” etc. People will use such keywords whenever they want information on a specific topic. 

Where to use long term evergreen keywords

  • Blogs 
  • Website homepage descriptions
  • CTAs
  • E-books and guides

We hope the information above helps you create the right keyword mix for all your marketing needs. It is not necessary that you stick to the use cases mentioned above; these are just for reference and should be adapted based on your own experience. 

Keyword research is the most important aspect of creating a successful content marketing strategy. Now that you know the different types of keywords, you may want to refer to this detailed blog on keyword research. 

Start your keyword research with Topic Cluster generator by Scalenut 

Topic cluster content strategy is the process of creating groups of topics targeting a group of keywords. Creating topic clusters can help you drive your keyword research in the right direction, i.e., creating quality content. 

With the knowledge of the topics you want to cover, you can research keywords related to that topic and further increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your content marketing efforts. 

The Scalenut Topic Cluster Generator is a great SEO tool that helps you create topic clusters within seconds. All you have to do is enter your primary keyword with the target location, and the generator will produce multiple topic clusters that you can use in your keyword research.

About Scalenut 

Scalenut is an all-in-one SEO and content marketing platform powered by AI and helps marketers all over the world make high-quality, competitive content at scale. From research, planning, and outlines to ensuring quality, Scalenut helps you achieve the best in everything. 

Empower your content marketing campaigns with AI. Sign up on Scalenut, and start creating content today.

Suman Samal
Asst. Marketing Manager
ABout the AUTHOR
Suman Samal
Asst. Marketing Manager

Suman Samal is a Asst. Marketing Manager at Scalenut. She is a technology enthusiast with a keen interest in content marketing and SEO. She truly believes that with the right set of tools every organization can improve the ROI of their content marketing campaigns. She spends her time managing content operations at Scalenut and ensuring that everything we publish is of the highest quality.

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