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Keywords, keyphrases and search terms: what’s what?

Keywords, keyphrases and search terms: what’s what?

Keywords, keyphrases, search terms… especially when you’ve just started learning more about SEO the jargon can be somewhat confusing. Don’t worry, we’re here to help.

What is a keyword?

Lets start with the one you’ve definitely heard before: keyword, also referred to as focus keyword. It’s that one word that the content of a page or post focuses on. It’s also the word you’ll want that page or post to rank for in the search engines.

To keep it simple, if you’re a webdeveloper and writing your homepage, that keyword could be ‘website’.

What is a keyphrase?

Now here’s the tricky part: focusing a page or post on just one (key)word is not such a good idea when it comes ton SEO. That’s because the competition for that one keyword will be massive: there are simply way too many websites containing the word ‘website’.

That’s where keyphrases come in. While a keyword is just one word, a keyphrase contains a few words. If you’re a webdeveloper you’re better off focusing your homepage on a keyphrase, like ‘WordPress website’ or even ‘affordable website small business’.

The funny thing is that keyword and keyphrase are often used interchangeably, probably because it’s common knowledge that it’s hardly ever a good idea to focus a webtext on just one keyword.

What is a search term?

Another SEO term you might have heard, is search term. It’s what people – e.g. potential clients – type in when they’re searching for something using a search engine. It’s more or less the same thing as a keyphrase, but from a different perspective.