What is a keyword

A keyword, also search term, catchphrase, key word, or key word, generally designates a term entered in the search mask of a search engine. This keyword is then treated by the search engines using their search algorithms and compared with the respective index. The user then receives a search results page (SERP) that lists the results for this keyword. For search engine optimization and online marketing keywords play a fundamental role.

Classification of keywords – Money, Brand, Compound, Other

According to HOWSMB, the following classification is based on the classification of link research tools. This classification has established itself in the SEO industry.

Money Keywords

The term “money” implies a purchase intention, but is not limited to it. The following keywords are examples of money keywords for a commercial website: ” Buy shoes “, ” Lease BWM “, ” Online marketing offers “.

For non-commercial sites, the keyword is the money keyword, which describes the content and the (informational) intention of the site. Examples would be: “ Rebublic Venice 12th century ”, “ Raspberry Pi programming ”, “ Franconian hiking trails ”.

Brand keywords

Keywords that are specifically tailored to a brand are called “brand keywords”.

For example: ” Apple “, ” Coca Cola “, ” Adidas “, ” Schreinerei Meier “.

Brand keywords have a special meaning for Google Ads.

Compound keywords

Keywords that are both money and brand keywords are called “compound keywords”. Examples would be: ” Windows 7 cheap ” or ” Buy Canyon Bicycles “.

Other keywords

Everything that does not fit into the above classifications is referred to as “other”. Examples would be “ click here ” or “ great site ”. Depending on the intention of a website, terms such as “ service ” can also fall under “other keywords” if the website is a comparison portal.

Long tail and short tail

Money, brand and compound keywords can be further classified into long-tail and short-tail keywords.

Short-tail are short keyword phrases such as ” Coca Cola sugar ” or ” buy pants “. Such search queries usually have a high monthly search volume.

Search queries that are more complex, longer and therefore less frequent than short-tail keywords are called long-tail. Examples would be: “ Make your own jam from blueberries without sugar ”, “ Red dance shoes for men ” or “ Colorful pencils from Austria ”.

The following graphic shows the difference between long and short tail in terms of website traffic:

Certain short-tail keywords, in this example “Lady Gaga”, have a high traffic, but a lot of sites try to optimize for this keyword. The competition is correspondingly high. Long-tail keywords, here “Fastest WordPress Hosting”, have less traffic, but it is relatively easy to rank for this keyword combination. Further information on long-tail keywords: Longtail keywords – why is that cool?

Long-tail keywords are closely related to niche keywords: Niche keywords and the content gap.

Keyword research

Keyword research is of central importance in online marketing. An example:

The dealer Paul sells pens. He wants his web shop to be easily found in Google. Several questions arise:

  1. What types of pens does he have in stock?
  2. What keywords do users enter into Google when they search for pens that dealer Paul has in stock?
  3. What competition appears when entering these keywords?
  4. In which situations can these keywords be entered (long tail)?

Each of these questions must be answered so that an efficient search engine optimization can be carried out.

  1. Dealer Paul has pencils and pens in stock.
  2. This is where the first part of the keyword research comes in: Are customers looking for “buy pencils” or “pencils cheaply”, or “buy pencils cheaply” or just for “pencils”? How high are the respective search volumes for these keyword phrases?
  3. Assuming you enter “buy pencils” in the search mask on Google: Which competition appears there in the first 5 or 10 places?
  4. Are there other situations in which users combine the keyword “pencil” with other terms? For example: “Broken pencil”, “Sharpen pencils”? This is the so-called long tail.

The answers to each of these questions determine how Paul’s homepage has to be structured in order to pick up as many keywords and keyword combinations as possible, ie to rank in the Top10 or Top5 for as many keywords as possible.

Keyword Research Tools

The keyword research revolves around the following questions, among others: Which keywords are actually entered by users in relation to a product? How often are these keywords searched each month? And what competition is there for these keywords? Correct answers to these questions are essential for search engine optimization. Below is a selection of tools that can make researching the right keywords easier:

Google Ads Keyword Planner

Google Ads offers a free tool for analyzing various keyword phrases, even without your own Google Ads account: https: // Google Ads.google.de/keywordplanner.

Search terms or websites can be entered for analysis. The keyword planner provides an approximate monthly search volume and possible click prices. More information: The Google Ads Keyword Planner.

Google Suggest

Google Suggest is a function of the Google search engine. Frequently searched terms are suggested in the autocomplete search bar:


The free tool “Ubersuggest” collects the information from “Google Suggest” and presents it to the user in a clear format: http://ubersuggest.org/


The website keyword.io is a kind of further development of Ubersuggest. The results are often more precise and detailed: http://www.keyword.io/

You can find more information on keyword research on our blog:

Keyword research and ideas with paid tools

Free keyword tools and ideas for keyword research.

Keyword – OnPage

The OnPage area is about making it clear to the search engine that a certain page revolves around a certain keyword. The goal is to get that particular page to rank as well as possible for that keyword.

Positive methods of doing this are to mark the page using the meta tags or alt tags for images. The keyword and its synonyms can be accommodated within these tags.

The main content is decisive for the assignment of a website to a keyword. The keyword and its variants should be present in this. The content must offer the user added value, which ideally is original, i.e. not to be found on other domains. Therefore, the thematic environment of the keyword must also be considered. Google can decide very well whether a page “only” offers general information or more in-depth, interesting content. More information on the topic relevance of a page:

Don’t think in terms of keywords! What or how then?

Building SEO-Focused Pages to Serve Topics & People Rather than Keywords & Rankings – Whiteboard Friday

Also WDF * IDF operates individual keywords to the theme environment.

Beware of keyword stuffing or cloaking: These methods are considered blackhat and are penalized by Google.

Keyword – OffPage

In the OffPage area, the anchor text (link text or anchor text) should be mentioned with regard to keywords, i.e. which keyword a hyperlink is linked to. The link text is a strong signal to Google and an important working method for search engine optimization and link marketing.

However, excessive “spammy” use of anchor texts can lead to penalties. It is therefore important to ensure that you do not only use money keywords for your backlinks.

Keyword – Google Ads

Keywords have a special meaning for Google Ads. The costs for Google Ads ads are determined using a bidding process. The more providers are willing to pay for a keyword, the more expensive the actual click price. The monthly search volume of the booked keywords plays a particularly important role here. For search engine advertising in general, the search volume of the keywords is crucial.

Keyword – visibility index, ranking

Visibility indices, for example from Sistrix or Xovi, use the most common and most important keywords for Germany and use them to determine a ranking for individual websites or sub-pages.

What is a keyword