One of the most common mistakes in online marketing is that a lot of marketers often use the terms “keywords” and “search queries” interchangeably.
Truth be told, these terms have entirely different meanings and roles within a marketing strategy.
Not knowing the differences between the two can cause problems to your marketing campaigns. Knowing how to differentiate the two is very important in planning and managing your online promotional campaigns.
In this article, we are going to discuss what separates keywords from queries.
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What Are Keywords?
In the simplest of terms, a keyword refers to the exact term that an online marketer is trying to target in a paid search or organic search advertising campaign.
For example, if your marketing campaign is bent on winning a bid for the term “wooden furniture”, then your keyword is “wooden furniture”.
In a nutshell, keywords are the terms that search marketers, search professionals, and marketers come up with and use during their marketing campaigns.
These keywords define the goals and strategies of the campaigns. People who use search engines don’t know about these keywords.
They don’t care about these keywords and of course, they have nothing to do about the keywords.
What Are Search Queries?
Search queries, on the other hand, are the words that users type into the search box.
When a person looking for something online go to Google and type in a word or two into the box, that is called a query. In many cases, queries contain misspellings.
These misspellings are sometimes corrected by Google’s correcting algorithms but the terms are usually retained during the search. Users phrase their searches in various ways.
This means that ten users looking for the same product may wind up using ten completely unique search queries.
Since queries are words and phrases that people input into the Google search box, it’s very difficult to predict them.
As we have mentioned above, ten people may search for the same item but end up using ten completely different queries.
Good luck trying to predict all ten search queries. As a marketer, your goal is to catch the essence of these unique queries using keywords and keyword research.
The Difference Between Keywords and Search Queries
The most crucial difference between the two lies on who uses them. Ordinary users type search queries into Google to look for information online.
On the other hand, online marketers and entrepreneurs make use of keywords to set up their campaigns such as advertising campaigns, social media optimization campaigns, and SEO campaigns.
The average online user is not aware of these terms and they don’t have any ideas about the companies who are trying to rank the queries.
Since we are online marketers, it’s our mission to make sense of these search queries and then analyze them to identify the keywords that we should target when we plan our digital marketing strategies.
In essence, we gather data about these search queries so that we can help the users find the exact products and items that they are looking for.
Earlier, we mentioned that for a single keyword, there may be dozens of possible search queries for it. Needless to say, it would be next to impossible to try and target all of the search queries.
So your goal is to come up with the few keywords that will best address the collection of search queries. You need to find the queries that are most relevant to the keywords that you have in mind.
These are the keywords that you are going to use in your optimization campaigns.
How to Find Keywords from Queries
Let’s not forget the main reason why you are learning about keywords and search queries. Your goal is to reach as many potential customers as possible.
It’s not enough to just rank for words that are related to your business and website. This is why search queries play a crucial role in the keywords that you select for your marketing and optimization campaigns.
Below is a practical guide that will help you accomplish three things.
- One, learn how to determine the search queries that your target audiences are using to locate your website.
- Two, learn how to target brand new keywords using the search queries.
- And three, learn how to integrate the information you gathered into your online marketing campaigns and strategies.
Determine the search queries that are bringing visitors to your main website.
What you need to do is log into your Google Search Console account and get into the dashboard. You should be able to see there the search queries that are bringing visitors to your website.
After logging into your account, navigate to Search Traffic and then to Search Analytics. You will see a comprehensive list of the queries that brought traffic to your site during the past month.
The list contains the particular words and phrases that people typed into the Google search box.
Go over the list to brainstorm for new ideas for keywords that you can use in your marketing campaigns and strategies.
You can further break down the list by looking into the search results for each query. This provides you with the rankings of your website.
If you play your cards right, you will attract a lot more traffic from the queries.
Find new search queries based on your current keywords.
Using Google Search Console to determine the search queries that are bringing traffic to your website is great but sometimes that’s enough.
You need to go deeper and further. By this, we mean that you should identify more search queries that are relevant to the current keywords that you are using.
To get this done, you should use of other tools and resources that are not under Google. For this task, we highly recommend that you use Ubersuggest.
All you need to do is type a keyword into the search bar and the tool will instantly provide you with a list of search queries related to it.
Of course, not all of the queries on the list will be relevant or helpful to your digital marketing strategy. So you still need to go through the list and find the ones that suit your business.
If you don’t want to use Ubersuggest, you can always revert to Google and take advantage of the search engine’s “autosuggest” feature.
When you type something on Google, the search bar will automatically suggest words and phrases.
These are the queries that you observe and take note of to find more relevant search queries for your digital marketing strategy.
Use the information and data you gathered to improve your online marketing campaigns.
This is where you integrate the information you gathered into your SEO, PPC, SMO, and other online marketing strategies.
For example, let’s say you find out that people are visiting your website through search queries that you don’t have any content on.
For example, you don’t have content about “vegan recipes” but a lot of people are visiting your website through that query.
So what should you do?
Create content that address that query. This will double if not triple the amount of visitors you attract from that specific search query.
In a nutshell, your digital marketing strategy will be much better and more effective if you are fully aware of the differences between keywords and search queries.
You should also know how to use them based on these differences. Always keep in mind that keywords are used by marketers like you and search queries are used by the audiences you are trying to target.