When setting up your webpage for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), keywords are extremely important. Primary and secondary keywords help direct traffic from search engines to your site when a specific keyword is searched. 

Your choice of keywords will determine the overall effectiveness of your SEO. When optimising your site for SEO, part of the process is choosing one primary keyword or phrase and a couple of secondary keywords.

The challenge is matching your targets to the actual search volume of different queries.

This is where primary and secondary keywords play their part.

In this article, we’ll help you come up with the right keywords, understand their purpose and make the most use of them in terms of driving traffic to your website and making it accessible to the right audiences.

What Is Keyword Research? Best Keyword Research Tools

The Difference Between Secondary and Primary Keywords         

Both secondary and primary keywords go hand in hand. One won’t do without the other, and they work very well in complementing each other.

However, they differ in many respects. Having a clear idea of which keywords are you primary targets, and which are secondary goals will inform the exact content you create.

Secondary keywords VS Primary Keywords - Example

Primary Keywords

The main difference between secondary and primary keywords, is that for SEO, you usually have one primary keyword, but many secondary ones. 

In order to understand the purpose of secondary keywords, you must firstly understand the purpose of primary keywords and keywords as a whole.

To reiterate, the purpose of primary keywords is to match potential customers with your site based on their search terms. They are considered to be the backbone for any SEO strategy, and an adequate use of them will lead to impressive results. 

The primary keyword should be presented throughout a piece of content, including the site’s title, the domain and the body copy. If it’s an article, it should be in the first sentence and a handful of times throughout. 

That way, the keyword used to describe the page reflects its essential purpose.

Secondary Keywords

Secondary keywords serve the exact same purpose by supporting the primary one. The days of simply stuffing primary keywords into an article are gone. These days, SERPs are more concerned with topics than individual keywords.

For this reason, it’s important to have secondary keywords which consist of semantic variations of your primary target. That is, keywords which express the same ideas in different words.

It’s also important to include overlapping keywords, to signpost the relevance of your article to the broader topic at hand.

Finally, secondary keywords can also be what’s known as long tails. These are phrases of three or more words, which typically have lower search volumes, as they are more specific than shorter queries.

Long tails are great secondary keywords
Credit: ahrefs.com

Long tail secondary keywords are an excellent way to come up with good subheadings for your content. In particular, this is a great strategy for making it into the featured snippet on search results pages.

How to Use Secondary Keywords

For a search engine like Google, pages rank higher when they are focused on one single topic. In order to match these specifications, your keywords should be just as precise.

When setting your primary keywords, the number one piece of advice given is to stay focused and steer away from being too general. The aim of primary and secondary keywords is to attract a specific target audience, therefore your selection of keywords need to reflect that. 

Otherwise, you will be directing aimless traffic onto the site. However, don’t make the mistake of leaning towards the opposite extreme. If your keywords are too specific, they will have a low search volume.

The secret of secondary keywords is the freedom they.

Unlike primary keywords, with secondary keywords you have a little more flexibility because of the greater numbers you can employ. This article will show you how to make the most use of these secondary keywords, starting with these tips and tricks:

Use Secondary Keywords for Social and PPC

As mentioned previously, you need to make use of secondary keywords in all your posts and as much as you can. 

Your content may differ but the goal is the same. You want to gain the most views on your online posts, and direct the most traffic to your website. So don’t forget to use your primary and secondary keywords with every link to your website in social posts or display ads.

Secondary Keyword Density

The optimum number of secondary keywords to add to your SEO ranges from 4-8, depending on the content.

You can go over 8 if necessary but never above 10, adding too many secondary keywords diminishes its purpose, and your results will disappoint you. 

Focus on Topics

When you’re listing secondary keywords, it’s easy to get side-tracked and start thinking outside the box. Set your mindset to someone who could be searching for your page, and list the search words they would use to find exactly what you’re offering. 

In a sense, your secondary keywords need to be more specific rather than general, and when you feel like you’re beginning to stray away from the topic, that’s when you’ve come up with your secondary keywords list.

Find Longtail Keywords

Keywords are not exclusively words, they can be phrases or short sentences. This applies to your primary as well as secondary keywords. A thesaurus would be helpful when deciding on your secondary keywords, because of the different words searchers could use. 

For example, if one of your secondary keywords is “advantages of mobile phones”, you might want to switch “advantages” with “benefits” or “values”.

Balance Primary and Secondary Keywords

Primary and secondary keywords are nothing without  one another, and it’s up to you to use that to your benefit. If you’ve chosen a primary keyword, try to branch out from that specific word or phrase to a more specific one. 

For example, if your primary keyword is “charger”, your secondary keywords could be “phone charger”, “laptop charger” etc. From that you can even branch out more, as long as your sticking to the main topic of what your site is offering.

Focus on Providing Value for Readers

While good SEO could direct traffic to your site, making your content useful and engaging will increase your ratings and improve your ranking. That way, your web page, site, or article is bound to come up more often and generate more and more views.

Whether you’re creating content or working on the SEO process, always remember your audience. 

You need to connect with what they want to see and how they’re going to reach it. 

This will help you stay accurate and focused on your content and what your audience is really looking for. Putting your mind in the head of a consumer will lead to the best SEO processes and generate the greatest results for your business.

Keyword Generator Tools: A guide for Beginners, Long tail keywords

Secondary Keyword Research Tools

At this point, you might be thinking how on earth are you going to generate so many effective keywords. If you’re not an SEO professional, generating keywords might be tough, but it’s definitely doable considering the wide range of online tools you can use. 

Keyword generators are online tools that turn your single primary keyword into multiple secondary keywords using information they can gather online.

By looking at search trends and the current popular keywords, these tools can help you generate an effective list of keywords for your SEO. But, never leave it all up to technology, you need to closely look over the secondary keywords generated and decide for yourself whether or not they will be useful. 

Take a look at this list of keyword generators to help you pick your list on secondary keywords.

Google Keyword Planner Tool

Keyword Planner helps you generate a long list of keywords based on the primary keywords you put in. With a Google account, you can find out the monthly search volume, the competition level, and the suggested bid on all the keywords on Google AdWords.

secondary keywords - Google Keyword Planner
The Google Keyword Planner can help you to generate ideas for your keywords but the responsibility for your choices lies with you. Credit: ProfileTree.com

Answer The Public

Like any keyword generator, Answer the Public offers a moderate list of keywords based on one primary keyword. While many of the keywords may be helpful, make sure to take a close look at them before applying them to your list of secondary keywords.

Keyword Tool

Keyword Tool is another free application that helps you generate keywords based on your keyword entry. It gathers information from Google, YouTube, Amazon and other search engines to create a long list of auto-complete answers for any keyword. 

While you can use this tool for free, they do have an option for a paid membership which offers you more options. We’ve discussed some of the best SEO tools in our Ultimate Guide to SEO.

Word tracker’s Keywords Tool

Another free tool is Wordtracker’s Keyword tool. Very similarly, this tool can generate keywords based on the different levels of specificity. You can use this to determine primary, secondary or even tertiary keywords. 

It is free to use but make sure that your selection of secondary keywords remains relevant.

The Untold Story of Secondary Keywords

While a high ranking in search results is certainly desirable, secondary keywords offer a wealth of benefits that extend far beyond just climbing the SERP ladder. Let’s delve deeper into how these strategic terms can elevate your content and website in unexpected ways:

1. Precision Targeting: Unearthing the Right Audience:

Think of primary keywords as broad avenues, attracting a diverse crowd of visitors. Secondary keywords, on the other hand, act as side streets, leading you to a more specific clientele. By incorporating these targeted terms, you address user intent with granular precision. Someone searching for “best smartphone gimbal for travel vlogging UK” has a clearer purpose than someone simply googling “smartphone gimbal.”

By catering to this specific need, you’ll attract visitors actively interested in buying your product or engaging with your content, resulting in qualified leads and higher conversion rates.

2. Content Nirvana: Building Bridges of Relevance:

Secondary keywords act like puzzle pieces, filling the gaps and creating a comprehensive picture for your audience. They allow you to go beyond superficial coverage and delve into the nuances of your topic. Imagine an article about the DJI Osmo Mobile 2. While “DJI Osmo Mobile 2 features” covers the basics, including secondary keywords like “travel vlog mode,” “phone compatibility,” and “creative shooting tips” paints a richer picture, satisfying diverse user needs and solidifying your position as a content authority.

3. Engagement Elixir: Igniting the Spark of Connection:

Content stuffed with only primary keywords can feel cold and robotic. Secondary keywords, however, breathe life into your work by allowing you to connect with your audience on a deeper level. By addressing their specific concerns and interests, you foster engagement.

Imagine offering tips on using the Osmo Mobile 2 for low-light vlogging or smartphone filmmaking. Readers will appreciate the value you provide, spend more time on your site, and be more likely to subscribe or return for future content.

4. Authority Amplification: The Halo Effect of Topical Relevance:

Using well-chosen secondary keywords strategically demonstrates your understanding of your subject matter. By weaving them into your content with expertise, you establish yourself as a thought leader in your field. Search engines take note of this topical relevance, boosting your authority and positioning your website as a trustworthy source of information.

This, in turn, can lead to higher rankings not just for your primary keyword, but for a broader range of related queries, expanding your reach and influence.

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Unlocking the Treasure Chest of Secondary Power

Finding the right secondary keywords is like digging for buried treasure – exciting, strategic, and potentially rewarding. Let’s equip you with some powerful tools and tactics to unearth high-impact terms that will elevate your content:

1. Tapping into Treasure Troves: Keyword Research Tools:

  • Google Keyword Planner: This free tool from Google offers insights into search volume, competition, and related keywords for your primary keyword.
  • SEMrush: This powerful platform dives deeper, revealing competitor keyword strategies, organic traffic data, and long-tail keyword variations.
  • Ahrefs: For the data-driven explorer, Ahrefs provides comprehensive keyword research, competitor analysis, and backlink profiles, uncovering hidden keyword gems.

2. Deconstructing the Competition: A Spy Game for Better Rankings:

Analyze the content of your top competitors. See what secondary keywords they are using, identify gaps in their coverage, and capitalize on them with unique and valuable information.

3. The Oracle Speaks: Google’s Whispers of “People Also Searched For”:

Don’t ignore the wisdom of Google’s “People Also Searched For” section. These are user-driven questions and related topics that offer a goldmine of secondary keyword inspiration. Understand what users are curious about and answer those questions within your content.

4. Question Quest: Unearthing Hidden Gems:

Think like a detective and gather user questions from online forums, social media comments, and review sections. These often-overlooked gems reveal specific concerns and interests, providing prime material for high-impact secondary keywords.

5. Long-Tail Trails: Where Treasure Lies Hidden:

Long-tail keywords, those specific and detailed phrases, hold immense potential. Tools like Google Trends and AnswerthePublic can help you discover these hidden gems, attracting users with precise intents and boosting your conversions.

Choosing Effective Secondary Keywords

When you’ve generated a list of keywords, make sure to review them all and get rid of the ones you will not need. Get rid of anything too generic or irrelevant to maintain the specificity of your keywords and direct the most precise set of audiences to your web page. 

To determine whether or not the keyword is useful, ask yourself if someone searching this keyword is looking for the content on your site, and whether or not it is relevant to the content you post.

The most important thing to take away from this article, is to not overlook the power of secondary keywords. In addition to your primary keywords, secondary keywords play an essential role in directly the exact type of traffic you want on your site. 

There are many factors that come into play when talking about SEO, however, never underestimate the power of secondary keywords.

Mastering the Advanced Art of Secondary Keywords

While the fundamental techniques we’ve covered will empower you to integrate secondary keywords effectively, there’s a whole hidden kingdom of SEO riches waiting to be explored. Let’s delve into some advanced strategies that will catapult your content and website to the next level:

1. Topical Clusters and Silo Structures: Building an Impregnable Keyword Fortress:

Imagine your website as a vast castle, with each room (topic) holding valuable treasures (secondary keywords). Topical clusters and silo structures help you organize these treasures strategically. By grouping related content and keywords into clusters, you create mini-kingdoms within your website, offering users a focused, relevant experience. Each cluster becomes a hub of authority, attracting both search engines and users, boosting your overall ranking and engagement.

2. User Intent Alchemy: Transmuting Queries into Content Gold:

Search phases, user intent, and keyword variations – these are the alchemical ingredients you can transform into content gold. Go beyond just “what is…” and “best…” queries. Explore informational, navigational, and transactional intent. Understand what users are seeking at each stage of their search journey and tailor your content accordingly. Create guides for beginners, in-depth reviews for informed buyers, and actionable tutorials for those ready to take action. By meeting user intent with laser precision, you’ll see traffic, engagement, and conversions skyrocket.

3. The Data Delvers: Tracking and Refining for Everlasting Keyword Mastery:

The journey of SEO doesn’t end with publishing content. It’s an ongoing quest, fueled by data and fueled by analysis. Tools like Google Search Console and keyword ranking trackers reveal how your secondary keywords are performing. See which ones are driving traffic, which ones are bringing in conversions, and which ones need a strategic tweak. Regularly refine your keyword strategy based on this data, replacing underperforming terms and capitalizing on rising stars. Remember, SEO is a continuous process, and tracking your secondary keyword performance is the compass that guides you towards everlasting keyword mastery.

Beyond the Basics:

  • Leverage topic modeling tools: These tools analyze large amounts of text and identify hidden relationships between keywords, helping you uncover new clusters and refine your content strategy.
  • Personalize user journeys: Utilize dynamic content and user segmentation to deliver specific content based on individual search intent and preferences, further enhancing relevance and engagement.
  • Embrace voice search optimization: Voice queries often use longer, more natural language. Consider these variations when building your secondary keyword strategy to cater to the growing voice search landscape.


  1. Understand the Topic: Get a deep understanding of your primary topic to find relevant secondary terms.
  2. Research Related Terms: Use keyword research tools to find related terms with decent search volume and lower competition.
  3. Analyse Search Intent: Ensure the secondary keywords align with the search intent of your target audience.
  4. Look at Competitors: See what secondary terms competitors are using to rank for similar content.
  5. Consider Long-Tail Variants: Choose long-tail secondary keywords as they are more specific and often easier to rank for.

Frequently Asked Questions about Secondary Keywords:

Q: What are secondary keywords?

A: Secondary keywords are terms closely related to your primary keyword that add specificity and nuance to your content. They help you target a more precise audience, improve user experience, and enhance your website’s topical relevance.

Q: Why are secondary keywords important?

A: Using secondary keywords strategically can:

  • Boost SEO: Improve search engine ranking by addressing a wider range of user queries and demonstrating topical authority.
  • Drive targeted traffic: Attract visitors who are actively interested in your product or content, leading to higher conversion rates.
  • Enhance user experience: Provide content that is relevant, engaging, and answers specific user needs.
  • Build topical authority: Demonstrate your expertise in your field, leading to increased trust and loyalty from your audience.

Q: How do I find effective secondary keywords?

A: Use keyword research tools, analyze competitor content, pay attention to related searches and “People also searched for” suggestions, and consider user questions and long-tail keyword variations.

Q: How do I integrate secondary keywords into my content?

A: Use them naturally in subheadings, headers, body text, meta descriptions, image alt tags, and internal linking anchor text. Prioritize content quality and user experience over keyword stuffing.

Q: What are some advanced techniques for using secondary keywords?

A: Utilize topical clusters and silo structures, target user intent and search phases, track your keyword performance and refine your strategy over time, leverage topic modeling tools, personalize user journeys, and embrace voice search optimization.

Conclusion: Unleashing the Power of Secondary Keywords for SEO Success

Secondary keywords are not just SEO magic dust; they are powerful tools for crafting meaningful content, attracting targeted visitors, and building lasting relationships with your audience. By understanding their potential and implementing them strategically, you can unlock a treasure trove of benefits for your online presence. Embrace the ever-evolving world of SEO, delve into the depths of user intent, and weave your keywords with finesse.

Remember, the journey to SEO mastery is continuous, but with the right tools and insights, your website can become a magnet for targeted traffic, engagement, and lasting success. Now, go forth and unleash the power of secondary keywords to conquer the online world!

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