Secondary Keywords: How to Leapfrog your SEO Competitors

How to beat your competitors with secondary keywords guide
Secondary keywords are terms that are used to support the primary keyword. Credit: rohitink.com

When setting up your webpage for Search Engine Optimization, 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 optimizing 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 these secondary 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.

The Difference Between Primary and Secondary Keywords         

Primary and secondary 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.

Example of related secondary keywords
If you want to find secondary keywords then look out for closely related terms to the primary keyword. Credit: ProfileTree.com

Primary Keywords

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

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 keywords. 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.

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.

discovering new keywords with google ads' 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.

Wordtracker’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.

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.

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