What are search terms? (With examples)

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What is a search term?

The definition of a search term (or search query) is simple. A search term is a single word or several words (search phrase) that a user types into the search box of a search engine. Search engines like Google interpret search terms to understand user intent and return the most relevant results.

Examples of search terms

Here are some sample search terms:

A single word search term: [reliablesoft] – The user’s intention is to find more information about ‘reliablesoft’.

Search phrase (multiple words): [How to tie a tie] – The user is looking for instructions on how to tie a tie!

Here’s another example of a search query: [buy white running shoes men] – User intent is very specific. You are looking to buy white running shoes.

What is the difference between a search term and a keyword?

If you are familiar with the SEO Basics, you may start thinking “Are search terms the same as keywords?”. Some people will say that it is the same, but in reality there is a little difference.

SEO training

A search term is anything that users type into the search box while keywords it is what search engines have in their index.

During the crawling and indexing phase, search engines crawl a page and extract the keywords it is associated with and this is how it is stored in their index.

During the ranking process, they take the search query and split it into multiple keywords and then search their index to find matching pages.

In many cases these two (search terms and keywords) are a perfect match, while in some cases search engine algorithms using the help of machine learning will try to figure out what the user is actually searching for. .

In both cases, Google will respond to the search query using the best possible results because it has sophisticated ranking algorithms that can extract the user’s intent from what the user types into the search box.

Related reading: How search engines work

Why are search terms important for search engine marketing?

Everybody search engine marketing campaigns are based on search terms or keywords.

Knowing what users type into a search engine’s search box will help you fine-tune your campaigns to meet their intent.

Let’s see what happens when someone enters a search query into Google, the most popular search engine.

As soon as you type a query and click search, Google will show you a set of results that are most likely to satisfy your intent.

Results can be classified into two main categories, paid results (Google Ads) and organic results (also known as SEO results).

Organic and paid results in Google searchOrganic and paid results in Google search

Paid ads are shown above and below the results, and in between, Google shows organic results.

In most cases there are many ads competing for a top position and hundreds of web pages competing for a position on the first page of results.

Search Engine Advertising

The ads displayed on Google are relevant to the search term entered in the search box.

As an advertiser, if you want people to click on your ads, you first need to find out what search terms are being used in relation to your products and services. This process is called keyword research.

Once you do your research and create ads that include your target search terms, you can use Google Ads to “bid” on the terms you want your ads to show.

Google Ads is Google’s advertising platform that is responsible for the ads you see on Google search.

It uses a sophisticated algorithm to decide which ads to show for each search term based on a number of factors including the user’s location, device, bid, and many other factors.

Search Engine Optimization

With search engine optimization (or SEO), you can optimize your website and content for specific search terms so that it appears on the first page of organic results when a related search query is typed into Google.

During the ranking process, Google will take the search query and break it down into multiple keywords. It will then search its index to find which pages can best satisfy the user’s intent.

One of the most important Search engine positioning factorsis the relevance of the content to the search terms.

This means that your content should include those search terms in multiple places, including the page title, header, and body of your page. This is known as On-Page SEO.

Related reading: The different types of SEO

How do I find the search terms?

It is estimated that more than 6 billion searches are performed every day on Google!

What is more interesting is that 15% of those searches they are new. This means that 15% of the search terms typed in Google each day have never been used before.

There are several tools you can use to find out what these search terms are in order to optimize your paid and organic campaigns.

Google search

People also ask and related searchesPeople also ask and related searches

When you start typing a search term into Google, it gives you instant suggestions about what other people have searched for related to that term.

Within the Google search results, you can also see the ‘People Also Ask’ and ‘Related Searches’ section.

This is the easiest and fastest way to find keywords related to your search terms.

Google trends

Find search terms using Google TrendsFind search terms using Google Trends

Google Trends is a free tool from Google that allows you to enter a search term and see what people are searching for related to that term.

You also get information about trending searches and popular searches grouped by year, country, and topics.

Google keyword tool

Find Keywords Using Google Keyword ToolFind Keywords Using Google Keyword Tool

The Google keyword tool is another free tool from Google that allows you to enter a search term and see the related keywords.

For each keyword, you can see the search volume per month, keyword competition, and other useful information.

Key learnings

A search term or search query is anything that people type into a search engine’s search box.

Search engines take search terms and associate them with keywords available in their index.

During the ranking process, their algorithms use a number of factors to decide which pages are most relevant to those keywords and can satisfy the user’s intent.

Having the search terms in your content is important, but it’s not the only factor. Google uses more than 200 factors to decide what results to show for a given search term.

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