Powering Your Marketing Engine

Why You Should Have Primary and Secondary SEO Keywords in Your Blog Content

December 15, 2022   Posted By Laura Schreiber

We all know that in SEO, keywords drive visibility. The more we repeat a focus keyword in content, the higher your organic search results, right? Not exactly. Not only can this type of “keyword stuffing” get you suspended by Google, but it’s a bad organic search strategy.  

Ranking in organic searches is instead about the right mix of primary and second keywords and keeping context and user experience front and center. Primary keywords are almost always your company’s key offerings, what we typically call “category terms.” However, these can be too vague with low search volume, or highly competitive and therefore hard to achieve a high rank. 

Secondary keywords, which typically are three-or-four-word phrases known as long-tail keywords, are supporting keywords that help focus your efforts and increase your visibility for more niche and narrow searches. And secondary keywords carry many benefits, including improved organic search rankings, increased quality visits, and decreased bounces. Furthermore, having primary and secondary keywords is becoming even more relevant as we see user behavior change from a simple keyword search to creating questions or long-tail keywords.  

The Difference Between Primary Keywords and Secondary Keywords  

You’re always going to have content centered around your main product or service, such as dust collectors, sight glasses, enclosures, or power supplies. After all, why would you be promoting anything else? But just talking about the same subject will get repetitive and not be the fresh content Google, or your customers, are looking for in their searches. And if you are in an industry with a high volume of traffic, say software, then getting high organic rankings won’t be an attainable goal. But if you target keywords such as “software for HVAC contractors,” you’ll have better search results because your content is more targeted. Now, what if you made software for HVAC contractors that also helped them manage their proposals or send appointment reminders to prospects? Then you could write about: 

  1. Software that helps HVAC contractors write better proposals 
  1. Software to help HVAC contractors with appointment reminders 
  1. Software for HVAC contractors to close more deals 

Do you see what we’ve done here? We have the main keyword, software, supported by the secondary keywords, software for HVAC contractors, with more secondary keywords that can rank the content. We’ve made it more contextual, more relevant to a specific search, thus helping Google and the searcher find us more readily. And these can be the basis of quality pages, blogs, articles, videos and more, all supporting organic search results. 

Secondary Keyword Strategy  

So now, let’s look at all the ways you can use secondary keywords to drive more quality traffic that has higher search intent to buy. These steps will expand your organic results, target the right audience, and start the conversation with customers that will convert into more sales qualified leads (SQLs).  

  1. Long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords help focus a topic on the solution it’s providing. In our example above, we’re talking about how our software for HVAC contractors will solve problems – better proposals and customer engagement. Both of those examples are long-tail keywords. You probably would never have your focus keyword be a long-tail keyword because it’s too hard to make them sound natural when used repetitively. But as a supporting or secondary keyword, it’s a great fit.  
  1. Focus on a problematic ranking. Just like our “software” example, it may be too hard to rank for your primary or focus keyword. And you may not reach the right market. Secondary keywords are excellent modifiers to help your content focus on precisely what your customers need and how your product or service will benefit them. Remember, many people are searching by talking into their phones or asking a question, and this is where using secondary keywords as a solution to common questions will help your rankings. 
  1. Links to other pages. You can use secondary keywords as internal links to other pages, resources, blogs, and more. This has a couple of different benefits. For one, you’re going to continue to engage with customers and enhance their user experience (UX). Also, Google can recognize your links as supportive to your content. And if one of the pages you’re linking to already has a strong ranking in search results, you’re helping that page become even stronger. Finally, be sure to link to different pages, because the more links you have, the more overall boost you’ll get, even on some of the hard-to-rank keywords.  
  1. Use as a tactic to increase search results. In our example, we wrote about how the software was going to help contractors send appointment reminders to prospects. But what if a contractor didn’t know software could do that and instead searched for ways to remind prospects of their appointments? Now our software company has come up in their search without even using our focus keyword, software.  
  1. Sound natural without keyword stuffing. Have you ever gone to a page that had repetitive text that seemed to make no sense? Yep, that’s keyword stuffing, and Google’s on top of it. By providing relevant copy around your focus keyword, you’ll ensure supportive content that helps organic searches without stuffing.  
  1. Support your strategy. You’ll find this a lot with companies that want to increase their rankings in specific markets or areas. Your primary business is your focus keyword, and your secondary keywords are your support. However, as your company goals constantly change, you might occasionally incorporate interim or revised strategies. For example, say our software company noticed sales were lagging in the Northeast. In looking at a strategy of increasing sales, they might want to create content, such as a case study, incorporating keywords for this area: 
  • An HVAC contractor in New England increases revenue 30% 
  • Case study of an HVAC contractor with customers in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and surrounding areas.  
  • How incorporating proposal software helped a Connecticut contractor increase its revenue by 30%.  

Not only is the company creating valuable content that offers solutions for potential customers, but they are also optimizing keywords that get their content in front of the right customers in the targeted area.  

Remember that search engine marketing will always be fluid and changing to match your company’s sales goals. Your SEO keyword strategy is the essential first step of your company’s digital marketing funnel to target the right customers and get them to your website. And by creating quality content, you’ll also build trust and nurture leads.  

Goldstein Group Communications has proven results in achieving higher rankings in organic searches and creating quality content for even the most technical products and services. Contact us to start your website and SEO audit. If you’re interested in learning more about the digital marketing funnel and how your digital campaigns are performing, check out our blog, Is Your Digital Marketing Performing Up to Par? Three Numbers Tell Whether You’re a Leader or a Laggard 




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