Guide to primary keywords in SEO and content writing.

Primary Keywords: How to Find Them in 5 Ways

Diana Aghumyan

Table of Contents

You may not be aware, but you’ve probably dealt with primary keywords if you’ve written an article or performed keyword research. It is because finding primary keywords is the first step when writing website content.

In other words, finding primary keywords is an integral part of an effective keyword research process. Therefore, you should create a list of primary keywords, also known as seed keywords, to set a strong foundation for your content strategy.

So, it should be no surprise why so many marketers conduct keyword research before starting content creation. In fact, approximately 78% of B2B marketers perform keyword research for SEO when creating content.

In today’s blog post, you will learn what seed keywords are and how to find and incorporate them into your SEO strategy.

What are Primary Keywords?

Primary or seed keywords are words/phrases you can use at the very beginning of a keyword research process to discover more keywords.

Perceive them as building blocks of keyword research. For example, if you sell shoes online, then you can use primary keywords like sandals, high heels, footwear, sneakers, boots, etc.

To find relevant primary keywords related to your industry:

  • Sign in to your Ahrefs account
  • Head to “Keywords Explorer” section

When you drop these seed keywords into Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer and navigate to a keyword ideas report, you’ll unlock millions of potential keywords:

Finding seed keywords on Ahrefs.

After finding a few relevant seed keywords for your site, you can build on them with modifiers to come up with more keyword ideas.

But why is it essential to allocate time to developing a good seed keywords list

Why are Primary Keywords Important in Keyword Research?

Nowadays, keywords are just as important as they were a couple of years ago. They are everywhere. Whether you are writing articles and outreach emails or creating content for social media posts, using target keywords is a must. Make sure to include your primary keyword in blog titles, meta descriptions, and meta titles as well.

Indeed, they are not the main factor you should focus on while optimizing your content. You should also improve your website, as well as link-building activities, social signals, site navigation, and schema markup.

However, doing keyword research is the initial step to effective content optimization and understanding the search intent of your target audience.

But how do primary keywords help your SEO efforts?

Primary keywords play a vital role since they have the highest search volume within a specific cluster of keywords that a page is aiming to target and potentially rank for.

Besides, these keywords help search engines understand the relevance of your content to specific user queries. When you add relevant keywords to your article, you increase the chances of your website appearing in search results for those particular words/phrases. This allows you to attract more organic traffic and improve your search engine rankings.

Also, finding primary keywords is beneficial in terms of blog post ideation. Sometimes, it is challenging to find content ideas, but when you have a huge list of seed words/phrases related to your industry, coming up with blog titles becomes much easier.

Last but not least, using primary keywords in your website content can also enhance your site’s click-through rates. When people see search results that match their query and contain the specific keywords they searched for, they are more motivated to click on those results.

Difference Between Primary Keywords and Secondary Keywords

Along with primary keywords, there are also secondary keywords. So, what’s the difference between them?
I’m glad you asked.

Both primary and secondary keywords matter when it comes to writing website content. However, there are a few differences you should take into consideration.

Primary keywords are keywords that represent the core topic or theme. They reflect the main purpose of your content.
Secondary keywords, on the other hand, are related terms that support and complement the primary keyword. Unlike primary keywords, these are more specific and provide additional context and relevance to the content.

An example of a primary keyword can be the word “restaurant.” Secondary keywords for this primary keyword can be “restaurants near me,” “fine dining restaurants,” and “ethnic restaurants.”

How to Find Primary Keywords for Your Content in 5 Ways

Now that you know what primary keywords or head terms are and why they play a significant role in keyword research, it is time to unveil some of the most actionable ways to find such keywords.

Keep reading!

Make a List of Variations for Your Target Keyword

When it comes to keyword research and finding head keywords, it is highly recommended to make up a list of obvious variations and synonyms of the head terms you are researching.

SEO tools like Ahrefs can help you to do so.

For instance, if you drop “summer t-shirt” into Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer, then you’re not going to see keyword ideas for the plural “summer t-shirts.”

Look for other niche terms in your search for seed keywords. When using Ahrefs, you might have come across the “Also talk about” tab (under Related terms report).

Using Ahrefs "Also talk about" section to find primary keywords.

Use this tab, as it can be highly useful for finding other niche head terms. You can discover keywords that the current top-ranking pages use.

Then simply use that URL in Ahrefs’ Site Explorer. This way, you can review the page ranks and then look for other potential seed keywords.

Based on these methods, if you sell summer t-shirts online, then you can generate words and phrases like:

[summer tees]
[summer shirts]
[summer t shirts]

If you have no clue about your niche, it might be challenging to try out the above-mentioned methods. However, you can check out competitors to grab some ideas. Ahrefs not only allows users to learn competitor backlinks but also learn what keywords they are ranking for.

Study Your Competitors

So, as we have already said, it is recommended that you do an SEO competitor analysis if you are not familiar with the niche enough and need some ideas.

When using Ahrefs’ Site Explorer to discover head terms, use the Organic keywords report and the Top Pages report.
Here’s why:

Using Ahref’s organic keyword data is one of the quickest ways to find potential seed keywords.
For instance, let’s say you want to research the topic “sunglasses.”

The first thing you will need to do is choose a site related to that topic. For the purpose of this example, we’ll go with Ray-Ban.

  • Open Ahrefs 
  • Head to “Site explorer”
  • Enter into Site Explorer
    Using Ahrefs Site Explorer to find primary keywords.
  • Click on “Keywords” under “Organic Search” to explore the keywords the website is ranking for.

When looking at organic keywords it is ranking for, we can see “wayfarer sunglasses,” which is a head term that might not come to your mind when thinking about keywords connected with sunglasses:

Organic keywords on Ahrefs.

So, why should you do this? Because you want to discover potential keywords you may miss, and this is an amazing way to speed that up.

It is a great way to analyze your competitors, as they have already done the research for you, which saves you a lot of time. Besides, if you lack fresh ideas, you can use Ahrefs to find more competitors and see what keywords they are ranking for.

Use the SERPs to Find Primary Keywords

Indeed, Ahrefs is great when it comes to keyword research, as well as monitoring your backlink profile, analyzing your competitors, and assessing your website’s SEO performance.

However, relying solely on this tool won’t help you find primary keywords and use them in your blog for better ranking and traffic.

You should try different approaches, and using the SERPs is a method worth trying.

SERPs are a great source of information even though they lack important information like search volume and traffic insights. However, you can always use Ahreds to easily get this data.

But how to get started?

First, download Ahref’s SEO toolbar extension. It provides useful information about important SEO metrics, such as search volume and keyword difficulty.

Next, write your website’s main topic in the Google search bar. You’ll find a bunch of related keywords.

The tool allows you to export the results in an Excel file, which is amazing, as you can have all the information in one place.
If you don’t want to use an SEO tool, you can do it manually too.

This is when the People Also Ask section comes in handy. Actually, about 8% of search queries are question keywords. So, don’t ignore this section, as it allows you to find popular questions that people want to find answers to. Although questions are more suitable to long-tail keyword phrases, they can still provide valuable insights into broader topics that can be used as a starting point for seed keywords.

Keep in mind that your keyword clustering is going to revolve around the primary keywords you choose. So, whether you choose this method or another one, choose your seed keywords strategically.

Using Google's People Also Ask section to find keywords.

At the bottom of the SERP, you can also find Related searches. This section not only provides additional seed keywords but also gives you ideas for modifiers you can add to your primary keywords to make them more specific.

Using Google Related Searches section to find keywords.

Google autocomplete suggestions are also great when it comes to generating ideas for primary keywords. It suggests keyword modifiers you can add to the primary keywords you research.

For example, if you type in “protein bar,” Google suggests “protein bar recipe” and “protein calories.”

Using Google Suggest to find keywords.

Look for Primary Keywords in Google Search Console

Google Search Console can also help you find your most important search queries. It enables you to see which keywords your content is ranking for in search engine rankings. And can use this information to identify even more seed keywords.

To use GSC to find primary keywords, navigate to Performance. You can find a list of keywords your content already ranks for in the Queries tab on the right. Then, you can export this list to find relevant seed keywords for your blog.

Using Google Search Console to find keywords.

Final Thoughts

Identifying primary keywords is crucial for optimizing your content and driving targeted traffic to your website. Finding primary keywords is not challenging.

By following the above-mentioned tips, you can easily find primary keywords and incorporate them strategically throughout your content, including in titles, headings, and meta tags.

Thanks for reading, and good luck!

FAQ About Primary Keywords

Can I use multiple primary keywords for a single piece of content?

You can target multiple primary keywords in a single piece of content, but it is recommended to focus on one main keyword for each piece. This enables you to maintain clarity and relevance, both for search engines and users.

Do primary keywords guarantee high search rankings?

Primary keywords are an integral part of SEO, but they alone cannot guarantee high search rankings. Google and other search engines consider various factors, including the quality and relevance of content, website authority, user experience, and backlinks, among others.

Should I use primary keywords in my meta tags?

Yes, it is recommended to add primary keywords in your meta tags. These elements provide search engines and users with a quick overview of your web page’s content, and including relevant keywords can help improve visibility and CTR.

How often should I update my primary keywords?

It’s important to regularly assess and update your primary keywords based on changes in user search behavior, industry trends, and your website performance. Review your keywords at least once every few months to ensure they are relevant and effective.

How frequently should primary keywords be used in content?

The frequency of using primary keywords within content depends on different factors, including the length of the content and the natural flow of the writing. You need to make sure there is no keyword stuffing and your primary keyword is used strategically.

Should primary keywords be broad or specific?

It’s generally recommended to use both broad and specific primary keywords. Broad keywords capture a wider audience, while specific keywords target a more niche audience.


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