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Empower Your Search Skills: Understanding What Is A Search Term

In a world flooded with information, understanding “what is a search term” is key to unlocking Google’s search engine secrets. This knowledge is crucial for optimizing your blog or website to climb to the top of search engine rankings.

Understanding search terms is crucial for effective search engine optimization (SEO). This knowledge extends beyond mere keywords, it’s about identifying the phrases and questions your audience uses when searching online.

Let’s explore the topic of search terms, from what a search term is, to how to find them to how to craft good content around these search terms.

What Are Search Terms?

First, let’s define a search term:

Search Term

The specific word or set of words that users enter into a search engine to find information.

Also called keywords.

Note: In practice there is a slight difference between “search term” and “keyword”. Keywords are generally the targeted words or phrases that SEO professionals and digital content creators aim to rank for. Search terms, on the other hand, are the actual queries typed by users into the search box. They represent real-world usage and can vary widely in their format, from single words to complex phrases or questions.

These search terms are crucial for SEO strategies because they are the direct link between what people are looking for and the content you provide on your website or blog. Understanding and targeting the right search terms can boost the visibility of your site in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Targeting the right search terms can lead to more search traffic, higher engagement, and increased conversions.

Examples of Search Terms

Let’s give some practical examples of search terms so they become more obvious what they are. We will use the topic of “keto diet” as an example.

Example search terms by category based on the topic of “keto diet”:

CategorySearch Terms
Basic Information and GuidesWhat is the keto diet?
Keto diet basics
How to start a keto diet
Benefits of the keto diet
Keto diet plan for beginners
Specific Foods and RecipesKeto recipes
Keto breakfast ideas
Low-carb snacks for keto
Keto-friendly desserts
Best fats for keto diet
Health and NutritionKeto diet and weight loss
Keto diet side effects
Nutritional supplements for keto
Keto diet and diabetes
Long-term effects of keto diet
Fitness and LifestyleKeto diet workout plan
Keto meal prep
Eating out on keto diet
Keto lifestyle tips
Combining intermittent fasting and keto
Advanced and Niche TopicsKeto diet macros calculator
Vegetarian keto meal plan
Keto diet for athletes
Keto and heart health
Keto diet scientific research

Before targeting specific search terms for blog posts, conducting keyword research is essential. Typically, longer search terms, known as long-tail keywords, are easier to rank for. They also provide more context, which aids in crafting relevant and engaging content.

For new bloggers or website owners, targeting two-word search terms like “keto diet” might not be the best strategy due to high competition. Instead, focus on longer search terms such as “keto diet basics” or “keto diet recipes” is a more effective strategy. These longer terms are not only easier to rank for but also allow for more detailed and targeted content that can better meet the needs of your audience.

Crafting Content Around Search Terms

crafting content around your search terms

Understanding what search terms are and their role in driving search traffic to your website is crucial. Now, let’s looks into how to create content focused on these search terms.

1. Make the Search Term Your Focal Point

Your blog post should revolve around the search term. Include your search terms within the title and ensure that all of your content remains focused on this topic, avoid straying into unrelated topics.

2. Strategic Placement of the Search Term

To optimize your content for search engines, integrate the search term in several key locations within your blog post:

  • Title: This is critical as it appears in Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
  • Header (H1): Ensures the main topic is immediately recognized.
  • Within the Blog Post Text: Mention the search term multiple times to emphasize its relevance.
  • Subheaders: Including the search term in some subheaders helps structure your content and improve SEO.
  • Image Alternative Text: Enhances SEO and accessibility, explaining the image’s relevance to the search term.
  • Blog Post URL: WordPress automatically includes the title in the URL, aiding in SEO.
  • Meta Description: This summary appears in SERPs and should contain the search term to attract clicks.

The search term should visibly recur throughout your blog post. If it doesn’t, Google may not index your post for that term, resulting in missed search traffic opportunities.

Follow these guidelines to create content that performs well in search rankings.

Tools and Techniques for Identifying Effective Search Terms

You have various options and tools to evaluate what search terms you should target for your blog or website.

One common approach is using Google’s search engine, particularly its autosuggest feature. By typing in a part of your search term, Google will offer suggestions based on popular queries. While this method provides immediate insights into trending search terms, it doesn’t account for the competitiveness of these keywords.

What is a Search Term: google autosuggest

In reality, some keywords will simply be out of reach for most bloggers or website owners unless your site is very popular already.

For a more strategic approach, consider investing in a dedicated keyword research tool. These platforms offer comprehensive keyword research reports, giving you a wealth of data on potential keywords. More importantly, they include filters to help you refine your search to terms you’re more likely to rank for.

Here is an example keyword research report:

SE Ranking keyword research report
SE Ranking – Keyword Research Report showing search term, difficulty, monthly search volume

In the above keyword research report for “keto diet”, you can see similar keywords. Note, all of them except the original search term are limited to keyword difficulty of 30 or less. This helps you see keywords that are easier to rank for only. The monthly search volume is shown to the right of the keyword difficulty. This shows the total search volume for this search term over a month. You can expect to receive 30% of this total if you ranked top on the first page of Google.

Below is a screenshot of filters you can apply to a keyword research report:

SE Ranking keyword filter report
SE Ranking – Filter keyword research report

If you’re curious to test one of these tools, many offer free trials or versions, allowing you to conduct preliminary research without a financial commitment. Try out the keyword research tool from SE Ranking for free, just type a keyword you are interested into the widget below:

Final Thoughts

Thanks for reading this blog post! Here are the main takeaways:

  • A search term is the specific word or set of words that users enter into a search engine to find information.
  • Targeting the right search terms can boost search traffic to your website or blog.
  • Investing in a keyword research tool will help you find keywords you can rank for.


Now you know what a search term is, it’s crucial to apply this knowledge. Identify relevant search terms to boost your site’s visibility, draw in more targeted visitors, and boost your search engine rankings.

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