What is the difference between search queries and keywords?

What is the difference between search queries and keywords?

Keywords and search queries are related but they are not the same.  We often hear the phrases “queries” and “keywords” in relation to SEO. But what do they signify?  Do both of these terms mean the same thing or are they different. In this post I am going to discuss their role in Search Engine Optimization and Google Analytics as well as Adwords.

The difference between the two terms  “keywords” and “search queries”  and yes they are different is explained below!

Keywords only exist on the advertisers end. So in other words “keywords” are words or phrases that you bid on in Google and pay per click. You actually input the keywords into your Pay Per Click account. You bid on the keywords in the hope that users type them into their  search query, which hopefully displays your ad – leading to more clicks and potential sales.

Search Queries:
Search queries are what the user actually types in to Google to trigger your ad. They exist on the user’s end. Search queries are often  misspelled, words organized in a strange order, or could only be somewhat related to your keyword. Search queries are the words and phrases that are actually typed by people searching on Google.

To learn more about search queries you can run a report in Google Analytics  labeled search query report. The search query report allows you to see how users search and even how they act on their search results. This is valuable information, when you see a real life search query and how the user reacts.

How to use the search query report
Once you know the exact terms and phrases that users are searching for and converting on, it is time to use this knowledge to your advantage to help with your Colorado Search Engine Optimization

Filter Out Users You Do Not Want

  • People whose search query prompts your ad, but the search query doesn’t make much sense for your business. For example, in my case I am selling “web design services”   If you have the keyword “web design”  and it is set as a broad match in Google your keyword may show  search queries such as print design,  graphic design  or even brochure design. These search queries don’t really relate to your keyword, and you may not even offer that service.  To stop this from happening  go to the search query report and review the search queries that do not make sense and add them as negative keywords.
  • Sometimes the user’s searches make sense, but they are looking for a version of your service you don’t actually offer.For example,   I see this happen  a lot with the word “Free” in a search query. You may offer web design services , but you probably do not offer free web design. I do offer a Free Consultation for web design and Search Engine Optimization  but not a free website.

Negative keywords tell Google that when someone searches  that you do not want your ad to appear

Find New Keywords and Optimize Around These Keywords

Search query reports allow you to see what an actual user typed in before they to click your ad and makes a purchase. If you see users consistently type in words or phrases in their search query that lead to a sales and you don’t have those words or phrases as keywords, then add them as keywords.

Hopefully you  now have a clear understanding of the difference between “search queries” and “keywords”  We would love to help your company grow by helping you with Colorado search engine optimization as well as Google AdWords and Pay Per Click. To learn more about SEO please click on the link. https://www.bishopwebworks.com/search-engine-optimization/what-is-seo

Dave Bishop,
Owner and President of BishopWebWorks

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