primary keywords target main keywords seo

What are Primary Keywords?

what are primary keywords

Primary keywords are the main keywords that people use to search for a particular topic or piece of information. They are the most relevant and specific terms related to the topic and are often more popular or in demand than other variations or synonyms.

These keywords are the ones that you will focus on optimizing for with a dedicated page on your website and it will form the content. The goal is to have this optimized page rank highly in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for the primary keyword.

Therefore, primary keywords are the most important keywords for SEO because they are the ones that the search engines use to understand the content of the page and to determine how relevant it is to a particular search query.

So, it is important when you do keyword research to choose primary keywords carefully and you should be only targeting keywords that are related to your niche, industry, and/or business.

Additionally, primary keywords are not only head keywords or body keywords but ANY keywords that can be targeted with a web page including head, body, and long-tail keywords. Primary keywords are not those keywords that you cannot target because search engines show different primary keywords.

types of keywords head body and long tail keywords

How to Identify Primary Keywords?

Identifying the primary keyword is a key step in keyword analysis in order to find the main version of the keyword with the highest organic traffic potential that you should target with your web page.

Like this, you always ensure you are targeting the right SEO keyword, minimize any keyword cannibalization mistakes, and can ensure you can optimize your content and on-page SEO properly to attract the highest amount of organic traffic which can lead to higher conversions and more success for your business and maximize your SEO efforts.

With that being said, here is the step-by-step process on how to identify primary keywords:

Step #1: Analyze the SERPs to Validate the Keyword

The first step is to analyze your keyword in SERPs to ensure that the keyword in fact is a primary keyword and not secondary.

Because in many situations, you can find a keyword that cannot be targeted because it’s just a different variant of another primary keyword.

So, to find out, whether your target keyword is the main primary keyword or only a synonym variant of another primary keyword you need to analyze the SERPs. So let me give you a few examples:

Example #1: Keyword “seo strategies”

To analyze the keyword in SERPs I will be using the SEO tool SE Ranking so I can analyze the keyword without any personalization and select my target country.

analyzing target keyword in serps to find primary keyword

Then I will go to the “Organic Results” report to see what pages and keywords are actually ranking for this keyword.

Here I will want to look at the titles and the URL of the ranking pages to see what primary keyword they target, so I can see whether the primary keyword matches the analyzed keyword “seo strategies”.

example 1 SERPs analysis for primary keyword

However, in this example, I can see that my analyzed keyword doesn’t match the SERPs and that the primary keywords here are “seo strategy”.

example 1 serp analysis for primary keywords

And the second primary keyword is “seo techniques”.

example 1 serp analysis second primary keyword

This means, that the keyword “seo strategies” is not primary, and to rank for the keyword, I would have to target the other primary keywords “seo techniques” and “seo strategy” and use the keyword “seo strategies” as a secondary keyword for these articles.

Therefore, I will not waste my time on this keyword and note the other two keywords in my keyword list to analyze them later.

Example #2: Keyword “landscaping designs for backyard”

So, let’s again check the SERPs for this keyword using SE Ranking Keyword Research tool. Again, I select my target location.