You might think that the terms ‘query’ and ‘keyword’ mean the same thing. But, there is a slight difference between the two. If you are a search professional, you need to know the difference between the two terms so that you can target audiences better and bring better SEO.
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What is the difference between query and keyword?
A query is a term or phrase that users type in search engines for searching for what they are looking for. These may not be specific terms used by the companies to target the audience. They may be general words or statements that the users might think about. They may also include misspellings, which may or may not be corrected automatically by Google.
A keyword, on the other hand, is a much defined term strategized and used by marketers and search professionals to target audiences. The users who are searching for something online are not aware about what keywords the marketers or search professionals have set.
You might have now got an idea of what the difference between the two terms is. In simple words, users use queries and marketers use keywords. Neither do the users know what keywords the marketers have targeted and neither do the marketers know what words the users will be searching for. The users simply type in words with the hope of finding information or products that will meet their needs. While, the marketers keep strategizing keywords hoping that these keywords will match the users’ queries.
How can marketers ‘learn’ about queries?
Although users cannot find out what keywords the marketers are targeting but, the marketers do have options to find out what users might type in for their search. They need to ‘learn’ the queries. But, how can they do so?
Marketers can research queries by using Google Webmaster Tools. Although the information derived by Webmaster Tools will be limited because it only identifies actual queries that bring users to a site but, it is one of the options that can help the marketers learn. There is another option known as the Google autocomplete feature, which brings up many options to complete the users’ queries when they begin to type a query in the search box. This algorithm depends on the previous searches made by different users.
How is the derived information useful?
Using any of the above mentioned tools, marketers will have a list of popular queries that the users are employing. These terms will help them track and target their SEO strategy. Users may not be familiar with specific terms related to the website. But, now that the marketers know what kind of searches are being made, they can frame their blogs and keywords in a way to target more audiences or else users may never be able to find a website if alternate search terms are not targeted.