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What is a Head Term?

A head term, also known as ‘head keyword,’ is a common keyword which generates high search volumes. This term is the opposite of long tail keywords, which are 3+ words that are very specific to what is being promoted.

Since head keywords generate the most volume, it would be logical to use them for your site, right? Well, it depends. When you are creating your keyword strategy, there are two factors that you must consider. These are competition and search intent.

Competition is simple. You must be aware of the competitors you have. Since head keywords lack the specificity of long tail keywords, it could be challenging for you to rank on search engines for those. There are too many competitors placing high bids, and they could bury you in searches.

On the other hand, we have search intent, which is the purpose of a user’s online search. When someone types a word or phrase on a search bar, he or she is performing a ‘query.’ There are three types of queries: informational, commercial, and navigational.

• Informational queries are usually typed in the search bar when a user wants to find information about something specific. For example: ‘Florida’s traffic laws.’

• Navigational queries are used when the searcher wants to find a particular website. For example, they’d Google ‘Yelp´ or ‘TripAdvisor.’

• Commercial queries are those that are done with the intention to buy a product or hire a service. An example of commercial intent could be a person typing ‘car locksmith near me.’

High-volume head terms often lack commercial intent. So, if you want to appeal to an audience where a purchase is the ultimate goal, using these keywords is not very useful.

Why is it important to know the difference?

If you are running a Pay-Per-Click campaign on your website with head keywords, that targets an irrelevant audience, you are losing money. This is why it’s essential to do your keyword research correctly and find the best ones for your site and target audience.