What Are Secondary Keywords? Boost Reach & Targeted Traffic

Aaron Haynes
Mar 13, 2024
what is secondary keywords

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Feeling like your recently published blog post deserves applause, but search engines leave it on mute? The possible culprit? Neglecting secondary keywords.

Keep reading as we’re about to tackle:

  1. What are secondary keywords, and how do they differ from primary keywords?
  2. The hidden advantages of using secondary keywords in your SEO game plan.
  3. Practical tips and tricks for finding and implementing secondary keywords effectively.

What Are Secondary Keywords?

Secondary keywords are terms and phrases closely related to your primary keyword—the term you’re targeting to rank in search engine results. They don’t digress but revolve around the main topic, offering additional context, nuance, and variation.

Let’s say your primary keyword is “link-building.” Secondary keywords might include “backlink builder,” “link building services,” or “high-quality backlinks.” The idea behind using these terms throughout the content? You’ll cover a broader spectrum of search queries. The more search queries, the more opportunity to rank for secondary keywords, and the more attention your content will attract.

Learn more: Interested in broadening your SEO knowledge even further? Check out our SEO glossary, where we’ve explained over 250+ terms.

Why Are Secondary Keywords Important?

Primary keywords might take center stage, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t benefits to using secondary keywords. Observe:


We just touched on it, but to reemphasize the point: secondary keywords cover a wider range of related searches, attracting more visitors to your content and website.

Search Intent

Just like your ideal customer doesn’t fit a one-size-fits-all mold, neither do search queries. Secondary keywords help you cater to these diverse intentions. They allow you to address the “whys” and “hows” behind the main topic, creating content that truly aligns with a visitor’s search intent.

Longtail Keywords

While head keywords—terms or phrases with super high search volume—attract the majority of search traffic, they are victims of their own success. They’re super competitive and, for most small to mid-sized websites, almost impossible to rank for.

Longtail keywords, on the other hand, comprise the bulk of search queries entered into search bars, 91.8 percent to be exact. And while they don’t often attract the same search volume head keywords do, they are typically far less competitive.

The takeaway? Use both. Integrate head and secondary longtail keywords into your content and give your hard work the best chance of ranking for a range of keywords rather than just a select few.

How to Identify Secondary Keywords

It’s time to find those secondary keywords. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as you might think.

Simply equip yourself with keyword research free tools like Google Keyword Planner or paid tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Moz. I’ve used Keyword Planner for the below example. These tools make finding secondary keywords, exploring search volume, competition level, and related searches to identify phrases with high potential and manageable difficulty a cinch.

Just identify your primary keyword, in this instance, “link building,” and watch as the tool does all the heavy lifting for you.

Best Practices for Secondary Keywords

Here’s how to make sure your newly uncovered secondary keywords shine:

Density and Relevance

Keyword density matters, but less is more. Aim for a natural integration of 3-5 relevant secondary keywords throughout your content. Prioritize user experience over search engine optimization. Clunky, robotic writing only turns readers away, hurts your user engagement metrics, and sends rankings spiraling.

Structure and Internal Linking

Where relevant and natural, use secondary keywords to structure your content. Include them in headings, subheadings, and meta descriptions. Back these efforts up with internal linking. Make connections by internally linking content based on relevant secondary keywords and strengthen your website’s topical authority.

Bonus Tip: Track and Analyze

Use those same analytics tools we used to find secondary keywords to monitor your progress. Track which secondary keywords are driving traffic and conversions. Use this data to refine your strategy and identify new opportunities.

Secondary Keywords FAQ

Q1: How Do I Use Secondary Keywords Naturally in My Content?

Answer: Rule number 1: don’t force it. Instead, focus your efforts on creating high-quality, informative content that naturally incorporates your chosen secondary keywords. Use them in titles, headings, throughout your text, and meta descriptions while prioritizing readability.

Q2: Can Secondary Keywords Improve My Website’s SEO?

Answer: Absolutely! Using well-researched secondary keywords expands your content’s reach, attracts targeted visitors, and puts those long-tail keywords to work.

Q3: How Many Secondary Keywords Should I Use in My Content?

Answer: There’s no magic number. But, as a general rule of thumb, aim for 3-5 highly relevant secondary keywords naturally integrated throughout your content. Oh, and don’t keyword stuff. You’re just asking for trouble.

Conclusion and Next Steps

Pat yourself on the back. You’ve gone from a secondary keyword newbie to understanding how to identify and use these terms and phrases like an SEO aficionado.

But don’t stop your SEO journey there. More successes are waiting just around the corner.

If you’re ready to conquer the search engine landscape and reach your full SEO potential, consider partnering with the experienced guides at Loganix.

Visit our SEO services page today and schedule a free consultation.

Hand off the toughest tasks in SEO, PPC, and content without compromising quality

Explore Services

Written by Aaron Haynes on March 13, 2024

CEO and partner at Loganix, I believe in taking what you do best and sharing it with the world in the most transparent and powerful way possible. If I am not running the business, I am neck deep in client SEO.