What Is a Head Term?

Aaron Haynes
Nov 26, 2021

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Keywords are terms and phrases that characterize the content of your article. Because search engine users utilize keywords to discover content, keywords are sometimes referred to as “search queries” in the SEO context.

In order to generate and/or optimize content for these searches, a typical SEO keyword strategy may select a few cores, high search volume keywords known as head terms, as well as a greater amount of lower volume long-tail keywords.

Keywords are a critical component of search digital marketing. However, in order to understand how to best narrow down your keyword research method, you must first grasp what “head terms” are.

The challenge, of course, is how we, as marketers, can capitalize on this.

This article will serve as a guide to help you understand what a head term is, why head terms are essential, what types of searches are available, and what types of keywords exist.

Let’s get started!

What Is a Head Term?

A head term, also known as a head keyword, is a popular keyword that generates a high search volume. When it comes to ranking, head terms are extremely competitive, and they are the exact opposite of long-tail keywords.

These names are derived from the look of the distribution shown below. Head keywords are concentrated at the top, resulting in high search volumes and fierce competition. Long-tail keywords may be found all across the (you guessed it) long tail. These keywords have low search volumes and aren’t particularly competitive.

Why Are Head Terms Important?

Head terms in SEO are an important element of increasing organic traffic while remaining competitive with competing websites. They can be popular search queries with a high search volume because they cover a broad topic or reflect a well-known idea. In the business services category, for example, organic search accounts for more than 70% of traffic.

Head terms reflect how visitors discover content through organic search. As a result, SEOs employ head terms in their content to assist Google and other search engines in understanding what the content is about, allowing it to show in search results as relevant information for those searches. Google employs 810 distinct SERP features. 161 of them are found on more than 0.2% of all keywords.

Understanding how our target audience searches for the subjects we want to rank for allows us to build an SEO strategy — and content — that leverages a combination of head terms and the long-tail keywords to grab traffic at every stage of the user journey. SEO generates 1000% times more traffic than organic social media.

When it comes to determining relevance to a specific phrase, search engines now have a greater grasp of how people use words as synonyms as well as related concepts, and Google, in particular, wants to see that a website has “topical depth.” This indicates that SEOs’ use of head terms has evolved since the early days of SEO.

On the flipside, Two phrases hold a lot of weight in the realm of search engine marketing, and more especially Pay-Per-Click (PPC): relevant audience. To understand why, consider some of the things that might happen when your advertising is shown to an irrelevant audience.

People who have no interest in your goods or service will click on your advertisements. This costs you whatever your cost-per-click (CPC) is, which may be exorbitantly costly depending on your business, and gives you nothing in return. Advertising to ineffective audiences is comparable to wasting money. Burning money is bad for a company since it cuts into your marketing budget.

People ignore your advertising because they are uninterested in your product or service. You could be thinking, “Okay, they didn’t convert—but they also didn’t click on my ad and cost me money.” That’s not so awful, is it?” Wrong! This will have a negative impact on your click-through rate (CTR), which is a key metric in determining your Quality Score. As your CTR decreases, Google deems your ad less relevant, causing the search engine to penalize you in the ad auction. The lower your CTR and the poorer your performance, the less relevant the audience!

We guarantee, all of this is leading up to one crucial point: if you want to thrive in search marketing, you must conduct keyword research. The ultimate objective of your study is to identify the sweet spot of keywords that are highly relevant to your brand without being too competitive. Fortunately, there are several tools and services available to help you with your research.

Head Terms FAQ

What are SEO terms?

SEO terms (also known as “key phrases” or “keywords”) are words that are added to web content to boost search engine ranks for those terms. The majority of keywords are identified through keyword research and are picked based on a mix of search volume, commercial intent, and competitiveness.

How many types of keywords are there in SEO?

Keywords are classified into four types: commercial, informational, transactional, and navigational. We’ll define these kinds and provide a brief description of each.


Commercial keywords are those that are utilized in paid advertising tactics. The decision to relate a specific keyword to a commercial is determined by the site’s specialty.

For example, if a website sells tour packages, the search term “travel guide” is not one for which you would run a sponsored ad.

However, it may be worthwhile to pursue a site that provides free travel information and earns money through advertisements. One suggestion to assist you to evaluate whether the phrase is commercial or not is to put it into Google and check what kind of sites appear in the search results and whether you want your site to be among them; furthermore, see if there are paid advertisements for this keyword. If this is the case, it implies that other businesses profit from this keyword; hence, you may utilize it.


There are many keywords with high search volume, yet using them for site marketing will not result in conversions. Why? People who employ these keywords are looking for information.

For example, people may have already chosen to buy, read reviews, or check pricing to support their decision to purchase a specific product. This sort of term is distinguished by “question words,” which often include: “where,” “how,” and so on.


Transactional keywords reveal more focused consumers who intend to buy or are about to buy a product or service.

It occurs after a person has already sought information, made a decision, and is resolved to make a purchase. Such keywords include phrases like “purchase,” “subscription,” and “for sale.” As a rule, such keywords are more particular as well; they may more clearly define the goods or service: “Red round collar male T-shirt.”


Users do a navigational search when they enter a company or brand name. They are already familiar with this firm or product and are looking for the proper website to access their offerings.

Such keywords are generally beneficial when the site’s brand is well-known and famous. However, there are instances where sites attempt to rank for their competitors’ brand names, although this rarely works.

What are the types of searches?

In the area of search marketing, we tend to talk about keywords rather than search queries. Search queries, or the phrases and words that people input into a search box to retrieve a list of results, come in a variety of types. It is widely acknowledged that there are three types of searches:

  1. Transactional search queries
  2. Informational search queries
  3. Navigational search queries
  • Transactional Search Queries

A transactional search query is one that expresses a desire to complete a transaction, such as completing a purchase. Transactional search queries would include exact brand and product names (such as “Canon 7D”), be generic (such as “iced coffee maker”), or include terms such as  “purchase,” “buy,” or “order.” In all of these cases, you can infer that the searcher is planning to make a purchase in the near future if they haven’t already done so. In other words, they’ve reached the bottom of the conversion funnel. Many local searches (for example, “Denver wine shop”) are also transactional.

  • Informational Search Queries

Informational search queries are defined by Wikipedia as “questions that cover a broad topic (e.g., Guantanamo or Bicycles) for which there may be thousands of relevant results.” When a visitor enters an informational search query into Google or another search engine, they are looking for information, hence the name. They are neither likely seeking a particular site, as in a navigational search, nor are they wanting to conduct a commercial transaction. They simply want to know the answer to a question or learn how to accomplish something.

  • Navigational Search Queries

A navigational query is a search query that is performed with the goal of locating a certain website or page. For example, rather than typing the URL into a web browser navigation bar or using a bookmark, a user may input “youtube” into Google’s search box to reach the YouTube site. In reality, the top two Google searches are “YouTube,” and “Facebook” both of which are navigational searches.

What are the types of keywords?

A good search strategy is based on focusing on the correct types of keywords. You can drive the most traffic, quality leads, and conversions for your business by identifying your greatest keyword opportunities.

Types of Targeting Keywords

The terms and phrases associated with your industry, products, and audience are known as targeting keywords. This category contains the following keywords:

  • Customer-defining keywords
  • Market segment keywords
  • Branded keywords
  • Product keywords
  • Geo-targeted keywords
  • Competitor keywords

Types of Keywords by Length

Another factor to consider while evaluating and selecting keywords is their length. Keywords are classified into three types based on their length:

  • Short-tail keywords (often referred to as broad, head, or generic keywords)
  • Mid-tail keywords
  • Long-tail keywords

Types of On-Site Keywords

On-site content keywords are SEO keywords that are utilized to produce content such as a new blog post or landing page. These are some examples of on-site keywords:

  • Primary keywords
  • LSI or Related keywords

Types of Google Ads Keywords

You will utilize specific sorts of keywords in Google AdWords (formerly known as Google Ads) to construct targeted ad campaigns. These types of keywords include:

  • Broad match keywords
  • Exact match keywords
  • Phrase match keywords
  • Negative keywords

Types of Buyer Keywords

Buyer keywords are the phrases that a searcher employs while searching to buy a product or service. These keywords are classified based on where a searcher is in the purchasing funnel. Each buyer term reflects a unique type of search intent. Buyer keywords are classified into three types:

  • Transactional keywords
  • Informational keywords
  • Navigational keywords

Don’t forget: check out the other definitions (over 200) in our growing SEO glossary.


Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of head terms.

One of the most essential SEO tasks you can embark on is creating a comprehensive, relevant keyword list. When starting a new SEO project, one of the first duties you should do is keyword research; it serves as the foundation for on-page content optimization and fresh content development.

Of course, the next step is to put that strategy into action and create the finest content possible to meet the search intent of each of your potential readers or customers. Don’t forget to update your plan on a regular basis and track your success in dominating the SERPs!

Loganix is able to carry out a professional search engine optimization (SEO) strategy that will help you improve rankings for your head keywords. By starting with a well-thought-out keyword research strategy we are able to find head keywords that are best suited for your site, and even ones that your site’s pages are already ranking for.

Let us help you today!

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

Explore Services

Written by Aaron Haynes on November 26, 2021

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.