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What Is The Difference Between Keywords And Search Queries?

The key to building effective search strategies is to understand the difference between search queries and keywords.

With no malice intended, marketers use the phrases search query and keyword interchangeably, but it’s important to understand how the two terms vary.

Because a lack of understanding of the distinction between a query and a keyword can lead to underperforming search marketing methods. Starting with the definition, this article will look at the most important components of both search queries and keywords.

What Are Search Queries?

People use search queries to find information.

A search query is when you ask Siri something (a query) or write something (a query) into Google and hit “search.” Only the literal text used to start a search is referred to as a search query. The search intent describes what information a user is looking for.

What Are Keywords?

The core of search campaigns, on the other hand, is keywords. They’re the key keywords or words that you’ll use in a paid search or organic marketing campaign.

Keywords are the specific terms or phrases for which you want your website to appear in Google searches.

The Difference

The distinction between keywords and search queries comes down to whether you’re talking about a user’s action or a marketer’s action. Users are unaware of keywords and are uninterested in them. They simply want a response to their question. Marketers? Well, search queries are important to both you and me. Understanding what our target audience types into Google and how that relates to the content and advertisements is critical to developing successful marketing campaigns. This is when knowing what the user wants to do comes in handy. Users look for the same information in a variety of ways. The actual order of the words may alter, or the user’s query may include a modifier, but Google will recognize that the inquiry is meant.

The figure below illustrates the distinction between keywords and search queries. This example demonstrates how a variety of search queries can lead to the same root keyword. You can now switch back and forth between search queries and keywords. However, you should be aware that the distinction between search queries and keywords has the potential to alter your marketing plan.

How To Use Search Queries To Level Up Your Keyword Game

For your business, ranking at the top of Google for the appropriate keyword might mean a lot of money. What if you could use your audience’s actual search queries to help you with keyword research? I’ll walk you through a three-step strategy for improving your keyword game by leveraging your audience’s search queries. Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Google Search are all available as free tools.

Discovering High-Value Pages

The first step is to figure out which pages are most helpful in achieving business goals.

Create an account with Google Analytics. GA4 will be used in this example.

Select Reports > Life cycle > Acquisition > Traffic acquisition from the drop-down menu.

A few changes to the default settings will be required. Click “Add comparison” at the top of the page.

We’ll create a condition here to convert the dimension from all users to only organic search users. Select the dimension value “google / organic” under Include > First user source / media.

To make the table simpler to read, click the x to delete the “all users” dimension.

To see the landing pages, we’ll need to add a secondary dimension. Click the blue plus sign + > Page / screen > Landing page within the table.

Within this table, we may dig down to see only the pages that support our business item. Scroll to the right and click the “Conversions” row heading. As a result, the organic landing pages will be sorted in ascending order by the number of conversions ascribed to them. You may wish to focus on certain goal accomplishments depending on your site traffic and business objectives.

This informs me as to which web pages are most efficient in achieving my chatbot conversion goal. I’m noticing a pattern with bitcoin advertising and audience insights, so I’ll keep track of these landing sites. If you have a long list, you can download the file from the upper right-hand corner. In any case, we’ll utilize the precise URLs in step two if you have access to them.

Mining For High-Value Search Queries

Discovering what queries customers who connect with your website in a meaningful way are seeking is the most effective form of keyword research. This can be accomplished by studying queries rather than keywords. Are you ready to dig deep into your high-value search queries?

Let’s get started!

Start by going to Google Search Console. Choose your property from the top-left dropdown menu, then click “Performance.” The default settings will set the search type to web and the date range to the previous three months. This may be acceptable depending on the volume and seasonality of your site. As needed, make adjustments. In the box for URLs containing, click the plus symbol “New” and pick “Page…”. Enter the URL of one of the high-value pages and click APPLY.

To select the country for which you are analyzing, click “Countries” in the table. Return to QUERIES after that.

This view will show you the top search terms your audience used to find your high-value page over the last three months. The table is sorted by “Clicks,” which indicates that a person found your webpage in search results and clicked on it. Some will be similar, while others will have different search goals. Make a list of the top two to five search queries that have gotten the most attention (clicks) and are relevant to your business. We now have a list of search queries that users have clicked on and then interacted with our website in a highly beneficial way to our business.

Expanding Horizon With Google Autocomplete

Continuing with our bitcoin advertising example, crypto advertising is my top search term. Now it’s time to broaden our horizons by discovering what other terms or variations consumers might be looking for. A few parameters must be changed for this method to operate. To ensure that your search history does not influence the results, log out of Google or open a private window. We’d want to view forecasts for the area where our target audience resides. If your user base is located anywhere other than you, you’ll need to use a VPN. That is all there is to it. Now go to Google and type in one of the keywords you found in step two – but don’t hit enter.


The key to building effective search strategies is to understand the difference between search queries and keywords. Search queries refer to the text your audience is searching, while keywords are the terms you’re investing in. You may conceive of keyword research in a new light once you comprehend the relationship between these two concepts. And seize the opportunity that is right in front of you. Using the search queries of your top customers to determine which keywords to spend on is smart marketing.