Key words versus query : what is the difference?This topic comes up quite a bit within the search industry, and is actually rather irritating in my mind. The reason, at least in my minds eye, is that those who are asking this question have no clue as to the meaning of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and even less understanding of the terms #IPSEO #OPSEO (edited and added new term) #OLSEO
First I do believe we need to clarify what exactly is SEO or Search Engine Optimisation, as there are so many different definitions for Search Engine Optimisation, with many being worded specifically so that a certain biased view is highlighted. this leaves many people confused, as they do not get exposed to other ideas, and are stuck with a biased view of what Search Engine Optimization truly is, and what it can achieve.
From my perspective, I like to think of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) as all the work done by your entire marketing team, as well as all their partners to ensure that your online work is discovered by your intended target market audience, when they search online for anything related to your products, services or other online content.
SEO or search engine optimisation has three separate objectives that need to be achieved to be declared successful, and the last objective has two components. these objectives are
1) your online content must be indexed by a search engine
2) your online content must appear in the SERP's (Search Engine Results Pages)
3) Your selected target market audience must select your result in the SERP (Search Engine Result Page) then follow through by clicking on your desired CTA (Call To Action) within your online content.
Failure in any one of these three objectives means that your SEO (search Engine Optimisation) has failed.
SEO is divided into two main parts, the first is #IPSEO or In Page search Engine Optimisation and the second is #OPSEO or Off Page search engine optimisation, which has a NEW subdivision called #OLSEO
IPSEO is the primary part of your SEO strategy, and is dependent on your target market and the associated target market research, along with topic and key word research. There are also a host of IPSEO issues that are not connected to keywords in any way, which are also of extreme importance. These are things like the visual appeal, the navigation structure, in page images, in page audio, in page video, content structure, meta tags and HTML mark up as well as many others.
OPSEO is all the stuff that happens of page and includes things like but not limited to
social media marketing
OLSEO is where you do all the off line stuff like
print media marketing (news papers, flyers and bill boards)
road shows and Public relations issues
These off line media are the spaces where you psychologically attack your intended target market in subtle ways to get your keywords stuck within their thinking patterns so that they will use these key words when they formulate their online search queries. You basically plant semantic seeds in this zone, that will be nurtured and fertilized within the online environment to grow from semantic seeds to become search queries.
Key words are those words that your copy writer and associated staff will use during content creation.
Queries are what an end user of a search engine type into the query box when looking for your online content.
It thus follows that you use keywords and selected topics within the make up and design of your online content, and your intended target market constructs queries (hopefully using your selected keywords|) which they then type into the query box when searching online.
If you have done your OPSEO or Off Page Search Engine Optimisation a properly, then your intended target market audience will use your selected key words when they construct their query.
This is an awful lot more difficult than I have alluded to here, and the OPSEO work covers many more areas than I discussed here, but each is in place to ensure that your intended Target use your selected key words when searching, and that search engines understand the intent of your online efforts.
If you have done your #IPSEO or In Page Search Engine Optimisation properly then the search engine will match a search query to your online content by understanding the intent of both your online content and your intended target market audience when they are looking for your content.
Key words are used by the design staff during the page creation process, and queries are used by your intended target market audience to surface your online content.
Queries are constructed using what ever words are in your target markets current thought processes, so your OPSEO or Off page Search Engine Optimisation and the related OLSEO or Off Line Search Engine Optimisation, must in some way influence the thinking patterns and thought processes of your intended target market audience to be successful.
Your OPSEO must cater for both search engines and your intended target market. Your OPSEO must influence the thinking patterns of your intended target market to ensure that they will use your key words in search queries. Your OPSEO must also allow search engines to interpret and act on the intent of your online content as well as the meaning and related semantics of your online content.
Your OLSEO must impact on the thinking processes and thought patterns of your intended target audience and influence this group to use your selected key words as search queries.