Using Secondary Keywords For SEO – Proper Way Explained

A search engine's autocomplete suggesting some keywords
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Ever heard of secondary keywords? You might know a thing or two about types of keywords -but there’s much more to know. Imagine them as the supporting cast in your favorite movie, not grabbing headlines but vital for the plot.

But how?

In this article, we’re going to explore this untapped gold mine together – starting from understanding their importance and the way to find and use secondary keywords in your content without sacrificing readability.

Hold on tight because we’re also going to look at how these unsung heroes can improve your organic traffic and make your businesses shine brighter. And yes, we’ll share some epic wins!

Let’s get started!

Understanding Secondary Keywords

Where do you even start for your SEO? You’re likely thinking of primary keywords. But let me surprise you a bit: secondary terms are just as vital in your content strategy. They might not get the limelight often, but they sure know how to play their part behind the scenes.

While primary keywords determine your main topic or product focus area—like ‘gourmet coffee beans’ for an artisanal coffee roaster— related keywords add more context, like ‘best brewing methods for gourmet coffee,’ much like a long-tail keyword. See how they make things more interesting?

Why are secondary keywords important for SEO?

You might ask yourself, why bother with more keywords when we have primary ones doing most of our heavy lifting? Well, because Google loves details. More than ever before, search engines value comprehensive information that satisfies user intent. This means creating quality content using both types of keywords helps ensure better visibility on search results pages.

An effective mix of primary keywords and secondary keywords also allows for broader coverage across various related searches users may perform — making it easier for potential customers to find you online.

Using secondary keywords helps Google understand the content context better. And when Google understands us better, it rewards us with higher rankings.

Differentiating primary keywords from secondary ones

The difference between these keywords is their purpose. While primary keywords focus on capturing your main business or topic area, related keyphrases serve to enrich that narrative.

Just as sharing about your love for Italian cuisine might pique someone’s interest at a party, including these additional details in SEO helps attract more diverse audiences and enriches the overall content.

Key Takeaway

Secondary keywords give more context and specificity to your primary keyword or main topic. They help satisfy Google’s craving for detailed information, improving visibility on search results pages and attracting diverse audiences.

How To Identify Relevant Secondary Keywords

The first step to identify secondary keywords is to understand your primary keyword. For example, if you’re writing a blog post about “organic gardening,” some secondary keyword examples might be “composting at home” or “natural pest control.” These terms allow for more specific discussions within your content.

Finding high-value secondary keywords

Evaluating global volume for supporting keywords

A high-value secondary keyword can help increase organic traffic. One way to identify these gems is by checking their search volume – how often people use them as queries in search engines like Google. Tools such as Ahrefs’ Free Keyword Generator offer insight into popular searches linked to your primary keyword.

Another method for finding supporting keywords involves looking at competition metrics, which show how many other websites are targeting those same phrases or words. If there’s too much competition, it may be tough to get noticed among established sites already ranking well for those terms.

Evaluating relevance and contextual fit

You don’t want just a random list of keywords; they need to fit naturally throughout your content and align with what users expect when they click through from a SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Think of this process as similar to fitting puzzle pieces together. Your primary keyword is the border, providing the general framework, while secondary keywords fill in details to create a complete picture.

A tool like AnswerThePublic can provide insights into how people ask questions related to your main topic online. This helps identify long-tail secondary keywords that align with user intent and query patterns.

Key Takeaway

Understanding your main keyword is the starting point to identifying valuable secondary keywords. Tools like Ahrefs’ Free Keyword Generator can help spot high-traffic, low-competition phrases. Ensure these keywords fit naturally into your content and align with user expectations for a successful SEO strategy.

Incorporating Secondary Keywords Into Your Content

Now that you know about secondary keyword research, the next part is to understand their usage in your content.

Using supporting terms in your content isn’t as simple as throwing a bunch of words into the mix and hoping they stick. It’s more like making a flavorful stew, where each ingredient enhances the overall taste.

Just like you’d use different spices to enrich your dish, using these keywords can spice up your content. One of the benefits of adding them to your content is that it provides you the opportunity to rank for more keywords than your primary ones.

The art of blending in secondary keywords

Now let’s talk about how you can integrate these important flavor enhancers – I mean, related keywords – into your text without disrupting its readability or relevance.

  • Maintain natural language: When incorporating any keyword (primary or secondary), it should feel organic rather than forced. Keyword stuffing might have worked years ago, but now it only serves bitter soup… er… poor user experience. Solution? Include secondary keywords in your content naturally and wisely!
  • Pick out related topics: Let’s say the keyword you’re working on is ‘SEO strategies’. The secondary terms could be ‘advanced SEO tactics’, ‘SEO techniques for beginners’, or ‘local SEO strategies.’ These terms naturally tie back to our primary keyword while offering new angles for exploration within our content.
  • Vary usage: Make sure not every occurrence of a given term uses exactly the same phrasing. Varying synonyms and closely associated phrases keep readers engaged while adding richness to the overall piece. In short, try using some keyword variations of your primary keywords.

Where to Use Secondary Keywords

You might be wondering where this list of secondary keywords should go. The answer is – they can go almost anywhere, as long as it makes sense contextually. Let’s take a look at some of the places you can put them:

  • Headings and subheadings: Search engines use headings to understand the structure and hierarchy of your content. Including related key phrases in headings and subheadings can signal to search engines that your content is detailed and relevant to a broader range of topics. This way, you can use secondary keywords to boost your SEO game.
  • Body Text: As mentioned, context is equally important for search engines and users. When you add these terms into your body paragraphs, you create a good reading experience for users and engage them. This indirectly signals to Google that you have valuable content.
  • Anchor Text: Instead of adding your main keywords in the anchor text, go for variations. This improves the overall readability and flow of your content.
  • Image alt text: Well, if you are adding your primary keyword in the alt text, think again! Search engines like Google consider this a deliberate attempt to target your keyword. Related terms can be the right fit for this purpose as they can convey your message without using the same keyword over and over again.
Key Takeaway

Remember to blend them naturally into related topics, body text, headers, and even alt text. Avoid keyword stuffing, and use keyword variations for best results.

Optimizing Meta Tags With Secondary Keywords

Adding keyphrases in meta descriptions and title

Meta descriptions, those brief summaries that appear under website links on search engine results pages (SERPs), play a crucial role in attracting organic traffic. But if we spice things up by integrating secondary keywords into our meta tags, we can attract even more targeted visitors.

Finding the right secondary keywords for your meta tags

The key is to find the right keywords for words related to your primary keyword but not so competitive that they’ll be impossible to rank for.

You could use tools such as SEMRush or Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer which offer rich keyword suggestions based on real-life user queries. Or you could take a sneak peek into Google’s ‘People also ask’ section, which is basically a treasure of potentially supporting keywords.

How to use secondary keywords in meta tags

The art lies in incorporating these keywords naturally. You don’t want your meta tags sounding like they were written by a robot on an SEO rampage.

  • In the title tag, aim for something catchy yet informative that includes both primary and secondary keywords without looking stuffed or unnatural.
  • Make sure to pen down a compelling copy in the description tag using relevant keyword. It’s crucial for catching attention and sparking interest.
Key Takeaway

Adding related terms to the meta tags is like adding the perfect seasonings to a dish, enhancing its flavor without overpowering it. By doing this, you’ll draw in more targeted visitors and give your SEO game a real boost.

Secondary Keywords And User Intent

The concept of user intent is important for an SEO strategy. When a person types a search query into Google, they have an expectation or ‘intent’ behind that question. Our job as content creators is to understand this intent and answer it effectively with our content.

The relationship between secondary keywords and user intent

To create compelling content that appeals to users and satisfies their queries, we need to match our keywords with their intentions. This alignment allows us to generate meaningful connections between what users want and what we provide through our pages.

Overall, it’s about understanding why those words matter so much to both the reader and Google.

An example worth considering

Say you run a blog dedicated to hiking gear reviews (your primary keyword). But let’s think beyond ‘gear’—what else might people look up to? One of your secondary keywords could be ‘best hiking boots for beginners’ or perhaps terms like ‘lightweight backpacks for day hikes’ or even something more general such as ‘preparing for my first hike.’

These are examples of potential secondary keywords that could draw different segments within your overall audience – novice hikers vs. experienced ones – yet each comes with its own unique user intent.

  • Best hiking boots for beginners: The searcher likely has little experience in purchasing hiking boots and needs guidance.
  • Lightweight backpacks for day hikes: This searcher may be an experienced hiker looking to upgrade their gear.
  • Preparing for my first hike: The user is probably a newbie seeking general advice on getting started with hiking.
Key Takeaway

Strategically using secondary keywords such as ‘best hiking boots for beginners’ or ‘preparing for my first hike’ can expand your reach, heighten user engagement, and increase visibility. It’s not about cramming in keywords but creating a valuable link between what users are looking for and the content you provide. Recognizing search intent is vital to succeeding in SEO.

The Impact Of Secondary Keywords On Organic Traffic

Secondary keywords can have a significant impact on your website’s organic traffic. When used effectively, these lesser-known keywords help search engines understand your content better and ultimately increase its visibility.

They’re like friends who vouch for you at a party – they make you more interesting and attract more people towards you.

Improving your content’s relevance

Incorporating secondary keywords into your content gives it depth and context, making it more relevant to user searches. Imagine going fishing with just one type of bait – sure, you’ll catch some fish but think about all those other species left untouched. By using multiple baits (or, in our case – related keywords), we cast a wider net.

A study by Search Engine Journal reveals how important relevance is for ranking well on Google; being ‘relevant’ came out as one of the top three factors influencing rankings.

Getting more targeted traffic

When you target specific, secondary, often long-tail keywords, websites attract more qualified and relevant visitors. These people are closer to the buying stage in their customer journey.

Content that includes a variety of related secondary keywords gathers more engagement from the visitors as they find exactly what they are looking for. So they stay for longer on your web pages. You successfully lower your bounce rate and, in return, climb higher in SERPs.

Enhanced search visibility

When you use these keywords, your web pages have the chance to show up in a wider variety of search queries. This means that instead of appearing in search results for just one main keyword, your page could pop up for many related searches.

It’s like casting a wider net in the sea of potential visitors. As a result, more people are likely to see your page in their search results. In simple terms, secondary keywords help put your content in front of more eyes, boosting your chances of attracting visitors to your site.

Key Takeaway

Secondary keywords, akin to supporting actors in SEO, improve your site’s organic traffic by enhancing search engine understanding of your content. Much like fishing with diverse bait types, using these keyword variants broadens your reach and increases relevance to user searches. While diversifying keyword strategy may seem off the beaten path, it often leads to increased visibility and a surge in organic traffic.

Using Secondary Keywords For Local SEO

Using right keywords in your GMB profile wisely

Let’s go back to our example of owning a business in New York. It’s a no-brainer that local audiences usually look for competitive pricing, ease, and personalized experiences.

When you create content for location-based terms such as a cafe in Manhattan, coffee near Central Park, and affordable coffee shops near me, you attract users within your radius.

Sound easy? Let’s discuss this in detail!

The role of secondary keywords in local search queries

In order to use these related phrases effectively, we need to step into our potential customers’ shoes. Let’s say someone needs help fixing a leaky faucet – they’ll probably google something like “plumbers near me.”

But this user might also add extra details related to their problem – maybe something along the lines of “emergency plumbing service” or “24-hour plumber”.

These longer phrases contain both primary (“plumber”) and several potential secondary (“emergency,” “service,” and 24-hour”) keywords, which can give us valuable insights into users’ intent when searching online.

Optimizing your content with secondary keywords

Ask yourself if the usage of related terms is limited to the website only. No!

Using these keywords in the Google My Business listings and local citations can help you from a local SEO perspective as well.

Now, let’s consider you have a coffee shop!

You can optimize your presence on Google Maps by including secondary keywords in your business description. In the description on GMB, include phrases like “Visit our local cafe in Los Angeles for a delightful experience” or Indulge in our carefully crafted organic coffee and explore the flavors at our espresso bar. The only condition is high quality!

Also, make sure that online directories have listed all your services using secondary keywords.

The icing on the cake is when your customers write reviews using services. This is good for both your brand recognition and local SEO. This indirectly makes you a better contender for a keyword!

But don’t forget, search engines not only love content packed with keywords, they also value quality and relevance. So it’s not just about stuffing as many keywords in as you can.

If you a local business, I recommend reading our guide on keyword research for local SEO for an in-depth understanding of this concept.

Key Takeaway

Boost your local SEO by leveraging the power of keyword variations. They’re not just supporting actors but key players in driving organic traffic to locally-focused businesses. By adding context and enhancing readability, they help make your content more visible to the right audience.

Tracking Performance Of Secondary Keywords

Tracking secondary keywords is as important as primary ones. Let’s understand why. 

The related terms evolve with user behavior. For instance, years ago, when smartwatches started to gain popularity, terms like “digital watch” were used, but now, users have expanded their searches to features like “best fitness tracking smartwatch.” When you keep up with user’s behavior and search trends, you come up with better secondary keyword ideas. 

The question is, “What metrics should I track my keywords for?”

Go for search volume, keyword difficulty, and user intent. Tools like Aherfs, Google Analytics, and SEMrush can be the best fit for the purpose. You can take an additional step to dig into social media to find out what terms are in use, especially when your brand is catering to a GenZ audience. And even further, check out our special post on keyword performance, where we talk about measuring the metrics. 

Key Takeaway

Staying updated with user behavior is the key to finding the best-performing keywords. Take insights into these terms and track their performance using analysis tools. Modify your related terms from time to time. 

Mistakes To Avoid When Using Secondary Keywords

It’s no secret that secondary keywords play a vital role in SEO strategy. Avoiding pitfalls is essential when engaging in worthwhile activities. Here are some common mistakes you should steer clear of when incorporating secondary keywords into your content.

Ignoring relevance

The first pitfall is ignoring the relevance of your secondary keywords. Just because a keyword has a high search volume doesn’t mean it belongs in your article or blog post. Remember, Google rewards relevancy – if the keyword doesn’t align with your topic and audience needs, leave it out.

Overstuffing content with keywords

An example of how overusing a keyword can affect readability

Filling every sentence with secondary keywords might seem like an easy way to get noticed by search engines but resist this temptation. This practice, known as ‘keyword stuffing,’ can actually harm more than help. It makes for poor readability and may lead to penalties from Google.

Neglecting user intent

Your audience isn’t just looking for words on a page—they’re searching for answers. If you choose keywords that don’t match their intent, they’ll quickly bounce off the page. Moz provides great insights on user intent and how to tailor content accordingly.

Sidelining keyword research tools

If you’re not using tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, or Ubersuggest, you’re making a big mistake. These tools can provide valuable insights into search volumes, competition levels, and more.

Forgetting about meta tags

Remember, meta tags and title tags play a vital role in telling search engines what your page is about. So make sure to use them wisely and include those secondary keywords for an extra SEO kick.

Key Takeaway

When using related phrases, avoid common SEO pitfalls. Don’t ignore keyword relevance or overstuff your content. Remember to consider user intent and make good use of keyword research tools. Lastly, don’t forget about meta tags—they boost visibility and tell search engines what your page is all about.


In a nutshell, using secondary keywords isn’t rocket science; it is an art.

From identifying relevant ones to adding them to your narrative – I hope you have learned how to use them to gain a competitive edge and organic traffic.

We have even gained insights into how you can track them using various tools and modify your strategy.

Mistakes? Sure, there are pitfalls, but now you know how to avoid them. Remember, the key is to satisfy the user’s intent and not overwhelm with terms.


This article provides a good start for your secondary keywords in SEO. We have further listed some commonly asked questions on secondary keywords to help you make the best of your SEO efforts.

How do you find your secondary keywords?

There are different ways to find effective secondary keywords. The one I suggest is to start with brainstorming, examining some popular keywords based on your niche, and focus on keywords your competitors are ranking on. You can use tools to find secondary keywords, such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs. They’ll give suggestions based on your primary keyword.

How many related terms shall I use in a 3000-word post?

Well, there’s no such limit on a number, as secondary keywords support your content in terms of quality. You can try as many variations for keywords you want to add. You may go for long-tail secondary keywords.  As long as they make sense and improve your content, there’s no problem

How many keywords should I use per page?

The number of secondary keywords depends on your content’s length and topic. Generally, 5-10 well-placed ones are a good starting point. On the other hand, you can use two or three primary keywords per page. But make sure you incorporate your secondary keywords naturally.

You talked about primary keyword and the secondary keyword in detail, but how do they differ from LSI?

Primary keywords are usually added to target the main topic, while secondary keywords to support the context. LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) words relate to both but aren’t synonyms. LSI keywords can be used to expand on the main keyword, providing a more comprehensive understanding of the content.

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Ajay Deep

Hi, I'm Ajay Deep, founder and CEO of Authority Ventures. I work as a strategy consultant - passionately aiding businesses in optimizing their digital presence. Apart from working with clients, I also work on some niche websites - which are my own experimental projects. One of my website recently got acquired by a Fortune500 company (for a whooping 6-digit figure). Click below to know more about me and my work.

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