SEO Target Query: what is it and how to choose it?

Updated April 20, 2024

Do you want to improve your positioning in search results and attract your target audience? Whether you call them “target query”, “keyword” or “keyphrase”, these terms are the keys to increasing your online visibility. Simply put, these are the words or phrases that your potential audience types into search engines to find information, services or products. Don't let your site blend into the digital background! In this article, I reveal everything you need to know and guide you in choosing your keywords.


What is an SEO target query?

Defining a target query

For the owner of a website, the SEO target query corresponds to the main keyword around which a web page is optimized.

These are the terms that Internet users type into search engines (Google, Bing, etc.) to find precise answers to their needs. They are often linked to a specific search intent.

➡️ Example: comfortable and elegant women's shoes

To remember : a web page = a specific keyword


What is the point of keywords in SEO?

Choosing the right keywords attracts the attention of Internet users and indexing robots. These scan, index and classify pages based on several criteria, including target queries. Why does this matter so much? Getting to the top of the organic results offers a considerable advantage, especially when you know that the first three results on Google capture approximately 60 % clicks (Source: Moz). Carefully optimized content around a relevant keyword not only increases your chances of being featured first page ; it also targets the right people and boosts your conversion rate.

Choose the right target query to optimize your online visibility

Each target query must be well chosen in order to attract qualified traffic to your site, but also to convert your audience.

Define your marketing persona

Who is your target audience on the Web ? By creating and understanding your persona, you will sharpen your messages for tailor-made communication. This will help you choose targeted keywords and create content that resonates deeply with your audience.

➡️ What will she type into Google to discover you online? Understanding their vocabulary is the key to capturing their attention and engaging them effectively. The more you master its language, the better you will connect with your audience.

Consider search intent

Search intent is the secret to reaching your target audience: it reveals exactly what your users want to find. Each category of intentional keywords guides users through different stages of their purchasing journey.


Informational keywords

Internet users want to get a specific answer to a question or access general information.

➡️ Visit Paris

Commercial Keywords

The Internet user demonstrates a keen interest in a product or service.

➡️ Car insurance comparison

Transactional Keywords

The Internet user wants to take action or buy something.

➡️ Buy SNCF ticket

Navigational keywords

The Internet user seeks to access a website that he already knows or a specific web page.


Favor long-tail keywords

Until 80% traffic of a website comes from long tail keywords. These expressions of three words or more attract qualified traffic and offer a better conversion rate, despite lower search volume.

🔵 Example of a generic keyword: “family vacation”.

🔵 Example of a long tail keyword: “best family vacation in France”.


Do an SEO competitive analysis

Are you wondering how to shine among competitors who target the same audience as you? Opt for a careful analysis of the competition. Don't be intimidated by the fierce competition for keywords; there is always a niche for you with the right strategy. Use tools like SEMrush to assess the SEO difficulty target queries and inspect search results (SERP) leaders.

➡️ Who are these sites that dominate the first page of results? Rate them editorial content, the quality of their backlinks, and their authority domain name (DA). How can you do better to stand out?

Balancing competition and volume when choosing keywords

But then why worry about keyword search volume ? Without searches, there is no traffic. Without traffic, no conversions. And without conversions, sales become a challenge.

For example, rather than aiming broadly at “ Photographer » with its 110,000 monthly searches, you could choose:

➡️ Wedding photographer: 1600 monthly searches

➡️ Photography studio: 800 monthly searches

➡️ Photographer around me: 1000 monthly searches

➡️ Photographer Saumur: 390 monthly searches

➡️ Photographer 49: 210 monthly searches

Think targeted, think local! These terms, although less searched for, attract a specific audience, ready to engage. Integrate seasonal variations and prioritize target requests directly related to your services. Even the zero volume keywords deserve attention: Internet users' searches are getting longer (the famous long tail). We also see new terms previously unknown to the battalion flourishing on the web, but also the appearance of very specific niches, etc. These emerging terms can quickly gain popularity.

You will have understood, I advise you to choose the winning strategy : keywords that deliver qualified traffic (and conversions) without putting you in a tug-of-war for visibility.

Ensure the relevance of the query

Users are looking for specific answers — whether for information, products or solutions to their problems. The key is to choose keywords that directly reflect the content of your page or site.

➡️ Example of irrelevant query:

“Tips for saving on energy bills” on a website that sells energy-efficient appliances.

For what ? Although this is about saving energy, visitors are looking for tips to reduce their bills. They are probably not interested in purchasing new devices, but rather in tailored advice to change their consumption habits. Aim for consistent keywords and aligned with the interests of your target audience.

How to find the right keywords?

➡️ Trust your intuition, often underestimated!

Then, equip yourself with SEO tools such as SEMrush or Ubersuggest to decipher your audience's searches and your competitors' keyword strategies.


Browse the forums and user-generated content (UGC) to understand your target’s real concerns. Let yourself be guided by the Google suggestions instantaneous and associated researches to track the digital steps of your audience. Still in the Google family, don't miss out on Google Trends to capture current trends. THE online reviews ? They are a goldmine for discovering authentic keywords. Complete your toolbox with Answer the Public to directly visualize your audience's questions. Finally, take advantage of social networks and make every interaction in your daily life enriching (active listening).

Where to place the target query in the text of a web page? 

Congratulations, you have chosen your target query! Now it's time to get down to writing. Your mission, if you accept it, is to create content that resonates with Google as much as it does with your readers. Enrich your articles with secondary keywords and expand them lexical field. But above all, integrate your keywords in hot areas of the page in a natural way:

  • The titles.
  • At the beginning of the introduction.
  • The first paragraphs.
  • The body of the text.
  • The conclusion.
  • The URLs of your pages.
  • Meta tags.
  • Alternative text for images (ALT).
  • Link anchors.

How do I know if my SEO query is effective?

To determine the effectiveness of your SEO query, focus on these key points:

  1. Organic Traffic: Use Google Analytics to see if traffic generated by your keyword is increasing.
  2. SERP Ranking: Check your position in search results via tools like Google Search Console or SEO Hero Ninja.
  3. Click-Through Rate (CTR): View CTR in Google Search Console to gauge the power of your titles and descriptions.
  4. Visitor engagement: analyze time spent on page and rebound rate to measure the interest and relevance of your content.
  5. Conversions: Track key actions like purchases or registrations (newsletter, webinars, etc.) to see if the query attracts the right type of visitors.

With these key metrics, you'll see exactly how your keywords are performing. You will then be able to refine your SEO strategy and boost your results.

What is Yoast SEO target query?

The target query in Yoast SEO is the main keyword that aims to place your web page at the top of search results. Type this keyword into Yoast, and the tool sifts through your content.


You will receive concrete advice to adjust your titles, texts and metadata to better match this keyword.

Attention : Yoast SEO is not a magic wand. Getting green lights is not a substitute for complete SEO strategy and does not guarantee a position on the first page. Indeed, it also depends on the competitiveness of the keywords, the quality of your overall content, and your linking strategy.

What you must remember

In conclusion, choosing your keywords is a key step in an SEO strategy. Therefore, we know that it is important to understand your target audience, to carry out an in-depth analysis of relevant terms and to take into account both search volume, competition and authority. Don’t just stick to popular keywords, select niche phrases too (long tails are welcome). Finally, remember that keyword optimization should not compromise the quality of your content! Write for your core audience first and foremost by offering relevant and engaging content. You are now ready to improve your online visibility, attract qualified prospects and achieve your SEO goals.

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