Q: Is it a keyword or a key phrase?
A: Strictly speaking, a keyword means one single word. When the first search engines were launched, they had relatively simple algorithms and many users used single words for their searches. But search engines are constantly evolving and now they support large key phrases with 2 or more keywords. It is way more convenient for users because we can search more precisely by using multiple (not single) words and so search engines can provide us with more relevant results.
So a key phrase means a set of separate words that build a phrase (a multi-word search term). BUT most search marketers prefer the term “keywords” since it is shorter. For a successful on-site optimisation, you should carefully choose your relevant keywords with more focus on key phrases, and incorporate them into your website content.
Key phrases often drive more targeted and specific traffic
to the website. The more keywords your key phrase has, the more chances you have to receive exactly what you’ve been looking for and get it quickly.
For instance, typing the keyword “Chocolate,” will get you pages and pages of very irrelevant results. BUT if you type “Chocolate Byron Bay,” the system will recognize at once that you are looking information about chocolate available or made in Byron Bay (etc), and will provide you with relevant results containing additional information on this topic.
So, should you focus more on keywords or key phrases or both when optimising your project? Well, it depends! And mainly it depends upon your business niche. Let’s say you sell amber or provide information resources about amber. In this case, you would likely be most interested in getting good rankings for the keyword “amber.” And in this case, it makes sense. But what if you are an Internet marketing agency? What is the point of trying to get higher rankings for the keywords “Internet” or “marketing” separately? So it’s all about what fits in your niche, and trying things out!