Concepts Before Keyword Research

Keyword research is important to resonate with your target audience.

Before looking to carry out any keyword research, you need to understand not only the core topic but also the source context of the website.

You need to explore the words and phrases that your target audience might expect to see when they search for specific terms on Google.

Topical research can help you develop ideas and concepts that you want to include on your web pages, building an information architecture for your site.

When you align the core topic with the source context, you will be able to satisfy the search intent on all your web pages.

Stop Using Keyword Research Tools

Most SEO specialists advise starting with keyword tools like ahrefs and semrush, with no understanding of the source context required for the website.

Plugging your competitors into third-party keyword tools is going to recommend creating the same content they have, and while that can be helpful, there are steps you should consider taking before ever getting to that stage.

Think carefully about the audiences that your website is written for, because those are the people who you want to find your pages.

Every single website requires a different topical map because, even if it’s targeting the same core topic, the source context can be very different.

One website owner could be the cheapest on the market and want to tailor the search intent around cheap, affordable services. Where a competitor could be targeting expensive, high-end customers only.

Before the thought of collecting keywords for your pages and looking them up in keyword tools ever enters your head, you need to consider the objectives behind the site and the informational needs of the audiences those objectives address.

Bill Slawski

Expanding Keywords with -Onyms

Expanding your keywords and understanding the risks of some keyword choices can also be very helpful.

Many websites in July 2024 are suffering from sitewide classifiers (Google Penalty) because they have gone too wide and offtopic with their topical maps.

There are several kinds of -Onyms that can make keyword research more interesting and rewarding.

The suffix -onym in English means “name” or “word”.

Here are some -Onyms to think about while doing keyword research:


Antonyms are words with opposite meanings to another word.

Here are some words that have opposite meanings and are classified as antonyms:

  • Buying – Selling
  • Happy – Sad
  • Light – Heavy
  • Young – Old
  • Strong – Weak
  • Victory – Defeat

The opposite of some of your keywords can lead to useful concepts and keywords.

For example, “hot” is an antonym of “cold.”

They are used in language to convey contrasts in ideas and attributes.


Acronyms are abbreviated forms of words or phrases, created using the initial letters of each word in a series.

An acronym simplifies communication by shortening longer terms.

In the context of SEO and Google rankings, here are five relevant acronyms:

  • SEO: Search Engine Optimization – The practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to a website through organic search engine results.
  • SERP: Search Engine Results Page – The page displayed by a search engine in response to a user’s query.
  • PPC: Pay-Per-Click – An internet advertising model used to drive traffic to websites, where advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked.
  • CTR: Click-Through Rate – A ratio showing how often people who see your ad or free product listing end up clicking it.
  • GA: Google Analytics – A web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic.

These acronyms are fundamental in understanding and discussing SEO and online marketing strategies.

As well as abbreviations and capitalism, these shortened versions of words and phrases are common in many areas of life, from the names of organizations to types of measurements and more.


A capitonym is a word that changes its meaning when it is capitalized.

Capitonym is a portmanteau of the word capital and the suffix onym. Capital refers to a capital letter, and onym is a suffix that means “word.”

Capitonyms can change their meaning and their pronunciation when they are capitalized.

Here are five examples of Capitonyms:

  • March (the month) – march (to walk in a measured, rhythmic manner)
  • Polish (relating to Poland) – polish (to make something shine)
  • Turkey (the country) – turkey (the bird)
  • May (the month) – may (permission)
  • Turkey (country) – turkey (food)

When using Capitonyms its important to understand the keyword search volumes could be bigger than expected due to it having multiple meanings.


Demonyms are words used to denote the residents or natives of a particular place, usually derived from the name of that place.

Here are five examples of Demonyms:

  • American – A resident of the United States of America.
  • Canadian – A person from Canada.
  • Parisian – Someone from Paris.
  • Australian – A native of Australia.
  • Londoner – A resident of London.

These terms describe the inhabitants of a geographical area, often used in the context of nationality, city, or region.


Eponyms are words that are derived from the name of a person or place, often associated with something they discovered, invented, or were significantly involved in.

Here are five examples of Eponyms:

  • Sandwich – Named after the Earl of Sandwich.
  • Diesel – Derived from Rudolf Diesel, the inventor of the diesel engine.
  • Alzheimer’s disease – Named after Alois Alzheimer, who first described the disease.
  • Victorian era – Named after Queen Victoria.
  • Fahrenheit – Named after Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, who developed the temperature scale.

These eponyms highlight how individuals’ names become integrated into language to describe inventions, discoveries, or significant historical periods.


Heteronyms are words that are spelled the same but have different meanings and often different pronunciations.

Here are five examples of Heteronyms:

  • Tear (to rip) – Tear (a drop from the eye)
  • Lead (to guide) – Lead (a metal)
  • Close (near) – Close (to shut)
  • Bow (a ribbon knot) – Bow (to bend forward)
  • Wind (air in motion) – Wind (to turn something)

When using Heteronyms the search volumes can be inflated as the terms could be going after multiple intents.


Homonyms are words that sound alike but have different meanings and may or may not be spelled the same.

Here are five examples of Homonyms:

  • Right (correct) – Right (opposite of left)
  • Bark (a tree’s outer layer) – Bark (the sound a dog makes)
  • Bat (a flying mammal) – Bat (equipment used in sports like cricket and baseball)
  • Fair (equitable) – Fair (a gathering or event)
  • Bear (the animal) – Bear (to carry or endure)

These illustrate the interesting aspect of English where identical-sounding words have distinct meanings.

When using Homonyms as part of your keyword research it is important to understand the different meanings as you might find terms with large volumes, but the intent is different to your target page.


Holonyms are words that denote a whole whose parts are denoted by another word.

Here are five examples of Holonyms:

  • Tree – Branch: “Tree” is the holonym of “branch”, as a branch is a part of a tree.
  • Book – Page: “Book” is the holonym of “page”.
  • Face – Nose: “Face” is the holonym of “nose”.
  • Car – Engine: “Car” is the holonym of “engine”.
  • Body – Arm: “Body” is the holonym of “arm”.

These examples show the relationship between a whole object and its constituent parts.


Hyponyms are words that represent a specific type or instance of a broader category, known as a hypernym.

Here are five examples of Hyponyms:

  • Rose – Flower: “Rose” is a hyponym of “flower”, denoting a specific type of flower.
  • Poodle – Dog: “Poodle” is a hyponym of “dog”, representing a specific breed.
  • Oak – Tree: “Oak” is a hyponym of “tree”, indicating a particular kind of tree.
  • Carrot – Vegetable: “Carrot” is a hyponym of “vegetable”, a specific vegetable variety.
  • Sparrow – Bird: “Sparrow” is a hyponym of “bird”, a specific bird species.

These examples illustrate how hyponyms provide detail within a general category.


Hypernyms are words that denote a general category or class, encompassing more specific words known as hyponyms.

A hypernym is the opposite of a hyponym.

Here are five examples of Hypernyms:

  • Flower – Rose: “Flower” is a hypernym for “rose”, covering all types of flowers.
  • Dog – Poodle: “Dog” is a hypernym for “poodle”, including all dog breeds.
  • Tree – Oak: “Tree” is a hypernym for “oak”, encompassing all kinds of trees.
  • Vegetable – Carrot: “Vegetable” is a hypernym for “carrot”, covering all vegetables.
  • Bird – Sparrow: “Bird” is a hypernym for “sparrow”, including all bird species.

Hypernyms help categorize and group more specific terms under a broader umbrella.


Retronyms are terms created by modifying an original word to differentiate it from a newer version or form.

This often happens when advancements or changes make the original term less specific.

Here are five examples of Retronyms:

  • Acoustic Guitar – Distinguished from electric guitars.
  • Analog Watch – Differentiated from digital watches.
  • Manual Typewriter – As opposed to electronic typewriters.
  • Film Camera – In contrast to digital cameras.
  • Rotary Phone – To distinguish from touch-tone and later smartphones.

Retronyms reflect how language evolves with technological and cultural advancements.


Synonyms are words or phrases that have nearly the same meaning as another word or phrase in the same language.

Here are five examples of Synonyms:

  • Happy – Joyful
  • Beautiful – Attractive
  • Fast – Quick
  • Smart – Intelligent
  • Easy – Simple

These examples show how synonyms can be used interchangeably to enrich language and add variety to communication.

Synonyms are a great way to enhance content relevance and context for SEO benefits.


Toponyms are names given to places, geographical features, or landmarks.

These names often carry historical, cultural, or geographical significance.

Here are five examples of Toponyms:

  • Everest – the name of the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest.
  • Sahara – The world’s largest hot desert, the Sahara Desert.
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken – fast food place named after Kentucky region
  • Hollywood – A district in Los Angeles, known for its film industry.
  • Silicon Valley – A region in California famous for technology companies and startups.

Toponyms provide unique identifiers for various geographical locations and features.


Troponyms are words that represent a particular, frequently more thorough way of carrying out the action that a verb describes.

Here are five examples of Troponyms:

  • March – Walk: “March” is a troponym of “walk”, describing a specific type of walking.
  • Whisper – Speak: “Whisper” is a troponym of “speak”, indicating a quiet way of speaking.
  • Stare – Look: “Stare” is a troponym of “look”, meaning to look intensely.
  • Sprint – Run: “Sprint” is a troponym of “run”, referring to running at full speed.
  • Gobble – Eat: “Gobble” is a troponym of “eat”, implying eating quickly and greedily.

A troponym adds specificity and detail to actions, enriching language expression.


With heteronyms, homonyms, and capitonyms, the search volumes on your keyword research may refer to the meaning of the word you’re thinking about as well as completely different meanings.

Researching the concepts and using them as part of your advanced keyword research strategies is what can separate you from copycat websites and help you receive information gain with Google search engines.

Writers should always keep -onyms in mind when writing content, as they can be very useful.

Exploring different -onyms may help you expand the keywords and concepts that you are researching.

Many entrepreneurs used -onyms to help come up with brand names and business names.

Some are good to be aware of when words or phrases might have more than one meaning, even if they are spelled the same.