Keyword research plays a pivotal role in any website SEO strategy.
I often get asked whether SEO keywords are case sensitive and how does capitalisation of text impacts search engine optimisation.
In this article, we are going to look at keywords in detail and whether it is true that keywords are actually case sensitive.
What is an SEO keyword?
- What is an SEO keyword?
- What is case sensitivity?
- Are search engines case sensitive?
- Are exact match keywords case sensitive?
- Should metadata be capitalised?
- Should meta descriptions be capitalised?
- How does keyword capitalisation impact SEO?
- Does capitalisation in URL’s impact SEO?
- Get keyword research and SEO advice
A keyword is a phrase used within the SEO industry to describe what a user searches in Google in order to answer a query.
Whether that be searching for a service, brand or person, keywords are what enable us to understand the types of searches that a potential customer uses to search for something.
Good and bad keyword research can be the difference between being found and ranking well for a number of phrases in Google to not being discovered at all. To make them more effective, you should use them smartly and creatively to improve your visibility on search engines like Google.
What is case sensitivity?
Case sensitivity is the term used within SEO to describe how Google differentiates between uppercase and lowercase characters.
Letters can be considered case-sensitive or insensitive through capitalisation at the beginning of keywords. It is something that we are going to go into further detail about and how it really impacts keywords.
Are search engines case sensitive?
When it comes to keywords and searching in Google, keywords are generally case insensitive and you will get the same results no matter what cases you use for letters.
If you were to search for example “seo expert london” and “SEO Expert London”, you will find that you get the same results.
It is slightly different however for URLs. Google is very particular about URLs and will treat them differently depending on the case of a letter.
For example, two URLs could look exactly like one another but be treated as different if they were written with either all lower-case or capital letters respectively.
Are exact match keywords case sensitive?
No matter whether the keyword is an exact match or a broader phrase match, the results will be the same. Keywords are matched without regard to lowercase and uppercase letters. If you are using capitalized tags in your title and a user searches for the keyword with exact capitalization, the search results will be the same.
Should metadata be capitalised?
When it comes to capitalising your metadata (i.e your meta titles, descriptions and schema) there may be different uses for when you want to use capitalisation.
For instance, using capitalisation in your meta title is necessary when you are using abbreviations or want certain keywords to stand out more than others. However, you should avoid using capitalisation just for the sake of it and really only use it if you need to.
Best practice when it comes to capitalisation in metadata is to only use it when needed and if you are including names or nouns.
Should meta descriptions be capitalised?
Capitalisation in your meta descriptions is also something that you should only use if necessary. Again, some people may capitalise on all keywords as a way to grab the user’s attention.
However, this can reduce the impact it has on the message and take you away from the keywords that you want potential website visitors to see.
It is not going to really impact you positively or negatively by capitalising all keywords but it’s certainly something you should again use when needed.
How does keyword capitalisation impact SEO?
Google has announced that they do not care about case sensitivity when it comes to SEO. You should make sure, however, that you keep the URL’s for each page of your website consistent in both uppercase and lowercase letters because this makes them easier on google or most engines, which will split rank signal information based on which type is used more often by their algorithms.
Capitalising your keywords whether that be in your metadata or your content, is not directly going to impact SEO. However, if used incorrectly, it can impact the experience that a user will have to digest the message it is you are trying to get across.
Generally, you will not see different search results whether the keyword you search is capitalised or not. You may see minor fluctuations depending on how competitive a phrase is but overall, the results that appear will not be impacted by the case you use for a letter.
Does capitalisation in URL’s impact SEO?
Google doesn’t consider the letter case in itself to be an SEO issue, but you should keep it consistent across individual URLs because Google could have different interpretations of which URL is being accessed.
Google is not concerned with case-sensitive URLs as an SEO issue, but you should aim to make sure that your website’s URLs are all in lowercase. This helps Google and the majority of search engines identify which pages on your site will rank higher.
Get keyword research and SEO advice
To summarise, the case of a particular keyword should not impact what that particular query presents when a user searches for a phrase.
Google’s search engine will not devalue a web page based on whether it is using capitalisation or not. If you are looking to rank for a particular keyword, the best thing you can do is look at what others are doing and base your decisions on this.
If you have any questions regarding keywords, please get in touch and I will answer any questions you may have.