Developing a Keyword Strategy – How Many is Too Much?

So you sell widgets and your company is called Consumer Widget Distribution Limited. Your keyword list should not contain the words consumer, widget, or distribution. The fact that your company name includes all three give them a force that is related to but not quite a keyword. More importantly, if you do a search on your end product, widgets, several million results will be returned. A search on the term “computers” returns 446,000,000 results with giant manufacturers or distributors leading the way. Such a search leaves your odds at 1 to 446,000,000 that you will get a top rating on Google. Now this is a bit better than playing MegaMillions or Powerball 파워볼사이트 but still ridiculously large.

A better strategy for targeting is to focus on benefits that more specifically define your product or service. Say you sell luxury widgets. Why not use the phrase “luxury widgets” as a keyword phrase. This gives you a leg up on the search engine game because the phrase will show up far less often than the simple keyword “widgets.” If people are looking to buy luxury widgets and they type in the phrase “luxury widgets” as a Google search phrase, it is far more likely that you will end up near the top of the list. Not only that, but you narrow your market so that people that enter “dirt cheap widgets” will not see your site at all and you won’t get unwanted or unproductive visits to your site.

I often suggest a list of around ten keyword phrases to be included for any given website. Search engines tend to favor brevity on this front. What is included within the commas that separate keywords is all counted as one word so phrases give you a way to actually include more words without suffering a penalty for their inclusion. Phrases also tend to target your market and produce better results in the long run. There are a number of reasonably priced keyword research tools that help you refine your keyword list and we recommend looking into them if you are serious about developing keyword strategies that work.

To develop a reasonable set of keyword phrases takes work. It takes a clear understanding of what you sell, the benefits of your product or service, a clear marketing strategy and the like. In short, it takes a complete grasp of your business, your products, and your customers.

When developing a keyword strategy one is faced with two additional issues. First, the problem of singular versus plural keywords. Secondly, how specific should one make a keyword phrase. Regarding the issue of singular vs. plural the answer is not cut and dry. As a general rule if the word pluralizes with the addition of the letter ‘s’ then always use the plural term. It targets both the singular and the plural. But if the word pluralizes by adding the letters ‘es’ then you are generally okay with the plural as well. It is when the word pluralizes irregularly like mouse and mice that you must use both or just pick one. You don’t get the benefit of targeting both with the plural. I am cautious when writing keywords for irregular nouns and make decisions based on an understanding of the business, products and customers being targeted.

Turning to keyword phrase specificity the short response is that specificity is overrated. This is a matter of optimization. If I target, for example, “luxury fashionable valuable widgets” as a keyword phrase, that precise phrase must appear enough times to create a density of around 3% on my website. How many times can one read that phrase without the whole thing appearing hackneyed? Not often I submit. The way around this problem is to target individual words within the keyword phrase rather than the whole phrase itself. If there are 100 words on my home page I would need to repeat the four word phrase three times or I could simply repeat each individual word 3 times adding to readability and achieving the same result. I generally write copy first and then work on my keywords so that I concentrate on the aesthetics of the page before I consider optimization.

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