There is a saying we throw around the office, target the root and devour

There are more keywords under the surface than their are keywords revealed. Leave it to most businesses to always want to go bigger, better and over the top in an attempt to conquer the most powerful or most searched keywords in a niche or take on the major players for vanity plate keywords.

Not to say that the competitive nature in most of us doesn’t get the best of us, who doesn’t want to rank higher in Google, Yahoo, MSN or Ask? The key is asking yourself about time to market, topical continuity, relevance and conversion and if you would rather keep your eggs in one basket or spread around the risk to offset the odds.

Does a visitor care how many competing page there are for the query they execute (such as 1 of 10 of 100,000 results or 1 of 10 of 100,000,000?), hardly, but does an SEO or a business targeting that keyword, you bet they do, since they have to climb that mountain to reach the top 10.

Going back to behavior, is the need to necessitate a keyword victory over a competitor really matter if the keyword performs poorly? I can assure you, not every keyword is laced in gold. The idea that as soon as you get that one magic phrase, your business is in the clear is a reality that can change.

The premise of search behavior shifting can leave a 6 month exodus of trying to achieve one specific keyword or phrase flat if people simply stop searching for that exact phrase, which leads to my conclusion.

Don’t Assume, You Either Know or You Don’t Know:

For optimal effectiveness, use different keywords and/or keyword phrases on each page of your website. Optimize each page for those keywords and/or keyword phrases that are relevant to the content of that particular page.

Title Tag

-Use keywords and/or keyword phrases as a descriptive title for each page. -Use your most relevant keywords and/or keyword phrases in your home page title. -To be the most effective, title tags should contain only keywords and/or keyword phrases. -Repeat the keywords and/or keyword phrases 2-3 times but make sure that the title makes sense. An example for this page would be: Keyword Usage, Using Keywords and Keyword Phrases Effectively.

Meta Tag Keywords

-Place all relevant keywords and keyword phrases in your meta tag…. -If possible, avoid using single keywords as they may be too competitive. Use keyword phrases instead. -Don’t repeat your keywords more than 2-3 times to avoid offending some search engines. -Separate keywords and keyword phrases with commas or spaces, not both. Example: keyword,keyword phrase,keyword or keyword keyword phrase keyword. -Use common misspellings or miss keyings. Ex: keywrod or keywird. -Use different forms of keywords whenever possible. Ex: web site and website. -Use singular and plural versions of keywords. Ex: website and websites. -Use upper and lower case. Ex: Website and website

Meta Tag description

-Use your keywords and keyword phrases in your meta tag description….. -Repeat your most important keywords and/or keyword phrases a minimum of 2-3 times. -The total length of your description tag should be no more than 20-25 words. -Your description should make sense as this is what often shows up in the search engine results page. This is your opportunity to persuade users to click through to your site so be sure your description is enticing and contains keywords and/or keyword phrases that will attract visitors.


-Many search engines concentrate on the first 250 words of your text when looking for keyword relevancy and density so concentrate your keywords and/or keyword phrases there. -Strive for 5-7% keyword density (5-7 keywords and/or keyword phrases per 100 words of text). If your keyword density is much higher than this, your copy may not make sense AND the search engines may consider it keyword spamming. -Use your most important keywords and/or keyword phrases throughout your copy but without sounding repetitious. -Use your most important keywords and/or keyword phrases in your H1 tag. To give more weight to your H1 tag, use only one H1 tag in your copy. (Your H1 tag should contain your most important statement so you shouldn’t need to use more than one H1 tag.) -Use keywords and/or keyword phrases in your image ALT tags. For example your logo ALT tag should say something such as: ALT=”keyword logo image”.

META tags are not as important as they once were as most search engines are now searching your copy when looking for keywords and/or keyword phrases. Therefore, it’s become increasingly important to have the first 250 words of your copy be keyword rich.

Sometimes, it may be better to write your content first, then choose your keywords and/or keyword phrases from the content. Rewrite your content as needed, adding keywords and/or keyword phrases that pertain to the theme of the content. In this way, you’ve chosen keywords and/or keyword phrases that are relevant to your content, instead of trying to write content to fit your keywords and/or keyword phrases.
The assumption in the heading suggests:

1) You never know exactly how search engine algorithms are going to slice and dice your pages or how many or few keywords each page can rank for. We can speculate, but organic SEO can really deliver traffic.

This means that relevance for a query can align from a keyword from the title, another keyword from the URL string, another keyword gets latched on from a description tag and yet another portion of the keyword in the body copy of the document. Even though the snippets returned in the search result is what is above the surface, you never know how deep a search query can go into your site, one page or all of your pages to assess relevance.

The point being, unless you have a crystal ball or write the algorithm (which I doubt) then such things are constantly being tweaked and adjusted to return more relevant results. So, the more narrow your keyword focus, the more of the market you potentially miss.

2) If site architecture, content and linking are implemented properly (optimized) then each page can rank specifically for numerous “exact match” and “broad match” (general) keywords and phrases with the same effort of just a few keywords. The key is each page owns a focus or range or phrases it targets, then you coordinate the pages to work as a collective masterpiece.

The takeaway is, the web is a work in progress so don’t obsess and just target 10 phrases, with a bit more energy and effort you can target 100 long-tail phrases that may collectively deliver 10 times the traffic daily than a vanity plate (common sense keyword) based on (partial) keyword research.

The way you find gems like that are (1) check your bounce rates and look for semantic similarities to base your next batch of posts or articles (if you have a blog). The search algorithm sees your pages differently than you do, however the idea is to work with it, not against it.

Keyword tools can only call it as they see it, but since the majority of searches are based on the subjective mindset and search behavior of millions of unique minds, the common threads are not as common as we surmise.

For every common sense keyword or root phrase based on captured data, there are 100 more long-tail equivalents you could rank for as well with a few slight tweaks to titles, links and layout.