There is something to be said about targeting terms and keywords that are within your reach. Not that wishful thinking does not have its place, but before you embark on a year long keyword conquest, make sure you understand what it takes to land a top 10 result (and maintain it) for a competitive keyword.
Assessing Where You Are
For most, SEO comes down to budget and chronology. When you start pursuing a keyword matters and just how you go about it all have an impact on the reaction the algorithm returns. Although resources matter, never overlook the power of ingenuity and prowess in chipping away at a competitive phrase.
What to Expect
If you have a new site, the likelihood of your content having the appropriate indicators may be bleak, however this should not discourage you from picking up some low hanging fruit along the way.
Compare a Like to a Like, Measure Success in Relative Stages
Perspective is everything, how you measure the impact of your site is through relevant traffic and sales conversion. Instead of comparing your website to the leading site in the industry (who obviously is holding down the most competitive keywords) instead use another metric to categorize a successful SEO campaign.
For example, the ability to amass thousands of long-tail keywords or “phrases that have less competition typically containing more than 3 words” is a great way to set the stage and groom your sites profile for bigger and better targets for keywords.
Build a Natural Link Profile
The concept of managing link weight and creating a conducive link profile for your site, based on how themed it is (if it has a topic or not), how well the site architecture is built (to reinforce itself) all play a part in the saga. However, in this instance it is more about off page SEO than on page SEO factors.
Use a Wide Array Of Keywords
The idea here, to gain multiple rankings is to mix things up. Target keywords that are attainable, but always keep your eye on the prize. Depending on how aggressive the competition is, how Google and other search engines see your site (as an authority or a new entrant), the link popularity your pages have and how useful your content is, will determine just how fast you climb the ladder to the helm of a keywords root.
Once you target the root, any phrase that stem from it (so long as your site synergy is present for those phrases) are all within the scope and range of a valid SEO effort.
Depending on the phrase, acquisition can occur within the time frame of a few days to several months, the key here is to always keep producing more relevant content around a related theme and pursuing each keyword as its own unique project until a suitable ranking is produced. Managing multiple keywords obviously requires more resources to execute and track, however the results they produce and how they impact the bottom line should be apparent with data from analytics.
With keywords, it boils down to time, energy and focus and the ability to take direction from the signals search engines provide to fine tune your sites on page and off page factors to perfection (or at least into the top 5 search results).