in SEO by Jeffrey_Smith

Keyword are important for search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM), but the real fact is that key phrases are what provide your website with the ability to broaden the sales funnel and drive more qualified traffic to your landing pages.

SEO and Applied Keyword Research

SEO and Applied Keyword Research

Today, the average search query is 3-4 words in search engines vs. 1-2 words 3-4 years ago. This signifies that search behavior has had to adapt to accommodate the vast amounts of new content flooding  the web each day so that they spend less time looking for relevant content and more time enjoying it.

This is a boon for SEO, as you can take the most common modifiers and place them into action contextually to increase the amount of pre-qualified / opt-in visitors to your web pages (search engines are just the medium).

Let’s consider strategic ways to increase conversion through targeting an array of semantic modifiers that best describe your products services or the need of the person conducting the search. Broad level keywords such as one word root phrases are not always the best sources for conversion.

The closer you are to delivering the solution to intent of the searcher at that time, the more user engagement you can anticipate for that page and other related pages based on the task flow or call to action on your pages.

In general the most common modifiers are:

  • Services
  • Company
  • Firm
  • Pricing
  • Rates
  • Affordable
  • Expert
  • Best
  • Leading
  • Expert
  • Consultant
  • Provider
  • How to
  • Company in
  • Services in
  • What is

These qualifiers a.k.a. keyword modifiers are typically used either before or after a keyword as part of a key phrase to best describe or communicate the intent of your query to search engines.

Knowing this, you can systematically develop crucial landing pages which target each of the respective variants or invest enough authority into one page allowing it to be returned as a relevant query for multiple stemmed variations as you plant the seed of relevance for future harvest.

When visitors arrive on a website they typically want to know (a) who you are and if your company is reputable (b) what is the product or service and what is your value proposition (why they should by it from you) (c) how much does that product or service cost and (d) what others think about it. So, armed with that information, you can couple your prominent keywords with additional modifiers to aid them in finding the right pages to begin with.

Fortunately you can layer keyword contextually throughout multiple pages and consolidate their focus through internal linking to elect the preferred landing page.

If your website lacks the position, integrity or popularity to rank highly for a competitive or relative term, then it is a matter of content, relevance, site architecture and authority (which are essential stages of the optimization process).

Before you reach those goals, your map or blueprint is the relationships between pages and context you create based on the targeted keywords you intend to rank for (keyword research).

Search engine pay particular regard to the first three words used in a title tag. Specifically if they match the keyword you are targeting in “exact match” have a similar H1 tag, enough term frequency and internal links from other pages with the same keyword. So, try to use that structure for the new landing pages (exact match in the title with no clutter, link to the page from other pages with that keyword and sprinkle the keyword 2-5 times in text to cement relevance).

However, if you are looking for additional seeds to plant, the site architecture should already have a silo suitable for acquiring the root phrase (main theme). If not, then you can add a CMS system to administer new content and serve as an index point for search engine spiders to crawl from into the deep layers of legacy content.

Going back to streamline older pages can provide a boost for new landing pages, however, the ideal method is to work towards more competitive rankings over time by incorporating variations of competitive keywords by adding modifiers.

For example, ranking for “SEO company” would be a lengthy endeavor to sit at the top of the search engine result pages. However, ranking for SEO company in “GEO Modifier” (like Los Angeles, New York or Chicago) that all have a link to the main SEO company preferred landing page would be one way to establish a topical array of related keywords, build more links and devour more long tail phrases.

Creating another page for Best SEO Company, Leading SEO Company, Affordable SEO Company, etc. establishes exact match parameters for search engines.  You can tie them together with images as links for secondary navigation so you don’t diffuse of confuse search engines with primary navigation (by adding to many nested layers) and link all subordinate pages to the main theme / landing page (your SEO company page).

The next step after creating specific landing pages for less competitive phrases is to get enough deep links from other websites. Depending on the threshold and tipping point for that keyword 10-20 inbound links for a moderate keyword with quality one way links should get that page from just being a nested page in a silo to a page that is capable of acquiring its own stability for a national competitive ranking.

You can either use pages in tandem to create the effect (virtual theming) or create multiple subfolders with concentrated link weight 500-1000 links to feed the subordinate pages which allow them to stem over time

The idea is, going after the broad / most competitive keywords is better left to a campaign that will naturally acquire them anyway. Every time you (a) link to yourself or (b) acquire inbound links with modifiers, you are essentially still building links for the root phrase.

For example targeting the key phrase “Best SEO Firm in LA” still provides relevance for LA SEO Firm, LA SEO, etc. It is just a matter of thinking outside or rigid parameters that allows you to create actionable content, links and landing pages to capture the flag when it comes to search engine relevance and more importantly, matching users expectations. 

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About Jeffrey_Smith

In 2006, Jeffrey Smith founded SEO Design Solutions (An SEO Provider who now develops SEO Software for WordPress).

Jeffrey has actively been involved in internet marketing since 1995 and brings a wealth of collective experiences and marketing strategies to increase rankings, revenue and reach.

8 thoughts on “SEO and Applied Keyword Research
  1. Mauco says:

    Thanks so much for this post. I highly appreciate and will reference it often.

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