Expand Beyond Core Keywords to Improve Traffic

Written by Nick Stamoulis

When first getting started with an SEO campaign, it’s necessary to conduct keyword research for every page of the website. For a large website, this can be a very time consuming process. For a smaller website, it may not take as much time to complete but it’s still important to put the effort in. Keywords that are selected determine what kind of searchers you are attracting and the kind of traffic that will reach your website. Choosing the wrong keywords results in website visitors that are less likely to buy, fill out a lead form, or convert in some other way.

Best practice is to choose the 2-5 most relevant keywords per page of content to target on the page however it really depends on the amount of content that there is. For some pages, it may only be necessary to choose two keywords and for others, it may make sense to choose five. Remember, you never want to “stuff” too many keywords onto a web page. It won’t help your website rank better for those particular keywords. In fact, it can have the opposite affect and result in a search engine penalty.

For a small website, you may only have a core list of 10 or so keywords that you are targeting on your website. It’s good to have a concise list of the most relevant keywords and keyword phrases, but if there are other keywords that are related don’t be afraid to add them to the mix too.

For example, if you are targeting mostly mid range keywords (in the middle as far as search volume and competition goes) on your website, it won’t hurt to include some broad (high search volume, high competition) and long-tail (low search volume, low competition) keywords into your content marketing efforts. When conducting keyword research, create a core list of keywords and then a list of other valuable keywords that you didn’t have the chance to target on the site. Incorporate those “left-over” keywords into your blog posts. This can help generate traffic to your website for the keywords that weren’t targeted on the main pages, but that are still related to the product or service that you offer.

What’s important to remember is that, as a website owner, you can’t be stubborn when selecting keywords to target. An SEO campaign is ongoing and the keywords that are targeted are most likely going to change over time. Search behavior changes, new industry terminology is being added, and (hopefully) your business is also growing and evolving. Targeted keywords need to reflect all of these changes. A core group of keywords is great, but they aren’t the “be all, end all” for an SEO campaign.

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