Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Keyword Research
I’ve spoken with many site owners over the years that want to know why they can’t just target the same 5-10 keywords across their whole site. Since those keywords explain exactly what their business does and those are the keywords they want to rank well for, wouldn’t it make sense to just go after those keywords in your content and with your link building efforts? And while I can understand this train of thought, targeting the same short list of keywords again and again across your site is actually going to back your SEO into a corner and could land your site in hot water with the search engines.
Let’s say you own a commercial cleaning company that offers window washing, carpet cleaning, trash removal and so forth. Obviously a keyword like “commercial cleaning services” is going to be incredibly important to your business, but that doesn’t mean you have to target it on every page! Carpet cleaning is a specific type of service that you offer, while “commercial cleaning services” refers to the overall business. You want to keep keywords like “office carpet cleaning” on the carpet cleaning service page, while “commercial cleaning services” belongs either on the homepage or the high level services page that lists all of the services you provide (something like the online marketing services page on the Brick Marketing website).
If you decided to target “commercial cleaning services” on the services page, than you should not use it again on the homepage. Instead, target a keyword like “commercial cleaning company” or “janitorial services company,” something that is a little broader and encompasses the whole of your business. If you need to get location specific, simply add the city or city and state to the keyword so it becomes “Boston commercial cleaning company.” This will help ensure that an audience you can actually do business with (provided you aren’t a national company) can find your site.
Depending on the products/services you offer, some of your pages might be targeting incredibly long-tail keywords to avoid double targeting. For instance, “commercial pressure washing services” only gets 73 searches a month, but it’s still worth incorporating into the pressure washing service page on your site—it’s exactly what you offer! Many site owners get so hung up on search volume that they forgo the best keywords for ones with a higher search volume or ones they wanted to target on another page but couldn’t squeeze in. Remember, you can tell the search engines whatever keywords you like for your page, but if your site doesn’t back it up with the content you’ll never do well. You might list “banana” as a priority keyword for your site, but if you don’t sell bananas don’t expect to do well.
It’s crucial that site owners target the most appropriate keywords on each page of their website based on the content of that page and to avoid targeting the same keyword on different pages. This can look like you are trying to manipulate the search engines by targeting a specific keyword time and time again. Even if a site isn’t doing this on purpose, it can still raise a red flag with the search engines and hurt your site in the long run.