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    Optimise for 10 keyphrases of higher competition, or loads of lower competition?


    Hi,

    As a rule of thumb, is it always best to optimise for a large number of low competition keyphrases (for example, 200 keyphrases with only ~10-20 visits/day but only 0-20 competing pages) or a small number of higher competition keyphrases (e.g. 10 keyphrases with 400 visits/day but 10000+ competing pages)?

    The reason I ask is that most 'professional' SEO agencies offer to optimise for 10 keyphrases only - I was wondering if it is simply becuase it is easier to manage for them, or if for some reason this is the best approach.

    Many thanks
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    First of all those aren't professionals IMHO. Anybody who can set a fee for a set number of phrases is retarded and has no seo experience. A real seo will analyze your site, do keyword researching and find the best keywords to target, will discuss them with you and set a price then.

    If the seo says 10 phrases why not get on the top for 'computers', 'cars', 'web hosting', 'hotels', 'furniture' just to name a few good ones
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    Can you give a more specific answer - i.e. do you think lots of low competition phrases is better than focussed high competition, or is they basically equivalent?

    Many thanks
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    Originally Posted by mjseaden
    The reason I ask is that most 'professional' SEO agencies offer to optimise for 10 keyphrases only and do you think lots of low competition phrases is better than focussed high competition, or is they basically equivalent?
    I agree with Visio. I have no idea where you got this "most professional SEO agencies offer to optimise for 10 keyword phrases only?"

    As Visio suggests any true SEO professional agency will help you explore your goals and work with you to find keyword phrases that will give you good ROI over time. Every website is different. Since Google depends larger on off-page optimization you can target an unlimited number for phrases if you have an unlimited budget. If your budget is limited then the SEO firm should work with you to pick the best ones.

    As for on-page optimization you and your SEO firm are typically limited to the content pages of your site that offer unique content, products or services and home page. Each of those pages can have more than two or three keyword phrases.

    My suggestion is if you are researching SEO firms. Scatch off any that "offer ten keyword phrases only!"

    Do you chose lot's of low competition phrases vs. focused on high competition phrases. That all depends on your short term and long term goals. For off-page optimization usually recommend a long tail strategy where the phrases you are using for linking also include permutations of the more competitive phrases you are targeting too. Over time you come up for both.

    As for on-page it strictly depends on how competitve the phrases are you are targeting. If your site is new you have a lot of competition you might want to do a blend there too although I would probably lean towards long tail phrases unless no one else in your niche understands SEO.
    Last edited by europa; Apr 15th, 2007 at 05:12 PM.
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    It is dependent upon your page/site strength and how competitive each term is. If you can dominate... go for the biggies. But, as in most cases, if you will end up on page 3 or more of the SERPs for a particular keyword... build you lesser keyword SERP positioning while you work on the more competitive keywords through relevant backlinks.

    If you cannot compete in the major keywords and place in less than 20th place on the lesser keywords... play in the PPC (Adwords) arena while you raise your profile in the SERPs.

    Bottomline: If you are not in the first 20 results of the SERPs (preferabley top 10)... you had better start searching for alternatives in generating search engine traffic while improving your SERPs results. The fastest method is PPC (we use Adwords).

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    • europa agrees : Nice addendum to my response.
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    Originally Posted by mjseaden
    Hi,

    As a rule of thumb, is it always best to optimise for a large number of low competition keyphrases (for example, 200 keyphrases with only ~10-20 visits/day but only 0-20 competing pages) or a small number of higher competition keyphrases (e.g. 10 keyphrases with 400 visits/day but 10000+ competing pages)?

    The reason I ask is that most 'professional' SEO agencies offer to optimise for 10 keyphrases only - I was wondering if it is simply becuase it is easier to manage for them, or if for some reason this is the best approach.

    Many thanks
    I concentrate on 1 high traffic phrase and about 2-3 keyphrases per page with medium traffic. For instance, military pay chart is the high traffic phrase for one of my pages. I picked 2007 military pay chart, military paychart and military pay tables for my medium targets. I vary, as much as I can, the anchor text coming to the page. After a few months I am now on page one for military pay chart and military pay charts. The great thing is my 2008 chart is also starting to rank well for the high traffic term. I find the combinations usually draw some of the lessor phrases without me trying as I move up with the medium phrases. I have had success getting to page one with the high traffic phrase basicly sneeking up on it. Starting with and only trying to optimize high traffic phrases will leave you traffic free for quite a while.
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