Back on September 10, 2013 I told you that your website needs to target specific topics rather than individual keywords. Eventually other SEO companies started saying the same thing.
The problem with ranking by "topics" rather than "keywords" is that most people still think in keyword terms. Sure, you want to be the best known jewelry store in your area, and you want to be found when people search for "engagement rings," but how do you focus on those two topics?
Ironically enough, the process is still going to start with keyword research.
Google and Yahoo are now obfuscating keywords from Google Analytics because they are using secure websites for their search results. (The secure website is the "https" URL rather than just "http".) That security causes keyword information to be hidden from your Google Analytics tracking.
Once upon a time, there were several companies that you could pay to get keyword information from, but many of them are now out of business, or charge premiums to access their data. It's much easier to simply figure it out on your own, and it only takes a few minutes to do it.
Start with a Google search for the keyword you want to target. I'm going to use "engagement rings" in my example below.
Blue Nile, Tiffany, Zales, and Kay dominate much of the search results for "engagement rings" so you will probably have to include your local town name in the search. I'll use Jackson, TN for my example, which returns the SERP you see here:
Look over the results to find all the unique phrases that Google shows in bold. Make sure to look closely at the words in blue, green, and black. The screen shot above shows these:
- Engagement Rings
- Jackson, TN
- diamond jewelry
- Engagement Ring
- tn tennessee jackson
- Engagement Rings Jackson TN
Google uses synonyms to relate words together. The list of words above represents what Google will immediately relate to the "engagement rings" search phrase. Adding a page to your website that uses all these words one time will more likely target the broad topic of diamonds and engagement rings, rather than just engagement rings.
In the past if you wanted to target a keyword phrase you would typically add a page to your website that used the phrase "engagement rings" 5 or more times, but now it's good to have the word just once as long as you also include all the support words you find in your research.
According to the list above, the phrase "engagement rings" has 9 more supporting phrases. Your goal would be to naturally use those 9 other phrases in the body of your page. Admittedly, you wouldn't use "tn tennessee Jackson" as a phrase, which means we're down to 8. You also might not be able to use "TN" by itself in a sentence, or "Jackson," so that knocks you down to down to 6.
Let's not stop at 6; we need to dig a little deeper. The next step would be to choose one of the phrases from that list that matches your goal, like "diamond jewelry," and do a second search for that.
Here's the snapshot of the SERP:
The bolded keyword phrases on that page included:
- Jewelry Diamonds
- Jewelers Jackson TN
- Rings Diamonds
- Diamond Engagement Rings
This now gives you a list of 7 more phrases to add to your list. The goal will now be to use as many of these 13 phrases on a single pages as possible. Try to use the phrases exactly as shown, but there is a trick to this...
Phrase like "Jewelers Jackson TN" and "Jewelry Diamonds" would not be grammatically correct if you used them in the same sentence, but you don't have to. Google seems to ignore punctuation when searching for phrases. Take a close look at that screen shot above and you will notice that "Jewelers Jackson TN" actually appears as "Jewelers - Jackson, TN" and "Jewelry Diamonds" appears as "Jewelry, Diamonds." You'll also notice that "Rings Diamonds" appears as "Rings, Diamonds."
The punctuation turns clumsy strings of keywords into creatively written sentences.
To find even more related keyword phrases, you could go back to the original list of words and do a third search, perhaps with "diamond rings" this time. Additionally, you should look at the bottom of Google SERP for "Searches related to" the keyword you are researching.
Searches for engagement rings and diamond rings didn't include the "related" results, but a search for "jewelers Jackson tn" had this:
Although that list of related searches doesn't seem very useful in this example, you should still look through them for other potential phrases.
So as a recap, you can use Google's own search results to find keywords related to the topics you want your website to rank for. Do several searches and look for the different sets of bold words. Gather them all together and put together a page on your site that uses as many of those keyword phrases as possible.
Try to match the word order of the phrases you found in your Google search results so you have the best opportunity to compete with others in your area. Use punctuation to fix clumsy word phrases.
Lastly, don't overuse any of the words. Pretend you are talking to a customer in your store and write the way you would speak, sprinkling in those choice words as appropriate.
Ultimately, this approach will look more natural and rank you better for people who do verbal, natural searches, for things like "Where can I buy and engagement ring in Jackson Tennessee?"