Question: If I want to use “Functional testing” as a core keyword, should I also use similar keywords like “Functional test” and “Function testing” or will a search engine use “Functional testing” as a superset of all the letters in the other keywords
Answer: The concept is very simple but the result is worth every penny. Stemming allows you to find related words with different forms or misspellings. In a nutshell, keyword stemming in SEO is the addition of stems to a keyword that allows you to create multiple variations of that word or phrase without appearing overly keyword saturated. This can usually involve the plural forms of keywords and the use of prefixes and suffixes.
For example, stems for the keyword ‘Google’ could be Googles, Googled, Googler, or Googling.
The thing to realize here is that Google returns results based on ‘best matching’ (excluding the link aspect). So if you ‘guess’ closer than your competitor that a potential customer users the word ‘functional test’ vs. ‘functional testing’ and place that keyword in prime positions (e.g. TITLE tag), then – all things being equal – you will get returned higher in the search results.
In terms of getting more traffic to your site, stemming allows you to both expand the densities of your main keywords while also keeping the content interesting. So don’t underestimate keyword stemming. It doesn’t take much creativity, but it doesn’t mean it can’t do much for you website. Just both use variations and try to pre-identify the most common variations. Use the latter more frequently than the former.
Got a question? Click this link to email Jason or call 888-993-1122. Dr. Jason McDonald is founder and Senior SEO / Social Media Director of the JM Internet Group. He teaches the SEO training classes for the group, and therefore provides most of the SEO tips for this blog. His goal with this blog is to provide an easy 'one-stop shop' for the busy marketer looking for tips, tricks, and secrets on how to get to the top of Google and Bing for free using proven SEO tactics. When not dreaming up SEO tips, Dr. McDonald lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two dogs, a cat, four iguanas and twelve children (just kidding). Really you read down to the bio on this guy? Enjoy the blog.
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