Question: Suppose we have several similar keywords in the same keyword family. E.g. after school class, after school classes, after school program.
1) Should I list all these minor variations on my keyword sheet?
2) Is it important to try to have all of
Answer: Oh, the proverbial synonyms and phrase question. There is no simple answer here. First and foremost, if there are divergent synonmys (program vs. class), then you definitely want to target BOTH. Use the ~ command on Google to see IF a word is a close synonym, but even if it is (lawyer vs. attorney), still the website that is CLOSER to the exact search will win out (all other things being equal).
So, to the extent possible, your website should have diversity and mimic the different (but related) ways people search, with some sense of priority. Put higher volume keywords in your TITLE tags, put higher volume tags on your home page, etc. – as they are more valuable and probably more competitive, so you need to use more ammunition to dominate them.
Back to the keyword worksheet, you will want to capture the ‘major structural paths’ by which people search for you. For instance, a knee surgeon might focus on a) knee surgery (I am looking to understand knee surgery), as well as b) knee surgeon (I am looking to engage a knee surgeon), as well as c) orthopedic surgeons. Each is important enough to warrant its own page.
This is all much of the ‘art’ of SEO – mimicking the way that users search.
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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