Q: Is there a cap (limitation) on the number of keywords one should shortlist for SEO?
Of course, the answer is “it depends.” Most companies, in my experience have about 5 to 7 major keywords. In the office, we refer to these as their 800 pound gorilla keywords, or sometimes as their American Idol top 10. Now a core keyword such as auto insurance in the case of Progressive or GEICO, can be the foundation of literally hundreds of keyword variations. You would have auto insurance, auto insurance quote, online auto insurance, auto insurance in California, auto insurance for high risk drivers, etc. etc. but this thing to wrap your head around is that that foundational keyword is auto insurance.
Now take a look at the progressive.com or GEICO webpages and you’ll see that they have about five major product areas and perhaps another 10 semi major product areas. So that gets us to about 15 fundamental keywords.
So the first take away is find your American Idol top 10. And in many cases it might be just three keywords. Those are your foundational keywords which as we will learn in the class need to become landing pages on the website.
Less is more, as they say.
Now on your blog, for example, you can have literally thousands of keyword combinations and many hundreds of blog posts and that’s all well and good but your blog is more the esoterica of the website and your landing pages are those foundational keyword phrases. Another analogy I like to use is the shopping. In a shopping mall we have anchor stores like Target or Sears, in between them we have all the little boutiques which represent the blog posts.
As we will learn in the class on page tags when you write content you have to make choices and you have to focus particular pages on particular keyword phrases. But that’s a separate issue, and in terms of strategy I recommend on your keyword worksheet having about five core keywords. Those in your foundation.
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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