A while back, in Keywords Introduction, we talked about choosing keywords for your website. This post is a reiteration, or reinforcement, of that conversation, with a little more depth to the discussion. Here we will talk about basic keyword structure.
In an ideal world, you would begin your website with a clean slate. In fact, you would start with a blank sheet of paper and before you did anything with your website, you'd plan out your entire strategy for building out your website.
The most important part of your plan is your keywords. That is far more important than your website look and feel, your offpage SEO, and your social marketing.
Content Is King
We have all heard this one before: Content is king. Google loves content and rewards websites that offer loads of content to its users. Essentially, if you make it easy for Google to love your site, it will. Give the Google what it wants (content) and you're golden.
Where does all this content come from? You write it (or have it written for you, via outsourcing)! But where to start?
That's where the planning and preparation comes in from above. You have to choose your keywords and keyword phrases (KW and KWP, respectively).
Even if you are not starting from scratch, you can follow this plan!
Basic Keyword Structure
Here's the way I suggest you plan out your keyword strategy.
Pick a KW or KWP that makes sense for your industry or niche. If you sell plumbing, your website's main KW ought to be “plumbing.” Makes sense, right?
Then think in tiers.
Tier 1 Keyword is your main keyword. It is, after you have built up dozens or hundreds of pages, the keyword you want to rank #1 for at Google. To get there for very competitive keywords like “plumber,” you will have to write loads of content, get hundreds if not thousands of backlinks, and promote your site all over the place (far beyond the scope of this post).
But, with diligence, you can get there in most cases.
However, in the interim, you have Tier 2 and Tier 3 keywords you can target right away. These are “long-tail keywords” that are highly related to your Tier 1 keyword.
They are also known as Latent Semantic Indexing keywords, or LSI keywords. You can read more about LSI here (Wikipedia) and here (Exactly What Are LSI Keywords Anyway?) The first, by the way, is the “scientific” explanation; the second is one mere mortals can understand–I'd go with the second one
Using our example of “plumber” your Tier 2 keyword may be “Pleasanton plumber” and your Tier 3 keyword may be “Plumbers serving Pleasanton”.
Essentially, your Tier 3 keyword links back to your Tier 2 keyword, which links back to your Tier 1 keyword. Or, put another way,
“All roads lead back to your Tier 1 keyword.”
Start with the Tier 1 page. Write one page of content where you focus solely on the Tier 1 keyword. That is your home page. Then build 4-5 Tier 2 keyword pages, all linking back to your Tier 1 page. These could be buttons on your home page or categories if your site is based on WordPress.
Finally, begin writing all of your longtail keyword pages. Link each one back to a single Tier 2 page.
You cannot do it all at once. Start with 1 or 2 long-tail keywords (Tier 3) for each Tier 2 page. Each time you publish one of these Tier 3 pages, promote it.
How? There are various strategies, like content syndication, tweeting about them, mentioning them on your Facebook profile page and/or fanpage, or by doing some blog commenting for backlinks. See Two Dozen Ways to Get Backlinks and How To Get Dozens of High Quality Backlinks From a Single Blog Post for more ideas.
In any event, you want to send some backlinks to these Tier 3 pages. These are the easiest keywords and pages to rank for and this is where you should start your web promotion efforts.
Obviously, choosing the right keywords to target in your own website is of paramount importance. I have given you plenty of food for thought in this regard, along with some concrete examples and action plans.