When trying to rank your website in a search engine, focus is a key word. Without this it is likely that you will fail.

Modern search engine calculations (algorithms) focus on topics, not on individual keywords. It is not necessary to use every possible keyword variation on your web pages (for example ‘cheap travel insurance’, ‘cheapest travel insurance’, ‘cheap travel insurances’, etc.).

It is much more important that the content is related to a particular topic (‘cheap travel insurance’, ‘traveling’, ‘do I need a travel insurance’, etc.). Long tail key phrases (more than 2 words in the search string normally) are becoming more commonplace. Why? Well, some might say that Google is not as good a search engine as at it appears at first glance. Yes, it has market share but its searches are somewhat sporadic and meaningless in some competitive sectors.

To alleviate (or at least try to alleviate) this issue, longer phrases are seemed easier to return better results on the engine. Likewise, viewers who use services like Yahoo! answers are encouraged to use ‘where can..?’ and ‘what is..?’ style phrases, this has translated into Google and other engines.

If you want proof of the pudding you only have to look at search suggestions at the bottom of the Google listings. Most are more than 2 words long – suggesting this is led by viewer search patterns,

There will be a level of experimentation in this. There are many tools which can assist you in finding the right balance. Web CEO, Raven, SEMRush, IBP, are just a few of the myriad out there. Of course, Google has its own tools, but most of these are inextricably linked to Google AdWords and are not really focused on organic search positions, but they may give you some steer in the right direction.

Most of these tools will also offer competitor analysis, and provide you with an understanding of your competitors’ focus in this area. You should be able to see what delivery of traffic certain key phrases will bring to your business and assess whether you should spend time building authority on these.

Search patterns are forever changing, but what is not changing is the need for relevancy in the results. One can be extremely miffed if one searches for a particular product or service only to be bombarded with irrelevant results.

Focus online is everything.Understand your viewer, analyse your competitor, and experiment from time to time with longer tail key phrases and look at the delivery (or not) this provides using your analytics tools, and you should be moving in the right direction in the rankings.

Of course, if you do not have the time to carry out this type of investigation yourself, you may need a company which provides SEO services to carry out the work for you.

Whichever way you choose to go: Key phrases bring vanity, topic-led searches with delivery to the site, sanity. Choose which type you prefer. Happy searching!

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