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agentlocal, post: 87627 wrote:
In my experience working with clients for the last ten years here in Australia, the UK and the US, I have found it better to focus on core local keywords in the initial then moving onto progressively more competitive keywords for the medium and long-term. Target the head and exploit the tail. This way you are not diluting your efforts, your sanity remains intact and the customer relationship is better managed.
Hi Agent Local,
That’s what I’m doing.

However, the point to my post was to question a company about charging for individual keywords, many of which a SE would treat as essentially identical. The company even shows that 3 of the keywords ranked identically in Google. Guess why?

If you have 10 years experience in SEO, you will be aware that SEs primarily rank individual words in search results, not specific phrases that are called “keywords” by this poster.

The client in my example only needs to target around 20 different words (4 of which are probably what you call “core words”) in this initial stage and these can be combined into more than the 480 different individual search phrases, so I expect no sanity problems.

In fact, the client already ranks top 10 for 24% of the 480 with nothing more than the page copy we created.

As this is a new site and a small business with very specific customer targeting needs, I’d reverse your saying to “target the tail to exploit the head”. If we were to successfully target the most frequently used search phrases, this business would waste so much time answering enquiries from people who would not be potential clients for a multitude of reasons.

I find so many SEO consultants completely ignore this crucial customer targeting issue. If all they are doing is entering a client in a SE ranking competition then they are doing them a dis-service and wasting their money.

Anyway, it’s worked for me in my 17 years in this industry. :-)

Best Regs,