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  • #976412
    gregmc
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    Hi everyone,

    I have built a brand new website in the corporate training niche and have set everything up for my SEO campaign (content, on-page SEO etc.). Throughout my site which is primarily based on providing training courses, I have about 15-20 keywords I want to rank for. These 20 keywords have a mixed level of competition (low, medium, high) to achieve a page #1 ranking.

    I would like to ask this question to people who are either SEO professionals or run an SEO firm: Do I start my campaign going after all keywords at once or i it advisable to start targeting the low competitive terms first? And, how many keywords at once?

    To me, it makes sense to go after the low competitive terms first and thus to get some quick wins. On the other side, wouldn’t it also makes sense to start targeting more competitive terms first as well, because they will take longer to get rankings for? For example, my high competitive phrases are actually my ‘theme’ keywords, the industry I work in revolves around; ‘corporate training’, ‘management training’, ‘leadership skills training’ etc.
    Or should I totally disregard going after these keywords in the beginning?

    See, I also need to get this website ranked within 6 months. So, I wonder what is best to get the most effective results?

    Can somebody please advise in how I should structure my link building campaign if my time frame is 6 months? I have about 7 low competitive terms, 8 medium competitive terms and 5 high competitive terms (see above).
    Please let me now what the best approach would be.

    Thank you.

    Greg

    #1082270
    JohnW
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    • Total posts: 2,642
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    Hi Greg,
    If you think of “keywords” as meaning specific search phrases, forget it. That is not how SEs work.

    SEs are primarily ranking individual words on pages and their exact sequence has relatively little impact on search results.

    Step 1: Ensure every page qualifies for a number of relevant search words. Each page should have its own target words.

    Step 2: Ensure your page scores as many ranking points as possible for these individual words.

    You may end up with 50 or more individual words you want to target but these may be combined into thousands of different search phrases across the pages of your website.

    What you need to do is identify the different ways people may search for your type of business, the services you provide, the problems you solve, the solutions you offer, the industries you service, the case studies you offer and where you can provide your services.

    Then all you do is write individual web pages aimed at the needs of the different types of people in an organisation whose needs you can fulfil.

    It’s simple, don’t you think?

    When you approach it this way you will find there are primary and secondary words you will want to target on individual pages.

    FORGET frequently used search phrases. If you target them, you will waste staff time on non-productive enquiries. How many new clients can you service per month? One, ten, one hundred? No – aim very specifically and you should attain the most cost effective results.

    Aim very specifically and you probably won’t need to worry about very time consuming and unproductive link building tactics.

    Don’t forget, the objective is to increase your businesses’ profit, not win SE ranking competitions.

    You can’t bank SE rankings.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1082431
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642
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    Hi Greg,
    If you think of “keywords” as meaning specific search phrases, forget it. That is not how SEs work.

    SEs are primarily ranking individual words on pages and their exact sequence has relatively little impact on search results.

    Step 1: Ensure every page qualifies for a number of relevant search words. Each page should have its own target words.

    Step 2: Ensure your page scores as many ranking points as possible for these individual words.

    You may end up with 50 or more individual words you want to target but these may be combined into thousands of different search phrases across the pages of your website.

    What you need to do is identify the different ways people may search for your type of business, the services you provide, the problems you solve, the solutions you offer, the industries you service, the case studies you offer and where you can provide your services.

    Then all you do is write individual web pages aimed at the needs of the different types of people in an organisation whose needs you can fulfil.

    It’s simple, don’t you think?

    When you approach it this way you will find there are primary and secondary words you will want to target on individual pages.

    FORGET frequently used search phrases. If you target them, you will waste staff time on non-productive enquiries. How many new clients can you service per month? One, ten, one hundred? No – aim very specifically and you should attain the most cost effective results.

    Aim very specifically and you probably won’t need to worry about very time consuming and unproductive link building tactics.

    Don’t forget, the objective is to increase your businesses’ profit, not win SE ranking competitions.

    You can’t bank SE rankings.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1082271
    gregmc
    Member
    • Total posts: 18
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    Thanks John.

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear. I of course meant “keyword phrases” and not keywords.
    So, I have identified 20 keyword phrases (primary and secondary) and have already mapped all of these phrases across my website. So, a single page has a primary phrases, and 1 or 2 secondary phrases.

    Now, I simply wonder, where do I start my link building campaign with all these phrases? Should I start my link building campaign with the low competitive terms which are my secondary phrases, or the more competitive ones?

    I have given myself 6 months to do this. I simply need a plan to get started. That’s why I asked the question whether to start with the low competitive phrases to get quick wins. But how do I go about the competitive terms? They definitely take more time to get rankings for. So, should I start targeting them as well or leave them for now?

    Thanks.

    Greg

    #1082433
    gregmc
    Member
    • Total posts: 18
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    Thanks John.

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear. I of course meant “keyword phrases” and not keywords.
    So, I have identified 20 keyword phrases (primary and secondary) and have already mapped all of these phrases across my website. So, a single page has a primary phrases, and 1 or 2 secondary phrases.

    Now, I simply wonder, where do I start my link building campaign with all these phrases? Should I start my link building campaign with the low competitive terms which are my secondary phrases, or the more competitive ones?

    I have given myself 6 months to do this. I simply need a plan to get started. That’s why I asked the question whether to start with the low competitive phrases to get quick wins. But how do I go about the competitive terms? They definitely take more time to get rankings for. So, should I start targeting them as well or leave them for now?

    Thanks.

    Greg

    #1082272
    Sandy Naidu
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    • Total posts: 116
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    Hi Greg

    I would go after the low competitive ones first…But having said that the higher ones will take you longer to get ranked for – So while I am after lower ones, I will also target simultaneously the higher ones…So I might start with 2 lower ones (say a, b) and one higher one (c)…Then one done with a and b will move to d, e and still continue with c – Because ‘c’ will take a much longer time anyways…

    #1082435
    Sandy Naidu
    Member
    • Total posts: 116
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    Hi Greg

    I would go after the low competitive ones first…But having said that the higher ones will take you longer to get ranked for – So while I am after lower ones, I will also target simultaneously the higher ones…So I might start with 2 lower ones (say a, b) and one higher one (c)…Then one done with a and b will move to d, e and still continue with c – Because ‘c’ will take a much longer time anyways…

    #1082273
    TrishF
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    • Total posts: 192
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    Hi Greg
    Congrats on getting your website up & running.
    Have you researched to find the actual search terms that your potential customers type in? It’s no good SEOing for terms you “think” are relevant, you need to know for sure, no guess work.
    SEO is very labor intensive so if you are doing the work yourself, you should start with “the low hanging fruit” i.e. low comp keywords. If you have a pro doing it for you – then go after the big ones, no point wasting time & money for small results.
    Cheers & good luck
    Trish Fehon

    #1082437
    TrishF
    Member
    • Total posts: 192
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    Hi Greg
    Congrats on getting your website up & running.
    Have you researched to find the actual search terms that your potential customers type in? It’s no good SEOing for terms you “think” are relevant, you need to know for sure, no guess work.
    SEO is very labor intensive so if you are doing the work yourself, you should start with “the low hanging fruit” i.e. low comp keywords. If you have a pro doing it for you – then go after the big ones, no point wasting time & money for small results.
    Cheers & good luck
    Trish Fehon

    #1082274
    JohnW
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    • Total posts: 2,642
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    Hi Greg,
    I don’t suppose you are mass marketing.

    How many training courses can your company manage per week? All you need is enough leads to fill your capacity as profitably as possible.

    If you are a small business located in a capital city, it is likely clients in that city should be most profitable for you. Is there a particular industry where you have expertise? Is there a particular area of training where you have expertise?

    I’d start with those three elements and build my target clients around them.

    Be very specific in your client targeting and make your SEO follows your business direction.

    Even if you rank #1 for a broad term like “corporate training” all you will do is waste a bunch of your time answering enquiries from people who will not be after what you provide.

    And let me repeat, it is the individual words that are important, not the specific search phrases.

    If you are Sydney based and you have a sales training course for companies in the retail food industry you could be targeting these words with a specific training course page:

    retail, retailing, food & grocery, CPG, consumer packaged goods
    sales, selling
    skill, skills
    training
    course, courses
    Date, dates, Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, etc. Dec
    Sydney, NSW

    Searchers could construct thousands of different search phrases from this list of 17 words. You want a specific training course page that targets all of them. Albeit, some words will be more important than others, so grading them primary and secondary is useful.

    When it comes to link building don’t fixate on a single link text phrase for a specific page. You will want to be able to vary your external link text if possible so that it best suits the external link page.

    The real secret to successful SEO is to target the widest range of relevant words as possible. Most people fail SEO because they target too narrowly and simply don’t include a group of words some people will include in searches. Location words is very frequently ignored and I suspect when it comes to training courses that dates could be another. You probably won’t find these sorts of factors in a Google Keywords tool search.

    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1082439
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642
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    Hi Greg,
    I don’t suppose you are mass marketing.

    How many training courses can your company manage per week? All you need is enough leads to fill your capacity as profitably as possible.

    If you are a small business located in a capital city, it is likely clients in that city should be most profitable for you. Is there a particular industry where you have expertise? Is there a particular area of training where you have expertise?

    I’d start with those three elements and build my target clients around them.

    Be very specific in your client targeting and make your SEO follows your business direction.

    Even if you rank #1 for a broad term like “corporate training” all you will do is waste a bunch of your time answering enquiries from people who will not be after what you provide.

    And let me repeat, it is the individual words that are important, not the specific search phrases.

    If you are Sydney based and you have a sales training course for companies in the retail food industry you could be targeting these words with a specific training course page:

    retail, retailing, food & grocery, CPG, consumer packaged goods
    sales, selling
    skill, skills
    training
    course, courses
    Date, dates, Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, etc. Dec
    Sydney, NSW

    Searchers could construct thousands of different search phrases from this list of 17 words. You want a specific training course page that targets all of them. Albeit, some words will be more important than others, so grading them primary and secondary is useful.

    When it comes to link building don’t fixate on a single link text phrase for a specific page. You will want to be able to vary your external link text if possible so that it best suits the external link page.

    The real secret to successful SEO is to target the widest range of relevant words as possible. Most people fail SEO because they target too narrowly and simply don’t include a group of words some people will include in searches. Location words is very frequently ignored and I suspect when it comes to training courses that dates could be another. You probably won’t find these sorts of factors in a Google Keywords tool search.

    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1082275
    gregmc
    Member
    • Total posts: 18
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    ::

    Thanks for everyone’s input here.

    The thing is I have a separate “local” training business that has its own website. The business I am talking about here is new and does not only serve a single geographic location; like Brisbane, but also Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide etc. I have specific pages incorporated to target these locations. Nevertheless, the website should focus on a national level. That’s why it is my intention to go after keywords such as “corporate training”, “management training australia” etc.

    In any case, I will take on board what people have contributed here. And, special thanks to John who has been very helpful!

    John, if you read this, I have a last question:

    I don’t quite understand what you mean by “It is the individual words that are important, not the specific search phrases.” You have confused me here.

    I mean, basically, I have done keyword research on terms and phrases that my target audience look for when they are after training courses. These are phrases like “cpr training courses sydney” or “corporate training courses” etc.
    So, I roughly have an idea what traffic I might expect, and of course the competition, if I wanted to rank for these phrases. I wouldn’t be doing link building on individual words, like ‘cpr’, ‘training’ ,’corporate’ etc.
    Of course, I have all my content written in a sense they include these words, so Google will eventually see my pages as relevant. And like you say, some words are more important than others. That’s why there is the concept of primary and secondary phrases.

    I hope this makes sense. Let me know if there is something I missed from your explanation. Anyhow, thanks for all the help.

    Regards,

    Greg

    #1082441
    gregmc
    Member
    • Total posts: 18
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    Thanks for everyone’s input here.

    The thing is I have a separate “local” training business that has its own website. The business I am talking about here is new and does not only serve a single geographic location; like Brisbane, but also Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide etc. I have specific pages incorporated to target these locations. Nevertheless, the website should focus on a national level. That’s why it is my intention to go after keywords such as “corporate training”, “management training australia” etc.

    In any case, I will take on board what people have contributed here. And, special thanks to John who has been very helpful!

    John, if you read this, I have a last question:

    I don’t quite understand what you mean by “It is the individual words that are important, not the specific search phrases.” You have confused me here.

    I mean, basically, I have done keyword research on terms and phrases that my target audience look for when they are after training courses. These are phrases like “cpr training courses sydney” or “corporate training courses” etc.
    So, I roughly have an idea what traffic I might expect, and of course the competition, if I wanted to rank for these phrases. I wouldn’t be doing link building on individual words, like ‘cpr’, ‘training’ ,’corporate’ etc.
    Of course, I have all my content written in a sense they include these words, so Google will eventually see my pages as relevant. And like you say, some words are more important than others. That’s why there is the concept of primary and secondary phrases.

    I hope this makes sense. Let me know if there is something I missed from your explanation. Anyhow, thanks for all the help.

    Regards,

    Greg

    #1082276
    NickMorris
    Participant
    • Total posts: 283
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    I think what John is getting at is that your web page can’t rank for a particular query unless it has all of the words in that query on the page. Those words can be in any order and have any number of other words in between them but they all must be present (technically you can actually still rank if you have the words in anchor text pointing to the page while not on the page itself but that’s not worth worrying about). Therefore, the more words you have on the page, the more queries it has the potential to rank (be relevant) for.

    You’ll need to select a particular arrangement of the words – a phrase/s – for use in your title, heading and within the text. The phrase/s you select should be those with the best combination of high traffic, low competition and high value. It seems you have done this step already.

    Research/discover as many other individual words as possible that are relevant to the subject of the page and include them in the content to be sure that your page will be relevant for more queries.

    Many of the queries your page becomes relevant for will be long tail queries. These are basically queries that receive very little traffic individually but there are a lot of them. For many content based sites, the long tail queries generate more traffic than the ‘head’ queries. They also have the added benefit of having a higher conversion rate (in general) and lower competition.

    Here’s a few thoughts on that method to keep in mind:
    -Keep usability in mind, how many words are visitors likely to want to read? This might be hard to predict so you could do some testing.
    -Can you say the same thing with less words? Don’t just waffle on for the sake of including more words.
    -Adding more words dilutes the relevancy of the article to any particular word or phrase

    Going back to your original question about where to start, here are some thoughts…

    Your home page is the most powerful/important page on your site in the eyes of search engines so its often suggested that you target your most competitive keyword on your home page (I don’t necessarily agree). Pages closer to (fewer clicks away from) the home page have more importance that those further away so you should generally target your more competitive phrases on pages closer to the home page.

    As I mentioned above, your pages will be relevant for hundreds of long tail phrases, many of which have little to no competition. You will start receiving traffic from these long tail queries shortly after the page is indexed without having done any link building.

    Often times with link building its not a question of which pages should you build links to but which pages can you build links to. A link to any page is a better than no link so build links to whichever page gives you the best chance of getting the link. If you have a completely free choice where the link goes then aim for the page that is most relevant to the page the link is coming from.

    If your building links from your website – out (start with a page on your site then looking for other websites/pages that could link there) then I would start with the second level pages – one click from the home page. You will find that the home page naturally attracts the majority of links.

    #1082443
    NickMorris
    Participant
    • Total posts: 283
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    I think what John is getting at is that your web page can’t rank for a particular query unless it has all of the words in that query on the page. Those words can be in any order and have any number of other words in between them but they all must be present (technically you can actually still rank if you have the words in anchor text pointing to the page while not on the page itself but that’s not worth worrying about). Therefore, the more words you have on the page, the more queries it has the potential to rank (be relevant) for.

    You’ll need to select a particular arrangement of the words – a phrase/s – for use in your title, heading and within the text. The phrase/s you select should be those with the best combination of high traffic, low competition and high value. It seems you have done this step already.

    Research/discover as many other individual words as possible that are relevant to the subject of the page and include them in the content to be sure that your page will be relevant for more queries.

    Many of the queries your page becomes relevant for will be long tail queries. These are basically queries that receive very little traffic individually but there are a lot of them. For many content based sites, the long tail queries generate more traffic than the ‘head’ queries. They also have the added benefit of having a higher conversion rate (in general) and lower competition.

    Here’s a few thoughts on that method to keep in mind:
    -Keep usability in mind, how many words are visitors likely to want to read? This might be hard to predict so you could do some testing.
    -Can you say the same thing with less words? Don’t just waffle on for the sake of including more words.
    -Adding more words dilutes the relevancy of the article to any particular word or phrase

    Going back to your original question about where to start, here are some thoughts…

    Your home page is the most powerful/important page on your site in the eyes of search engines so its often suggested that you target your most competitive keyword on your home page (I don’t necessarily agree). Pages closer to (fewer clicks away from) the home page have more importance that those further away so you should generally target your more competitive phrases on pages closer to the home page.

    As I mentioned above, your pages will be relevant for hundreds of long tail phrases, many of which have little to no competition. You will start receiving traffic from these long tail queries shortly after the page is indexed without having done any link building.

    Often times with link building its not a question of which pages should you build links to but which pages can you build links to. A link to any page is a better than no link so build links to whichever page gives you the best chance of getting the link. If you have a completely free choice where the link goes then aim for the page that is most relevant to the page the link is coming from.

    If your building links from your website – out (start with a page on your site then looking for other websites/pages that could link there) then I would start with the second level pages – one click from the home page. You will find that the home page naturally attracts the majority of links.

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