Are You Trying To Rank For The Wrong Keywords?

the wrong keywordsWhen you’re building a website (especially a new one) it’s easy to get caught up in getting website rankings for the big, high trafficked, keywords.  We call these “trophy keywords” because you can brag to your friends and family that you’re ranking #1 for a super-killer keyword.

However, before you start prematurely popping the champagne bottles in celebratory fashion you need to understand a few things.

#1.  The trophy keywords often aren’t cracked up as to what you believe them to be.

#2.  Once you rank for that super-hard keyword you have to work at staying ranked there.

#3.  They’re not always the optimum keyword phrase for your audience.

Let me give you some examples below

Let me give you two terms and you tell me which one you’d rather rank for.

A).  Python (550,000 searches per month)

B).  Buy A Python (22 search per month)

First, the top keyword receives a ton of searches monthly (550,000).  However, we don’t know exactly know what they want.  They could be looking for the programming language or information about the snake.  It’s also an extremely hard term to rank for and has many strong competitors in the top 10.


Given the chance you are actually able to rank for this term in a few years you’ll probably get a lot of mixed and useless traffic.

The 2nd term “Buy A Python” receives just 22 exact searches per month.  However, it’s easy to rank for and we know exactly what the customer is looking for.  Of course you can’t live off 22 searches per month so you’ll need to compensate for this by adding several pages/posts to your site (as many as possible) but at least with this term you know what to advertise on the site!


The terms will not always be that easy to sort out. 


Let’s take a look some different keywords now


A).  Glass Table (5400/month)

B).  Oak Glass Table (36/month)

Notice that on these 2 keywords it’s not as exact.  We are not 100% sure what the visitor is looking for.  However, when someone types in a product keyword they typical want to browse those type of products.

On these 2 keywords the competition isn’t extremely hard for both.  Obviously, getting ranked for the term “Oak Glass Table” is going to be easier but, overall both are not extremely difficult.

If you were building a website based on glass tables you could do the following…

Build the site based around the keyword “glass table” and use that term as part of your homepage title.

Then add dozens of additional pages/posts based on the individual styling of glass tables like oak, hardwood, metal and pine just to name a few of the hundreds of types.

This technique works great and makes getting your website ranked much faster.


What do you do if you’re in a more competitive field though?


Let’s do one more example.

A). Jet Skis (8,400/month)

B)  Where to Buy Jet Skis (22/month)

What you could do with a set of keywords like this is to simply try to rank your homepage first for the term “where to buy jet skis”.

As your site grows you can continue to work on your link building to your homepage and vary the anchor text to always include the term “jet skis.”

Overtime you will see yourself climb in the search engines for “jet skis” while you’ll probably rank quickly for the term “where to buy jet skis.”

This is something Ben from Market Samurai alluded to briefly a few weeks ago when he presented some pretty awesome tactics for you to follow when laying out your keyword research (you can watch and read that here).

Again, as I mentioned earlier, if you want to rank for a 22/month search term that’s great!  However, you’ll need to keep building your site out and ranking for a bunch of those types of terms.  This is something you should be doing anyway but it is worth repeating.

Keep in mind the larger keywords simply take time to build up to.  But, using the example I showed you on “jet skis” you can build both sets of keywords at once.

This same tactic can be applied to extremely tough niche markets like weight loss, making money and so on.

If you’re struggling with keyword research I have 2 videos for you to watch.

Keyword Canine VS Market Samurai Video

Using Market Samurai For Easier Research

Have any cool keyword success stories you want to share?  Have a strategy you’re using that you really like?  Share it with us below.

Michael Brown

I'm Michael S. Brown, Internet Marketer, husband and father. I have been successful in business and marketing since 1998. In 2007 I took to the internet marketing world and have never looked back. I love teaching people the knowledge that I have acquired and the ultimate boost to my ego is to see everyone I teach succeed in business. My goal is to make everyone who comes into contact with me as successful or even more successful than myself.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 10 comments
jimkazoo - June 21, 2012

Thanks for the great advice, Michael.  I like the "have it both ways" strategy that you describe.

Sherry F - June 21, 2012

Great information. I might add that when formulating your strategy, you can't ignore the power of Google's webmaster tools for finding out where you are ranking and under which keywords. It's one thing to bring up a site, but quite another to maintain it. I'm in the process of redesigning my entire site map.

Michael Brown - June 21, 2012

Thanks Jim 🙂

Michael Brown - June 21, 2012

Good old webmasters tools 🙂 

You should be able to chang your site map with a click of the button though.  Unless you are doing something very cool that I do no even know about?

Sherry F - June 21, 2012

I'll bet you know all the tricks:) I recently capitalized on the opportunity to intern a few hours per week at the top-ranking SEO firm here in Houston, and am learning quite a bit as far as how to design a site for ranking. I'm beginning to get some good content, but need to improve menus, links, xhtml tags, and a whole slew of other things. Workey, workey.

claudia - June 21, 2012

I am still on the 7 day trial.  Having a hard time but I will stick with it.  Need all the help I can get.  Want this bad. 

Joe - June 25, 2012

Nice post Michael..I sometimes forget how important finding those "trophy keywords" and how important it is to get ranked! Thanks

Michael Brown - June 25, 2012

Make sure t ask anything you need in the forum area and we’ll make sure we help you all the way through.

Jerry - June 27, 2012

Nice post Michael, Its helpful for me. 

Shelley - October 31, 2012

I really love your course. Hard work for me but…. I am making it work. I am very grateful to have found you.


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