Jayden in Orlando, Florida is mighty confused about keyword research. Her site competes in a beefy competitive niche.

Hi Peter-

All the articles I read say to go after keywords with thousands of exact monthly searches. I did!!! But I can’t rank for them. Question–should I go after low searched keywords and try to be a big fish in a little pond?


PS; if long tails are the way to go, what kinds of search counts do I target?

Hmmm…it’s a good question Jayden. My approach working with my client partners is to go for both monster keys and long tails with fewer searches per month. Before you freak out, think about why…

  • Ranking for keys with 10,000 searches a month takes time
  • You compete with sites that have deep pockets
  • It takes time to rank for heavily searched keys
  • Although longtails are searched less, they are less competitive
  • Stringing together a dozen longtails is a better approach

My advice?

Pick about a half dozen keys with thousands of search counts per month. Then write and develop content around them on your site. Update these pages or posts at least 2-3 times per week adding more text while increasing your keyword densities.

After that’s done, find a few dozen longtails with a few hundred searches per month. Optimize for them the same way as your monster set. What you’ll notice is being a big fish in a little pond tends to get you ranked faster than keys with thousands of searches per month.

The groovy thing about longtails is they tend to be more convertible. What I mean is the traffic you get from them tends to be closer to the buying process.

Good luck Jayden.