Multiple Niche Keywords: Taking On-Page SEO to the Next Level
Until four years ago, Google's search algorithm gave preference to webpages built around similar-but-different keywords. This approach was good for SEO, but ultimately led to websites with bloated site maps and repetitive content.
Then Google's Hummingbird update introduced semantic search to its algorithm. The concept of semantic search is simple — rather than determine relevance by connecting keywords, the updated algorithm determined relevance by evaluating broader context. Focusing on user experience became more important than keyword terms.
That said, building your webpage content to target multiple niche keywords is often more challenging than writing hyper-focused articles and blog posts. Read on to learn more about how to target multiple niche keywords to take your SEO to the next level.
Which Niche Keywords Belong Together?
The first step is determining which niche keywords should be targeted using the same page.
First, write down a few questions that are relevant to each of your best keywords. If you owned a paint business, examples might include, "What is the best outdoor paint?" or "What is the cost of painting a house?"
Next, choose one of these questions and plug it into Google. You will likely see a featured snippet - a brief but fleshed-out answer to your search query - above the search results. Below that, you'll also see a section called "People also ask." This is where you'll do most of your research to find the best collection of keywords to target.
Which Keywords are Most Effective?
First, open a keyword analytics tool like Moz or SpyFu. Then, one by one, plug each question from the "People also ask" section into your keyword tool. Look for keywords with favorable combinations of high volume and less competition. Keep an ongoing list of your winners. Better yet, compile them in an Excel sheet.
Click a keyword term in the "People also ask" section, and you'll get another featured snippet with more related questions. Analyze these keywords just as you did previously, and repeat this process as many times as you'd like. Each new set of questions offers the chance of finding a low-competition keyword term that could bring loads of traffic to your website.
Also, keep an eye on featured snippets for each question you click on. Eventually, you might find snippets that seem vague or unhelpful. When this happens, it means Google's algorithm can't find a website from which to pull a suitable answer. Keep track of which of your analyzed keyword terms have weak review snippets. You'll have a much easier time scoring high search rankings with these keywords later.
Sort Your Keywords
This step is easy. Look through your keyword list and sort out your terms according to topic. The simplest way to do this is to start with broad categories, then get more focused. To revisit our earlier example of owning a paint shop, you could start by sorting everything into either "indoor" or "outdoor" categories.
From there, you could sort further into categories such as "mold-resistant paint," "painting supplies" or "single-coat paints." Excel makes this easy; you can sort your list while also moving the analytics data associated with each keyword.
Once finished, go through your list and remove redundant keywords. You now have a working list of SEO-friendly content ideas that target multiple niche keywords.
Get to Work
All that's left now is to generate content. Your Page Titles, H1 header tags, and meta descriptions should focus on each page's primary keyword term. Then use H2 and H3 headers for your other keywords with short blocks of content beneath each one. Following this structure, Google can easily determine each page's overall purpose - which is based on your main keyword — while also understanding each page's relevance to the several other keyword terms.
When writing, don't fall back on old SEO habits like keyword stuffing. Focus on user experience. The goal of SEO isn't to satisfy Google's algorithm. Rather, it's to satisfy visitors. Do that, and your visitors will make enough positive signs (such as high clickthrough rates and low bounce rates) to improve your search rankings.
301 Redirect Old Competing Pages
Overlapping content is bad for SEO. That could become a problem as you replace narrowly focused webpages with new pages that target multiple niche keywords. Imagine you owned a roofing company, and your website has separate pages built around keywords such as "roof cleaning," "roof shingles cleaning" and "gutter cleaning." If you make a new page that thoroughly covers all of your roof cleaning services - and if Google indexes that new page - then Google's algorithm may struggle to determine which page has the most authority for each keyword term.
One solution is to 301 redirect the old webpages to the new and improved page. This tells Google you now have a better page and that all the authority of the old pages should be passed to the new page.
There are so many reasons to optimize your webpages with multiple related niche keywords. Multi-keyword content is more helpful to visitors. Site maps are simplified. Thin content is weeded out. All of these things are great for SEO. Don't feel like you need a separate page for every single keyword term. Instead, do some research and focus on comprehensive content and design. In the end, you'll rank better in more search queries while doing less work. It doesn't get much better than that.
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Phil is Founder and COO of Main Street ROI. Phil leads the company’s operations and is primary creator of Main Street ROI’s marketing training programs. He is an expert in search engine marketing, website analytics, and sales funnel optimization. Phil’s marketing thought leadership has been published on Forbes.com, Inc.com, MSN.com, and many other major business media outlets.
Phil earned his Master of Engineering Management degree from Thayer School of Engineering and Tuck School of Business and his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Engineering degrees from Dartmouth College. While attending Dartmouth, Phil started every game on the varsity football team as the defensive safety.