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Alternate Spellings


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#1 pinch

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 07:40 AM

I am in the process of doing keyword research for my application which allows users to dynamically create fantasy football cheat sheets (or 'cheatsheets') online for free. The application has been online for a couple of years, but I am doing a re-design and want to re-configure the SEO from the ground-up.

In doing my research I've found that people search using both "cheat sheets" and "cheatsheets". Comparatively speaking, in terms of monthly search volume compiled by Google, the 2 word spelling wins by about 7-1 ratio. If you enter the 1-word spelling in Google, it will suggest the 2 word spelling. I've also found a couple of other strange trends that are making me wonder on how to approach the situation:

1. Although the 2 word spelling is searched for more, the number of competing pages is much less than the 1 word spelling:

2 Word Spelling ("fantasy football cheat sheets") - 2400 searches, 9,700 competing pages
1 Word Spelling ("fantasy football cheatsheets") - 480 searches, 131,000 competing pages

*Consider that the search volume is very low but explodes in July-September. I also understand that I'm in an ultra-competetive market, but this site is a personal learning project for me, I don't depend on it for income, and I'm in it for the long haul.


2. Currently I try to use both the 2 word spellings and 1 word spellings on my main page, but I am ranked much higher for the 1 word spelling than the two.

2 Word Spelling ("fantasy football cheat sheets") - I'm #93 in Google
1 Word Spelling ("fantasy football cheatsheets") - I'm #34 in Google


What I can gather from this is that, although there are less pages competing for the 2 word spelling, the level of competition at the top is much greater (assumedly because of the higher search volume). It makes sense that I'm ranked higher for the 1 word spelling because there are less searches for that term and the level of competition is probably much less. I do find it strange that although the 1 word spelling is searched for much less (1/7) than the 2 word spelling, but there are almost 13x as many competing pages for the 1 word spelling.

I have not yet tried to do a competetive analysis of the top-ranked sites, so maybe I'm jumping the gun, but I'm trying to figure out if I should target both phrases (1 and 2 word) the same page, or just choose one over the other, or maybe target each one on different pages. They mean essentially the same thing so doing 2 different pages probably isn't logical, but I'm wondering if putting both on the same page is hurting my rankings for both individual terms, whereas of targeting for 1 phrase could make me do very well for that 1 phrase while disappearing for the other...

I am planning on expanding my site to include multiple sports over the next year, so this is a decision that will affect the keyword phrase map for those main categories as well.
Thanks.

Edited by pinch, 06 April 2010 - 07:46 AM.


#2 EddyGonzalez

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 09:12 AM

Nice post! really interesting competitive analysis stuff here which I hope will spark some debate.

Looking at the those figures you gave it would be seem that the one word phrase is more competitive than the two word phrase, but possibly the reason you may not be ranking could be onpage issues and also inbound links.

The 2 word spelling has more than twice as many links with "fantasy football cheat sheets" as the anchor text than the one word spelling. This will definitely be factored in when you are trying to rank for one or the other.


#3 pinch

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 10:35 AM

Thanks.

QUOTE
Looking at the those figures you gave it would be seem that the one word phrase is more competitive than the two word phrase, but possibly the reason you may not be ranking could be onpage issues and also inbound links.


That could definitely be the case. I've learned quite a bit over the last month or so and it's obvious that I am not using all of the necessary tools to get higher rankings. But the fact remains that I can't properly focus on things like on-page factors and inbound links until I find the right phrases to target, and that is really where I'm stumped (brain freeze as Jill calls it).

In the world of fantasy football there are so many phrases relating to my application that mean the same thing even beyond have different spellings. For instance, the term "fantasy football rankings" gets 7x more searches than "fantasy football cheat sheets", but they are very close to being the same thing. However, that term has over 1 million competing pages with that phrase in the title! (I rank #162). And lets not even get into the singular vs plural versions of each...... unsure.gif

Finding the tipping point where you abandon one phrase and move to the next one is where I seem to be having the problem and I can't move-on until I pick a logical set of phrases. Since I have no SEO experience it's tough to say... "Well I rank #93 for "fantasy football cheat sheets", and since I'm doing next to zero off-page optimization now, I should target that version first since it gets much more search volume....", or to so say... "Well I rank 34 for "fantasy football cheatsheets", so I should target that phrase first since I at least have a reasonable shot at hitting the top 10 with off-page factors, even though it gets much less search traffic". I'm sure it takes experimentation but I just need a logical place to start for each sport's landing page.

My best guess at this point is to combine the 2 most relevant phrases in my title: "Create Fantasy Football Cheatsheets & Player Rankings". I would use the 1 word "Cheatsheets" rather than the 2 word because I'm already ranked much higher for that one. Then I'd try to sprinkle both versions in my copy along with singluar forms: "fantasy football cheatsheet", "fantasy football ranking" as they receive identical search volume as their plural forms. Finally when getting linkbacks try to get them for both major phrases: "fantasy football cheatsheets" and "football player rankings".

Edited by pinch, 06 April 2010 - 10:54 AM.


#4 Mr5o1

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 01:32 AM

your probably well ahead of me.. but I thought I'd add my 2c.

You mention you've used both the 1 word phrase and the 2 word phrase in your main page, but rank much better for the 1 word phrase, even though your competing against more pages.

Is it possible your not using the 2 word phrase as a phrase.. and using each word in different sentences? Like I said.. I'm sure you've already thought of these keyword proximity issues, its just that its something I would've done a few days ago (new to SEO myself..)







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