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Is It Worth Trying To Rank For This Keyword?


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11 replies to this topic

#1 philraymond

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 04:11 PM

Let's say I want to rank for "chiropractor chicago". It's a simple enough phrase, but hard to use in an article. For example, "Are you looking for a chiropractor chicago?" doesn't really roll off the tongue.
 
So my question is - what do you do with a keyword like this that isn't highly competitive so should be relatively easy to rank for, but is difficult to use in a sentence?
 
Thanks in advance!
Phil


#2 Michael Martinez

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 08:55 AM

You DO NOT have to put the two words so closely together in your copy to make it relevant to a given query.  Although proximity plays a role in determining relevance, it's not a rankings killer if you cannot match the query exactly.



#3 torka

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 09:14 AM

Honestly? I don't worry about it. :)

 

Google is moving away from a strictly "keyword based" ranking to a "user intent" based ranking. What you're talking about is similar to the "phrase match" option in pay-per-click. If you're running AdWords with a phrase-match keyword, Google will include "close variants" in addition to the phrase you selected as triggers for your ad. According to Google's own online help, "close variants" include "misspellings, singular and plural forms, acronyms, stemmings (such as floor and flooring), abbreviations, and accents".

 

So even when you're paying for it, Google isn't necessarily concerned so much with preserving the absolute integrity of your phrase versus trying to figure out what the user means by their search and giving them what Google judges to be the most relevant results. It's a similar thing with the organic results. (This is not to say that PPC has any influence over organic results -- or vice versa -- because it does not. What I'm saying is that both areas at Google are governed by an overarching philosophy of How Search Should Work, that will lead each area independently to operate in similar ways.)

 

As Michael says, you don't have to use the two words right together in that exact order for your page to be judged as relevant for a query on that phrase. It's usually enough to ensure that your page is about a chiropractor in Chicago, and to include the two words in reasonably close proximity a time or two.

 

But if you remain unconvinced, and are determined to use them in that exact order right next to each other in the (unfounded) belief this is necessary for "good rankings" on that phrase, keep in mind that punctuation and visual spacing on the page don't "count." So if you can end one sentence (or paragraph) with the word "chiropractor" and start the next with the word "Chicago," as far as Google is concerned you will have those two words in that exact order in your text.

 

(Example: "Testimonial: Bob is a great chiropractor. Chicago is lucky to have him! -- Happi Bach, Satisfied Client"

 

This will not necessarily help you rank any better than other pages that do not have those two words in that order -- but do a better job of showing Google they're relevant for the concept of "chiropractor Chicago" -- but it likely won't hurt, either. So if it makes you feel better to do it, give it a shot.

 

My :02:

 

--Torka :oldfogey:


Edited by torka, 11 August 2015 - 09:17 AM.
fix typo


#4 Jill

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 06:21 PM

As long as your home page mentions that you're in chicago and are a chiropractor, that's pretty much all that's necessary. Might want both those words somewhere in the Title tag of the home page as well.

 

Do NOT write an article about being a chiropractor in Chicago. That would just be dumb as you've already noticed!



#5 philraymond

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 08:59 PM

Thanks Michael and Torka - yes, I've read about how google has moved away from exact match keywords, towards user intent, and yet I figure to get up near the top of that first page, exact match still makes sense as the focus, with the related keywords there as well of course. Thanks both for your explanation - very helpful.

 

Do NOT write an article about being a chiropractor in Chicago. That would just be dumb as you've already noticed!

 

Hmm, interesting - why would that be dumb Jill? Just because it would be a boring article? (Note: I'm doing this for a health center that has multiple specialties such as chiropractor, naturopath, etc., so while I can mention many keywords on the home page, I can't target any of those specialties alone on the home page).



#6 Jill

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 09:30 PM

Just because it would be a boring article?

 

 

Of course. Who would be the target audience for such an article?



#7 Mikl

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 08:58 AM

Your article is targeted at potential customers of a health centre. So it should talk about the things that are important to those customers. These people are not interested in chiropractors. Chances are that many of them don't know what a chiropractor is. What they are interested in is how to cure their back pain; how to relieve their sore joints; what to do about their poor posture; recovering from their sports injuries; and so forth.

 

If I was in your job, those would be the keywords I would be targeting (always keeping in mind the good advice about user intent vs.keyword ranking).

 

Mike


Edited by Mikl, 12 August 2015 - 08:59 AM.

  • chrishirst likes this

#8 philraymond

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 07:24 AM

These people are not interested in chiropractors. Chances are that many of them don't know what a chiropractor is. What they are interested in is how to cure their back pain...

 

Thanks Mike, from a copywriting perspective, I entirely agree with you - benefits before features. But from a search perspective, there are 4X more people searching for 'chiropractor' than 'back pain', 30X when I add my city to each of those keywords. So I'll definitely want to target both. 



#9 torka

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 10:14 AM

Absolutely target both -- but the main thing to keep in mind is "intent." Are all the people searching for "chiropractor" actually looking to book an appointment with a chiropractor? I would be at least some of them are looking for a definition of the word or they want to learn how to become a chiropractor or they're chiropractors themselves scoping out the competition. Which means at least a portion of that search volume is going to be irrelevant.

 

On the other hand, virtually everyone who searches on (for example) "back pain relief" is going to be looking for the kinds of services that chiropractors can provide.

 

Search volume doesn't exist in a vacuum, especially when you're looking at one word keywords or short phrases. You might find this research from Blue Nile interesting. Turns out that there's about a 50-50 split between those who search in long phrases (4+ words) and those who use 2-3 word fragments, and 27% of searchers use full-sentence questions.

 

Not saying at all that your approach is wrong, just that there are other things to consider besides raw "search volume."

 

--Torka :oldfogey:



#10 chrishirst

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 10:51 AM

 

 

30X when I add my city to each of those keywords. 

 

And how many of those are just PPC 'bots' and automated 'rank checkers'?



#11 Jill

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 08:50 AM

People know what chiropractors are. Of course you have to target that word (within various phrases) on the parts of the website that provide information on chiropractors.



#12 philraymond

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Posted 25 August 2015 - 12:28 PM

Just wanted to followup and say thanks to everyone for the great tips. Each response was very helpful and I very much appreciate it. Thanks again, Phil






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