Recently, I’ve been conducting a ton of free search engine optimization (SEO) reviews for our newsletter subscribers.
As I complete these reviews and answer the same questions over and over again, I’m starting to realize one key misunderstanding when it comes to SEO.
The problem I see is business owners are trying to fit square pegs into round holes. The square pegs are their existing webpages and the round holes are the keywords they want to rank for in Google.com. In other words, they don’t fit together!
Bear with me here as I give you a little background and tell you about a call I just had today with a client. I promise this will make sense when we’re done here.
Should I Add This Keyword To My Webpage Meta Tags?
On Monday, I explained the technical side of “on-page SEO” and how to find and edit your HTML Meta Tags. If you’re not familiar with HTML, then take a look at that article. Even if you never code a page in your life it’s still a very good idea to know what the heck you’re paying your web developer all that money for.
Now if you read that article (or a similar article about on-page SEO), then you know the importance of incorporating your target keywords in your webpage Title, Meta Description, and Headers. Those three webpage elements tell Google you’re relevant for the keyword you’re targeting, which gets you in the running to rank in Google when prospects search for that particular phrase. In the words of Luis from Million Dollar Listing, “Boom!” You’re on your way to #1 :)
But there’s one little catch… You can’t optimize a single webpage for ALL of the keywords you want to target. For example, let’s say you have a page optimized for the keyword “new york real estate.” Then you do some research and realize you also want to rank for the keywords “nyc condominiums” and “nyc co-ops.”
Should you just add those keywords to your existing page that is optimized for “new york real estate?” That is essentially the question my client asked me on my call today. My client wanted to target another keyword phrase and figured the best/fastest solution was to add the keyword to an existing webpage. I know this is common because I see it over and over again with the SEO reviews.
Man, I wish it was that easy… But, here’s what you really need to do.
Match Keywords to Your Webpages (Even If They Don’t Exist Yet)
Let’s go back to the real estate example. As soon as you find keywords you want to rank for, then the next step is to match them to your webpages. If you want to rank for “nyc condominiums” then look for an existing page that is all about NYC condos. If you don’t have a page like that, then do NOT get lazy and just add the keyword to a page that is sort of related. That’s what I mean by trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. If it clearly doesn’t fit, then don’t grab a hammer to force the issue.
Instead, create a NEW webpage that is 100% focused on the keyword you want to target. I know that sounds like a lot and you probably didn’t realize you need to create new pages to rank in Google, but that’s how this SEO game works. If you don’t get your on-page SEO setup right, then you have no shot at ranking.
Think of on-page SEO like getting into the MLB playoffs. The only way you can win the World Series is if you first get into the playoffs right? It’s the first hurdle and it requires real effort to get there. If you fall short and get lazy with on-page SEO, then you won’t make it into the playoffs, and you won’t have a shot at winning the World Series (in our case ranking #1 in Google).