This article is all about the focus key phrase.
In this article, I’ll explain what it is and why it is important . I will also give you more information on the factors you need to consider when choosing a focus key phrase. And lastly, I’ll explain how head key phrases and long-tail keyphrases differ.
So, what is a focus keyphrase?
The focus keyphrase is the phrase you’d like your post to rank for. If people search for this phrase in Google, you want your post or page to pop up. In the past, we used to call this the focus keyword. But, since the internet grew bigger, and more and more content is out there, it’s getting harder to rank on just one word. This doesn’t mean a focus keyphrase can’t consist of just one word, it means it usually consists of multiple words.
Let’s consider an example. Imagine you have a dog training school in Bakers Field, California. You might think: I’d like to rank for the focus keyword [dogs]. But ranking for this focus keyword will be very hard, or even impossible, as it’s a highly competitive term. Lots of websites will be trying to rank for this term. In this case, it’s more realistic to try to rank for, for instance, [dog-friendly puppy training in Bakersfield]. As you can see, this is a focus key phrase, consisting of multiple words. It will give you a much higher chance of ranking because there will be fewer websites trying to rank for this phrase. Also, people searching for this phrase, are more likely to be searching for the service you offer.
So, why is the focus keyphrase important?
When you’re optimizing for a specific term, you want people to actually search for that key phrase. Choosing the right focus key phrase is important because otherwise, you will do all that hard work for nothing.
However, it can be really hard to choose the right focus key phrase. While choosing a focus key phrase, you should consider two things:
➡Your audience and
➡ Your competition.
So, first of all, you should consider your audience:
➡What are they looking for, what are they searching for?
➡Which words are they using?
You should get inside the heads of your audience and try to figure this out. You can use tools like Google Trends to analyze which words people are using. With Google Trends, you can compare keyphrases to see which one people search for most often. For example, if we compare [puppy training] with [dog training], it’s clear that people search for [dog training] more often. So, for the dog training school in Bakersfield, it could be a good idea to optimize for [dog training] instead of [puppy training].
But you should also consider the competition. If you’re focusing on key phrases that are rather competitive, then you will have a hard time ranking. You can imagine that it could be difficult to rank for a key phrase like [dog] or even [dog training] because you are definitely not the only one trying to rank for that term. If you want to analyze your competition, the best thing you can do is Google your key phrase. Check the first two pages of the search results and see whether the post you want to write would stand out between those results.
➡How big are the companies that show up here?
➡Does your site have enough authority to stand out between them?
➡Is your post able to rank between those search results?
Lastly, a focus key phrase should be used only once. It is is very important. If you have optimized a post for a specific focus key phrase, you desire that post to be found when people are searching for that key phrase. If two posts for the the exact same focus keyword have been optimized, Google does not know what to display in the search results and they will both rank lower. You are basically competing with yourself if you optimize two posts for the same key phrase – rather than with other websites. This is why a focus key phrase should only be used once through out your website.
Undoubtedly, you can have multiple posts regarding the similar topics, but try to optimize them for different aspects of one term. So, if you’re writing about puppy training, you can have one article optimized for [the benefits of puppy training], one for [what to expect from a puppy training class], and another one for [when do you take your puppy to training classes].
Now, let’s go into different kinds of keyphrases. Some key phrases are rather generic, others are more specific.
We distinguish three kinds of key phrases:
1. Head key phrases,
2. Mid tail key phrases, and
3. Long-tail key phrases.
Head key phrases are the most competitive key phrases. They are very generic, and a lot of people search for them. They’re also the hardest to rank for. A head key phrase could be [puppy training].
Mid tail key phrases are more specific, derived from the head key phrase they tie into. For this particular head key phrase, mid-tail key phrases could be something like [dog-friendly puppy training] or [the benefits of puppy training].
Long-tail key phrases are very specific and they have very little search traffic. An example of a long-tail key phrase could be [what to expect from a dog-friendly puppy training in Bakersfield]. But although long-tail key phrases get less search traffic, they usually have a higher conversion value, as they focus more on a specific product or topic. Whether you should go after long tail key phrases or after head terms largely depends on your competition. If the competition in your niche is high, you’ll have a hard time ranking on competitive head terms and you should probably focus on longer tail key phrases. If you have little competition, you might be able to rank for head terms. So, what are the key take always for this lesson?
We’ve seen that the focus key phrase is the word that you are optimizing your text for. Choosing your focus key phrase depends on the search volume, the words your audience is using, and your competition. It’s also important to think about whether you want to focus on head, mid-tail or long-tail key phrases.