One of the most important things to remember when doing your keyword research is to make sure you are targeting keywords that your audience is actually using, not just what you think is the best fit. For instance, if someone was interested in learning a programming language like Java how might they search? Keyword phrases like “learn Java,” “lean Java programming,” “java for beginners” and so forth are all probably relevant phrases to include in a keyword list. But a simple search in the Google Keyword Research Tool can pull up hundreds of keyword ideas that might be as equally relevant such as “java tutorial,” “lean java fast,” “how to code in java” and more. All of these keywords have their own value and could be incredibly useful to a company that offers Java training programs—but you can’t target them all. Now imagine a company that has products and services that exist in more than vertical, such as a major software company like Oracle. They have hundreds of products which could mean millions of potential keywords to target. But with a keyword list that big something is bound to slip through the cracks. Sometimes a keyword list can be too big to succeed.
Many small business owners assume that if only they were a bigger company with a bigger budget all their SEO problems would be solved. But enterprise SEO brings its own set of unique challenges to the table and one of those challenges is the sheer size of their keyword list. Unless you have a dedicated team of SEO specialists for each product niche it’s practically impossible to give each keyword for each product a chance to shine which means that keywords the company might have been doing okay for in terms of ranking and visibility will slowly start to slip in the SERPs and might even disappear altogether. And in the wake of the Google Penguin update anchor text variety has become more important than ever, which means you have to “spread the love” among all the keywords on your keyword list as naturally as possible. Unfortunately this means that you won’t be able to incorporate some of your keywords as often as you might like.
As much as I preach against ranking reports, I work with several clients that still want to see them and view anything other than upward movement as a sign of the impending apocalypse. Please remember that Google uses over 200 factors when creating the best possible SERP for a search query and that the search results are becoming increasingly personalized. Rank can change from hour to hour and I’ve found that fixating on rank tends to drive site owners and marketing managers a little crazy. Caring too much about rank usually leads you into the black hat SEO territory where you care more about chasing the algorithm than serving your audience with your SEO.
If you are targeting 100s of keywords with your SEO campaign just know that you can’t knock it out of the park for every single one of them. Even if your site does manage to reach it to the top of the SERPs you still have to focus on reinforcing that keyword in your SEO, social media and content marketing efforts or you risk losing your spot to a competitor.