At Brick Marketing, we consider the first phase of SEO to be on-site optimization. Some other SEO professionals may disagree, but I believe you have to have a well optimized site before you even bother to start on link building. But the debate over which is more important—on-site SEO or link building—is for another day. Regardless of which comes first or is more important, the simple fact is that in order to optimize a site, there has to be content to optimize! Meta tags and H1 tags are important and should be optimized, but they won’t make up for a lack of site content.
I had a client who worked in home renovation design and build. While conducting keyword research for them, I found a lot of great keywords that focused on specific areas of the home—kitchen renovation, bathroom remodel, living room design and build—and so forth. These were all great keywords for this company. The problem was, as I looked at their site, I realized that they didn’t have pages to use to these new keywords on!
Keywords have to be page specific. Bathroom centric keywords need a bathroom renovation page to be used on. They shouldn’t be the focus of the homepage. Their existing site didn’t have these pages. They just had a generic design and build page that explained their process. While there was a lot of great content on that page, it had its own set of appropriate keywords. Incorporating “kitchen redesign” would mean sacrificing one of those keywords.
If your site doesn’t have the content to support them, you can’t include those keywords. That means you’re missing out on the traffic that comes from those keywords. Depending on which words and phrases you are forced to leave out, it could be hundreds of thousands of potential visitors that will never even see your site!
There is nothing wrong with adding a few more pages to your site in order to go after more keywords. Like my client adding a bathroom design page, a kitchen design page and a special projects page. Each of those pages has the potential to rank in the search engines and become a point of entry for traffic. Think about a car dealership website, they don’t lump every brand of car onto one page. Most likely they have a page for each brand of car, making it easier for visitors to find the car they want and so the dealership can go after those keywords.
The trick is to not go overboard with the pages. If the car dealership had a Toyota page, then a Corolla page, then a separate page for each year of Corolla in stock, which further divided into pages for each make and model, it gets too cluttered. Site navigation plays a big role in user-experience and SEO. Sometimes you can combine a few pages with limited content into one very successful, content-juicy page.