"You were a big fish in a small pond, but this here is the ocean and your drownin"

Tim Burton's film Big Fish seemingly has no connection with SEO, keyword selection or EEAT from Google... and yet, this famous quote from the movie applies to SEO.

You might find this a bit far-fetched, but it is interesting to keep it in mind when doing SEO. It is better to be a reference, a leader of a small market with specific and often long-tail keywords that have strong business potential rather than being poorly positioned on highly competitive generic keywords, even if they have huge search volumes.

It’s not about being fatalistic and thinking it's impossible to venture into the ocean, but sometimes it’s better to stay in your pond, in "your niche," where you excel or choose an environment suitable for your business and goals rather than heading out to deep sea. What is more, it seems likely that Google likes and encourage it with its now famous EEAT

Generic Keywords, Competition, and Search Intent

When talking about a generic keyword, we mean a simple and short word  that is broadly related to a category or a type of product, service, or subject. It normally has a large search volume. The advantage of being positioned on this type of keyword is that it attracts a lot of visitors; the volume potential is often huge. However, a word can have several meanings and interpretations, and the search intents can vary greatly.

The resulting risk is getting a very low clic rate in SERPs or visitors who are not seeked, leading to a high bounce rate that negatively impacts SEO. The question to ask is what is the search intent of the user, but more importantly, does it align with my goal? Does the user want to learn, compare? If they want to buy, at what stage of the decision process are they? Even if I am a leader in my field, will this keyword be sufficient and relevant to the objective of my page?

Another problem with SEO is that there are no real boundaries for the user, leading to fierce direct or indirect competition. By working on generic keywords, you risk competing against very big players. Depending on your sector, you might exhaust yourself fighting against too big opponents in too large an ocean and end up drowning.

A SEO tool like Cocolyze allows you to know the difficulty of being well-positioned for each generic or specific keyword as well as its "business" potential through the "Difficulty" indicator.

cocolyze seo indicators

An Example is Better Than a Thousand Words...

Let’s take the example of a company selling apple seeds and various kinds of apple online. Even if it is the market leader regarding online selling of apple, working on the generic keyword "apple" is not a good idea because it is going to compete with the device and os company. Rather than working on this keyword, it may be clever to use the term "seeds" or the types of apple. By using the keyword tracking tool in Cocolyze we can see that there is still a great potential for keywords such as "type of apple + apple", for example "granny smith apple" or using "seeds" and business terms : "buy apple seeds" as an example has a high potential but a difficulty quite low. 

While "Apple" as a difficulty of 81, "apple seeds" as a difficulty of 49 with a monthly volume of 9900 searches in the United States of America.

apple long train seo words

Certainly, the potential is less than with Apple, but again, it’s useless to attract someone wanting to buy a share of a listed company or to buy a smartphone when selling apples or apple seeds online.

Less search volume, sure, but less competition, limited potential, but easier to rank well, and most importantly... very qualified traffic that will be excellent, though thin!

Specific Keywords, Niche Strategy, and EEAT

E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Google used to talk about EAT and added an E in 2022 in its Search Quality Raters Guidelines. To summarize this document, the more you demonstrate experience (from the author), expertise, and that your content is sharp and reliable, the more likely you are to rank well. By working on specific terms, it is possible to boost your EEAT score, thus having a very positive impact on the overall SEO of the site by achieving well-ranked pages on several specific terms.

Google considers the objective of a page for EEAT. For our company aiming to sell apple seeds, it will be possible to have blog pages that strengthen EEAT by presenting, for example, how apple trees are grown, where to plant an apple tree, how harvest apples properly, how seeds are prepared, supported by reliable sources...

By working on category pages, we can focus on precise and more "e-commerce" keywords, and go even further on product pages. This approach will increase EEAT, follow the prospect through the different stages of their buying process, and therefore increase revenue.

The side effect is is that by optimizing your EEAT and sometimes without working on them, you also gain rankings on generic keywords!

In Cocolyze, the writing tool allows you to write optimally in quantitative and qualitative terms and integrates EEAT criteria into its recommendations. 

example of analysis of a page with EEAT informative query

A Company, a Positioning, Its Niche(s), Its Keywords!

Even if you work in a highly public and competitive sector, your company's commercial positioning will allow you to create your niche, narrow your target, and therefore accurately target your potential customers to meet Google’s EEAT criterias. By working  with clearly defined semantic clusters by category, universe, and page type, it is often possible to achieve very positive results with less effort than fighting on generic keywords.

Your commercial positioning, resources, market position, and sector are all criteria that can help you define and refine your keyword strategy. This approach cannot be defined for you by any software or AI (at least not yet). However, a tool like Cocolyze will allow you to cross-reference potential volume and difficulty on your keywords. It will also allow you to classify keywords by universe and lists to see if working intelligently with quality content helps your pages corresponding to well-chosen keywords progress in Google's SERPs.

seo keywords lists

I like to follow the keywords list and see it as a global approach rather than focusing on just one keyword. After a few month of good work it is quite rewarding to compare the keywords list average position and turnover growth for me or my clients.
Feel free to reach us in order to discuss, if you have any question. Cocolyze is free to try, so just help yourself and have a go.

Related posts