Optimizing for singular or plural keyword phrases?

Sometimes when it comes to keywords, the most difficult questions sound like the easiest. For instance, we here at Boomtown constantly get asked by clients if they should be targeting keywords that are plural, or keywords that are singular.

Hit me with an Example
For instance, let’s say you sell autographed memorabilia and one of your big phrases revolve around autographed baseballs. Should you go after “signed baseballs” or should you target “signed baseball.”

keyword_keyWithout the proper know-how, this can be a maddening question, but it actually has a simple answer. Target both. You could get bogged down in the minutia of which phrase has bigger search volumes, and which one is a stronger term, but why bother? Since both keywords are unique, and draw their own search results (and to a lesser extent, probably hamstring each others’ search volumes slightly) it is smart to go after both terms.

After all, this isn’t a season finale of The Bachelor, you don’t have just one rose to give. If they are worth the effort, go after both phrases.

How This Affect On-page Content

The other great thing about related keywords, is that since they have both singular and plural forms, they’re very easy to fit into the on-page content for your website. In fact, it’s actually to your benefit to work both in. We use both singular and plurals in normal conversations, so make sure you do the same here. The last thing you want is for your copy to read incorrectly by using the wrong phrase, and drive down the user experience.

Keyword Density Pitfalls

The other thing that you want to avoid is overusing a certain terms and bogging down your site with an over-saturated keyword density. By using both singular and plural you can avoid that issue for the most part.

Don’t Typecast Your Content

You don’t want to optimize a website or webpage for just one phrase anyhow. It’s the same reason Screech from Saved by the Bell isn’t working much these days: a lack-of versatility. Simply speaking, you don’t want to pigeonhole yourself. You want every page to focus on multiple keywords, to make sure that it is as versatile as possible. Every website has tons of keywords that users are looking for. Do the research and make sure you aren’t type-casting your site or pages. Trust me, Screech isn’t a good role model for this. Take the time and make sure that the keywords, both singular and plural, are drawing in highly targeted visitors to your website, and enjoy the results.

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