Dominate Marketing

Dominate Marketing Logo

Why You Should NOT Target Main Keywords with SEO (Especially If You Are Just Starting Out)

If you are starting to do Search Engine Optimisation on a website and want to get it to rank, you probably want your website to show for the main keywords – the ones with the most search volume.

Makes sense right? Get the most traffic, make the most sales.

Naturally, this is what most people do, and it does make sense.

However, in this post I will explain why this is not a good idea if you are just starting out with the website, and what to do instead.

Firstly, What Is a Main Keyword?

So that we all know what we’re talking about, I’ll quickly explain what I refer to as “main keywords”.

Main Keywords are what I call keywords that are the “top level” keywords, the ones with the most traffic, but also the most competition. These are often short (one or two words), and rather general.

An example would be the keyword “Lawyer”, or “Lawyer Auckland”.

You can’t really get more main than “lawyer”, so that’s what I mean. Other examples of these keywords would be “plumber”, “mechanic”, “solar panels” and so on.

What’s the Problem with Main Keywords?

These keywords are usually the first keyword everybody goes for. They have the most searches, and therefore the most competition, because everyone wants to show for them.

That is also the problem with them.

Every SEO under the sun is trying to get the website they are working on on page 1 for those keywords, and most have been doing it a lot longer than you.

What this means is you have to do a better job than they are to get your website to show. This can take a long time, sometimes 12 months or more if the keyword is really competitive.

The other problem you have is that Google doesn’t just want to show any website it doesn’t “trust” for keywords that get high search volume.

This is not something you’ll hear a lot of people talk about. But think about it.

Google is trying to provide the best possible experience for its users. That means showing quality websites that give searchers what they want.

They aren’t just going to display a new website on page 1 for a high volume keyword and risk a bad user experience.


You need to prove that your website is a high quality search result that searchers actually want before you are “trusted” with high search volume keywords.

So How Do You Do Get Your Website to Rank On Page 1 Of Google?

Basically, you need to work your way up.

Below every main keyword are various “tiers” of keywords getting different search volumes each month.

You need to start by targeting the lower end “long tail” keywords which are more specific, have less traffic and less competition.

These keywords are easier to rank for so you’ll be able to get your website to page 1 for these keywords a lot easier, often times with just a well written blog post with a carefully crafted headline that talks about a very specific topic.

You build up these keywords until you are getting a decent amount of traffic coming in from them all collectively.

Now your website is going to be a lot more relevant for a specific topic, let’s say Law, or a specific area of Law, depending on what keywords you rank for.

Google will also trust your website more now, because you are proving that you are giving users what they want – assuming you have good CTRs, low bounce rates, people spend time on your website and view multiple pages etc. All these things ad up.

Now it’s going to be a lot easier to rank for keywords that have higher search volumes. As you start working on those you’ll notice that your website is ranking for them, and your traffic is now increasing faster.

Basically, you repeat this process over time until your website is so relevant that it is showing up for the main keywords.

And that’s how you get your website to show up for main keywords.

The benefit of doing it this way is that while it will take some time to rank for the main keywords, you will be getting traffic, and by extension sales, from the other keywords you have been working on.

So you won’t have to spend 6-12 months or more with no results until you finally get to page 1 for a specific keyword.