I was having lunch with a friend yesterday and he was showing me the new website he built for his plumbing business.  The website looked good, clean, and modern as he was using Wix to build it out.

This made me realize how much has changed in website development from the days when I was first learning how to build sites.  I learned how to build sites using Microsoft FrontPage and Yahoo Sitebuilder.  Then I gradually progressed to custom sites using WordPress.  When I first started, the websites looked terrible.  And I say that because now, nearly anyone can fire up a platform like Wix, and within an hour, end up with a great looking website.

But anyway, website development is not the point of this article – SEO and exploiting weakness in your keyword market is…

Using SEO To Exploit Keyword Phrase Markets

So as my friend and I ate lunch, we were checking out his new website and he was going over the things he’s done around SEO.  He showed me how he verified his Google business page, and how he was trying to figure out how to optimize the pages of his website.

When I started to explain to him some very fundamental ideas of what I call “site structuring” – the process of optimizing a page for a targeted keyword phrase – I explained to him how these steps are the fastest way to exploit weakness in a particular keyword market.

What defines a keyword phrase market?

First, I look at every targeted keyword phrase as representing a market.  For example, if your targeted keyword phrase is “plumbing services in athens ga”, then you are targeting the plumbing market in Athens, Georgia.  This sounds elementary at first, but the magic happens when you are able to optimize your website at the competitive keyword phrase level.

And what makes the keyword phrase market competitive, is whether or not people are actually searching in Google using that phrase.

Most people will search in Google using either the business name directly, or they will search at the category level.

For example, someone will type “plumbers in atlanta” into the search bar.  This means they searched at the category level “plumbers” and then the metro area level “Atlanta”.

With the evolution of Google mobile search, you no longer need to type in the metro area name because Google using the location settings on your phone to determine what city you are in.

So today, you can pull out your phone and just search “plumbers”, and if you are in the city of Atlanta, you would get the same search results if you typed in “plumbers in atlanta”.

Exploiting Competitive Keyword Phrase Markets

If you Google one of your most profitable keyword phrases and scan down through the first page of the search results, take note of the number of results that are optimized specifically for that keyword phrase.

You can do this by observing the number of search results that show the exact keyword phrase you typed into Google.

Here’s an example using “plumbers in atlanta” and looking at the top 5 organic search results in Google:

google seo

Looking down through these results, notice which uses the exact phrase that I typed in “plumbers in atlanta”.

Is it irony that the first search result is the only one in the top five that are using the exact phrase I typed into Google?

I think not…

Also, notice how none of the other search results in the top 5 use the exact phrase in the title of their page.

None of the other search results are representing the exact phrase “plumbers in atlanta”.

To me, I see an opportunity to exploit competitive weakness in this keyword phrase market.

My first criteria is met in that I know people definitely type “plumbers in atlanta” into Google’s search bar.

Second, I know that if people are typing this phrase into Google, more than likely at are intentionally looking for a plumber in the Atlanta area.

Finally, as I look down through the search results, I see that only one of the top 5 search results are actually leverage the exact keyword phrase in the title tags of their pages.

All of the above tells me there’s some weakness in this keyword phrase market that can be exploited.

Granted, it’s not as simple as going out, building a new website, and optimizing my home page using “Plumbers in Atlanta”.  There’s certainly a lot of variables that can come into play when Google determines who will be the #1 search result.

But, within the scope of things that you can control right now to influence your search results, this looks to be the best place to start.

From there, continue to build your brand and your website’s authority, and you’ll soon see the fruit of your efforts in exploiting the weakness in your keyword phrase market.