Ultimate Websites

SEO Strategy | Ultimate Websites

SEO Research
The greatest influence on SEO is research which is where we begin every SEO strategy. Our local seo services will ultimately be used to increase visitor traffic to your website. To help make sense of the reports we will eventually give you, it is important you first understand what, why, and how research influences your website’s success.

What is a keyword?

Google search and keywords - SEO HamiltonA keyword is whatever word or phrase someone types into the search engines to find something. Since the term Keyword can denote a single word or several words combined into a long or short phrase, it is important to research a much broader list.
For Example:
Furnace and tankless water heater  but almost no companies, as of this writing, who sell them in the Hamilton area have capitalized on this keyword in their website's content.
ORANGE  keyword examples shown are primarily from one of our clients
in the Heating & Cooling (HVAC) business.

What Is An Effective Keyword?

When a keyword can draw worthwhile traffic (visitors) to your website, it is considered an effective keyword.  The most effective keywords, are those that draw the most traffic from people actually interested in what you are offering. Since other websites may have strengths your website cannot yet compete against, we have to examine each keyword to find which ones offer your website the most potential for success. When we are confident you can compete with a keyword and generate significantly more traffic for your website, we consider it to be a Winnable Keyword. This means we believe we can effectively use it to compete against thousands, or even millions of other websites and obtain a listing on Google’s Page One ranking.

When Is A Keyword Not Effective?

Most people believe they should use keywords with the most search volume, however, this is usually not your best choice and could actually hurt your SEO efforts. There are other important factors to consider when choosing Winnable Keywords.
For Example:
SEO Ineffective Keywords - SEO Hamilton
Negative factors we have to consider if keywords are ...
    • Too generic (ie.water heaters can be for homes, swimming pools, fish ponds, or perhaps hundreds of other unrelated products.)
    • Used in completely different ways and the other way is more popular (ie. subway  for mass travel, repair or HVAC  which the public is unfamiliar with)
    • Too difficult or awkward to incorporate into your website’s content
    • Better used as a synonym to strengthen more effective keywords

When Is Your Keyword Preference Not Effective?

You may have wording that refers to products and services in a way your industry understands but your target market does not. As a result, we may find winnable keywords that are not your preferred way to reference some products or services you offer but will draw far more traffic if used. 
For Example:
An HVAC business usually refers to products as either for commercial, so they put a product on their website calling it a home. As a result, far more searches are for a orange) per SERP.
Monthly reports can reveal where your website is positioned in these results, and compare them to the previous month’s report. Each report is based on a snapshot view and will change depending on the SEO efforts of both you and your competition over time. We will use this report to strategize which keyword terms you want to improve on and others you need to protect to maintain your position, if already #1.

SEO Research Strategy


Start With ‘Bait’ Words

Bait Words - SEO HamiltonTo begin our research, we start with bait words that are very generic but relate to each of your products and services. In the case of our HVAC client, the following bait words were used:
  • furnace
  • air conditioner
  • water heater
  • …and others
Each bait word captures for us a list of related keywords, which we sort by dominance. If a keyword generates more search traffic it is considered more dominant. However, a more dominant keyword can also bring more competition. We will sort through this later, but in this step our goal is to capture as many keywords as possible. 

Plural Or Singular

Although Google treats singular and plural forms of keywords almost the same, such as furnace and furnaces, it is important that we SEO for the most dominant form of each keyword. However, we also have to consider if the meaning of the keyword changes significantly to avoid confusion. Whatever is the most suitable format, is the keyword we will keep and the rest are thrown away. 
Plural or Singular - SEO Hamilton
For example:
If you had a fruit stand selling apples, it would not help to SEO for the singular word ‘apple’ since most searches for this word are looking for the company called Apple and not the fruit.

In most situations both singular and plural forms of a keyword can and should be used in the content to reinforce the dominant keyword chosen for SEO. In some cases the singular form is more dominant and in other cases it is the plural form.

Keyword Effectiveness Index

The Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI) is the criteria we use to determine the potential of each keyword captured. Our KEI algorithm evaluates the expected success of each keyword, when trying to outrank other competing websites. Keywords are then sorted by their KEI strength and added to our Potential Keyword List. Out of this list we can later determine the most winnable keywords to use on your website.
For example:
Starting with the bait word water heater, we discovered that john wood water heater had a high KEI value. Compare this to the low KEI value of conventional water heaters currently used on some websites, which has a zero search volume, and is therefore of no use to SEO.
Our KEI algorithm includes many factors and weightings. There are numerous articles on the web which define important factors to consider. Some of these articles are out-of-date but they do offer clues into the secret algorithm Google uses to assess value of a website.  We then assess a weighting for each factor to come up with an overall value for each keyword. 
SEO Elimination Example - SEO Hamilton


With the Potential Keyword List sorted by KEI, we move to an elimination round where we take a closer look at each keyword, since some will have very similar KEI values. If the keywords and their values are too similar, then we may eliminate one keyword in favour of strengthening another.  This also applies to keywords we will have trouble suitably integrating into your website’s content.
For Example:
If you sold screwdrivers and the most common type was referred to as either a slot head or standard head, we could end up with a KEI value very similar for both. In this case, it might be best to eliminate one in favour of the other. You will also want to verify if the plural form is better and eliminate the ‘s’ on screwdrivers if it is not.


We consider keywords to be winnable when they help your website outrank your online competitors and capture the most traffic for your website. Keywords that are strong but do not meet the ‘winnable’ status will serve in a support role.

Each winnable keyword will be divided into a Primary, Identifier, and Qualifier word category to develop your Webpage Mapping used within page titles, file names, and menu navigation. Each of these categories have a very specific purpose in the SEO strategy. When search engines like Google index your content, they combine the categories to form a word map which will strengthen the effectiveness of your website.
SEO winnable keywords - SEO HamiltonFor Example:
If a person searched for a Bryant air conditioner, the search engines will give preference to a well optimized website navigation map that looks like this:
[ Air conditioner  ► Central Air Conditioning ►Bryant Air Conditioner ]
A ineffective map, although very typical on HVAC websites might look like:
[ Cooling ►Air Conditioners ]
Why is this second example ineffective? The word ‘cooling’ has hundreds of meanings unrelated to air conditioners and the plural form ‘air conditioners’  has much less volume.
Another Example:
Keyword Map not optimized: [ Cars  ► Accord ]
Keyword Map that is optimized: [ Cars For Sale  ► 2013 Honda  ► Accord ]


SEO Slide presentation - SEO Hamilton If a keyword makes it past the elimination round but is not chosen as a winnable keyword, it is not discarded. Instead they are used in your content and navigation mappings to help reinforce winnable keywords.
For Example:
A winnable keyword might be tankless water heater  and although the keyword hot water tank did not rise to this level, we did not eliminate it. We can use hot water tank to reinforce our winnable keyword. Google has a whole team of people who match keywords that describe other keywords, so Google would know that both are talking about similar items for the same purpose.