Although we do not realize it many times on our sites we are using keywords that are actually what I call “bleeder keywords”. The use of these types of keywords are very beneficial because they draw in a lot more traffic for ancillary keywords that you don’t even target.
First let’s define narrow keywords as I see them. The narrow keyword is one that is a bit too specific as to actual searches. As an example, let’s take a look at the keyword shoes. How many people do you think actually search for the keyword shoes? I bet the answer would be very few as that is way too broad a keyword to have any actual value for which to rank. That may be a contrarian way of thinking in the industry as many are led by the adwords keyword tool but I am 100% sure I’m accurate in my assessment.
How do I know that a narrow keyword is not really searched for in Google? Because it does not make any sense. If I were to go to my wife and asked her if she needed a new pair shoes what would she search for on Google, the answer would be “lady shoes with top buckles”or some such thing. I 100% guarantee you, and would bet my bottom dollar, that she would not search just shoes; and neither would you and neither would anybody else who’s actually looking for a pair shoes online.
So, as an SEO person, I would never recommend to clients that they target such a narrow keyword. I would suggest they target a broader market and allow that broader market, still remain narrow, and give you bleeder keywords that are actually more targeted to the visitors you want coming to your sites.
Let’s explore another example. So my wife types in “ladies shoes with top buckles”. What will come back are sites that target shoes that have top buckles, wedge heel shoes, big-name sites like Zappos, Ladies Shoe Buckles, black women’s shoes, womens buckle high top sneakers, Women’s Boots: Fashion Boots for Women and a variety of other keywords that are targeted by sites that sell shoes. All of those different variations are what I call bleeder keywords and those bleeder keywords come from your narrow target keyword phrase which is ladies shoes with top buckles. Lady shoes with top buckles is a little narrow; but we need to target narrow keywords so that we can see what our bleeder keywords would be and then take advantage of that information.
If we were to build a website and completely ignore any of the bleeder keywords and strictly work on very narrow
keywords, not only would be hard to rank the site, but the traffic would not be the kind of traffic you want. It would not be people searching for specific items or specific services. It would not be people who are specific at all rather just generic servers who are not buyers, not responsive to advertising, and not going to make you any money.
When someone comes to me and asked me to rank their site for particular keywords I, almost always, tell them your keywords are not good keywords at all despite the fact that they are extremely specific to the industry or niche they are targeting. Those very narrow keywords are nice place to begin an arm of your keyword research but they are not the kind of keywords that turn into money and realistically, 99% of us are building websites to make money.
So when you’re doing keyword research for your next site, or if you’re looking to expand your current sites, be aware that specific narrow keywords can hurt you more than help you. What you want to look for are the types of keywords will give you bleeder keywords and you be ranking for keywords that you never even targeted and generating traffic that converts.