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AP 0846: Is It Possible to Rank High for Five Keywords in Search Engine Rankings?

AP 0846: Is It Possible to Rank High for Five Keywords in Search Engine Rankings?

By Pat Flynn on

AskPat 846 Episode Transcript

Pat Flynn: Hey, what’s up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 846 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I’m here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week.

We have a great question today from Mike, but before we get to that, I just want to thank today’s sponsor, which is FreshBooks. One of my favorite companies out there helping me and millions of other small businesses manage our business finances with bookkeeping, but not only that, also invoicing. I’ve been using it a lot lately to create really nice looking invoices in less than 30 seconds. I can also keep track of who’s paid, who has yet to open those invoices. It’s actually really, really handy and I highly recommend it. If you want to check it out for free for 30 days, go to and make sure you enter “AskPat” in the “how did you hear about us?” section.

All right, now here’s today’s question from Mike.

Mike: Hey Pat, this is Mike from New Jersey calling again. Just two related questions for you. First, is it reasonable and rational to think that I can rank highly for about five different related search terms? For instance, let’s imagine I’m trying to put together a resource for shoe stores. Shoe stores, shoe sizes, shoe colors, shoe styles. For all those search terms.

Second question is regarding regional Google listings when I do a search. So, say for instance, shoe stores. Google’s going to give me regional results. New York areas shoe stores or New Jersey area shoe stores, but I didn’t necessarily put into the search bar any kind of a region. How can I be sure that my site is reaching people across the country? Because I’m applying to different regions with what I’m serving.

Hopefully that made sense and I’ll talk to you soon. Thanks Pat. Keep up the good work.

Pat Flynn: Hey, Mike. Thank you so much for the question. I don’t know what happened to the audio. It kind of sped you up a little bit and sounded funny. But just to recap really quick, is it reasonable to think that you could rank for a certain number of search terms? Like five of the related ones, like you said. Like shoe store, shoe color, shoe style, and those things. Well here’s the thing when it comes to those kind of keywords, and then I’ll talk about the local, regional search results in a minute. When it comes to those kind of search results, those are specifically very, very competitive. To believe that you could rank for those is going to be very. . . it’s just going to be very difficult to do. I would highly recommend looking at more longer-tailed keywords and answering more of people’s questions versus trying to rank for search terms that are more higher level like that.

It’s still important to, when you find out that people are searching for these terms, include information on your website that addresses those kinds of things. But it’s going to be very difficult for you to see results. Especially right away or even within the first year or so to get ranked for those things. The approach that I would take would be to find more longer-tail search strings to answer questions about. There’s many different ways to find out what those things are. When you type in those particular keywords into Google, scroll down all the way to the bottom and you’re going to find related search terms about a chunk of about ten different ones that you can then also use to dig deeper into and explore and just kind of discover what else people are typing in. I also recommend going to, which is a cool website. It’ll give you some cool analytics and data related to those key words and also related keywords that you have.

Also, I recommend going to this website that I recently found called It’s super cool. Don’t be creeped out by the guy that’s there to welcome you. It’s a funky little video that plays behind a search bar. The search bar is what’s important. You type in keywords there and you’re going to get a result page that is unlike any other result page you’ll ever see. It lists all the questions that people are asking about those search terms. It also gives you related search terms and things like the other tools too. But this one you’ll see the who, the what, the where, the why, the how, the when. All those questions related to those keywords that you’re typing in and those are the things that you should be answering so that your website becomes more of a resource. And then over time, you might be able to specifically rank for those one word or two word keywords, but I wouldn’t even shoot to rank for those now. I would shoot for creating a resource that addresses those things and relying on building more of a resource versus just things that address those particular keywords.

Also, of course, you want to have conversations with people and talk to them about, okay, what are their pains? What are their problems? And crafting content so that you can market those answers for them and thus elevating your brand and your website at the same time. Shoot for it, sure. Expect it, no. But answer those questions, address those longer-tailed keyword strings, and you’re going to be getting traffic. And then over time, those long-tailed keywords, even though you might only get a few visitors per month for those longer-tailed keywords, they add up. I actually have more people visiting my website from longer-tailed keywords combined versus just a few of those top leveled keywords. That’s the way I would approach it, Mike.

Then related to the local stuff. Yeah, it’s a little bit difficult to figure out because you’re going to have, based on your IP, certain search results that are different than somebody else in a different location. In the retail space, specifically, like shoes or with clothes or with food and things like that, local search takes precedence or is shown higher than the global stuff. It can be very difficult to rank for certain keywords, especially if there’s a local search on top of that.

Again, the way to approach that would be to create resources that address specific questions that people have, not just those keywords. You’re going to get less search results from local retailers that rank and you’ll have more results and track coming from those longer-tailed keywords, like I said earlier. Now that said, if you have a local business or a local retailer or if you have a brick and mortar store, you definitely have to be utilizing local because that will be very helpful for people who are searching for your type of business in that area. That’s a whole other beast. That you could probably find a lot of information about for getting started in some of your favorite websites. I don’t actually talk about that very often because I have no experience with it, but YouTube is a great resource and I know there’s a lot of people in the SEO world talking about that as well right now.

Mike, thank you so much for the question. I appreciate you. I’m going to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. My lovely assistant, Jessica, is going to hook you up with an email that’s going to allow you fill in your form and we’ll send that to you free of charge, of course, which is we do for everybody who gets their question featured here on the show. All you have to do is head on over to and you can ask your questions there. Tell you what, the show wouldn’t exist without your questions, so I appreciate them so, so much.

As always, I love to end by thinking today’s sponsor, which is FreshBooks. If you want to check them out for 30 days for free, head on over to and make sure you enter “AskPat” in the “how did you hear about us?” section. Then finally, as always, just want to thank you so much for listening to the show. Here’s a quote to finish off the day by Richard Branson. He says, “A business has to be involving, it has to be fun and it has to exercise your creative instincts.” Darn tootin’.

Thanks guys. Take care and I’ll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.

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