Singular Vs Plural Keywords: SEO opportunities
Key Message: An SEO strategy that optimised both singular and plural keywords would attract over twice as many search visitors as a strategy focused only on singular keywords.
3rd in a series of 3 posts - in the first post on singular vs plural keywords, I presented evidence to show that searches for singular and plural keywords changes the top ten search results on Google and therefore optimising for both is important. In the subsequent post I showed that whilst there are more than twice as many searches for plural keywords than singular, the opposite effect is found for particular keywords.
In this post the research data collected for the previous analyses will be used to estimate the opportunities available through search engine optimisation of singular and plural keywords.
Let’s consider 4 different SEO strategies regarding singular and plural keywords
- All singular: optimise the singular version of all keywords - this is quite a likely strategy for anyone who believes that search engines will simply ignore differences between singular and plural keywords;
- All plural: optimise the plural version of all keywords - this is the strategy likely to have been adopted by people who have seen one of the many reports (example) suggesting that plural keywords are searched for more frequently than singular keywords;
- Category-specific singulars/plurals: optimise for either singular or plural keywords depending on which predominate within specific categories - e.g. laptop(s), mobile phone(s);
- Optimised for both singular and plural keywords - for present purposes I will ignore the compromises this may involve and the adverse consequences for other SEO objectives that might ensue.
To make the opportunity analysis feasible and not too assumption-laden, let us simply explore the impact of these 4 strategies on search volumes, using the data collected for the previous post (see research methods). This provided search volumes on 1019 keyphrases that included the singular and plural versions of 7 seed keywords (bed, book, digital camera, laptop, lcd tv, mobile phone and sock). If fully optimised for both singular and plural keywords (strategy 4), these 1019 keyphrases have a total search volume of 10.6 million searches per month.
Optimising for all singular keywords risks losing 64% of the search volume. Optimising for all plurals or on a category-specific basis risks losing 36% and 31% of search volume respectively. So, for a site that is search engine optimised entirely for singular keywords, optimising for both singular AND plural keywords has the potential to double search traffic.