Keyword with an ‘s’ or without an ‘s’?… that is the question.

A question I’m often asked is whether to optimize for the singular or plural keyword phrase. Following on from that, should we create separate pages for the singular and plural versions of a keyword phrase, or should we create just the one page and target both terms?

For example let’s say you are going after the phrase “trading system”, what’s the best way to also achieve keyword ranking for “trading systems”?

First, go after one of the variations. So take your singular keyword, create a page, optimize for that keyword and get it to position number one. Once you rank number one, then go for the plural version for the same page.

Here’s the thing, Google wants to serve up the most relevant results for the user, so often times they serve up two different pages when searching for either the singular or the plural keyword phrase. It all depends on what Google sees as more relevant.

Sometimes, though, when searching for, say “trading system/s”, they serve up the same results. How does this happen and how can you have it happen on your keywords?

Here’s how we did keyword optimization for our keyword trading systems. First, we optimized for the plural and then, as a secondary term, we chose the singular. That is we started to build inbound links back to that keyword using with the plural version. Once we achieved #1 for that term we started varying anchor text incorporating the singular term.

This is something Google likes because when building links, it’s good to have variations in your anchor text because this is what would happen naturally. That is to say, it’s not natural to have all the links point to your page with the same anchor text.

In this example, our plan was to go after one keyword and then go after the other keyword on the same page. If you’re still having trouble ranking for both terms, you can go after both variations at the same time by creating two separate pages and optimizing each page for each respective variation.

So, there you have it, two different ways you can use to handle keyword optimization for the singular and plural of keyword phrases. Of course that’s just the tip of the iceberg, if you want to find out more on this and related topics, get in touch with the Melbourne SEO team and we’ll do our best to get you off on the right foot with your SEO education.

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