New search optimisation campaigns should avoid an "obsession" with single, highly competitive keywords if they want to maximise traffic and conversions, an expert has said.

Writing on Search Engine Watch, Josh McCoy said that while such terms will play an important role in pages and internal link text, "honest" search engine optimisation (SEO) takes time and relies on concentrating on several related terms.

"Your obsession should lie in compartmentalising site sections and the page themes that expand upon the broad keyword theme," he added.

Indeed, Mr McCoy said, these less competitive, longer-tail phrases will drive more traffic to the site than focusing on a single keyword, which in turn will help it to compete for the top terms in a particular market.

Long-tail keyword traffic also tends to convert better than general phrases because users who search for them are looking for specific products, he noted.

Previously, John Lynch of Search Engine Watch said that achieving a "breadth of coverage" by using well-linked, keyword-rich content should be a cornerstone of any SEO strategy.

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