One of the reasons why I love AdWords is that it is very simple.  You identify the best keywords and optimize your campaigns to target them, and then you measure results.  It is a very simple universe, once you learn the rules.

SEO is completely different because (a) the rules are intentionally obscured by Google, and (b) there are far more variables at play.

In this blog post, I want to highlight one SEO tactic that is often overlooked, but can be hugely valuable — targeting intermediary SEO pages.

How To Target Keywords Via Intermediary Landing Pages

When you think of targeting keywords for SEO, you are almost always going to think about how to get your own website (or another page you own) to rank #1 for a given keyword.  This is by far the most common focus for SEO consultants, but it ignores a huge number of opportunities that are available through intermediary pages.  

An intermediary landing page is a landing page that relates to your business but is owned by neither you nor one of your competitors. Two of the most common intermediary landing pages are Yelp and Wikipedia.  Both pages are hugely visited and dominate search results in a wide variety of industries.  And if you are not represented on them, then you are essentially limiting your SEO footprint to pages that you can dislodge.

For instance, let’s look at the results below for  the keyword “lawn mowing service va.  You will see that there are five intermediary page results highlighted in red from,,, and  Meanwhile, there are only TWO lawn mowing companies that are ranking for the keyword.  This means that you really only have TWO spots that you could possibly dislodge to get onto this search engine results page, but you could almost instantly get into the mix by targeting those intermediary pages.

Keep in mind that this isn’t an either-or situation: you should be targeting intermediary pages AND direct pages.  In an ideal world, you should be #1 for the ad result, #1 for the SEO result, and represented positively on all the intermediary pages.  To be sure, that’s not easy to do, but your strategy should aim to hit all the low hanging fruit to give your business the greatest overall visibility, and intermediary pages should be a big part of that.

Also, for those of you who want to go really deep on this topic, I’ve created an 10 minute 15 second video lesson on intermediary landing page targeting that you can access as a part of my premium online SEO training course.

Dissecting SERP Results for SEO

Will Marlow is a search engine marketing consultant who loves helping high growth companies optimize and improve their PPC results: and he holds seven certifications: Google AdWords Search, Display, Mobile, Shopping, and Video Certification, Google Analytics Certification, as well as certification as a Bing Ads Accredited Professional.

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