Robert_Charlton - 5:52 am on Jan 7, 2012 (gmt 0)
Lots of 3-word phrases can be very competitive. Particularly if one of the words is a core keyword in a vertical that your site isn't in, and your linking comes from outside that niche, that could be the reason.
Eg, Big Red Widgets, where widgets is a competitive market in itself, [big red widgets] is highly targeted, and you're thinking of these just as an extra offering that your customers might also want... then you'll have a difficult time, but a 4th word can do magic.
Am I simply out of my league going to a 3 keyword term that is too competitive?
I've seen companies put up sites just to target a single competitive 3-keyword phrase. In any event, 3 weeks isn't giving it much time.
What are the competing pages like? Are they inner pages, home pages, branded, on a focused site in the niche, or on a general site, etc?