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What "on-site" steps would you suggest for getting "Widget Cutting" into the top 5 on the first page, without hurting our #1 position for "Widget Marking"?
At the moment, both "Widget Cutting" and "Widget Marking" are in the Title tag and in H1. For example, the Title would be something like "Widget Marking, Widget Cutting by the Widget Guys". The H1 tag is something like "Widget Marking, Cutting & Engraving Machines". No H2 tags used. Some well written textual content. Links to top level pages with the target keyword phrases are linked high up in the text content (first line). The keyword phrases have a frequency count of 7 or less. Prominence is high in the page.
Thanks for any comments and help.
It's easier to give the second phrase a dedicated directory, and include a Home Page text link pointing to that directory's index page - especially in the content area. That approach sends clean and distinct relevance signals, and it offers two different urls to attract focused backlinks.
Sometimes with that approach, the home page can end up ranking for both terms anyway - which is its own frustration after developing a substantial focused directory. But that's another story, and much lower level of trouble than not ranking well at all.
Creating a "directory" structure (whether real or through a url rewrite schema) can help a small bit by getting a new word into the file path of the url. You may also achieve the same result with a flat structure as well - but I find the key is not to intentionally "optimize" one page for more than one phrase. There's a similar principle in some martial arts poses. They minimize the time that both feet are "weighted" to the ground, because double-weightedness can restrict the potential responses.
The main navigation links to a top level directory style page for brandnames, or product feature or countries, rather than linking to each of the individual pages.