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3 Reasons To Use Long-Tail Keywords to Optimize Your Web Content

Last Friday my son turned three. We ordered Mexican.

We also received a check from his grandmother in New York, who wanted to buy a pair of lego shoes for the boy.

So I said to my husband, “They probably have a lego store at the mall in Columbia – you should go check it out.” But he wanted to go online and look around first (because that’s what people do these days before they make a purchase).

So anyway, he found the perfect pair of shoes at Arundell Mills Mall – two counties and thirteen miles away.

His search terms were, “lego shoes for kids” not “shoes”. Elementary, right?

Long-tail keyword search is not a new concept. It’s just gaining more respect as marketers (and search engines) realize that people have long been using more specific words (or phrases) to find their solution.

Think about that regarding your own web content.

Short generic keywords are less appealing to the user because they show a ton of results that aren’t always the right match. But longer, more specific descriptions are more likely to result in a perfect match. Amazon knows this. They make 57% of their sales from long-tail keyword search.

At a recent AMA Content Marketing conference, Chris Baggott of Compendium shared the following research:

“The fastest growing type of keyword search is a length of eight words. The type of search that converts at the highest rate is the four-word search.”

Here are three reasons why small business should use long-tail keywords to optimize their website content:

  • Small businesses cannot possibly compete with big budget businesses for short (one-word) generic keywords such as ‘shoes‘, ‘photography‘, ‘make-up‘ and so on. But they can certainly compete for longer phrases such as ‘running shoes for women‘ or ‘wedding portrait photography in Baltimore‘ and so on. True – the latter will not pull in as many results as the former. But you have a better chance of ranking first with less competitive keywords or phrases, than you do with short, highly sought-after generic words.
  • People know exactly what they’re looking for (even if they don’t always know how to express it). That’s why they use several words to describe their problem. If you’re looking to provide the perfect solution to their problem, you must put yourself in their shoes and ‘borrow’ the words or phrases that they will use to find you. Leverage your content for long-tail keywords by inserting relevant, descriptive words (size, color, location, prices, features, etc) to illustrate your product or service.
  • If your home page already contains long tail  keywords and phrases (that are accurate, personalized and relevant to your business) then why waste them? Use those same key-words in other content on your site. For example, my own home page illustrates a ‘freelance, copy writing business serving Howard County, MD’. It also describes my writing specialties as ‘web copy, case studies, white paper and business blogs.’ So a lot of times when I’m writing blog articles, I talk about the content (copy writing) needs of the business community in Howard County. Be sure to do the same.

Wrap Up: Long tail keywords are search phrases that contain more than three words.

A vast majority of websites are found when users enter a combination of descriptive keywords or phrases that provide a match for the user’s problem.

Find out what type of phrases are bringing visitors to your website. Make sure you optimize these phrases using your ALL-in-one SEO Pack (for WordPress) or whatever SEO resource your platfrom provides.

Have you been chasing the long tail? Perhaps it’s time you did.

(Image Credit: “Chasing the Long Tail” at the Left Click Blog)

Comments

  1. Great advice very well expressed, Patricia. Another consideration: long-tail approaches also ensure a longer online ‘shelf life’…a big plus in Search Engine Marketing.

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