SEO, also known as search engine optimization, is a field that is ever changing and often out of our control as SEO experts. Competition is fierce for all competitive keywords and start-up websites are off to big disadvantages from day one. Nearly August 2014 and SEO is different then now then it was at the beginning of 2014. No matter what, Google controls your results, not your SEO. Important to remember. Key point? Abide by Google’s rules, it’s that simple. Don’t worry about short-term gains with unfavorable SEO techniques. Your rankings will pay for it later.
Now, to our topic of this article, long-tail keywords. We all should have some concept of a keyword and the importance of such words in search engine rankings. If you don’t, a keyword is a term that you try to rank for to benefit the goals of your website. Your goal could be traffic, email signups, to sell a product or service. What ever the need may be, you have to rank for keywords, keyword phrases, key terms or any other word used to describe keywords. With most websites, conversions are the goal and this can be accomplished by ranking high for your search queries. More traffic equals more opportunity to sell.
So, why should a website want to rank for long-tail keywords as we call them? There’s a number of different reasons that you want to begin ranking with long-tailed keywords. For one and possibly most important, long-tail keywords are targeted less. Most companies choose to bypass long-tail keywords in hope of ranking for higher traffic keywords. This is often a mistake and a costly one at that. Two word keywords can take months and years to rank for, these keywords should be part of your long-term SEO process.
Another important reason why you want to target long-tail keywords is to target a specific demographic to buy a product or service. Just because a keyword has less traffic doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good keyword to use. For example, we’ll use the keyword Samsung Galaxy S5 16GB Smartphone. This is considered to be a long-tail keyword, (5) words make up this one keyword. It would be easier to rank for this keyword compared to Samsung Galaxy Smartphone or Samsung Galaxy S5. This is only an example, remember that. This keyword is going to be highly competitive, but this is an example only. I can hear the other SEOs now! Point noted.
Now, what is another benefit of having long-tail keyword campaigns? We will once again look at the same long-tail keyword, Samsung Galaxy S5 16GB Smartphone. Although this is only one keyword, how many keyword are actually in this long-tail term? Now I have you thinking. I can name 5 different combinations off the top. BINGO! This is a great SEO technique to use. You get the benefit of 5 keywords with one long-tail term. Yes, the search bot can read it as one term or many. I’ve tested this before, I’m sure other SEOs have as well. When using long-tail keywords, we ranked for other keywords within our long-tail keyword. It works, it is an effective SEO technique to use.
Retail websites, ecommerce websites, webmasters, you want to use detailed keywords for your products, right? If you’re not, you need to switch your focus. I know many of you focus on high traffic keywords and rightfully so. However, you have to mix these long-tail keywords in with your keyword plan. You may have 50,000 monthly searches for Samsung Galaxy Smartphone but only 300 for Samsung Galaxy S5 16GB White Smartphone. Why be descriptive and detailed? Many shoppers are looking for specific products. If they search for Samsung Galaxy S5 16GB White Smartphone, that is what they want. In most cases, the long-tail keywords are easier to rank for. If I have a top keyword bringing in 30,000 of the 50,000 monthly searches, I’m not worried about it. If that BIG TRAFFIC keyword is only bringing in 1 visitor a month, I would rather target the long-tail term to increase my opportunity for sales. Affiliate marketers, this goes for you too.
Your website should be diverse in key terms anyway, a great mixture of short and long-tail keywords. Retail has once again been hit with a Google update. A lot of traffic has been lost. Did you hear about this? Go search for a few terms. When I did, all I saw were local rankings. I’ve seen it with a few clients of my own and traffic is down for all our retail clients. I haven’t read much about it or I would have shared a link, I apologize. A little off topic but something to be aware of.
You don’t want to abandon your keyword campaigns. Short-tail keywords are still priority. They bring in the most traffic and always will. However, there is a benefit for the long-tail terms. Learn how you can use all types of keywords to benefit your rankings, traffic and conversions. Thanks for taking the time to read my article. As always, it’s greatly appreciated. If you liked it, please take the time to share it to help others. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube and LinkedIn.