Get on Google.
That’s the #1 goal of every business planning an online marketing campaign – to get on the front page of Google for key search terms. When conducting a search, most of us never move past the first page of results!
But what if you aren’t targeting the right keywords or phrases? Can your campaign ever truly be successful or are you making yourself invisible to the people who really matter: the potential customers searching for your product or service?
Zen and the Art of Long Tail Key Words
When choosing keywords, it’s important to pinpoint words or phrases that your target audience would be typing into Google when looking for a product or service like yours. With Google, close doesn’t count.
Finding the right keywords allows you to be front-and-center when potential customers are in a buying frame of mind. Too often people choose big, broad, categorical keywords instead of laser-focused keywords that would be highly relevant to their audience.
Online business college instead of “education”
Employee benefits expert instead of “HR”
Organic vitamins instead of “health”
Easy chicken recipes instead of “recipes”
The Secret to Unlocking Long Tail Keywords
Long tail keywords are the key to unlocking a wealth of new clients and profits. The reasons are quite simple!
#1: Targeted Leads
If Jan owns an online store where she sells only organic baby products, she may be temped to optimize for a categorical term like “infant” or even “organic.” When someone types “infant” into Google; however, they could be looking for almost anything – from infant daycare providers to infant tigers.
Someone looking for information on the newest infant tigers to be born at the San Diego Zoo is not someone who is going to care about Jan’s organic baby products. But, someone specifically searching Google for “organic infant products” is most likely going to be thrilled to have found Jan’s website.
#2: Reduced Competition
If Jan tries optimizing for the term “infant,” her website would be in competition with 94,800,000 other pages in Google! However, if she targets a longer tail keyword like “organic infant clothing,” she’s narrowed the playing field down to 289,000 competing pages.
Not only does this mean she will appear in front of a more targeted audience, she will also spend less effort (and less of her marketing budget) to gain a first page ranking in Google.
#3: Diverse Traffic
The beauty in targeting long tail keywords is in the diversity you will attract. Each variation will inevitably put your website in front of a different niche market.
For example, Jan can target those looking for “organic baby bibs” and reach an entirely different group of people than those looking for “green infant furniture.” It is a divide-and-conquer mentality that really pays off in the end!
The Importance of a Dual Keyword Strategy
It can be tempting to focus your SEO on overly general terms because they appear to have such a high search volume. But a higher search volume doesn’t necessarily translate to successful online marketing.
I’m not suggesting that you avoid competitive keywords that could bring you big exposure – quite the contrary! You should absolutely go for targeting the most relevant terms to your site – regardless of how competitive they are, but it is also beneficial to target long tail keywords as well.
While long tail keywords often have less traffic than a hefty main keyword, they also typically have less competition. Optimize for a handful of these long tail keywords in addition to your most important categorical keywords to enjoy the benefits of both strategies!
Putting Your Long Tail Keywords to Work
Now that your keywords are narrowed down, it’s time to put them to good use! In addition to optimizing the content on your website, it is also important to use these keywords to build backlinks to your site. Build your backlinks using authority site content marketing, press release distribution, article distribution, slideshow presentations and video marketing.
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