Out-SEO the competition with long tail keyphrases

longtailTo maximise the number of visitors coming to your website, you might try an alternative approach to SEO keyphrases. Traditionally, people have used short keywords to capture traffic such as ‘Mechanic Plymouth’ or ‘Blue Widgets. However, these days, those in the know are turning to the ‘long tail’ keyphrase to drive the right traffic towards their site.

So what are Long Tail Keyphrases? Quite simply, they are search phrases that involve a collection of keywords rather than just one or two words. For instance, if your keyphrase was ‘Wedding Cars’, you might expand this as a long tail keyphrase with ‘Hire Luxury Wedding Cars Chesterfield’.

The phrase ‘Long Tail’ relates to the decrease in the number of searches performed as the number of words in the search phrase increases. The shorter phrases are overused and there is tons of competition for those keyphrases, but the long tail phrases are underused and the competition is greatly decreased.

It can take months or even years to dominate highly competitive phrases on the Internet. However, long tail keyphrases can be driving great volumes of traffic towards your site within a few days.

There is little point trying to compete with big money firms for the most popular keyphrases. You cannot possibly beat them on short keywords, they have people, teams, and whole departments dedicated to Internet Marketing. BUT you can out-market them by using Long Tail Keyphrases.

But what if these long tail phrases only get a limited number of searches each month? Then increase the number of specific long tail phrases that you use. People using long tail searches are much more likely to be searching for the very thing that you’re selling, so that increases your chance of boosting revenue by playing outside the traditional SEO keyword game.

Rethinking search allows us to stop thinking of keywords, product names and brands as short phrases. Search is rapidly evolving, it’s all about phrases now, keywords are already out of date for the canny marketer. The average search term is growing, as people start to search specifically for what they are seeking. In the past, the average keyphrase was 1.2 words, last year, it increased to 2.1 words, but sources tell us that this year and beyond, it will push to 3 and 4 words.

Constructing keyphrases is all about thinking about what the customer might write when they are searching for a product or service. It’s not just about writing a bunch of terms with one keyword or brand name in it. It’s about embracing the entire long tail approach, accessing through Natural Search the thousands of potential customers that will use a long tail keyphrase when searching.

So, the long tail is a fantastic opportunity to increase the number of visitors coming to your website. It allows you to target multi-worded search queries and means that you can adjust your SEO and create content that matches the long tail approach. Of course, the downside is that you will need to work hard at promoting a large pool of long tail keyphrases, but this approach can yield a much greater conversion rate, so it will be worth it in the end. SEO is changing, don’t get left behind.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about Keyphrases and Higher Google Listings then drop me an email at nikkipilk@gmail.com


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Do I need a keyword rich domain to do well in Google?

I get asked this question a lot. “If I want to be on the front page of Google for ‘widgets in Barnet’ then I need to buy www.widgetsinbarnet.com , don’t I?”

Now, there’s a lot of disagreement on the truths and lies about domain weighting – does Google give a higher position to someone with the right domain name? Will you be penalised if you don’t have keywords in your domain name?

All I can tell you is that in my experience:

1) If 2 sites are exactly the same in every way looks wise, same optimisation, same links in etc, and one of them has a keyword rich domain name, then yes, the chances are that Google will prefer them over the site with no keyword rich domain name.

2) If 2 sites looked exactly the same, but only one was optimised, and the other one had the keyword rich domain, 9 times out of 10 in my experience, the properly optimised site would get higher listings.

3) Having a keyword rich domain is only one part of the SEO ‘jigsaw’ – if you don’t have one, don’t worry about it – work on the optimisation of the site that is on the domain name that you DO have, and capitalise on the fact that your domain has been around a while.

I'd love to hear your thoughts below!

Poll your customers for new keywords ideas

It’s not always easy knowing which keywords and phrases to target when optimising your website – and as I say in my latest blog over on Birds on the Blog, it’s all too easy to fail to see beyond high traffic and high competition phrases.

So why not try asking other people what THEY would use to search for you? This great tool from Seed Keywords allows you to set up a scenario (eg “If you were searching for a website that sells XXXXX, what would you type in to Google?”) and then invite people to contribute, anonymously.

If you can get enough people to contribute, you can get a great overall picture of the type of things that current and potential customers could be typing in to find you – and I bet there’ll be a few surprises!

Set up your ‘scenario’ then promote it via:

  • Email to current customers
  • Your Facebook fan page
  • Twitter
  • On your blog
  • In your email signature
  • On LinkedIn
  • Everywhere!

In fact, why not post a link to your scenario below and I’ll promise to drop and make some suggestions on each and every one.

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