Longtail Keywords – How Important are They?

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Looking for ways to improve search engine optimization? Try creating a website around longtail keywords.

First, a brief review of search engine optimization (SEO). Simply put, SEO consists of the non-paid or organic methods used to increase the quality and number of visitors to a website. A vital aspect of effective SEO is keyword research.

Finding relevant keywords to use in association with a website can be the difference between Internet users finding it or not. It can also mean the difference between the wrong kind of visitors or qualified, targeted visitors who will become customers.

What are Longtail Keywords?

A longtail keyword is a keyword that consists of three or more words. In other words, it is more like a “keyword phrase.” What a longtail keyword does for the Internet user is narrow down their search, resulting in a more specific list of search results.

What a longtail keyword does for the marketer is bring targeted prospects to his or her business, already knowing they are interested in what is being offered. This strategy should help eliminate some of the “tire-kickers” as well.

Here is an example of a one- or two-word broad keyword versus a more precise longtail keyword:

“Joe Online Business Owner” sells informational products and trainings about marketing a business on the Internet. More precisely, Joe is an expert in using social media to successfully market a business online. If Joe decides to use a broad keyword such as “internet marketing” or “marketing online” to help people find his website, he may attract people who are not specifically interested in what he has to offer.

There are many aspects to marketing on the Internet. Joe needs prospects that are looking explicitly for help with using social media platforms to market their businesses online.

On the flipside, if Joe were to use a longtail keyword such as “internet marketing with social media” or “social media and internet marketing,” he is more likely to attract highly targeted visitors who already know they are interested in what Joe is offering before they even land on his website. This increases Joe’s chances for converting leads into customers and clients.

The Value of Longtail Keywords in Search Engine Optimization

Unfortunately many new Internet marketers and webmasters have a tendency to go after the highly competitive, broader keywords like “internet marketing” in the example above. This could end up as a waste of time and money.

Even with the best organic search engine optimization plan in place, it is extremely unlikely a brand new website could possibly rank high enough to get adequate exposure using a broad, frequently-searched keyword.

With the help of a keyword research tool, the number of monthly searches and the number of competitors for a particular keyword can easily be determined. WordTracker, and Google’s keyword tool are a few examples of free online research tools.

One of the secrets to using these tools is to choose a broad search term relevant to the content of the website. The results list will include the broad search term chosen, along with variations and long-tailed options which include the broad search term.

Once presented with a list of keyword options, the secret is to find a keyword, preferably a longtail keyword that still gets a decent amount of monthly searches but has less competition. Take the following example:

  • The broad search term “internet marketing” may get 134,260 monthly searches. Sounds good for bringing in lots of traffic, except this keyword also has over 26 million competing websites already using it.
  • An alternative choice – “internet marketer” – only gets searched 835 times each month but still has over 1.5 million competing websites.
  • The longtail keyword “internet business marketing” gets quite a decent amount of monthly searches – 7,695 – but has only 68,700 competing websites. See the difference?

With the third choice it would be much easier for a new website to get ranked higher; thereby still bringing in a good deal of traffic, maybe even more so because the website is likely to appear higher in the search results list much sooner, given that the website content is absolutely relevant to the keyword being used.

It is Worth the Time to Research

Taking the time to perform keyword research will be advantageous for effective search engine optimization. Being able to reach a targeted audience will save time and money, ideally resulting in higher conversion rates and increased revenue.

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