If you do anything with SEO or marketing, then you are sure to hear about the long-tail keyword. With new Google search algorithms, new search results, and more people using longer searches, it is now becoming increasingly important for Seattle businesses to utilize longer keywords in order to keep up.
What is the Long-Tail?
The long-tail keyword is essentially a short phrase or specific search term that someone would use to look for something specific. While many people do use short-tail keywords to look for items, the results are much more vague, and usually used by someone first looking into an industry. So, for example, someone who is just starting to look into SEO might search for ‘SEO’ which wold bring up the Wikipedia page.
On the other hand, once that person has looked at the Wikipedia page, they are going to move on, and probably start looking for SEO companies to hire. A long-tail search for ‘Seattle SEO Company” is much more specific and as a result typically offers slightly more specific results.
About the Search Process
Right now, Google’s Hummingbird algorithm offers priority to websites that have the same long-tail keywords as the consumers search. So, if someone looks for ‘Marketing company SEO and Social” then they are going to get results that have all of those words. However, most people don’t start out looking for a long-tail keyword.
For example, if you’re considering hiring a Seattle SEO company but don’t know anything about SEO, your first search is going to be for ‘SEO’ or a similar ‘beginners guide to SEO’ where you would then read the Wikipedia Page, or browse around on sites like SEOMoz or SearchEngineLand in an effort to understand the process. For most people, the first searches are ‘what is it’, ‘how does it work’, and ‘do I need it’. While these searches can generate a lot of traffic, very few of them generate any sales.
Next comes the decision making process. The searcher knows what they want and they know what it does, so they start looking for something to buy. This is where the long-tail keyword comes in. The search for ‘SEO’ turns into “SEO company’s in Seattle’ or ‘Seattle Marketing’, which turns into a sale for one of the results.
Applying Long-Tail Keywords to Your Marketing Campaign
Unfortunately you have to know what your long-tails are before you can use them. If you only service a small area, then your long-tail keywords are obviously your location, but you also have to consider other specifics such as your exact products. A local bakery could utilize area and food specific long-tail keywords like, “Kirkland Wedding Catering” or “Where to Get Chocolate Cupcakes on 12th Street.”
Any long-tail keyword runs the risk of being too specific, but this is where keyword research comes in. A keyword with an average of 30 searches per month offers less traffic, but also the potential for 30 sales each month, as those 30 people find exactly what they are looking for. Broader searches offer more competition, and less chance of a sale, but can still be useful as well.