The Benefits of Focusing on Long-Tail Keywords
While the era of keyword optimization being a prime way to improve SEO is fading away due to more advanced search engine algorithms, there is still great value in the practice. Search engines like Google and Bing analyze content for indicators, with keywords being useful to determine what content is about in a more refined way than in previous years. Unfortunately, many brands and businesses that want to capitalize upon revenue make the mistake of focusing on short-tail keywords instead of long-tail keywords. Few realize why this is a mistake; long-tail keywords ultimately will offer more benefit. Why is this? Continue reading to find out about the benefits that long-tail keywords can provide your brand.
Short-Tail Keywords = Unrefined Searchers
Most people – particularly when considering the purchase of a product or service – start pinging search engines without a definitive idea of what they need. This results in broad search terms, which are almost invariably in the form of short-tail keywords. When a potential customer is trying to find the best catering service in Vermont, for instance, they may search for “great catering VT”. From here, they will begin to evaluate all of the potential options, and likely conduct further searches. When you optimize for short-tail keywords only, a large amount of your traffic will be “window-shopping” traffic. While these visitors may ultimately decide to go with your brand, there is a far greater chance that they will continue searching (and wind up going elsewhere in the process).
Long-Tail Keywords = End of the Road
Once a shopper has done all of their homework, their final searches usually become more complex. To use the example previously mentioned, somebody looking for the best catering in Vermont will begin pinging search engines with more long-tail keywords, like “the best catering service in Burlington, VT” or “catering companies in northern Vermont”. A broader example of logic can be applied here for any type of search: once someone obtains more and more information about what they want or need (derived from those initial short-tail keyword searches), they will then begin to use long-tail keyword searches. At this point, the searcher is ready to buy or convert. Would you rather intercept that traffic via short-tail keywords when they are window-shopping, or would you rather intercept it at the point of conversion? This seems like a no-brainer to us.
A Square Is a Rectangle…
Another benefit associated with long-tail keywords is that they can help boost your short-tail keyword performance at the same time! Many long-tail keywords and phrases will include variations of short-tail keywords in them. Going back to the same example, a local catering company in Vermont will be able to target keywords such as “local catering”, “best catering”, “catering services” and “catering Vermont” in addition to the long-tail keywords that extract more conversions and customers. If you only rely upon short-tail keywords, however, then you will not be generating a similar effect with respect to long-tail keywords. Because of this, the benefit of using long-tail keywords can be considered two-fold, whereas short-tail keyword usage by itself can only be considered inefficient.