Friday, 15 March 2013

The Power of long tail keywords for successful SEO strategy

If you practice search engine optimization, then you must be aware of the importance of keyword research. But if you are new in the field of SEO, then let me tell you that keyword research is the first thing that you undertake in order to get a website to rank on search engines.

 The Keyword research has a huge impact on your entire SEO campaign because the type of keywords that you select can either show positive movement for your site’s SERPs or never allow your site to appear on search engines. Moreover, if you do succeed to get better ranking for not so relevant keywords, you will never be able to get targeted traffic to your site.

As a standard, we see that majority of website owners’ focus on broad keywords because they believe that higher the search results the better the traffic to their website. But, they forget that broad term keywords are attracted by thousands of site owners and hence the competition increases, thus the probability to rank higher for broad term keywords decreases drastically. For instance, if you do a keyword search for ‘running shoes’ you will get 131 million searches. Now, will you look through all the pages? Well, I for one will definitely not. In fact, did you know that 90% of searchers do not look past the top 5 search results and 95% of searchers do not go beyond the first page of search engines? Moreover, websites which are known brands, have better domain authority and trust factor with Google, will get the benefit to rank higher for broad term keywords.

So where does that leave you as a small business owner who is looking to make a mark for themselves in the online world? Will your website ever rank on top pages of search engines? Do not be disappointed because the answer is YES.

Since the past few years, the search landscape has significantly shifted and more people are entering string of words to find out what they are looking for on the web. The string of words is called as ‘long tail keywords’ or niche keywords which comprises of 3 or more words and is easier to rank for since the competition for such keywords is very less.

As a website owner, it is highly recommended that you incorporate long tail keywords in your SEO strategy since it will diversify and protect your website from future Google algorithm updates.

Did you know - When Google Penguin and Google panda algorithm update rolled out, thousands of Websites lost rankings for broad terms. This left many website owners to face huge losses who were previously capitalizing from their higher SERPs.

Although long tail keywords have very few searches per month, but it promises to bring your website quality traffic and more lead generations. This is because such keywords are very specific in nature and they are exactly what a searcher is looking for on the web. For instance, if you own Adidas website and a searcher lands on your site entering ‘Adidas running shoes for women’, then she will be considered as a relevant visitor to your site who is more likely to get converted into a client than a visitor who comes to your site entering the keyword ‘running shoes’ since he/she may not be specifically looking for Adidas as a brand. Hence, niche keywords promise greater ROI than broad term keywords because they are less competitive, easy to rank for, increased probability for lead generation and also they are less expensive to bid for PPC.

Did you know - 56% of those who search use niche keywords as search queries when compared to 7% who use broad keywords?

So now that you know why you should be using long tail keywords for your SEO strategy, let’s move on to the trickier part which is to identify and incorporate them. Below are 6 tips to identify and apply profitable niche keywords for your online business:

Use Google suggestion – Google suggest is one of the best techniques to get variable results for niche keywords. Type in a keyword related to your business and check out the various keyword suggestions provided by Google. The suggested niche keywords that you see are phrases that people have used to make a search query on Google. Although not all keywords may be of importance to you but it will still give you a good idea of what long tail keywords people are searching for which when targeted can benefit to drive traffic to your online business.

Google keyword research tool – Majority of SEO experts are aware of this highly useful tool designed by Google to identify the best keywords relevant for your business. Google keyword research tool is highly effective to find niche keywords along with search results and competitive data. Profitable keywords for your business would be those which have low competition with good search volume.

Diversify on keyword research tools – Although Google keyword research tool is used by majority of people because of its free availability and near accurate data, but I would suggest that do not depend on single keyword research tool since you will be missing out on lots of other keyword data available with other tools which are equally effective as Google. Few of the tools that I personally use for long tail keyword suggestion are – Word stream keyword tool, keyword spy, Google trends, social media suggestions and Alexa.

However always remember that the more the number of tools you use for keyword research, the better the chances for you to find the most profitable niche keywords for your business growth.

Use Google Webmaster tools – Google webmaster tools are your best guide to search for the right keywords for your site optimization. Google analytics provides users with organic keyword phrases, telling them exactly what people are searching for which is leading them to their website. Google webmaster tool also provides similar data in the form of search queries letting website owners understand which long tail search queries is giving their website more impressions and higher click through rates.

Optimize your website with the keywords – Once you have selected the most profitable niche keywords to promote your business online, make sure to incorporate the same keywords in your website. The best way to utilize the keywords for website optimization would be to add them in page titles, meta descriptions, use keywords in alt tags, headings, anchor tags and etc.

Spin content around the keywords – Many site owners prefer to mold the existing content on the website to make space for the chosen niche keywords. Although it is one of the ways you can use the keywords in your content but for your website’s promotion and growth, it is advised that you create new content and use the selected keywords in them. Why we say this is because since the release of the new algorithm, Google panda and penguin, Google is giving more importance to those sites which are constantly spinning valuable and relevant content for users online.

Did you know - The more the content you have on your site, the more pages Google have to index for your website and also you have higher chances to rank for the keywords around which you have created your content.

Long tail keyword selection and utilization is necessary for small to midsized business owners who want to get their website to rank on top pages of search engines in less time than what it will take if they target the broad term keywords. However, there are cases where people target phrases on pages which are unrelated to the content. Also people indulge in black hat techniques and stuff in keywords in irrelevant pages so that when people search for those keywords, the website pages appear in search engines. However, such practices make the website totally irrelevant and if caught, Google takes no time to ban that website.

Also there are cases, where website owners focus on very specific long term keywords which do not get any searches. Although you may be delighted to rank on top for such specific niche keywords, but what is the benefit if no one is searching for them?

Nonetheless, we would still emphasize that if suitably selected and utilized in the most appropriate way, long term keywords can be of immense importance for business owners because it is a fantastic way to drive quality traffic, give your website quick popularity plus ranking and protect your website from sudden algorithm changes.

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