The SEO Impact of the Long Tailed Keyword

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an integral part of any online marketing strategy. A study by Jupiter Research shows that “Across the 4 search engines – Google, Yahoo!, [Bing] and AOL – 60.5% clicked on the natural (or “organic” or “algorithmic”) search result, while 39.5% clicked on a paid search advertisement.” Further, the study showed that two-thirds of users click on the first page of the results.

First page rankings are prime real estate, so for those trying to bring in more organic traffic to their website, the most important thing to do to get started is to:

Choose specific keywords that relate to your target audience.

Before doing anything else, it is absolutely vital to sit down with members of your marketing team and decide what it is that you are offering, and what sets you apart from your competition. Rather than generic phrases and short keywords, highlight keywords that are long tailed and specific, since these will always be less competitive, and will very likely bring in a much more focused and targeted audience.

If, for example, you offer marketing consulting services, the generic keyword “marketing consulting services” brings up 14 million results in Google. Since as we established, the first ten results will earn 66% of the traffic for the keyword, this is a ridiculous amount of competition to vie with for organic search traffic. However, if you decide instead to target more specific key phrases such as “Boston SEO Consulting Services” and “Boston Customer Engagement Agency,” there are respectively only 546,000 and 68,900 results to compete with.

Once you find your niche keywords, it is then important to sprinkle them inconspicuously around your content pages and especially your page titles so that search engines can pick up on them. SEO is a slow process, so it’s important to use a combined approach with paid search (PPC) to bring in traffic immediately. Using these long tailed keywords in your paid search campaigns will also help make them more efficient and affordable.

While there are certainly many aspects that factor into how Google and other search engines rank websites, without a doubt the best way to differentiate is to choose highly targeted keywords and phrases that describe your business. These long tail key phrases have much less competition, and are therefore much less difficult to rank in the top 10. Lastly, people who come across these targeted keywords are much more likely to be interested in what you offer, and are much more likely to purchase your product or fill out a conversion form on your site.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Puneet Lakhi
As a consultant at Quaero, Puneet has worked on projects with Fidelity and ESPN. His experience and interests include online marketing strategy, search engine optimization, and web analytics. He received his Bachelor of Science in Economics from Bentley University.

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