SEO 101: Long Tail Keywords

February 15, 2012 9:03 pm

Long Tail Keywords – Getting Past the Competition

There are A LOT of searches on Google.  A little over a year ago, a study was done showing Google received 10 billion searches per month, though that number is probably much higher today. That’s good news if you want to be found.  The problem is, there’s also a lot of competition.  If you’re a bakery, how do you get found if someone types “bakery” into Google.  The answer: you don’t.

If you’re a small to medium size business, it can be incredibly hard to compete – especially if there’s major corporations doing the same thing that you do.  Long tail keywords enhance your visibility on Google, and we’re going to help you understand what they are.  Here’s a graph that shows what long tail keywords are, a quick explanation, and why you need them:

What Are Long Tail Keywords?

Long tail keywords are less searched keywords.  So, why do you want them?  If you look at the graph above, the vertical axis is the competition (top = high competition, bottom = low competition), and the horizontal axis is the number of searches (left = more searches, right = less searches).  There’s some highly searched key phrases, but there’s a ton of competition. However, in the yellow area, the competition is significantly less.  There aren’t as many searches, but the ones that are there are easier to attain.  So, instead of striking out on the highly sought after keywords and taking a minuscule piece, you can take a large chunk and drive more traffic to your site.  Sure, there may be less bragging rights in the SEO world, but you’re looking for results, not bragging rights.

So, here’s a quick example.  We know “bakery” is not a good keyword.  How about “bakery Bridgewater NJ” or “custom designed children’s birthday cakes.”  Not nearly the same traffic, but not nearly the same competition.

How Do I Get Long Tail Keywords?

There’s three major things that you need to do if you’re going to be successful building up your long tail keywords:

  1. Know what you do well – You have to know what you can do whether it be what service you provide or what product is stellar.  You need to attract relevant results.  If you pick keywords just because you like them or think there’s opportunity to convert, but then you can’t pull through, you’re wasting your effort.  If you’re working with an agency, make sure they know what it is you do well.
  2. Know your market – If you pick keywords that people just don’t care about, you’re sunk.  Make sure you know if the keywords are being searched at all.  Think like a customer – would they be looking for this?  Is it something they would want?
  3. Pick the right keywords – After you know what you do well, and what the market is, start choosing your keywords.  Do some research to see what the competition is.  You’d be surprised at the keywords that have high competition…and which ones have surprisingly low competition.  Don’t choose too many – you’ll dilute your site and do poor at most instead of really well in some.  Focus on the best ones for you.

For some people, this is no problem, and a do-it-yourself solution is perfect, but others can get overwhelmed looking at these things.  If that’s you, we can help.  Give us a call and see how Delia Associates can help you get found.

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About The Author

We specialize in b2b, supporting the clients who are the "The Brands Behind the Brands." These are the supply chain partners of brands, either in Tier 1 or Tier 2 positions, who drive value through the delivery of goods, services and technologies. We enjoy blogging about all things related to Branding, Marketing, Inbound, Tradeshows, etc... And we're always happy to talk about any ideas you may have that might Get You To Your NEXT!