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Choose Effective Long Tail Keywords

Using the right keywords in your online content is vital for your website to be indexed correctly by the search engines. Most businesses will do a bit of research into the keywords that they want to use or that they think best describe their products using a tool like the Google Keywords Tool1, and come up with a list of keywords that they have to compete for with their business rivals. Often the keywords that they choose, especially keyword phrases, are suggested by the keywords tools because of the low competition for them without considering how people will use the words in a real search.

Over half of consumers use web searching as a part of their purchasing process2, and so it is probable that most of your customers have found you on Google or Bing. While it is probably always going to be difficult to compete for many short keywords, the phrases that your customers may use in the search engines to find your products offers a lot of scope for success in the SERPs in almost every niche. Effectively using these long tail keyword phrases is the way that you can differentiate your website from the many others competing in your niche. It is also one way that you can dominate the search results for some of your more specific products.

A good long tail keyword will contain at least one of the short tail, or single word keywords that you are also targeting. It is best to try and use these words in a phrase that is natural English, since one of the most common mistakes people make with this practice is using long tail keywords that are difficult to use in context in a natural, readable fashion. The increasing importance of having high quality content to SEO makes using legible long tail keywords even more important. For instance, a bakery might be targeting the word “bread” as a short tail keyword and want to target their location with a phrase, and so they might use “bread Smallville NY,” as that long tail keyword. If they were to use “bread in Smallville NY” instead, it would be much easier to use in context in the content that they create for their website.

The best approach to take to finding a good set of long tail keywords is to put yourself in the place of your customer. What phrases are they likely to use in the search engines to find the products that you sell? Take the time and try a few of the most obvious ones to see where your competitors’ websites show up, and where you have a good chance to rank well. Another productive method is to use synonyms in your long tail keywords, which, as search continues to become more semantic, will be suggested by the search engines as alternative places to find relevant information.

With the recent drives to reduce the amount of web spam pages being returned in the SERPs, old style SEO practices like producing content with maximum keyword density are becoming less relevant, and the use of those keywords in context has grown in importance. Choosing the right keywords to build good SEO for your website is the foundation of success with search marketing. While you may not be able to rank well for all of the keywords on your list, there is a greater chance of making a longer, more specific keyword work for you. If you would like advice on choosing the right keyword set to target for your business’s website, contact Infintech Designs to set up a practical search marketing campaign now.


2. Search Engine Use 2012, Kristen Purcell, Joanna Brenner, Lee Rainie, Pew Research Center

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