Whether you’re a large corporation or a single-person start-up, one of the best search engine marketing strategies you can employ is the long tail keyword strategy (if you haven’t already). It works well both to improve paid and organic search results.
The long tail keyword strategy is what you probably think it is: a longer, more specific keyword phrase. It’s like fishing with a hook instead of throwing a wide net. If this doesn’t sound attractive to you read on, because the long tail keyword strategy really does work.
The term long tail was originally coined by Chris Anderson of Wired Magazine, who noticed that Amazon.com was making the majority of its revenue by selling niche titles. While each niche title sold only a small fraction of what the best sellers sold, the sum of all those small fractions far surpassed the sum of all the best sellers.
The same is probably true of your marketplace, which can be broken down into multiple subcategories or specialty areas. For example, if you’re in the dry cleaning business you might have specialty business in fine garments, the size of the garments, the time it takes to clean the items, etc. All of these specialty areas can be affixed to the general “dry cleaning” search term to produce additional results.
Improve Paid Search Results
Let’s use an example that’s close to home for me and say your business is providing art classes and camps to kids in Oakland, Calif. (which is what my wife does). Entering the following phrases into Google AdWords yields the following results:
Keyword Phrase Local Monthly Searches Competition
art classes 450,000 High
art classes kids 2,737 High
art classes oakland 480 Medium
childrens art classes oakland 27,100 Low
This is a very simple example that illustrates that by lengthening your keyword phrase, you reduce the amount of competition for that phrase and increase the likelihood that you will appear higher in search terms. If you’re conducting a pay-per-click campaign, you’ll also be paying less for each click (say $0.30 instead of $3.00) an improve the quality of traffic that clicks through to your site.
Improve Organic Search Results
If you have a blog you can improve organic search results by employing the phrase “after school children’s art classes in Oakland, Calif.” in an article, and then write another article about, “summer art camps for children in Oakland”. It’s also worth noting that Google does its best to delivers results based on location, so it isn’t always necessary to list your city name, even if you’re a small business that caters to a local clientele.
Notice also that the number of searches doesn’t always directly correlate to the competition for those search terms. Sometimes it can be a sound plan to advertise to a niche that’s just outside of yours and work to sell them when they contact you. As an alternative, you might discover untapped ways to expand your services and satisfy a market need.
Employing the long tail keyword strategy is one of the best search engine marketing strategies you’ll find. It takes a bit of extra work, but can save you money in your PPC campaigns and significantly improve organic search results.