The Advantages of Long Tail Keywords
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Information and Tips
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by Yulia Gervais
June 11, 2009
Search engine optimization (SEO) and the manner in which people search on the internet are evolving so fast that books on the subject can be outdated before they make it to print. One area in particular is the extension of single and two-word keywords into the optimization long tail keywords or key strings. In many instances optimizing for one or two keywords can have several disadvantages. Among them are:
* They can be too general in nature – The term “mortgage” has loads of traffic but the term is not targeted toward anything specific. This keyword could cover someone looking to take out a loan, do a mortgage modification, or someone looking for a mortgage calculator.
* The competition for keywords can be intense – With high levels of competition, getting to the front page of the organic section of search engines can be a long and costly endeavor. Upon getting to the front page you’ll still have a generic and untargeted visitor.
* Pay Per Click’s can use up a monthly budget in a heartbeat – Highly competitive keywords have become very pricey. All of the top 50 keywords cost $50 or more according to spyfu.com. It’s expensive and extremely frustrating to be paying that kind of money when you’ve got visitors bouncing back off of your site after being on it for less than ten seconds.
Longer key strings will not carry as much traffic but they do have distinct advantages such as:
* A longer keyword decreases competition and defines the searchers purpose to the point where you can anticipate their need and offer content that will greatly enhance your chance at conversion. A phrase like “loan modification mission viejo ca” is very focused. A searcher clicking through that finds that you have what they’re searching for is highly likely to convert.
* Competition is decreased – It will be much easier and more cost effective to move up in page rankings. Being on the front page for 20 targeted key phrases will be much more advantageous than one front page listing for a generic term. A variety of long tail keywords can dominate specific small niches, providing less traffic but a much higher conversion rate.
* Pay per Click – Pay per Click becomes much more manageable if clicks aren’t costing you fortune, especially if the click through’s are converting.
It’s easy to guess at a few keywords and assume that a website is optimized for them. This is area, however, where some research can go a long way toward determining the long term success of a website. The right key phrases will both make and save you money. Unless you’re “fluent” in search engine optimization, having a pro do the research on key phrases that will drive targeted traffic to your site will be one of the best business investments you are likely to make.