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Long-Tail Keywords
This spider monkey has a long tail

When you are trying to bring your site up in the search engine rankings, you will want to use a variety of keywords, that all have a similar head word. For instance, if I wanted to build my site around monkeys, I would dedicate different pages to different types of monkeys. I may even have an entire subsection dedicated solely to monkeys with long tails. When you want traffic to go to a specific part of your site, long-tail keywords are the best way to get them there.

 What Are Long-Tail Keywords?

You have a website, and you have already decided to add a ton of content to it. Naturally you want to do things right, so you don’t just throw garbage up, but instead you do your keyword research, and you make sure the density is right by maintaining a natural flow to your words. However, as you delve deeper into your topics, you suddenly are faced with the dilemma that you’re running out of keywords. The trick is to get more specific.

Think for a minute that if you ran a website where you were selling your custom created furniture. On this site you specialized in making lamps, because lamps are fun to build. Naturally if you made every blog post about lamps, you would be faced with extremely high competition. However, if your lamps were primarily made from juniper driftwood, you may want to turn your focus to hand crafted juniper driftwood lamps. In case you didn’t notice, “lamps” is the headword, and “hand crafted juniper driftwood lamps” are the long-tail keywords.

 Why Use Long-Tail Keywords?

Creating quality content that is not only unique, but also keyword optimized is essential to bring in traffic. However, going back to our example, if I wanted to see what kind of lamps were out there, I would likely start my query with “lamps.” If you are lucky enough to rank on the first page of Google with this keyword, then I will likely visit your site to do some lamp research. But, if I was in the market to buy a hand crafted juniper driftwood lamp, then I would start my Google query with that string. Since your website is the only one with those exact keywords, then I will go directly to your site to see what you have to offer; the chance of making the sale is much higher.

 The Downside to Long-Tail Keywords

Every cloud has a silver lining though. While using long-tail keywords will definitely help you target a more specific niche market, it also draws you away from those who are searching for more general terms. So you have to determine what the goal of your website actually is.

Do you want to have a lot of visitors every day flowing through your site, reading your content, and leaving without making a purchase (even if you don’t have an ecommerce site, think in terms of clicking on ads)? Then you will want to focus your efforts on keywords that are more commonly searched (going back to our example: “driftwood lamps” or “juniper lamps” would bring in more traffic).

Long-tail keywords

Or do you want to have fewer visitors, but a higher conversion rate? The only way to tell is to do some serious analysis on your website. If you can get 2 sales out of 1000 visitors, or 2 sales out of 100 visitors, all for the same amount of work, then it’s a wash.

 Optimizing Your Site with Long-Tail Keywords

The best way to firmly establish yourself on the internet is to have a site that is dedicated to just one single niche. This way every time you post content, it is in some way related back to the main topic. As you fill your site with content you will naturally veer away from the headwords, and move toward long-tail keywords. This way you will gather searches from both ends of the spectrum.

Who knew that there was so much to keywords? This isn’t even all of it. If you’re already overwhelmed and not sure what to do about the content on your website, that’s ok. Most people will hire out for the bulk of their written content, and that is exactly why I am a writer in Billings, Montana. I know and understand keywords, and I can help create content that will driver we traffic to your site. Email me, or call 406.860.4407 to learn more about what I can do.

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