How to Rank Higher with SEO Keywords and Long Tail Keywords

How to Rank Higher with SEO Keywords and Long Tail Keywords

Want to rank higher but the term SEO scares you?

I’ll warn you now, when I brought this subject up at a recent event, it almost reduced someone to tears.  Seriously though, SEO isn’t difficult at all and like most things, it’s actually quite a simple concept.  Owning your own small business and competing against companies with big marketing budgets can seem hopeless for wanting to rank higher.  Do you pay huge Ad premiums? Do you outsource your SEO updates on average £500 a month? Or…..can you learn the basics and apply yourself? Sure you can….

I’ve previously blogged about the importance of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and how creating engaging content full of SEO friendly keywords can help you be more easily found in online searches.

What are SEO Keywords?

To remind you, SEO keywords are literally “key” words and phrases in your web content that make it possible for your audience to find your website, blog or product, via a search engine, normally Google, but don’t forget Ebay, Amazon and Bing (etc) are all search engines too.  Let’s mainly focus on Google though as this is where we work with their algorithms and how we can make Google proud of us little businesses by showing authority in our fields.

What this blog expands on are Long Tail Keywords and the importance they can play in an effective SEO strategy.

What’s a Long Tail Keyword?

LTKs are basically keywords or key phrases (one client of mine prefers to think of these as ‘sentences’) made up of more than 3 words (I say on average between 7 and 10), that are more descriptive in nature than stand alone keywords.  Think of it in terms of learning grammar at school – it’s basically Nouns (keywords) and expanded Nouns (long tail keywords).  Research has shown that long tail keywords account for up to 70% of all web searches. Source – Neil Patel.

Building a business is all about tapping into an audience and providing a service they need or require.  Finding your audience or understanding your niche is a fundamental requirement.  And this is where the long tail keyword strategy becomes interesting for a small business.  Big companies are not interested in long tail keywords…want to know why?  Read on….

Big Business SEO Strategy

With silly pound marketing budgets, big companies can simply buy their way to the top of page one or buy first positions ads.

On the surface, long tail keywords will generate less search traffic, but as a small business, the upside is long tail keywords usually have a higher conversion value as they are more specific.

For example, it would take years and a huge amount of marketing money to rank number 1 in ‘women’s handbags’.  But using a long tail keyword strategy of, ‘handmade organic leather women’s bags’, you can make real progress in your ranking in a much shorter period of time.

Or picture yourself doing a Google search.  You live in Marlow, Buckinghamshire and you want to eat out locally one night.  You wouldn’t just put the word ‘restaurant’ into a search engine.  You would put ‘restaurants in Marlow’, but be more specific… you fancy eating Indian, so refine your search and put ‘best Indian restaurant in Marlow’.  That is the power of long tail keywords in action.  They generate organic search traffic without costing a small business a penny.

Voice activated search engines

Such as Siri, Amazon Echo, Google Assistant etc.  These are becoming more and more popular and are changing how people carry out searches.  If you think of how we ask for things, we don’t just say one word when we are trying to find out information, we describe what we are looking for.

What are SEO Keywords?

  • When budgets are tight, long tail keywords are an easy, cost-efficient way for a small business to take on their (often) bigger and more well resourced competitors.

  • They can also help find an audience if you offer a niche product or service.

  • And with voice activation here to stay, these long tail keywords are an excellent way to future proof your company moving forward.

Having a clear vision of your business, your product or service, and your website is crucial if you want to make the most of a Long Tail Keyword Strategy.

Where to Start – Keywords or Long Tail Keywords?

The answer is BOTH.

As you know, keywords are of course helpful with SEO, however the powerful content that is crawled over by Google and other search engines, are the long tail keywords.

My recommendation would be to gather 10 or 20 keywords that explain your product or service.  Research is crucial for this stage and how to do this was featured in my previous blog.

From this list of keywords you can begin to drill down from each of these to the long tail keywords.

The key to making all of this work is RESEARCH.  Be sure to understand your competition and what they are doing especially if they are running a campaign.  See what works for them and target it.  There are several paid SEO tools who can do this for you…BuzzSumo, Ahrefs and SEMRush.

Once you have your competitive information and chosen keywords you can start to build a target list of long tail keywords.

The idea is to find as many long tail keywords as possible that have low to medium search volume because ultimately, they will help you rank easily and drive traffic almost instantly.

Cheeky Tricks

A useful trick is to use Google Ads, as you are able to see what people area searching for which is a great indicator of which keywords are being used in your industry (be it legal, finance, etc). Google Ads can also provide long tail keywords as well, or someone like Ubersuggest is another keyword suggestion site you could use.

Let’s look at my business… I would target Long Tail Keywords such as… ‘legal marketing in Marlow’, ‘small business SEO help in Marlow, ‘legal copywriter in Marlow’.  Although I work with firms in London, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and surrounding counties, they will have a high volume of searches and SO I’d have to put in some serious time, effort and dosh to get onto number 1 pages for ranking….

AND FINALLY….how on earth do I use these Long Tail Keywords…?

Once you have decided upon your Long Tail Keywords, just like SEO, these need to be reflected in your website and blogs (please write blogs…at LEAST once a month…).   If you go over the top with using keywords in your copy and blogs, Google considers it to be spam.

Make sure they feature in any HEADLINES you create.  Test these out in a Google search and see what comes up.  Google would be nothing without people using it to search.  Google want to make it easy for its users – so give it what it wants – clearly marked headlines with relevant long tail keywords will work best.

Once you are using long tail keywords, keep an eye on their performance and amend and add them on your website and blogs as you go along.

Alternatively, ask for help. Just please don’t ignore this.  If you are a small business looking for brand awareness help with long tail keywords or SEO image optimisation, content marketing or copywriting for websites and blogs, please get in touch.

1-2-1 sessions are also available.

I’m just an email or phone call away.

Elaine 

 

 

 

 

The relationship between Content Marketing and Business Development

The relationship between Content Marketing and Business Development

Why Content Marketing and Business Development complement each other

The word of the day at my networking meeting this morning was “marriage” and from Pickled-Ginger’s point of view, I wanted to talk about the relationship between content marketing and business development, which is rather a heavenly one for lead generation.

“Content Marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute

Without content marketing your business development will struggle. WITH content marketing you already have effective business development!

When I tell people I’m a copywriter and marketer, they might imagine it’s storytelling without substance, however my content is more of a strategic marriage between business development and marketing.

Content is Key

Content is Key

One of the quickest ways to reach an audience is through words.  What are you trying to achieve with your businesses (apart from profits)?  It’s either to add value to a client’s business or to solve a problem they might have.

Without a marketing strategy involving content then your business development will be asking for a divorce.

When I write copy for websites, newsletters, blogs and social media – I research effective key words for Google algorithms, together with researching the client’s target audience as well as getting the correct feel for my client’s business – no off the shelf wedding here.

So for those of you who’d like more brand awareness and therefore more leads I suggest you and I get engaged leading to an advantageous business marriage and in 9 months we’ll see healthy, bouncing profits.

Contact Elaine for further information and receive a free content marketing audit.

Why content & SEO Marketing with Intent will convert your leads

Why content & SEO Marketing with Intent will convert your leads

The power of marketing with intent  (content + SEO) 

There’s a great quote from Paul Wright of Iotec saying “Good intent marketing provides the mechanism to ensure a message reaches the widest number of individuals for whom it will most likely resonate”.  Marketers are coming up with different types of content to grab their clients’ audiences attention.  Brands and professionals want added value, problem solving and research with intent….content marketing has become the secret advantage in a successful marketing strategy.  By using content and SEO as a marketing collaborative, engagement and conversions are harmonious.

 “User intent is the goal someone has in mind when typing a query into Google.”

Neil Patel, New York Times best selling author

Here are a few of my top tips for intent marketing campaigns:

Research  If you want to reach potential clients/customers – then well researched content is so important.  You could be writing a new website, or sending newsletters out, or writing blogs or using social media – each will require their own research and key words.  Websites will require good SEO content written into the pages whereas newsletters will need to be punchy with headlines as hooks.  It is the intent behind the researched keyword that measures the competition.

Online search for user intent – this helps identify your audience and therefore your content & SEO.  Here are the 3 types:

  • Transactional  wants to buy something
  • Navigational   seeks for a specific resource
  • Informational  wants information on a subject or seeks answers to their questions

Keywords  There is so much data being shared online every minute of every day – these statistics from one of Domo’s reports shows the enormity of it:

  • 684,478 pieces of content are shared on Facebook
  • 2,000,000 search queries are made on Google
  • 48 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube

Google’s Adwords Fourth Edition, reports that “Google gets searched six billion times every day.  That’s 70,000 search every second.

It can be daunting to know where to start with writing engaging and responsive content to reach people who would most appreciate it. Keywords – that’s your answer.  Are you answering a specific question? Are you helping with a query? Be specific – are you selling a product or service? Drill down more – I, for example, come up on the first page (under recruitment boards!) for Content Marketing and Copywriting in Marlow.   Pickled Ginger key word search

Provide content for, and traffic to, your website  Newsletter content can be re-used as content on your website or blog, generating additional traffic from search engines and social media.  Social media is perfect for either re-tweeting a blog several times or used on LinkedIn as a guide for groups within this medium.

Crafted Content There’s no point harvesting content and spewing it out as the reader will switch off if not targeted for their needs. If you don’t know where to start, perhaps use a testimonial and turn it into a story for a blog and use keywords to engage.  You need to understand your audience’s need so that you can craft specific content – this takes a little time, but I personally really enjoy getting to know my clients and their audiences so that my writing forms a background understanding and subliminal relationship.

Elaine Pasini at Pickled Ginger for all your website & newsletter content, design and social media scheduling.  If you’d like to have an informal and free chat about any of the services Pickled Ginger provides, please don’t hesitate to email or call me 07775 438 538.

Why monthly newsletters are an important marketing tool

Why monthly newsletters are an important marketing tool

How to multiply your profits by generating leads through the power of the NEWSLETTER !!!

The 60 second elevator pitch at a recent Hub of Excellence I attended, had the specification of using the word MULTIPLY.  Different themes for different weeks – keeps the pitches more engaging and fun.

The word “multiply” is, of course, from the Latin word multus, meaning “multi” + plex. Plex translates to “plek” in Indo-European which in turns translates to plait.  Yes, I had my hair in a plait at the event, to demonstrate I had taken this spec seriously…..

I’d like to explain how to multiply your number of leads through simple marketing techniques.

Investing in an effective newsletter for your website will automatically multiply your profits as good SEO content reaches new audiences and Google searches will pick up key words. By entrusting me to write targeted, researched and punchy content for your monthly newsletters – which I would design, deliver and analyse – you will be able to generate returns on your investment.

Here are some top tips as to why a monthly newsletter can multiply happiness for your bank balance.  If you don’t already have a monthly newsletter rolling out, here’s why you should….

Brand awareness  Want prospects to know who you are and what you do?  Want existing clients to remember why they use you and why they should carry on using you?  You may well have a website built with SEO in mind (which is great) but you only have a few seconds to capture the attention of a visitor on your landing page before they are gone forever so ensure you keep your name out there!  Brand awareness is a vital part of any business because without business development and marketing you are resting on your laurels.  Newsletters are such a great way to remind people what you do and why they should use you (or as a reminder as to why they are already using you).

Positioning your brand against your competitors  Researching your market and industry to gain a good understanding as to why prospects should use you and then ensure this USP is enhanced with your web presence and within each newsletter.  Newsletters are an extremely effective tool to enable you to stand out from the crowd.

Gain more business from existing clients and cross referrals  Clients want to know about all your services and make informed choices that way – newsletters show them how they can benefit from those services, without being too “salesy”.

Inform & educate prospects  What is it about newsletters you like and read from other companies?  The information on offer?  Valuable insights?  Updates within the industry?  Discounts?  All of these answers allow you to make decisions about either buying from them or using them as a service.  Newsletters are a source of information as well as a way of you demonstrating your expertise – a prospective client or customer will feel more engaged with you and your business, so that when the time comes for them to require you – they feel like they already know and trust you.

To get repeat business from former clients  People who used your services or bought your products once will purchase again–when they’re ready. A newsletter is a great way to stay in touch with them until they are.  This one is back to brand awareness and keeping your name “out there”.

Provide content for, and traffic to, your website  Newsletter content can be re-used as content on your website or blog, generating additional traffic from search engines and social media.  Social media is perfect for either re-tweeting a blog several times or used on LinkedIn as a guide for groups within this medium.

To generate referrals  An informative, strong, punchy and visually aesthetic newsletter will be shared with an average of 3 other people, even more online. If you have a larger business, it may go to just one person and they should ensure everyone in the business is circulated a copy.  If your newsletter is used as a hyperlink on social media – the “reaches” can be exceptional.

To build your CRM database Offer visitors to your website a subscription to your newsletter in return for providing their email (and other contact information).  Just make sure you receive their CONSENT for GDPR.

Establish knowledge and credibility  With well researched and powerful content in your newsletter, this will give prospects, publishers and referral sources a trusted insight into your business and how you can solve their problems or add value to their business.

Add value to your services Some businesses send out 2 newsletters per month –  the first is free but has external agencies paying for space to advertise (a revenue winner) and the second could be subscribed and paid for with more detailed analysis and ebooks – together with discounts and extra services such as an online helpdesk.

Pickled Ginger for all your website & newsletter content, design and social media scheduling.  If you’d like to have an informal and free chat about any of the services Pickled Ginger provides, please don’t hesitate to email or call me 07775 438 538.

Troubleshooting – Legal Business Development and Marketing

Troubleshooting – Legal Business Development and Marketing

QUESTION………Your content is great but your business development isn’t.  Your business development is strong but your conversions are weak.  You and your colleagues are approachable and talented but struggle with understanding how best to gain new leads.

Why?

Sound familiar? Troubleshooting tips for legal marketing and legal business development …..read on…..

CONTENT

Your knowledge should be shared. So what if your competitors see what you are up to? Take it as a compliment.  Write about your insights and offer snippets of advice to entice people to want to read more.  If you don’t have a designated person/s to write engaging content, outsource it.  Monthly newsletters, press releases, blogs on social media.  We all read the news on social media and we all search the internet for advice and help.  If your content presence isn’t “out there” then how will you be found? Email me for more advice or help.

NEWSLETTER

Shout about your content through the medium of monthly online newsletters.  Have you won a case? Are you supporting a local charity? Are you sponsoring an event? Do you have a Q&A session you want to share?  Keep the newsletter brief, engaging and relevant. Email me if you want to understand the best way to crack on with this and to ensure you are GDPR compliant.

SOCIAL MEDIA

If you use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc – are you using it frequently?  Are you using these mediums correctly and analysing the data?  If yes, what are you doing with that analysis….?

CRM

This is your database of existing clients and potential leads.  Client Relationship Management. You may well be using Excel or an integrated software such as Proclaim.  As long as you are using the database, keeping it up to date and in doing so staying in touch with your audience, you are on the right track.  Check you are GDPR compliant and use your CRM to send out informative newsletters and blogs and track along the way.

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Business Development can often be the problematic part of a business plan.  Who develops your business and how?  If you have a BDM (business development manager) do you rely on them to hunt the business, gather and close the sale?  Services can often take between 12 to 18 months to gain the trust of a new client and in this time, you still have to keep them engaged.  How are you doing this?  Patience, a budget and tenacity is key here.

CONVERSIONS

I have often come across great business development and marketing only to see the relationship slip away because delivery of the service let them down.

All employees should have informal training of how to talk with people.  Sounds simple doesn’t it? Legal services are client facing and can no longer hide behind references books and a secretary.  Common courtesy and excellent customer service from everyone of your colleagues and employees will be as important as the work itself.  Communication is key in converting work.

WE’RE A GREAT FIRM OF SOLICITORS WITH EXCEPTIONAL TALENT – WHY DON’T WE HAVE MORE CLIENTS?

Simple answer is we live in a DIGITAL era.  The days when the solicitor was the local hero are now in the past. Everyone can access legal help and make comparisons online.  Understanding your competitors is not only great for referrals, but it can help you understand what makes you different.  Why would someone (be it B2B or B2C) come to you?

TARGET AUDIENCE

Example, you are a firm of conveyancers.  Have you found what works best for you? Local referrals? What makes clients come back and recommend you?  Sponsoring local events? Collaborate with local estate agents? Network in the community?  Facebook is often good for conveyancers as is private client work.

Example, you are a firm of specialist employment lawyers – dealing with large corporates.  Your budget for marketing will be larger than the previous example but how are you building your brand? Do you talk at industry seminars? Do you sponsor specialist awards where your audience will be? Do you have the correct social media presence? Are you part of a LinkedIn group?

There are many different examples but if you are not sure of your audience then you will be giving out confusing messages.  Focus.

MARKETING BUDGETS

What does the budget cover?  Do you have a business strategy?  A good way to decide what your marketing budget should be is to establish your total revenue.  A suggested percentage for a newer company trying to focus on brand awareness (up to 5 years of trading) should have a budget of 12 – 20% whilst an established company (5 years +) doesn’t need such a big budget as their services will be known – that said, if they are flagging, new branding might be useful.  It is then that you can sit down with your teams to decide how much you would be prepared to budget for getting this equation result in again.

CONCLUSION

Coming into a firm to “troubleshoot” can only been seen as a positive because it means change is ok and that you are open to suggestions going forward.  What are your needs?  Do you need more leads? More sales? More brand awareness?  More conversions?  More content using key SEO words? Knowing your goals will help determine where you want your budget to go.  Having a strategy and sticking to it will focus you and your team to build a stronger and more financially viable business.

Any questions or would like a chat? Email me or call me 07775 438 538.  Thanks for reading! Elaine.

All lawyers out there – are you risk averse or a risk taker? Are you a SOLICITOR of the future? Business Development and Client Relationship Management for Solicitors….

All lawyers out there – are you risk averse or a risk taker? Are you a SOLICITOR of the future? Business Development and Client Relationship Management for Solicitors….

FUTURE

Are you a lawyer who is always thinking analytically and jumping to what might lie ahead = therefore restrained when developing your business? You can be a great lawyer (sorry, solicitor…before an old friend tells me off), if you take risks too (in business of course – not within the boundaries of law – that’s a whole other article).

As a legal futurologist (yes, you heard correctly) told me a year or so ago, innovative risk takers in technology will be the future of the law profession. This is a man who’s job it is to study and read what’s going on globally within law and its profession. Australia are way ahead of Britain in this field. SMEs & SPs don’t be angry or scared – everyone has a place in this future. Ok there is a BUT – assuming you take a look at your budget for technology. Technology can encompass anything from a good website (to ensure the public can find you) to top end CMS programmes (see Law Gazette article link below).  CRM (Client / Consumer Relationship Management) software is a highly recommended tool. This enables firms to keep up-to-date with current clients, as well as engage with past clients and gain new clients.  As a matter of fact, client retention is a bigger headache than new business development (in line with compliance headaches of course).

TECHNOLOGY

If you work in Litigation and Dispute Resolution for example, what are you views on new software for online private dispute resolution providers? Yes, it will require quality control and regulating but it’s about being aware the technology is out there and to remind yourselves how fast new intelligence is happening. Innovation is a huge part of the legal profession – just take a look at the future of cars and insurance in this Telegraph article:  It shows how the insurance world will no doubt be rocked by this advanced state of driverless motoring, but it doesn’t have to be if it knows that change is definitely coming.  Be prepared.

The last paragraph of an article by, Marialuisa Taddia, in the Law Gazette, reads

Finally, there are challenges to the traditional business model to contend with. ‘Technology has led to the emergence of alternative service providers, including accounting firms and start-ups, which are becoming meaningful competitors to the traditional legal profession,’ ….. ‘Certainly it’s true in the UK, and that’s starting to take hold in Canada as well’

Marialuisa shows how the effect of technology is now making the change in Canada too.  Full article 

COMPETITION

Larger firms are gathering business and consumer intelligence by investing their own money to commission bespoke research  – this is marketing and business development at its best. What better use of technology than to ask your audience what they want and get that edge over its competitors.  That said, SMEs can take advantage of equally ambitious online surveys to use via eshots – it’s just being prepared and embracing the answers out there. CRM is so important – possibly more so at present, than NBD. The marketing rule (basically the Pareto Rule) – 80/20 is still true.  Keep your existing clients happy and make them feel respected and enable them to have an up-t0-date understanding of their matter. Large firms could use software built into its CMS to offer this as a retention solution, but if you are a smaller firm – technology could be as simple as a quick email update of their matter.

There is so much competition out there – we know that becoming niche is the way forward but it’s also about looking to the future (and I’m not talking succession!).  There’s a great quote from a Legal Futures’ article:

The legal market has changed, there’s no doubt about that, and even the traditionalists who may have stuck by their mantra of law being different to other industries are having to realise and accept change.

Goodbye to Neo-Luddism – if my late father, at the young age of 85, could embrace technology, believe me – anyone can. Give yourself and your company the go ahead to move forward and be ahead of your competitors.

What can you do to get yourself noticed – research content for websites, newsletters and social media, together with a well planned CRM strategy.  Get in touch for a free 30 minute consultation.