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