Keyword Research

SEO: Targeting the Longtail for More Sales

For many small online businesses, especially ecommerce, search-engine, keyword optimization is a once a year process at best. Once you have gone through the laborious and mind numbing process of keyword research, writing title tags, page descriptions and revising your copy, the idea of doing all over again every year is enough to make you want to crash a hard drive.

The simple solution is to hire a qualified SEO professional to handle it. But as budgets shrink this option might not be plausible. You can, however, stay on top of new search trends and generate more traffic without having a nervous breakdown. The secret is in the longtail phrase and adding relevant content that captures these visitors.

What’s a Longtail?

A longtail phrase is a series of words people use to start a search query. Reports by Hitwise show that “queries with four to eight words and over are all up year over year in growth ranging from 3% to 20%.” This means your customers are getting more specific about how they search and what they expect to find. These phrases can be very revealing for ecommerce, especially when you identify words that indicate intent.

A good example of longtail phrase would be “orthopedic dog bed large” or “antique tiffany diamond engagement ring” The qualifying words like “orthopedic” or “antique” and “engagement” indicate a clear understanding of what they want. Normally this indicates a person who is closer to the buying decision. Once you start keyword research you are bound to find dozens of phrases that are specific to a product or problem. These are the “money terms” because these people are ready to act.

Research Longtail Keywords

Set aside one hour a week to do keyword research until you have a good long list. Edit it mercilessly and identify trends and action terms. Now that you have your money terms, you don’t have to rewrite your entire ecommerce store.

Instead, create new pages featuring articles, video descriptions, testimonial pages or reviews that are relevant to your new keywords. This gives your ecommerce store more search food and more relevance to your visitors.

Adding good content that is optimized for the longtail is an inexpensive way to attract more traffic and increase sales.

Jan Riley
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