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The importance of long tail keywords

Posted on August 23, 2013

By typing something as ambiguous as ‘television’ into Google, a user will generate all kinds of results, leaving them with a wide range of options to choose from. This means the profit potential for companies optimising for these generic queries – or ‘head terms’ – is minimal.

With long tail searches, however, users include more information to really narrow down the results; this could be the name of the brand, the model or even the price. What’s more, there is plenty of evidence which shows that optimising for these keywords is a wise move when it comes to converting searchers into buyers.

Statistics show that only 30 per cent of internet searches are made up by using head terms. The other 70 per cent can be attributed to long tail phrases.

These searches involve at least three keywords and those who focus on them in SEO strategies tend to be targeting buyers who have completed some level of research and are on the brink of making a purchase. Those who merely use the head terms, however, are more likely to be in the initial stages of browsing.

Search engines – Google in particular – are becoming more advanced in terms of being able to answer users’ questions. Realising that consumers want exact answers to their queries, the search engines have to provide the most accurate answers possible. Google’s ability to do this is one of the main reasons it has such a large share of the market.

While putting a site into the reach of huge numbers of internet users sounds great on paper, it’s important to ensure they are the right people. To do this, sites need to show up for the right searches, and the targeting of long tail phrases is a vital part of achieving this.

John works for Engage Web as a Content Team Leader and regularly contributes to the website and programmes of his beloved Chester F.C.

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Posted by John Murray

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