One of the first things you do when you want to optimize your web site for search is to research and choose keywords that relate to your site’s theme or business niche. These keywords are being used by your target audience most frequently when searching for your services online. If you use these keywords on your site correctly, you will increase your chances for more traffic.
But traffic isn’t the end-all be-all of keyword research. No sir. You want keywords that draw in targeted traffic. When this targeted traffic lands on your site, you want them to become engaged with content that convinces them to convert. Visitors who find irrelevant content after clicking through to your site will hit the back button faster than a gunfight at high noon. Make sure the content your keywords link to is relevant and engaging.
So how do you do it? The first step is to create a list of relevant keywords that your target audience frequently uses. You can do this by conducting keyword research tools to find related keywords. Google’s Keyword Adwords Tool is a great way to identify not only most often searched for words, but also other related words that may be a longer string of words. Check out this Adwords screenshot for a Real Estate School keyword search:
As you browse through this list you will see that there are a few keywords that stand out. SEO best practices recommend you look at least two different keyword types for targeting your website: long-tail keywords and short-tail keywords. From my experience, many clients come into the keyword research phase of an SEO campaign without completely understanding the difference between the two types. That is about to end.
Join me after the jump to discuss the differences between long-tail and short keywords.