The Difference Between Long-Tail and Short-Tail Keywords

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.

Read this article: The Difference Between Long-Tail and Short-Tail Keywords

Keyword Selection Mistakes to Avoid

When you are building the foundation of your SEO campaign, the choice of keywords you want to target for your rankings is one of the most important decisions you will make. If you choose the wrong keywords, there may never be hope for results. No matter if you are doing all the work yourself or if you’ve hired an SEO firm to do it for you – getting even the best results from the wrong keyword will bring you less than expected traffic.

Throughout the lifespan of Volacci, our IMCs have seen SEO campaigns barely able to limp into our offices for help after being devastated by bad keyword research or decision making. Learn from the misfortune of others and avoid these five mistakes in keyword selection:

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Three Ways to Misuse Keywords on Your Website

Search engine optimization (SEO) has a fairly steep learning curve, mostly due to the fact that the industry (and Google) is constantly evolving. The rules of SEO have changed since search emerged in the 90’s, as any advice from this era is no longer effective for today’s Web 2.0 world.

There are plenty of SEO sharks, gurus, ninjas, Jedis, and wizards out there that have been at SEO for years and would love to tell you how the experts do it. Some of them do know what they’re talking about. But more than would care to admit are telling you a) old advice that is no longer applicable, b) don’t really know what they are talking about, or c) using ‘black hat’ SEO technique for instant results, but are breaking the laws of Google to get you there. This will only destroy your rankings in the end.

One of the most important aspects of SEO campaigns is keyword research. You want to target certain keywords in order to gain rankings and get found by potential credit card-wielding customers. There are certain techniques you use keywords for when implementing on-page SEO that will tremendously affect your rankings. If you misuse them due to some bad advice, you will be hurting your chances severely. Here are three ways you can misuse your keywords that hurt your rankings more than they help.

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The Continuing Story of Keyword Research

At the beginning of every SEO campaign, keywords and phrases are researched for targeting traffic and rankings. Most campaigns conduct very thorough research, slaving endless hours over Google’s Keyword Tool and mentally battling over whether to pluralize or not to pluralize. In the end, a small but significant list of keywords are optimized for a website with the intention of increasing targeted traffic, search engine rankings, and the always infamous return on investment. But is keyword research a one-time event or an continuing process for your campaign?

Read this article: The Continuing Story of Keyword Research

The Importance of Keyword Tagging

In SEO, using keywords on- and off-page is essential to ranking well in the search engines. Fundamentally, search engines want to deliver the most relevant match to a web surfer’s searching phrase. This is why proper keywords are optimized in both on-page content and in the meta tags. This allows the web site owner to tell the search engines that their site is relevant for those phrases. As the Internet evolves, SEO tactics change with it. Say hello to Keywords 2.0.

Read this article: The Importance of Keyword Tagging

Variety in the Keyword of SEO

An important element in any search engine optimization campaign is the selecting and targeting of keywords for your site and business. Keyword research should produce a healthy list of relevant keywords with a significant volume of traffic. Once you have chosen your keywords, you need to use them throughout your titles, meta descriptions, and on-page content. Be careful not to keyword stuff and over-utilize a specific keyword. Keywords are not magic dust to be generously sprinkled at random throughout your website. You not only need to use strategic implementation and common sense when plugging in your keywords, but variation as well.

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Do You Take Keywords Laterally?

Key_Words_0.jpgIf you are a small business, you may find it difficult to get noticed above your big competitors with their deep pockets, seventeen websites, ten times as many employees and three Facebook brand profiles. It is a challenge to find yourself on page one of Google in these circumstances, but not impossible. You may be surprised how easy it is for your website to rank higher on search engines and get noticed amongst the dilution of the big dogs. Use SEO lateral keywords, otherwise known at long tail marketing. Whichever term makes your breakfast taste better, it is a strategy that can increase your chances of getting your website on the first page of search engines. The concept behind long tail marketing is to target keywords that are less competitive. It is true that these keyword phrases are less popular, but your chances of getting on page one of Google is much greater. And that, my friend, is more popular with your profit margin. Let’s be realistic, if you don’t land on page one, or maybe even two, you are not going to maximize your keyword investment. Take your industry keywords laterally, and you will be surprised how important targeting long tail keywords can be to your business.

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Get local with your keywords

Using key phrases instead of single, highly-competitive keywords is good SEO strategy that gives you more 'bang for your buck'. But how can you maximize the effectiveness of your key phrases? One easy and effective way to do this is with local search terms. If your key phrase is "flower delivery" then you can make it even more targeted by inserting your local terms: "flower delivery Atlanta". There you've just exponentially increased the effectiveness of your search campaign by approaching from the angle of local search.

Read this article: Get local with your keywords

How many keywords per content page

A common mistake people make when optimizing their content pages is focusing on a whole list of keywords instead of just one. The best course of action is to focus on one really good keyword per content page and build everything around it. This looks better to the search engines and makes it easier for you to create the content in a way that is very relevant to the keyword or phrase you are trying to capture.

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