When people think about SEO, they often think quantity. This usually means targeting the most popular search terms (keywords) and getting as much traffic to your website as possible. However, a high-quality and results-focused SEO agency in Auckland will not take this approach.
This is because one of the main reasons SEO strategies fail is because they target the most popular search terms. In most cases, this approach doesn’t deliver a return on investment.
Why People Target Popular Keywords
Popular keywords get hundreds or even thousands of searches a day. However, these search terms usually have two things in common:
Despite this, many people still want to target these keywords because they are attracted to high volumes of searches. As a result, the most popular search terms often end up in SEO strategies.
There is a better way, though – target keywords that have much fewer daily searches. These are known as long tail keywords.
The Beauty of Long Tail Keywords – Return on Investment
Adopting an SEO strategy that targets keywords that are less popular may seem counterintuitive at first. After all, you probably want to get as many visitors to your website as possible.
Consider this question, though: do you want lots of visitors to your website or do you want to get more sales? For most businesses, the second option is the obvious answer.
Keywords that have fewer daily searches are usually the best way to achieve a boost in sales. One of the reasons for this is they are more specific, i.e. they are used by people when they are closer to a buying decision.
In addition, there is usually less competition when you target long tail keywords. Less competition means it is easier to rank higher on Google search results pages.
Also, long tail keywords usually achieve higher conversion rates, particularly when the keyword indicates buying intent.
Let’s summarise this:
A Practical Example
To understand the benefit of long tail keywords, think about the buying journey for your products. Let’s say, for example, you sell bicycles. A woman thinking of buying a new bike might start her research by using the keyword “bikes” in a Google search.
From an SEO perspective, “bikes” is a popular search term so will have a lot of daily searches. However, it will also be very competitive with major retailers and international bike brands appearing on the search results page, making it hard to rank in a high position.
In addition, even if you do manage to get a high ranking in Google for “bikes”, a click from this woman is unlikely to result in a sale as she doesn’t know what she wants yet.
From this initial search, the woman decides she wants to by an urban/commuter/all-rounder bike from one of the leading brands. So, she starts doing Google searches to help her find a bike that appeals to her:
These search terms are long tail so will have less competition than the keyword “bikes”. They will also have fewer daily searches, but the keywords are more specific, i.e. the woman is getting closer to making a buying decision.
She is not there yet, though. While doing these searches, however, she discovers the bike brand Liv and decides she wants to buy the Liv Rove 2. So, she goes back to Google with a new set of searches:
These search terms have more words than the list above, so they are likely to have even fewer daily searches. However, they are also very specific and indicate a strong buying intent, i.e. the woman is ready now to make a purchase.
So, in this example of a woman buying a bike, it is better to rank well for the last set of keywords than the main keyword in this industry, “bikes”. After all, the websites that rank highly for the last set of keywords are likely to get the sale.
The second batch of keywords is important too, though. This is because you can start building up brand awareness with the woman, as well as demonstrating your knowledge of the industry. For example, you could have a page on your website with the subject Women’s Commuter Bikes which gives details of the different styles, features, and brands of this type of bike.
Then, when the woman does the more specific search, she will already be familiar with your brand when she sees your website on a search results page.
Most Google Searches Are Long Tail
Here is a fact you might not be aware of – 70 percent of searches on Google involve long tail keywords. That’s right, high-volume keywords like “bikes” make up only 30 percent of all searches on Google.
Other research shows that over 96 percent of searches are for keywords that get less 50 searches per month.
What does this mean? While your competitors chase the highly competitive short keywords, you should concentrate on the huge volumes of people who are searching for long tail keywords in your industry every day.
What You Should Do Now
If you look after SEO in-house in your business, you should incorporate long tail keywords into your strategy. If you use an SEO agency in Auckland (or are in the process of selecting one), you should make sure it includes long tail keywords in the strategy it implements for your business.
What should that strategy look like? There are four important steps:
The most important thing is to stop wasting money focusing too heavily on one or two-word keywords just because they get a high search volume. By focusing on conversions instead, your SEO agency in Auckland will get better results.