The Importance of Long-tail keywords for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Hi, my name is Oliver Church and I am an online marketing consultant. Using my expertise, I have achieved success in giving my clients good organic traffic results in Google and with this YouTube channel I want to share some of my knowledge with you all so that you too, can have success.

When most people think of optimizing their web site for search engines such as Google, without a deeper knowledge or experience they might assume they need to focus on a handful of main keywords.

Whilst this is certainly one technique, it is also the most difficult thing to achieve as it is the most simple ‘direct line’ strategy that most web site operators aim for.

A much more achievable, and therefore more powerful technique is to rank for phrases that are still a broad-set match to the kinds of things your visitors might be searching for and these are usually longer keyword phrases which are easier to rank for.

Did you know that 70% of all searches in Google are considered long tail searches?

That’s right, not only are they easier to rank for and get traffic, therefore being less competitive- but they will also bring you more traffic overall and as an added bonus you don’t have competitors outranking your organic position with their paid ads.

One of the misconceptions people have about the power of ranking for your top keywords is that they must bring in more traffic because there is an impressive numerical value of searches ‘globally’ for the keyword.

What is often not thought about is that you are competing with the entire world and there is a good chance there is some person or company either more determined or having a marketing budget that is an order of magnitude larger than yours.

In order to compete with such powerful sites, you would need a very high domain authority and at least be ranking already for a large number of other phrases. It’s the kind of target that should be an ‘end-game’ strategy rather than a ‘start-game’ strategy.

One good way to avoid such high levels of competition is to focus on a technique known as ‘local SEO’ as this allows you to target less competitive phrases such as [ insert my town name]  widget consulting or [insert my nearest large city name] widget consulting if you live in the sticks. But that is a topic I will go into more detail in another video.

If you search online about how to do long-tail SEO you will be greeted with well-known commentators telling you that you should be researching and picking the long tails and targeting them with articles. This might work for less competitive industries but it’s probably a waste of your time if you are in a competitive industry, something in demand and high value.

Instead, you might want to consider writing content that is valuable, something people will be searching for. You can spend your valuable time creating more useful content rather than focusing on keyword research.

As it goes, the choice of whether to focus on content specifically or a mix of content and careful longtail keyword choosing should be done on a case by case basis and I won’t know exactly what is right for you without seeing your niche and site.

As for targeting your top keywords, this can still be done on your homepage and some pillar articles of your web site but it might be advisable to target something achievable that you will be confident to rank first page for within the next 6-12 months. Knowing what to target comes down to experience, knowledge, research, hard-work and intuition.

Some of you have the time and background to do this yourself but if not, you can hire a professional to help you.

There are dozens of ranking factors in SEO and the one we discussed today is just one of those. I will be doing other videos showcasing other factors in future.

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