SEO – Long Tail Keyword Basics

long-tail-keywordsWhether you’re a pro or just beginning to grasp the basics of search engine optimization, it’s imperative to understand keywords and exactly how they work. Long tail, short tail, no tail (?), and so on. SEO buzzwords are enough to make your head spin, but alas, Zen Agency is here to clear up your keyword discombobulation.

Let’s say you’re looking for a new toothbrush. And not just any toothbrush … a blue, musical toothbrush that sings, “You Are My Sunshine.” (Don’t roll your eyes, you know you want one.) You sit down at your computer to order said toothbrush, and you type a few words into the search bar.

Voila … keywords. The words you use to search for whatever it is you’re looking for. It’s that simple.

WHAT you type into the search bar is where the confusion begins. I’m willing to bet since you’re a smart shopper who knows exactly what you want, you’re going to type in something along the lines of “blue musical toothbrush you are my sunshine.” In less than a second, google provides you with a very long list of websites that are most likely selling blue, musical toothbrushes that sing “You Are My Sunshine,” or discussing them for whatever reason. (You’d be surprised what people will talk about on the internet.)

This is an example of long tail keywords — it includes not only a main keyword — toothbrush — but a very specific description as well. This shows the intent of the user — they are looking for a specific toothbrush and no other toothbrushes will do.

Now … let’s think like a retailer. You have toothbrushes. A lot of them. They sing and you want to sell them online. You say to yourself, “What keywords would I like to rank for? What keywords will bring customers to my site?” The obvious keyword to select would be “toothbrush,” right? That way anyone looking up anything at all to do with toothbrushes will find my website.

Wrong. And not just wrong for one reason … wrong for several reasons:

Reason You’re Wrong #1

Ranking for a simple keyword like “toothbrush” would take a VERY long time. Think of how many websites there are out there already that are well established and contain content regarding anything in the world that has to do with toothbrushes. The competition is enormous…and that’s not including the companies that are using Google Ads to advertise their toothbrushes!

Reason You’re Wrong #2

You say, “SEO person, we hear what you’re saying but we still want to rank for the word ‘toothbrushes’ and we’re willing to wait as long as it takes.” But ask yourself, even if you do succeed in beating out Amazon, Walmart, and Wikipedia in the search results, are you really getting the RIGHT kind of visitors to your site? Wouldn’t it be better to target someone who is actually in the market for a musical toothbrush?

Reason You’re Wrong #3

“Alright, SEO person, we get it now. Let’s target the phrase, ‘buy musical toothbrush.'” You are learning, grasshopper. This keyword phrase would be considered, “short tail,” as it contains a very general keyword along with a descriptor. The next step is to see what sort of competition there is for that keyword phrase and how difficult it will be to achieve a good ranking with it. That’s where your SEO guru comes in with our magical, mystical techniques (analytic programs and common sense) where we carefully measure out how effective particular keyword phrases will be for your campaign. Depending on the results, we will recommend a wide variety of short tail keywords as well as what’s referred to as long tail keywords.

What Were Long Tail Keywords Again?

Remember the keyword phrase, “blue musical toothbrush you are my sunshine?” That’s a long tail keyword that will bring visitors to your site who are looking for exactly what you’re selling. This is the type of traffic you want! And the good news is the competition for long tail keywords is usually much, much lower; therefore, it makes it easier for you to achieve top rankings in a lot less time.

“But SEO person, the traffic for that keyword phrase is very low. How can that be good?”

The key is to target a multitude of long tail keywords so that you’re bringing in visitors for a wide variety of very specific reasons. People are visiting your site because you have what they want. And that’s what we all want after all, isn’t it?

If you’re having trouble with long tail or short tail keywords, we can take it from here! Contact Zen Agency today to see how we can help you with your SEO.

Joseph Riviello

Looking for a seasoned WooCommerce expert and digital marketing strategist with an unwavering dedication to client success? Meet Joe Riviello, the CEO of Zen Agency, with over 22 years of experience helping e-commerce businesses scale through holistic marketing strategies. Joe Riviello is a seasoned WooCommerce expert, digital marketing strategist, and CEO of Zen Agency with over 22 years of experience in the e-commerce industry. He is a passionate business development professional committed to helping businesses reach their full potential through various holistic digital marketing strategies. Joe's expertise lies in creating a seamless user experience for customers while delivering strong business results. He has worked with several high-profile clients across various industries, including retail, healthcare, and finance, helping them achieve their business goals through digital marketing solutions. Joe's journey to becoming a CEO started with his passion for technology and user experience design. He has always been interested in how technology can solve business challenges and improve customer experiences. Throughout his career, he has focused on creating e-commerce websites and digital marketing campaigns that provide an exceptional user experience while delivering strong business results. As the CEO of Zen Agency, Joe is responsible for leading the agency's strategic direction and ensuring that clients receive the highest quality of service. He is a natural leader who inspires and motivates his team to achieve their goals and deliver exceptional results for clients. Joe is a recognized industry leader and has spoken at several conferences on topics related to digital marketing, user experience design, and business strategy. He passionately advocates for data-driven marketing and believes that every business, regardless of size or industry, can benefit from a holistic digital marketing strategy.

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