Long tail keyword research for small businesses

What are long tail keywords and how can they help your business?

In this article we will look at how long tail keywords can help your business online.

Long tail keywords are keywords that are often 3 or 4 keywords long that are very specific to the service that you are selling. They are very targeted and can be very profitable for your small business.

Long tail keywords also target customers who are late in the buying process, this means that they are keywords that consumers use just before making a buying decision.

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The Buying process

1. Consumer becomes aware of a product.
2. Consumer looks for more information on the product.
3. Consumer looks at alternatives for the product.
4. Consumer makes a decision to buy.
5. Consumer buys the product.

In the above buying process long tail keywords target users around step 4. At step 4 the user has decided to purchase the product and will then start to search for more targeted keywords, I.E long tail.

The consumer may have started at step 1 with the search “Web Design Wales”, they would have looked at the results, compared them and then by step 4 their searches would have become more targeted and they would have began searching for “Restaurant website design in Cardiff

If you compare the searches:

• Web design wales
• Restaurant website design Cardiff

You can see that the long tail search is more specific, and that person making the search knows what they want and at this point they’re ready to purchase it.

The Good News

Long tail keywords have a higher commercial intent and they are also easier to rank for. This may throw you slightly but its true, an example of this can be seen below.

Lets say you sell hiking tours up the Brecon Beacons. You may consider targeting a generic phrase like travel. This may seem logical to you as the type of person looking to go on a hiking tour maybe a tourist. However if you tried going after the world travel you would come up against the following companies:

• The Guardian
• Travel Republic
• Telegraph
• Travel Supermarket

Looking at the above companies its clear to see that it would be very difficult to knock these companies off their positions without a massive budget and a lot of time.

The keyword travel probably gets hundreds of thousands searches, but the keyword travel isn’t targeted to your audience. People searching travel could be looking for travel insurance, plane tickets, summer holidays and a wide range of other services.

You maybe thinking ok, travel isn’t that good but what about hiking tours? Once again even though your offering hiking tours you are going to go up against huge companies with huge budgets, the keyword also once again isn’t that targeted, because people searching for hiking tours in France aren’t going to be interested in hiking tours in Brecon.

Taking the long tail approach you would want highly specific keyword searches relating to your product so for example:

Brecon Beacon mountain hiking tours
• Beginner hiking tours in the Brecon Beacons
• Guided hiking tours Brecon Beacons

Now being a web developer I know nothing about hiking or if the Brecon Beacons has hiking tours so please forgive me, but I think I’ve made my point. By being more specific with your keywords you are going to face less competition while targeting consumers later in the buying process.

Long tail conclusion

Long tail keywords generally have less searches a month, so it is worth taking into consideration that targeting long tail keywords will mean that your website will have less traffic than other websites targeting broader keyword searches. Personally we like to target both broad keywords and long tail searches, we believe this gives us the best of both worlds.

Whatever method you decide to use there is no substitute for keyword research, you will have to determine which keywords have enough traffic to be profitable for your business. For us 1 customer could be all we need to be profitable for that month, where as it could take 20 people for your business to be in the green for that month.

We believe that every business should be looking for long tail keywords that work for their business. If you would like to discuss how long tail SEO could help your business, then talk to us today.

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