Optimising your website for the long-tail

When a potential customer searches for your products and services on the internet they might put in a very general term to describe what they are looking for, such as fancy dress. They might decide to restrict results to the local area and instead put in the service plus a location, such as fancy dress St Albans. Or they might use what we call a long-tail search term.

A long-tail search term is a much more specific and targeted phrase. It is often a much longer keyword phrase, of 4 words or more. So instead of searching for ‘fancy dress’, you searcher might put in superhero fancy dress costume. This type of searcher knows exactly what they are looking for, and are often ready to purchase it.

In fact 70% of searches can be classed as long-tail searches. Long-tail searches are searched for less often, but are more specific and targeted. From a search engine optimisation point of view, ranking for a long-tail keyword phrase is much easier and therefore less competitive.

Long-tail search terms help to improve your conversion rate. If your web page exactly matches the information or the product that the searcher is looking for, you are much more likely to get them to purchase.

Getting a blog is a brilliant way of capturing long-tail keyword searches. The more content you have on your website, the larger range of keyword phrases that you could potentially get picked up for. You can seek out long-tail search term phrases and then write content around them. However, long-tail phrases are not always easy to identify, particularly as they are searched for infrequently. So ensuring that you have a large amount of varied content on your website will stand you in good stead for getting picked up by the long-tail.

There are also other advantages for including blog articles on your website: they can boost your search engine ranking. Google likes to see that a website is being maintained so adding new content regularly can demonstrate this. Google also loves websites which are useful, so adding fresh and unique content is seen in a positive light. Quality content engages your users and encourages them to stay on your website for longer.

This means that when you are doing your keyword research you need to take long-tail keyword searches into account. They may have fewer searches than the more obvious, shorter phrases, but they can be a very powerful ally to your website optimisation as they are easier to rank for and better meet a searcher’s need.