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The long and the short of longtail keywords
By Peter Yexley

Not too long ago single keyword searches were considered to be the most important but the internet has moved on and internet marketing strategies have changed.

Personally, I consider the vast majority of single keyword searches as 'vanity' searching. This means that the webmaster considers a particular single/double keyword search to be vital to his website marketing but in reality, the only people that use those particular keywords are actually in that same business and are using that keyword to see where they appear in the search engines ...hence the term 'vanity' search.

As an example let's take the word 'Chauffeur'. Would a real person looking for a Chauffeur from say North London to Heathrow Airport expect to find exactly what he was looking for on the first page of Google with the keyword 'Chauffeur'? ...The answer is 'NO!!!' - equally even if you added the word 'Services', it still would not be a viable search term.

Let me introduce you to Long Tail keywords if you haven't heard of the phrase before, they are 3 and 4-keyword phrases which are extremely specific to whatever you are selling.

Some people reject these are 'lower in value' but they can be so wrong and such a judgement can cost you dearly.

When a female is shopping for a pair of shoes, does she ask the shop assistant for 'a pair of shoes'? - We know she doesn't.
(I mention female simply because it is accepted that ladies tend to have a different buying method than men when it comes to such things as shoes).


If you are shopping online for a flight to Spain - do you simply search for 'Flights' - We know the answer is 'No' but could agree that we might search for 'cheapest flights to Spain' or 'Bargain flights from Manchester to Almeria'.

We naturally use long tail keywords to reduce the non-relevant results.

A customer uses a highly specific search phrase because they know what they are looking for and indeed exactly what they are going to buy.

Very specific searches are far more likely to convert to sales than generic short searches because single/double keyword searches tend to be geared towards the 'shopping around' type or researching that shoppers typically do prior to making a buying decision.

Let's take a look at what could be described as the typical step-by-step buying process.

1. The consumer is in the market for a particular product.
2. Consumer researches that product in preparation for possible purchase.
3. Consumer shops around for alternatives to that product based on price and features.
4. Consumer then makes a decision to purchase.
5. Consumer completes the transaction and buys.


At any one or more of these points, the keywords used would have been changed and got more precise. It is highly likely that the website that gained the money, benefitted from a 'long tail keyword' based on the consumer's search experience.

So, when you are considering opting for one or two word keywords - put yourself in your prospective customers shoes and see how they would search.

That's the long and the short of choosing keyword length!


 

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