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What Everybody Ought to Know About Keyword Research

Search engine optimization is a tough industry to break into. Competition is fierce, particularly for keywords. As a website owner, you may already be aware of this. When your potential customer types “pet grooming” into a search engine, they are going to receive millions of results. How do you break through to the top of them?

One little-known secret is long-tail keywords. Really, they’re more like key phrases. What is it that your potential customer really wants to know about pet grooming? Do they want to know where to go locally to find pet grooming services? Do they want to know how to groom their pet at home to save money? Are they looking for reviews for pet grooming products?

What are long-tail keywords?

Long-tail keywords answer those questions. Instead of choosing “pets” and “grooming” for keywords, choose “pet grooming in Santa Fe,” “DIY pet grooming to save money,” and “the best types of shampoo for cats.” Long-tail keywords have less competition than short keywords.

How do long-tail keywords help my SEO?

The latest updates in Google’s algorithm reveals Google’s ultimate goal: rather than returning a random assortment of related links to the search query, Google wants to give users the answer. Hummingbird, the latest algorithm update in September, does just that. When users type “weather in Los Angeles” into the search bar, Google will give them a forecast at the top of the page. Links follow below.

Smart phone technologies follow the same pattern. We’ve all heard Siri answer such questions on an iPhone. Google phones have Google Now, which does the same thing.

The habits of smart phone and Google users will adapt with each new update. More and more users will be asking Google questions and wanting answers in the form of long-tail keywords.

How can I research long-tail keywords?

The research for long-tail keywords isn’t very different than research for traditional keywords. Use the same methods as you were using before, such as

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Trends
  • Conducting your own Google, Yahoo!, or Bing searches
  • Local keywords

On top of that, use your own expertise and experience. Gather your customer feedback. Look at questions and concerns that customers commonly have.

How do I implement long-tail keywords on my website?

On your website, answer questions commonly asked by customers. You can do this in a few different places:

  • On a FAQ page
  • In a blog post
  • On a product page
  • On your landing page

I recommend using your business blog to answer many of these questions. Blogs give you the space needed to fully answer questions, and they are also more laid back.

Do you use long-tail keywords? What has worked for you? Don’t forget to comment!

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