Do you want to rank higher but the term SEO scares you? DiscovHer member Elaine Pasini, from Pickled Ginger Marketing, is here to tell you everything you need to know!
Despite what you may have heard, SEO isn’t a difficult concept once you know how! Being a small business owner and competing against companies with big marketing budgets can seem hopeless when wanting to rank higher. But there’s no need to spend hundreds every month paying huge Ad premiums or outsourcing your SEO – you can learn the basics and apply them yourself!
What are SEO Keywords?
SEO keywords are literally “key” words and phrases in your web content that your audience will use to find your website, blog or product, via a search engine. We will focus on Google (although there are plenty of others, eg eBay, Amazon etc).
What’s a Long Tail Keyword?
Long Tail Keywords are phrases made up of more than 3 words (on average between 7 and 10), that are more descriptive in nature than stand alone keywords – basically nouns (keywords) and expanded nouns (long tail keywords). Research has shown that long tail keywords account for up to 70% of all web searches. Source – Neil Patel.
Building a business is all about tapping into an audience and providing a service they need. Finding your audience and understanding it is essential – and this is where the long tail keyword strategy becomes interesting for a small business. Big companies are not interested in long tail keywords… The have huge marketing budgets and can simply buy their way to the top of page one or buy first positions ads.
On the surface, long tail keywords will generate less search traffic, but when it comes to small businesses, long tail keywords are more specific and usually have a higher conversion value.
It would take a huge amount of marketing money to rank number 1 in ‘women’s handbags’. But using a long tail keywords like ‘handmade organic leather women’s bags’, you can make real progress in your ranking in a much shorter period of time.
As another example; you live in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire and you want to eat out locally one evening. You wouldn’t just Google the word ‘restaurant’. You fancy eating excellent pub grub with craft beer , so you would refine your search and search ‘best pub restaurant food with craft beer in Chipping Norton’. That is the power of long tail keywords in action; they generate organic search traffic without costing a small business a penny.
Voice activated search engines like Siri, Amazon Echo, Google Assistant etc are becoming more and more popular and are changing the way people carry out searches. If you think of how we ask for things, we don’t just say one word when we are trying to find out information, we describe what we are looking for.
Where to Start – Keywords or Long Tail Keywords?
The answer is BOTH.
Keywords are of course helpful with SEO, however the powerful content that is crawled over by Google and other search engines, are the long tail keywords.
My recommendation would be to research and gather 10 or 20 keywords that explain your product or service. Once you’ve made a list of these you can begin to drill down from each of these to the long tail keywords. The idea is to find as many long tail keywords as possible that have low to medium search volume because ultimately, they will help you rank easily and drive traffic almost instantly.
A useful trick is to use Google Ads, as you are able to see what people area searching for which is a great indicator of which keywords are being used in your industry (be it clothing retail, silver jewellery, CBT counselling etc). Let’s look at my business. I would target Long Tail Keywords such as… ‘legal marketing in Marlow’, ‘small business SEO help in Marlow, ‘legal copywriter in Marlow’. Although I work with firms in London, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire etc, they will have a high volume of searches and I’d have to put in some serious time, effort and money to get onto number 1 pages for ranking.
How do I use these Long Tail Keywords?
Once you have chosen your Long Tail Keywords, these need to be reflected in your website and blogs. If you go over the top with using keywords in your copy and blogs, Google considers it to be spam so make sure they feature in any headlines you create too. Test them out in a Google search and see what comes up.
Once you’re using long tail keywords, keep an eye on their performance and amend and add them on your website and blogs as you go along.
Alternatively, ask for help. If you are a small business looking for brand awareness help with long tail keywords or SEO image optimisation, content marketing or copywriting for websites and blogs, please get in touch.
1-2-1 sessions are also available or I’m just an email or phone call away.