Most of us have heard of keywords and that they are important for your business website. By using the right keywords, it can help improve your search engine rankings, meaning more people will see your business in Google and be able to click through to your website, where you are given the opportunity to turn these visitors into customers.
However, not all keywords are equal. Some keywords are better to try to rank for than others. And this is where having an understanding of short-tail and long-tail keywords can help.
Long-Tail vs Short-Tail Keywords
When we say “keywords”, we actually mean “keyword phrases”. They can be (what are called):
- “short-tail keywords”, which are about 1 or 2 words in length, or
- “long-tail keywords”, which are greater than this (eg. 4, 5 or 6 words in length)
For example, “plumber” is a short-tail keyword. It is very broad, meaning that there can be a lot of competition for this keyword, which can make it more difficult to rank for.
However, “cheap 24 hour plumber in Sydney” is a long-tail keyword that is much more specific, and as such may have a lot less competition so may be a better option target in your website content and try to rank for.
Yeah, sure “plumber” might have a lot more searches per month than “cheap 24 hour plumber in Sydney”, but a lot of those searches and traffic from those keywords are not targeted traffic. If you are a plumber in Sydney, you don’t really want people in Alaska coming to your site and ringing you up for your services.
You might also get people looking for
- courses on how to become a plumber,
- plumber jobs,
- plumber apprenticeships…
The list is endless. All these people coming to your site are not looking for the services that you may provide. As such, it can be an expensive exercise targeting short tail keywords like this, when there are much lower competition longer-tail keywords out there.
You can read more about long-tail and short-tail keywords in this post.
So How Do You Choose The Best Keywords?
Often it’s hard to know what are the best keywords to target for your small business.
In the video below, we will talk about Keywords and the Google Keyword Planner. There are other keyword tools out there, but Google Keyword Planner is a good option since it contains some great information. We will try to cover some other tools in future posts.
The Google Keyword Planner is a great tool to see what people type into the search engines when searching for products and services.
You may think you know what people are searching for, but there may be many other keywords that your customers are using that you may not be aware of. Google Keyword Planner creates a long list of related search terms that you can investigate to see if you want to use them on your site.
Admittedly, it does produce quite a few search terms that are not relevant, but there are lots of gold nuggets ripe for you to start targeting to increase your rankings.
It also doesn’t really show the competition for each of the keywords. This can be a bit of a problem since, as already mentioned, it can be best to target the lower competition keywords to give you the best chance of ranking better… But there are ways around this, which we will look into in a future post.
So make sure you check out the Google Keyword Planner… it contains some great and very powerful information, and best of all, it’s free.
Here is the link to the Google Keyword Planner… https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner
Check out the video below for more information…
Keyword research is a very important part of on-page SEO (read more about on-page SEO in this post), and spending the time to target the best keywords is time well spent. It may not be the most exciting of jobs searching through lists of keywords to find the best ones, but if you are going to spend time on content marketing and writing posts for your website, then you want it to work as well as possible, and that means targeting the best possible keywords.