A lot of people still make the mistake of optimizing for a specific keyword or a short keyword phrase when doing SEO. After Google’s Hummingbird update last September, their algorithm is looking for content about topics instead of individual keywords. If you pick a short tail keyword that has hundreds of thousands of searches per month, you will be competing against large companies that have huge authority which will likely take you months or years (if you are lucky) to get to the first page of search results.
The article linked below talks about some of the strategies you can employ to start strategizing for long-tail keywords instead of short-tail.
Imagine that you own a business which services swimming pools when there is some type of problem. You sit down and write a beautiful piece about taking care of a vinyl swimming pool.
- Short tail keyword: pools (70,500,000 results)
- Mid tail keyword: vinyl pools (17,800,000 results)
- Long tail keywords:
- how to take care of vinyl pool liners (1,110,000 results)
- vinyl pool liner care (214,000 results)
- there’s a hole in my vinyl pool liner (46,300 results)
Do you see the difference? Long-tail keywords are much more specific and targeted to your audience and what they NEED. This is what makes long tail keywords so effective. And thinking from a business point of view, would you rather have a customer or lead who searched “pools” or one who searched “there’s a hole in my vinyl pool liner?”
Not only will targeting long-tail keywords be easier. You will also be able to target more keywords relevant to what you are offering. Consider the following keyword phrase:
“how to take care of vinyl pool liners”
You have the benefit of multiple keyword phrases within that one phrase. Such as:
- vinyl pool liners
- pool liners
- taking care of vinyl pool liners (Google will interpret this)
The algorithm has changed and it’s time you changed how you optimize your pages. Start using long-tail keywords and write about topics, not keywords.