Why You Should Love the Long-Tail Keyword

When you’re thinking about search engine optimisation (SEO) for your website, it’s tempting to get caught up in the ‘killer keywords’ that generate huge amounts of traffic. Because we should all think big, right? Well, when it comes to SEO, that’s not always the best policy.

While it’s important to increase traffic to your site, and to rank well for some of the most commonly searched for terms, it’s also critical to think about the more specific, or ‘long-tail’, keywords. Because although they will drive fewer people to your pages, it’s likely that these people are more ‘purchase-ready’ and are more likely to convert into a sale for your business.

Take this example:

A car dealership might want to rank highly for “second hand cars”. A first page listing for such a term would no doubt drive massive amounts of traffic onto the site. But it’s quite likely that a large proportion of that traffic is still browsing, or in research-mode, and won’t be ready to part with their cash. Furthermore, a lot of people won’t be within reasonable reach of the dealer’s physical location.

Compare that with a search term like “second hand Mini Coopers Oxford”. This person already knows what they want and where they will travel to find it – which means that a dealership returning results for this keyword is much more likely to be able to convert that search into a sale.

Similarly, a herbal brand selling hayfever remedies would probably see far more sales from a keyword like “natural hayfever remedies” than from “hayfever”. People searching for the first are already looking for a remedy that is natural. Those searching “hayfever” may simply be looking for information and advice, rather than products.

So: they might not be sexy, and they might not generate millions of searches. But long-tail keywords are just as likely (if not more so) to generate £££s for your bottom line. Which means you ignore them at your peril!