- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On April 10, 2016
As the Internet matures, we’re seeing an evolution in how people search the Web.
People are searching for longer more specific phrases vs. single words. So for example I might search for “best beer pub near Montvale NJ” vs. “pub”.
As searchers, we are learning that search engines like Google are getting smarter and that these more specific searches turn up results that are more relevant to us. We can find what we want more quickly by using these longer searches. These longer searches are what Internet geeks call “long tail keywords”.
Another reason people are searching this way is that Google is encouraging it by suggesting what we should search for as we type. Google suggests longer phrases to us as we type and we can choose one of these longer phrases instead of our original idea if we think this will speed up our search.
Long tail keywords are easier to compete for
The Internet is pretty mature now. Trying to compete for generic terms like “shoes” or “books” puts you in competition with companies like Amazon and Zappos–plus everyone else in the world that sells books and shoes.
That’s not a fight you are likely to win. When you consider that 92% of all the traffic from any search term goes to the businesses on page 1 of the results then it starts to dawn on you that competing for generic terms like “books” is going to get you only a very tiny amount of traffic (or more likely no traffic as you will may be on page 100+ of the search results where nobody will see you at all).
In the case of search engines, it’s better to be a “big fish in a small pond” and grab a lion’s share of a less frequently searched term.
These less frequently searched terms are “long tail keywords”. So if have a pub in Montvale NJ, I I should optimize at least one page in my website so I can get on page 1 of the search results for “pub in Montvale” or even more specific “pub in Montvale with the best beer”.
Long tail keywords bring in quality visitors
If you optimize your website (and blog) for long tail keywords, the people that visit your website will be more likely to convert into leads or customers. This is because they have found your site with a very specific search vs. a very generic one. The chances of them being interested in what is on your web page are way higher.