I hear it time and time again: “I want to rank at the top of Google for this keyword”, and “I only want to rank for these keywords – the rest don’t matter.” It seems that many businesses today believe that ranking for the highest searched, most competitive keywords in their respective industries is the only way to meet their business and website goals.
Sure, broad generic keywords drive thousands of searches, but do these competitive search terms really generate the most website conversions: sales, leads or enquiries?
To start, let’s go through a few examples of both broad keywords, and what SEO practitioners relate to as “long tail keywords” (keywords comprised of three or more words).
- Air conditioner
- Digital cameras
Long Tail Keywords:
- Buy dining chairs online
- Cheap furniture online
- Fujistsu wall mounted air conditioner
- Samsung 40” lcd TV
- Canon ixus 1000 HS
This is all good and well, but what does it mean..?
Put yourself in the shoes of a perspective customer. You’re looking to buy a chair for your living room, so where do you start? You’re not yet sure where to buy the chair from, the style of chair, the price you want to pay. To initiate your research, most would agree, Google would be the place to start.
What kind of keywords would this user input to start their research and get some inspiration?
Chair, chairs, stylish furniture, furniture ideas (broad keywords right?)
After some research, the user eventually decides that they want to purchase an “Eames replica wire chair”. As they now know exactly what they are looking for, they now need to find is a retailer that sells this particular product. Now, how would they find this … Google perhaps?
What kind of keyword do you think the user would input to find his or her desired product?
Eames replica wire chair, cheap Eames replica chairs, buy Eames replica chair online (long tail keywords)
Can you see how more specific keywords would drive more qualified visitors? If this user is directed to a website that offers exactly what they are looking for, there is a significantly higher chance of them converting into a paying customer. Whereas broad keywords are often searched by window shoppers who are not exactly sure what they are looking for.
If you are an online retailer, and you want to drive more qualified users to your site, have a think about what kind of keywords YOU would search for when looking to purchase a product online. At the end of the day, it’s a matter of quality vs. quantity. Increasing the number of relevant users who know exactly what they are looking for, will result in higher website conversion rates – and greater success for your business.
One last handy hint: if you’re an online retailer with e-commerce tracking linked up with your Google Analytics, you can have a look to see what keywords have generated the most revenue. What kind of keywords are they – broad or long tail?