Use Long Tail Keywords

If you recognize the importance of search engine results page (SERP) placement and the role that long tail keywords can play, it’s time to integrate long tail keywords into your web content. Here’s how:

  1. walk in customers shoesWalk a mile in your prospective customers’ shoes. Think about the words and phrases they might use to find you on the Internet. Make a list. Ask friends and colleagues to brainstorm with you.
  2. If you run dry on ideas, do a Google search on a selection of your keywords and keyphrases. Click on the first few unpaid results. Right click on your competitor’s page and select the “view page source” option. Look for the meta name=”keywords” tag near the top of the page to see the keywords and key phrases they used to attract visitors.
  3. Take a break and then review the list. See where you might add synonyms (e.g., Beaverton marketing consultant vs. Beaverton communications consultant) or change the order of presentation (e.g., Beaverton marketing consultant vs. marketing consultant in Beaverton). Keep building the list until you have a few hundred entries. [Yes – I really did say a few hundred!]
  4. Use a keyword grading tool to determine the phrases for which you have a running shot at garnering attractive SERP placement. Subscription services include Wordtracker and Keyword Discovery. Both offer free trial periods.
  5. Rank order the top 40-50 phrases based on their relation to your product and service offerings and potential for SERP placement. Develop a plan to build a web page or blog post around each one.
  6. Work with your web developer to create search-friendly content. In particular:
    • Include the keyphrase in the title tag, the keywords meta tag, and the description meta tag (at or near the beginning of the description).
    • Include the keyphrase in the page title using your first level heading tag.
    • Place the most important content in relation to your keyphrase as close to the top of the page as possible.
    • Don’t overuse the keyphrase in your text or you risk being placed in a search engine “penalty box.”

Once you’ve worked through your initial list, set a new list of priorities and keep churning out useful, relevant content.