Keywords are very important in helping your website get to authority status in the search engine results pages (SERPs), but you need more than one kind of keyword. There are two specific kinds of keywords that you should be using: broad or general keywords and long-tail keywords.
Broad or general keywords are rather generic and large in scope, covering a large base in topic. While a broad keyword has more overall searches, going after the most searched keywords can prove to be more difficult to achieve a high ranking for because they also have more competition. An example of a broad keyword would be “dog.”
Long Tail Keywords
Long tail keywords are named ‘long’ because they are made up of several words. This helps them to be more focused and specific. As fewer sites target and try to rank for longer keyword phrases, there is less competition and it can be easier to get good results in the search engines. An example of a long-tail keyword phrase is “best dog training guide.”
Choosing Between General Keywords and Long Tail Keywords
In order to optimize your results, it is best to use both types of keywords in your copywriting and content for your site. However, there may be times where you are not able to use both at the same time and you’ll need to select one over the other. More often, you will decide to use only one for a specific purpose.
A good example of what we are talking about is when you are ready to register a domain name or a web 2.0 property. Just about all of the simple, general keywords are taken and it may not be possible to find a URL containing your first word choice. In such cases, you will need to dig a little deeper and select a long tail keyword phrase that is appropriate.
Then there will be times when you’ll want to get to the top of the SERP rankings quickly and will therefore select long tail keyword phrases on purpose, regardless of whether it is for a web 2.0 property or for your own domain. The reasoning behind this is as follows: even though long tail keyword phrases may get fewer searches individually, they are often the most searched keywords before a buying decision. In other words, long tail keywords attract a targeted audience; people who know more specifically what they are looking for. This can help you to dominate a niche where your competitors are only focused on the more general keywords.
Using our examples from before, someone who enters “dog” into the search engines is either just browsing for a variety of general information on dogs, or will eventually drill down and get more specific when they see the massive number of returned results.
In our other example, someone who types in “best dog training guide” is looking for specific information on training dogs. To get even more specific, you might want to add a particular breed and/or a particular type of dog training.
Since it’s harder to get in the viewers mind when using broad or general keywords, it’s imperative that you spend time doing keyword research and use long tail keywords.
Peace & Prosperity,
P.S. Confused about keyword selection, let High Profits Marketing do the job for you. Whether you do it yourself or outsource it, make sure your using keywords in your SEO strategy!
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