New to SEO? Focus on Long Tail Keywords

Written by Nick Stamoulis

If your company is relatively new or you have always relied on traditional marketing methods and are just starting to become active in the online space and have just launched a website, one of the most important things that you need to be mindful of as you create your online strategy is your competition. The online space is typically even more competitive than the offline space because you are no longer just competing with companies in your local area. A customer can have a product shipped across the country and many service-based businesses can handle a workload remotely.

If you are just entering the market and your competitors have a more established online presence, it’s important to think strategically when it comes to SEO and the keywords that will be targeted. Despite all of the changes to the search engine algorithms, keywords remain at the center of an SEO campaign. If your content doesn’t include the keywords that you want to appear for in search, you won’t appear. The key is just to keep keyword integration as natural as possible.

During the keyword research and selection process it might be tempting to go after the broad keywords that have the highest search volume but those keywords are also the most competitive. Conduct a search using any of these keywords. There’s a good chance that lots of highly trusted sites appear at the top, sites that you might (unfortunately) never eclipse in the search engines simply due to the fact that they have been around much longer than you and have established credibility. Going after these keywords as a new website at the onset of an SEO campaign is a mistake.

Instead, SEO newbies should focus on keywords that are actually attainable in the short term. And by the short term, we mean 6+ months. Remember, SEO is a long-term strategy. Simply optimizing a site and generating some inbound links in a few months’ time isn’t going to get your website to the top. These attainable keywords for a new website are long tail keywords, or niche keywords. For example, “SEO” is a broad, extremely competitive keyword. “Boston B2B SEO Company” on the other hand, is a long tail keyword that has much less competition. Which keyword, or keyword phrase, do you think is more attainable?

Just because long tail keywords have a lower search volume than their broad keyword counterparts, it doesn’t mean that they are less valuable. In fact, the opposite can be argued. People that search using a long tail keyword are looking for something very specific. Someone searching for “SEO” could be looking for just about anything related to SEO. Someone searching for “Boston B2B SEO company” knows exactly what they want, which means that they are more likely to convert once they land on the page.

For a new website, it’s recommended to start by focusing on long tail keyword opportunities. As you get farther into an SEO campaign and have started to gain some trust, you can start to dip your toes into the broad keyword territory, just don’t expect to see results in the same time frame.

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