Why Build A Target Keyword List?
It can be confusing, maybe overwhelming, to compile a keyword list. Many new marketers make the mistake of NOT putting enough effort into their keyword research because, well, it takes time. However, the amount of future success a marketer can have online literally depends on her keywords. Keywords should be a basis for any promotional marketing online, including the use of a GREAT list of long tail keywords!
“The proven theory (of the long tail of search) being that, while a business may generate less search discovery per keyword variation [i.e. Condos in New York City] than it will for the most highly targeted keyword search phrases [i.e. New York City Real Estate] due to competitive forces, the collective impact of those variations might easily exceed that of the most targeted.” – Kinetic Knowledge 2007, ‘The Long Tail As It Relates To Search Engine Visibility’
To build a good keyword list, it is important to understand what it is first. Basically, all possible search queries and the various combinations of search queries that potential customers use when searching for what a marketer sells is a thorough ( long tail ) keyword list. And be forewarned, this list should be huge! As many target keyword combos one can possibly imagine & research, leaves no segment of the potential customer base out!
Why Use Long Tail Keywords?
Often new marketers come up with a quick & obvious 10 or so keywords list to use in a new website and promote themselves online. However, what is an obvious keyword is likely high frequency and VERY competitive! Because competitors have been there, why limit a new campaign to keywords that are difficult to rank for? It’s where use of the long tail comes in. Long tail keywords are longer, more specific search queries and per the above, “the collective impact of those variations might easily exceed that of the most targeted (keywords).”
Say a marketer has a car rental business in Monmouth County, NJ. She will have significantly greater success converting for the keywords “car rental Monmouth County NJ” then she would simply “car rental.” Not only will “car rental” be highly competitive to a degree any visible position in search result pages is unlikely, but any person searching this casually probably doesn’t qualify as ‘ready to buy’. The person searching “car rental Monmouth County NJ” is looking for something specific and much more likely to convert into a paying customer. It doesn’t mean throw away the high frequency keywords, just understand how potentially limiting they can be. And unless you are fighting a broad nationally targeted battle, modify keywords to include geographic specifics!
Important Things to Do When Building a Keyword List
- Don’t forget to include synonyms for queries. For example if “web marketing” is one, make sure to also use “digital marketing.”
- Include seasonal and time sensitive queries. For example “Cheap Flights to Florida May 2015.”
- Add conversion queries. These include “buy” “price” “order” etc.
- Add regional queries. For example “Mobile Web Design Monmouth County NJ.”
- Consider niches. For example “Home Inspector Websites.”
- Add informational queries. These include “reviews” “comparison” “how to choose…”
It does take time to build a keyword list, and it takes even more time to keep the list relevant and up to date. But, there is really nothing more important to a marketers’ ( and SEO!) effort than having the right keywords and using them properly.