Google is Longing for Long-Tail KeywordsKenneth Nel
So, let’s say you walk into a hardware store. The pleasant and slightly shrill shop assistant asks you how he can help, and you say, “Brush”. He rushes off and brings you a gorgeous new brush from their premium canine care range which is perfect for your long-haired furry friend. Eyebrow raised, you say to the assistant, “Paintbrush”. Aha! He dashes off again and brings you a fine, horse hair paint brush, ideal for oil on canvas. It’s beautiful, but you’re going to be painting the ceiling in your bathroom. “Best paint brush for enamel paint for walls or ceilings,” you say (with gestures.) This, dear friends, highlights the importance of long-tail keywords in search.
Yes, Google and his peers are our closest friends, but to be honest, they can sometimes be a little thick. And the reason for that is because we think that these search engines can read our minds. Not so.
Google is Not a Person
Google has changed the way we work, live and study. But at the end of the day, it is still just a giant database filled with other people’s information. It does its best with what it has.
As algorithms evolve, search engines are getting better and better at determining what we need when we type in our requirements in the search bar. Part of this is due to advances in location-based information which means that we will be shown the most relevant results closest to us. Some of these results are based on our history and the fact that we are likely to go to a website more than once if it was useful to us.
But when it comes down to it, we are asking this behemoth to find us the best results based on the information that we give it.
The Importance of Long-Tail Keywords in Search
This is where long-tail keyword searches come in. Going back to our illustration at the beginning of this article, if we type the word ‘brush’ into our search bar Google will start offering suggestions to help you to narrow down your search.
You may be offered terms such as brushes or brush cutter. So, you type in paintbrush, which offers suggestions like paintbrush stroke or paintbrush font. ‘Paintbrush enamel’ starts giving us what we need. A long-tail keyword is a search term which consists of three or more words and helps search engines better understand what information to give us.
Essentially, using long-tail keywords to search gives Google more information and therefore more accurate results.
Building Websites With Long-Tail Keywords
We all understand the concept of searching with long-tail keywords, as it applies to us as consumers. But, what happens on the other side of the table? It stands to reason that businesses should be building their websites around what people are searching for, surely?
But no. In our business, we have business owners and marketing managers come to us, puzzled why their gloriously beautiful website which cost them a gazillion dollars is bringing them no traffic at all.
The reason is simple: Google doesn’t know what your business is about.
Your Home Page is all pretty pictures and vision statements, your About Us page talks about how your business is a third-generation family business committed to service excellence… but nowhere does it state that you are a painting contractor specialising in waterproofing for residential and commercial properties.
If you want to know what search engines think your business is about, click here and enter your URL. The keyword suggestions that come up will give you an inkling of what your website is ranking for. You may be surprised at the results.
The Bottom Line
There are many elements that make up a successful digital business and knowing how your ideal target audience thinks and what language they use is vital to catching people when they are looking for what you offer. Long-tail keywords should form a central part of your digital design and web content.
If you have an online presence and you find that your website is simply a black hole of time and money, then we’d love to chat with you.