A keyword is what you type into Google or any other search engine to find your desired service or product. There are two types of keywords: long tail and short tail. The best way to think of these types of keywords is through a siren. The head of the beautiful mermaid (short tail) gets all the attention while the tail (long tail) is largely not noticed in preference to the face. Short tail keywords are generalized words to get the bang of the search. Many companies bid on the most popular keywords because this will drive traffic to a site. However, quantity and quality traffic are not the same. Some companies use the flashier keywords to hike interest, even if it is a stretch to use them for their products or services. You can get them in the door with short tails, but they may not stay.
On the other hand, long tail keywords are expanded keywords crucial to your SEO and retaining warm leads. Case in point, when a customer is close to the point of sale, they tend to get more specific. They already have done their research, know exactly what they want, and are looking to buy. Long tails key words can help you get a sale instead of increased traffic short tails can bring.
The typical buying cycle for a customer is as follows:
1. Potential client has become aware of a product or service.
2. Potential client begins researching the product to see if it fits into their pain points.
3. Potential client seeks alternatives within the product range such as pricing and features.
4. Potential client begins to ready themselves to make a purchase and pulls out their debit or credit card.
5. Potential client receives goods and decides whether to initiate a return.
Let’s say you have a small business offers content creation like Siren Publications does. If you were to have the short tail keywords of content, then you would be competing with content mills. You will have a harder sell if you are not more specific with long tails. Consider a real world difference between long and short tails:
Content writer SEO 6,910,000 results
Content writer 129,000,000 results
Miami content writer SEO 513,000 results
Miami content writer fashion 13,200 results
As you can see above, the various keywords yield different results. The more detailed your keywords are, the better. You can use short tail keywords, but you would be going up to bat with the big boys. Now the great news is long tail keywords are cheaper than short tails. Long tails target your potential clients who are closer to the point of purchase alongside being easier to rank.
This all goes back to the idea of quality traffic. You may have more visitors with short tails, which does not always covert to sales. Long tails are highly targeted leading to buyers. Another plus is that highly selective markets can turn into niches. Small sales from these communities can lead to big profits. To explore your long tail options go to http://www.wordstream.com/keywords and explore your options with long tails.
Most people admire the face, but the tail drives business forward.