Why is SEO so important?
In 2021, SEO remains arguably the most important digital marketing technique to deploy on your website. Even though Word-of-Mouth (WOM) and traditional advertising remain key assets to accelerate the growth of your business, there is a cornerstone not to be missed, and that is-- nothing that brings a higher long-term ROI than a successful SEO strategy.
More than a strategy, SEO is a medium / long-term investment that has advantages that most other digital marketing techniques do not. We talk about its ability to bring you traffic - even if you cut your marketing budgets. In return, it is a more demanding technique to implement and generally takes longer to bear fruit. Why? Because it is a free method.
It's not free in the sense that if you hire an agency like ours to develop a winning SEO strategy that can get your ranking on the first page of Google, this will represent a certain cost depending on the requirements of your project. So when we talk about free, we are referring directly to search engines and other social media not costing any money to implement.
Therefore, depending on the competition, the efforts invested, the technical health of your website, we estimate on average that an SEO strategy worthy of the name begins to bear fruit within 6 to 12 months of its implementation. And then we maintain it like a beautiful plant that we water regularly so it can turn into a beautiful garden.
That said, if there is one technique to use to get results as quickly as possible and try to generate organic traffic in a minimum of time, it is the long-tail (or "long-tail keywords" ).
What is long-tail SEO?
SEO, it's all about keywords and content. Of course, there are other axes to grind on when setting up an SEO strategy, and we will often talk to you about page speed, technique, Content Delivery Network, SXO, or even backlinks. We sometimes don't really know where SEO stops because it flirts with the boundaries of other areas (UX, web development, etc.) but we know where it starts.
Indeed, an SEO strategy worthy of the name always begins with a search for keywords and a work on the contents, so that each money page (key page) of the site is unique and can drain its share of organic traffic. This is where we certainly talk about short-tail keywords and specifically long-tail keywords. But let's talk about short-tail keywords briefly.
What are short-tail keywords?
Short tail keywords correspond to high volume generic keywords (1 to 3 words). They are generally characterized by an unskilled search intention on the part of the Internet user.
For example, if I google "Shoes", I search for a short tail keyword.
11,210,000,000 searches per month is a lot.
But do you really think you're going to convert a large percentage of those searches into clicks and then clicks into sales?
So we must always and I mean always focus on the user intent. Think of it as finding the sweet spot.
What does the user doing this research really want? Shoes for men, girls, boys, or women? Do they want Bally shoes, Nike, Adidas, Christopher Kane, walking, orthopedic or city shoes? Are they looking for shoes that are Red, black, or pink? Are they looking for a size 7, 9, or 22in like the size of Shaq's feet?
What needs to be understood at this point is that the user does not know what they want by doing this research. Its research intent is unclear. You have little chance of positioning yourself on this type of keyword in the short term because they are often very competitive and in most cases too competitive.
And, at the same time, their CTR (click-through rate vs impression rate) is generally low. This means that there are few clicks compared to the number of times your site is displayed by Google on this search.
In summary, short tail keywords often coincide with an informational approach on the part of the Internet user, who is not yet ready to take the act of purchasing. Now, we get into long-tail keywords.
What are long-tail keywords?
Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific keyword phrases that website visitors are more likely to use when they're closer to a point-of-purchase meaning they are at the bottom of the sales funnels and are primarily itching to buy.
Therefore, long-tail keywords attract very few visitors to a website and that's ok, that's perfect, that's exactly what we want!
But they still have many advantages:
They represent a significant part of the organic traffic of the site.
They are often less competitive than short-tail keywords.
It is generally easier to get a good position in search engines with these types of keywords.
They convert much better.
Generally speaking, they are composed of 3 or more words such as Red Fila Shoes or 1995 Nike Air Max Shoes, or even Black Stella McCartney platform shoes. You get the idea, the longer an expression, the more qualified it is.
So how do you choose long-tail keywords for SEO?
If I stay in the world of shoes, here is an example of a long-tail expression:
navy blue wedge heel shoes
This search term would be kind of perfect for your e-commerce site.
From these long-tail keyword research, it's a whole content strategy that you will be able to put in place for your website.
The goal is to provide one page per search expression to draw as much traffic as possible.
Everything is possible from there. You can perform a mapping of the searched keywords with your category pages, or your product pages.
If you have a blog, be aware that there are also possibilities for long-tail keywords in most cases. The questions that Internet users ask themselves are particularly interesting. For example, let's say someone typed this long-tail phrase into the search engine and you had a blog title with the same result of what they were searching for:
how to wash suede shoes
The consumer can then reason as follows:
This site seems up to date on the subject, they give lots of great tips on caring for suede shoes.
They give advice but also sell suede shoes and many other types of shoes for that matter. I'm thinking of buying myself a new pair, it's good.
The best part is that the more you will cover long-tail topics, the more you will solidify the overall semantics or copy of your site, the more you will position yourself on short-tail keywords at higher volume.
A site poor in semantic content with a home page and a title "Shoes online" has little chance of positioning itself correctly on such a generic request.
But give it some love, make sure to add relevant pages, answer Internet users' questions, create informative content at the crossroads of worlds between pure SEO and the desire to make life easy for Internet users, and there is a good chance that the cards will be redistributed.
When I talk about the title, I'm talking about the HN1 or Headline Number 1 tag in SEO and the meta-description. I have a colleague at Yoast, who wrote an excellent article “How to create the right meta description" that I recommend you read.
How to define your long-tail keywords?
1 - List your themes relevant to user intent
Ask yourself the right questions: "What am I selling?" What services do I offer? What will Internet users type to find my products or services?"
Now is the time to prepare your content based on the products you have in your inventory or the services you offer to your customers.
The goal is to prepare yourself as well as possible so that Google understands that you are an expert and put all the chances of being well positioned on your side.
2 - Use a keyword research tool to find your long-tail keywords.
At A16 Studios we use Semrush , one of the most complete tools to build SEO strategies worthy of the name. But there are alternatives, such as Google's free keyword planner.
These tools allow you to find the expressions associated with a basic keyword.
They give you valuable information such as research trends, volumes, level of competition, etc. This is where the vision you have for your business meets the reality on the ground, in other words, how the world is looking for your brand.
Keep in mind that your brand is what is known as navigational intent: these are reputation queries that translate good branding. If you are famous, that is fine. You're going to get a lot of SEO traffic because people are going to Google your name. If not then you are going to need a great keyword strategy to match the user intent.
But the most important goal of SEO is what interests people who don't know you to find it? And this is where you have to make the effort to think of the consumer or client and their research habits.
It is by having this approach that you will become part of all the intentions that we have mentioned:
Informational intent and short-tail keywords,
Navigational intent and your brand,
Transactional intent and long-tail keywords.
3 - Choosing the right keywords
As I've mentioned, long-tail keywords often correspond to low volumes. But better 100 searches per month than 10. So make sure you choose keywords with the best search volume/search qualification/competition ratio.
If you don't have time to do it nor the experience or tools then contact us and we will be happy to help you take your business to the next level!
Either way, remember: SEO is a long-distance race. You get nothing by sprinting, nor without preparation but understanding SEO is the key to success in an overcrowded marketplace.
Further, implementing the long-tail SEO strategy can be demanding; it’s important to approach this matter wisely. Start by researching keywords to find the most relevant long-tail opportunities for your business remember, more traffic always equals more sales with a successful SEO strategy.
I hope that I’ve encouraged you to leverage long-tail opportunities in your day-to-day SEO plan.