Having trouble getting your site ranked highly in the search engines? Then you should try “long tail” keyword marketing — it’s the strategy I use to get my camp’s website, AlohaBeachCamp.com, top rankings on the first page of all the top search engines.
As you probably know, keywords are the words or phrases people type into Google and other search engines to find what they’re looking for. If the keywords they enter match the content on your site, your website will (hopefully) be displayed.
What are “Long Tail” Keywords?
“Long tail” keywords are keyword phrases comprised of three, four, five or more words, in contrast to much shorter one or two word less descriptive ones (which may be referred to as “short tail” keywords).
For example, “camps” and “summer camps” are “short tail” keywords. Conversely, “Horseback riding summer camps for kids in Atlanta Georgia” are long tail keywords. These types of keywords are much more descriptive, specific, and much easier for you to rank highly for, because the competition for them is much less intense.
Why Long Tail Keywords are Better Than Short Ones
Let’s say you want your website to show up on the first page of Google for the keywords, “camps” or “summer camps.” Well, unless your site’s been online forever, you’ve got tons of quality links pointing to it, and/or you’re paying through the nose for in Google’s Adwords program, you’re screwed. There’s too many camps who want the same thing; too much competition to ever rank highly for these generic keywords.
Instead, you should go after “long tail keywords” where the competition is often so manageable, you can practically OWN those keywords (literally corner the market) with respect to the search engine results. The added benefit is that these long tail keywords will bring you highly targeted website traffic, because the people searching on them will realize you’ve got just what they’re looking for.
Examples of Long Tail Keyword Marketing
Let’s say you run a summer gymnastics camp for girls in Des Moine, Iowa. Someone searching for a camp like this might type the less descriptive keywords “summer camps” into Google, and we can say with relative confidence your camp won’t show up. But now let’s say your website and blog are optimized for the following more specific long tail keywords: “summer gymnastics camp in Des Moine Iowa for girls.” Now anyone who types THESE words into Google will see your site first … and that’s the power of long tail keyword marketing!
Let me give you another example. My own camp, Aloha Beach Camp, does not rank highly for the generic (short tail) keywords “camps” or “summer camps” (in fact I don’t want it to). But I basically DOMINATE the local market for the various long tail keywords I’m after, which include “los angeles summer camps,” “los angeles surf camps,” “surf camps for kids,” “beach summer camps,” “summer camps los angeles,” and many others. My site is ranked as high as #1 or #2 for many of these long tail keyword phrases. The traffic I get from them is certainly not as high as if I were ranking #1 for the short tail keyword “summer camps,” but the majority of prospects coming to my site in that case wouldn’t even be useful to me since most of these people wouldn’t even be looking for an L.A. beach and surf camp. The long tail keywords I use deliver traffic to my website that’s highly targeted, and therefore comprised only of hot prospects who are specifically interested in what my camp offers. And few other camps in Los Angeles (or anywhere, for that matter) can compete with that.
Now as you might guess, and I just touched on, there’s gonna be A LOT fewer people searching on your long tail specific keyword phrases than short tail, generic ones. But that doesn’t matter to you, not one bit, because your long tail keywords are highly specific. This means Google will KNOW your site is the best one to show website searchers (your prospects) when they search on your long tail keyword phrases.
Your task now is to discover which long tail keyword phrases your prospects are searching on so you can optimize your website and blog for them. (By “optimize your website and blog,” I mean writing descriptive pages and posts which include your long tail keyword phrases in the page content, title tag, and description tags of your webpages and blog.)
There’s a number of free tools online you can use to find out where you rank now for various keywords and keyword phrases. I’d start with this one. Then check out Google’s keyword selector tool which serves really nicely as a long tail keyword generator tool by suggesting long tail keywords with low competition related to what you’re after.