Long-Tail Keywords – Your Licence to Kill

Long-Tail Keywords – Your Licence to Kill

10th October 2012

We must never forget how life-changing the internet has been for the people of our tiny planet. It’s too easy to think of it as being nothing more than a great way for businesses to make bigger revenues, but it really has done so much more. It’s broadened people’s horizons, made education accessible, and given the public a voice. Forget eBay, forget Amazon and forget the likes of www.buycheapfatburningpills.com; the internet is about people solving problems and enriching lives. You need something? You ask Google where you can get it. If you can’t afford it you ask Google where you can get it cheaper. If you still can’t afford it you ask Google how you can “make money online without investing a penny” – and guess what, Google has an answer for that, too!

Regardless of what we’re looking for, long-tail keywords play a mighty, mighty role in giving us the right answers, and it’s this role that I think most SEOs and businesses overlook.

Questions you should ask yourself whilst creating a long-tail strategy

  • How do you find something when you don’t know what it’s called?
  • What if you don’t really know what you are looking for?
  • How can you search for something when you don’t know it exists yet?
  • What questions might your customers have?
  • What questions can you answer?
  • What “problems” can you solve with your products?
  • Do you really want a new pair of “Adidas trainers” or do you just not know of any other brands?

Long-Tail Keywords - Your Licence to Kill (James Bond Article)

Long-Tail Case Study

I’m a serious Bond fanatic and grew up thinking that he was the epitome of cool. I decided that when I grew up I would go to spy school, buy a fancy suit and, perhaps, a vintage Aston Martin, and get a job whereby my role would include punching bad guys in the face, drinking vodka martinis and saving the world. I’m not quite there, yet, but I’m certain the MI5 currently have me under surveillance and are waiting for the perfect SEO mission to arise, before requesting my services.

Naturally, and not unlike many of my contemporaries, I recently decided that it was time to seriously think about buying that suit and getting my act together. But I had no idea where to start.

I searched for all of the obvious (short-tail) keywords like “men’s suits” and “designer suits”, but what I really wanted was a James Bond suit, or at least for someone to tell me that “this is a suit Bond would wear”.  So I searched for “What suits does James Bond wear?” and I got a step closer. I now had a list of suit styles that Bond has worn in the various films over the years. Most importantly, I now knew that I needed a tailored suit. It had never crossed my mind that I needed to buy a tailored suit to get the Bond look. But what I realised then was that I didn’t really want a “James Bond” suit – I wanted a “Daniel Craig” suit. So I searched “who made Daniel Craig’s James Bond suits?” and I found a fantastic page on a website that had loads of information about Daniel Craig’s Bond suits. These guys understand my needs and answered all of my questions. But more than that, they told me about their 40 billion suit combinations and how they had a team that would guide me through the process of designing and ordering a tailored suit. Out of the 100s of tailoring companies, even with 100s of them right on my doorstep, I was now making an appointment to visit a tailor located miles away from my house, just because they had written a page on their site about Daniel Craig’s suits.

All the other tailors are busy spending a fortune trying to rank for hugely competitive keywords like “tailored suits” or “bespoke suits”, whilst these clever-Dicks have done something different; they’ve thought about their customers’ needs and focused on long-tail. They understand that many of their potential customers don’t even realise that they want a tailored, single-breasted, moleskin suit. They just want to dress like their heroes.

Mission Accomplished?

I love long-tail for one reason. It’s not about technology, clever SEO tools, lists of “money making” keywords or black-hat wizardry. No, it’s about people and understanding their needs and wants. It’s marketing 101, really. Perhaps I’ll rename it – “Marketing 007”.

Your Mission, Should You Wish to Accept It….

Before you go straight for the money keywords have a think about what you are doing to guide your potential customers to your site. Answer the most basic of questions; state the obvious. Once you’ve done this, then and only then should you consider investing mega bucks in trying to rank for competitive keywords.

This blog post will self destruct in 5 seconds……


Written By
Ben Holbrook is Head of Content at Verve Search and has a particular interest in content marketing and developing sustainable link development strategies.
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