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Spotlight on SEO: Choosing the Right Keywords

Choosing the Right Keywords for a Signal Boost on the Web

For brands looking to raise their profile on the web today, a solid SEO strategy is vital. And while there are no shortcuts to success, one element of SEO that’s simply indispensable is having a firm grasp on keywords – the words and phrases on your website that help people find you on search engines.

Marketers typically sort keywords into three broad categories:

Head keywords are short, generic search terms consisting of just a word or two, with a very broad focus.
Example: “record store”

Medium-tail keywords, sometimes called mid-tail or body keywords, are a bit longer, and a bit more specific.
Example: “used record store”

Long-tail keywords are phrases three or more words in length that are highly targeted, with a very specific focus.
Example: “used jazz record store near me”

For best results, your web content should incorporate a healthy mix of all three types of keywords. But to really connect with your target audience, it’s long-tail keywords that should be your primary focus.

Why? Because it’s long-tail keywords that most closely line up with how people actually search for what they’re looking for on the web. In fact, it’s been estimated that about 70% of all web searches are for long-tail keywords! And because long-tail keywords are more targeted, they’re a lot less competitive than head keywords – so if you find the right ones to target, a successful strategy can pay big dividends.

But how do you find the best long-tail keywords to target? You’ve got a range of strategies to work with:

Check Out the Competition
Browsing your competitors’ websites is a great way to gain insight into which long-tail keywords you should prioritize. Want a closer look? Go in-depth with keyword density checking tools, or peek at the site’s source code to see which keywords are featured in the meta tags.

Drop In on Conversations Online
Remember, long-tail keywords mimic how people actually search for information online, which means they also mimic how people talk online. Social platforms, forums, comment sections, and discussion-focused websites like Quora or Reddit are terrific places to find authentic conversation and zero in on winning keywords.

Specialized Keyword Tools
From totally free-to-use services to those that require premium access to unlock their full potential, there are a myriad of online tools designed specifically to help you find long-tail keywords. Wordtracker, Ubersuggest, and LongTail Pro are just a few of the better-known tools to choose from.

Google It!
Seriously – the world’s biggest search engine is loaded with tools to help you find the perfect long-tail keywords. Google’s autocomplete and “related searches” features are good ways to find variations on search terms you might not have thought of, and Google has its own keyword tool, too.

So, once you’ve settled on the perfect long-tail keywords to target, how do you use them most effectively? They’re a bit tricky to fit into your homepage, which should have a more general focus, but they’re an outstanding fit for blog articles – indeed, long-tail keywords can be the linchpin of your blogging content strategy! You’ve also got plenty of opportunities to work long-tail keywords into your website “under the hood,” from page URLs, to meta tags, anchor text for internal links, and alt text for images.

Looking for a signal boost in today’s crowded online marketplace? It all starts with a knockout SEO strategy. So, if you’re ready to get your SEO efforts into high gear this summer, Rosie’s Creative is here to help. Contact us today – and remember, with Rosie’s Creative, your first consultation is always free!

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