How Long-Tail Keywords Are Becoming Even More Important

Oct14_Post 2Have you noticed that Google is really pushing its smartphone app? This indicates how the online world is tilting heavily to mobile. You’ve probably been hearing a lot about this trend in recent months…and years.

Rather than get bored with all the talk about “going mobile,” the important thing is to ask the question: If users are becoming increasingly dependent on mobile computing, what should I do differently to position my business better?

We get some help in answering this question from the way Google is promoting its app. People are interfacing with Google more and more by talking rather than inputting via a keyboard (either real or virtual). This should cause you to take another – or perhaps your first – look at long-tail keywords.

Building Long-Tail Keywords

A quick definition is called for. “Pizza parlor” is a keyword. “Pizza parlor close to Six Flags” is a long-tail keyword. You’ve probably noticed that people speak differently than they write and that difference is amplified when compared to how people write in search boxes. People looking for your kind of business will be much more descriptive when they are verbally “asking” Google to find it for them. This gives you the opportunity to create some nicely targeted long-tail keywords on your website.

I also need to say that visitors who find your website by using long-tail keywords are much more likely to be high-value prospects. Just the fact that they have used a long-tail keyword means that they have pushed themselves further down your sales funnel. You may not see a big bump in overall traffic, but high quality traffic will increase.

The first step in finding your best long-tail keywords is to just talk about your business, thinking about all the phrases you might use to describe it or ask about it. Be sure to “ask” about your products or services as you do this. Make a list. Consider your keywords from different points of view. Don’t worry about editing now. You can separate the good, bad, and ugly later on.

Let me give you a quick example. A basic keyword would be “vintage clothing.” A brainstorming session would look like this (with the long-tail keywords in italics):

  • Is there a vintage clothing store near the JC?
  • Is there a vintage clothing store open at night?
  • Are there any vintage clothing stores that have children’s clothes?
  • Do any vintage clothing stores sell online?

Include Products and Services

If our example vintage clothing store had any specialty, such as jeans or hats, those terms would be excellent when constructing long-tail keywords. The same principles apply if you’re a service provider.

Adding your location is a standard way to form long-tail keywords. A writer friend did a lot of work for a construction company that wanted keywords such as “bathroom remodeler Dallas” in the copy. He wrote phrases such as, “When looking for a quality bathroom remodeler, Dallas area homeowners often turn to their neighbors for references.” You sometimes need to be a little clever.

Try to work your long-tail keywords into headlines and subheads and don’t overdo it. Above all, Google is sensitive to keyword stuffing, so don’t make that mistake. Keep your usage natural and authentic.

If you need a little help brainstorming, use Google’s AdWords keyword planner and Wordstream’s free (30 searches) keyword tool. Also, as you probably guessed, long-tail keywords will also boost your success in traditional searches.

Image: “Lemur catta 001” by Alex Dunkel (Maky) – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.

The following two tabs change content below. specializes in helping small businesses grow their business on the web while facilitating the connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. Chamber is focused on providing the latest business news, small business advice, and helpful tips and resources for small businesses, entrepreneurs and mid to enterprise level companies. Follow us on Twitter at @ChamberOnline.

2 thoughts on “How Long-Tail Keywords Are Becoming Even More Important

  1. dmi Networking

    This is really interesting – I had been using 2-or-3 word keywords for my website. Finding the right sentence to optimize for is pretty tough, aside from just using it in the title of a blogpost. Do you suggest using backlinks that are these long-tailed keywords, such as Dental IT companies in the Bay Area, or do you limit long tail keywords to the actual content?


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