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Management, Logged On

Long-tail keywords generate less traffic but still result in a greater number of qualified leads.
Long-tail keywords generate less traffic but still result in a greater number of qualified leads.

Be found online for the right reasons

Have you heard of long-tail keywords? Emily Mobbs explores why they will improve the quality of your online search results in order to attract the right customer for the right reasons.
SEO, or search engine optimisation, has been an internet buzzword for years and yet, it’s a task often misunderstood by small businesses seeking to improve their websites. 
SEO is the practice of optimising a webpage’s settings to boost its ranking position on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. It’s important, as a higher page ranking gives a business a better chance of being found online, but is your business ranking for the right reasons?
A common theme running through all Logged On columns is the importance of using online activities to gain quality sales leads. For example, anyone can run a Facebook promotion but what’s the point if the people participating do not belong to the business’ target audience? Social media activities must be well focused just as traditional advertising channels. 

Top position only half the job

The same can be said for any business website. Garnering top position on a Google search is really only half the battle. Pages must prompt online shoppers to click through by calling them to action. The art is in incentivising them with the right words and offers, which leads the discussion to keywords.
Keywords are defined as words or phrases that describe the contents of a web page, and they’re just one of a few pertinent factors used by companies like Google to determine a website’s ranking. Keywords aren’t new at all, but SEO strategies have evolved greatly in recent times and businesses with older websites should review their keywords to ensure that they’re still relevant.
According to marketing software company Hubspot, the secret to successful SEO is “long-tail keywords”. Unlike generic terms such as ”jewellery store”, long-tail keywords refer to the use of more specific phrases like ”manufacturing jewellers specialising in engagement rings”. 
This approach is said to generate less traffic but still result in a greater number of qualified leads because the audience is more targeted than the audience generated by generic keywords such as “jewellery” or “rings”. 
Hubspot also suggests incorporating locations in keywords – “engagement rings in Melbourne”, for example – to further 
refine results.
One way to ease the task of designating relevant keywords is to conduct a few searches across multiple search engines. Such searches are a way of testing whether keywords are appropriate, as well as finding out how popular certain terms are, where chief competitors rank, and where your business ranks currently.
US-based SEO consultancy Moz advises retailers to take note of any advertisements running along the top and right-hand side of a search result. Typically, the presence of more search advertisements indicates a high-value keyword capable of higher conversion rates. 
Search engines can provide pre-emptive recommendations as users enter their search phrases. Type “engagement” into Google and the search engine will immediately suggest “engagement rings”, “engagement party ideas”, and “engagement gift ideas”. 
Keep typing to reach “engagement rings” and the suggestions will change to “engagement rings online”, “engagement rings Australia” or even “engagement rings Melbourne” (depending upon one’s geo-location settings). 
These pre-emptive results are a great way to come up with new keyword phrases as they are based on the most popular search data. 
One way to think outside the box is to ask non-trade people to search for your store online. As they may not be familiar with industry-specific jargon, they might highlight terms that are popular with consumers but which can be overlooked by the trade. 
When assessing keywords, these questions might be useful:
• Is a keyword relevant to your website’s content? 
• Will people find your site when they search using the keywords? 
• Will they be happy with what they find? 
• Will this website traffic result in potential customers?
• What words would you type to find your website and your services/products? 
The suitability of keywords can only be assessed over time so tracking a website’s rank is the only real way to show if SEO techniques are making an impact. 
Set yourself a challenge by selecting five keywords or phrases for which you would like to be ranked – “silver jewellery experts in Adelaide” might be one. Conduct a search each month to see where the website is positioned and record the rank position. A jump in page rank by more than five spots is said to be the benchmark for improvement.

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