Content Strategy

Long tail SEO wags the dog

Posted by Marcelle Amelia on Sep 18, 2017 10:24:33 AM

Long Tail Dog.jpgIf you’ve been in content development for a while, you’ll know that keyword research for SEO isn’t necessarily something that writers or editors do. And that’s okay. Let data people do your research and tell you what keywords to use. Makes life easy.

What you may not know is that SEO keyword research can tell you whether your site needs new content.

SEO Content—the new pup in the house

That’s right. Instead of you deciding what subjects you want on your site, the research can tell you what subjects you should have. These new subjects are called “SEO content.”

From a content strategy perspective, this seems counterintuitive, right? As content people, we have long held the leash on what content to develop. Our content experience and knowledge drive our decisions. We know our customers and our sites reflect what we know they want.

What can we learn about content from SEO that we don’t already know?

Long tail SEO shows customer intent

Let’s get straight to the point: Having high-quality SEO content on your site that includes search phrases from “long tail SEO” can give you more high-quality site visitors.

  • High-quality SEO content means information that adds value for your site visitors.
  • High-quality site visitors are people who are ready to make a purchase. Their intention is to buy.
  • Long tail SEO is the long list of search phrases that are at the end of a keyword research list. They are longer and more focused than one or two-word terms, and there are a lot of them.

Long and specific search queries get results

As consumers, we have learned that we get better search results with more focused queries. And search engines encourage us to enter longer queries by suggesting words.

If you wanted to find leather walking shoes while you were on vacation, buy old Monopoly pieces as a gift for your father, or rent a place in England for a honeymoon, you might enter search queries like:

  • Buy men’s leather walking shoes in Ontario
  • Vintage 1945-47 Monopoly wooden markers prices
  • Romantic cottages for rent by owner near coast Cornwall, UK

Or if you are doing voice search on your smartphone, you might ask a question:

  • Where can I get leather Walking Company shoes for men in Ontario?

Behind the scenes, search engines track the number of times a query is searched. The volume of longer queries may not be that high, but these keyword phrases have great potential in attracting high-quality visitors because they show an intention to make a purchase.  And you can see exactly what they want.

Dig into your long tail SEO

Ask your data or SEO people to show you the long tail from their keyword research. Look closely at the terms and phrases that are used less-frequently. These terms offer a wealth of opportunity for you.

Take again your shoe store. With winter around the corner, leather walking shoes will soon supplement the nylon ones. And as your long tail SEO research already shows, a few people every month are looking for leather walking shoes.

This is a great opportunity for your store. Your keyword research shows that you can attract people who want leather walking shoes, but to get their attention, your site must offer both the shoes and good content that leads people to you.

The long tail wags the dog

So, here’s where you get to write new SEO content, where the long tail directs you. Consider these tactics:

  • Create a page that is about leather walking shoes, like how to care for them, how much they stretch over time, what kinds of laces work best, what to look for in soles, and so on.
  • Include the phrases or partial phrases from your long tail, like men’s leather walking shoes in your title and description tags, and in your on-page SEO.
  • Add links to the pages on your site that sell leather shoes.
  • Monitor your keyword results and adjust as necessary.

Or, if you didn’t already have leather walking shoes, you could add them to your inventory—and create the page. In either case, the long tail is wagging for your attention.

You can still hold the leash on your website content. Just include long tail SEO research in your content strategy.

See also:  Earn a little customer love with SEO.