Online Marketing for Small Business: Long Tail Keywords

long tail keywordsSometimes small businesses can feel like all this talk about Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, and Internet marketing is leaving them in the dust. After all, how can small businesses compete with the guys who have resources (people and money) to throw at this stuff? Interestingly enough, some of this online marketing “stuff” actually levels the playing field by allowing small businesses to present themselves just as effectively as larger businesses. Let’s take a look at one example: Long tail keywords.

What the heck is a “long tailed keyword?” Simply stated, it’s a phrase comprised of three or four key words that are all very specific to what it is you are selling. And this phrase is designed to match the way someone would look for what it is you sell if they were to do a search for you on Google (or some other search engine).

In other words, what you start to do is (gasp!) start thinking like your customer! You might describe your business (or product) in the following way: “World’s exclusive purveyor of gourmet feasts for the discriminating feline palette.” Your potential customer, on the other hand is thinking: “Where can I find cat food my picky cat will eat?” When your potential does a Google search for “Cat food for picky cats”, will your company show up? If it does show up at all, it won’t be at the top of the page. You need to write your content in the same “language” that your potential customer is using to search for you.

Here’s another thing for small businesses to consider. Many small businesses are local—not nationwide.  If you’re a small sign-maker in Seattle, that’s where your business is probably going to come from. You’re dealing with a local population—with other small businesses or individuals who want to deal locally. Build that into your content and descriptions: “Seattle Sign Shop.” Or, if you specialize (or want to target a specific industry) you could write something like: “Real Estate Signs in Seattle.” That’s probably what potential customers will type into their Internet search.

Want to get found online? Start thinking like your customers—and grow yourself a long tail!

Questions or comments about “long tail keywords?” We’d be delighted to hear from you!