Watching the social interaction of kids is one of the most fascinating things about being a parent. Their cheeky characters start much younger than you expect and most interestingly, they learn how to 'play the game' young too.
I was watching my son play with one of his friends on the weekend and there was a power struggle over the most uninteresting, beat up toy truck you could imagine. There could have been ice cream, new bikes and puppies juggling kittens and it still would not have taken their attention away from this old truck.
What my son did next was a proud moment for his competitive dad. He gathered up the other kids and made a game rolling some tennis balls down a path outside. He quietly hung back while his tip truck snatching mate was magnetically drawn to the laughter, leaving the prized trophy up for grabs.
What has that got to do with smart SEO choices you say? Well, even though it is easy to get fixated on a particular, high volume keyword and wrestle for position with your competitors, sometimes you are better to take a step back and let everyone else fight over it while you target more lucrative, long-tail keywords.
What Are Longtail Keywords & What's The Advantage?
Longtail keywords, as the name suggests, are longer and more specific. For example, targeting the keyword "Gyms" would not be nearly as effective as targeting the long-tail keyword "24/7 Gyms In Richmond"
Here's 3 key reasons why.
Intent: This is the most important reason. You are attracting visitors who have clarity over what they want as they are usually further along their buyers journey. If I have identified that I need 24/7 access to my gym and know the location where I want to join, then I am a more valuable visitor than someone doing research on gyms for a school assignment.
Similarly, if someone is searching for "Gyms in Richmond with no contract" or "Richmond Gyms With Showers" these are all much more valuable alternatives to shorter keywords, such as "Gym contract".
More Relevant Web Traffic: If you optimise your site for "Gyms", you are likely to get irrelevant traffic, such as people looking for a gym in a different country. With targeted keywords that focus on the searcher's intent, you can make much more educated decisions about the effectiveness of your campaigns (particularly if you are paying for traffic through sponsored ads.)
Flexibility & Adaptability: Put simply, to rank well for shorter and more popular terms takes a long time and if that word loses popularity, is not relevant to a change in your business direction, or you simply start getting outranked, then you are losing a highly valuable asset that will be hard to replace.
According to Moz, 70% of searches on the web are longtail, which goes to prove the point, they match the way the modern consumer starts their buyers journey.
So, if you are planning to improve your lead generation through smart SEO choices, remember to have longtail keywords front and center!