Long-Tail Keyword Phrases in Blogging for Business

long tail keywords

 

 

To optimize your blog content, Lindsay Kolowich of Hubspot advises, focus on one or two long-tail keywords that match the intent of your ideal reader. In other words, optimization is not about incorporating as many keywords into your posts as possible (that actually hurts SEO), but about answering the intent of your visitors in a way that doesn’t feel unnatural or forced.

What are “long-tail keywords”? These longer phrases (three to four words), often question-based, focus on the specific goals of your audience. Website visitors searching long-tail terms, which are highly specific, Kolowich explains, are more likely to read the whole post and then seek more information from you.

In addition to using those keyword phrases in the content itself, there are certain other elements of a post in which you should try to include the keyword phrase or phrases you’ve chosen. :

Title
The headline of each post will be the first stop for both the search engine and the readers. The search engine will use the keyword(s) to determine the relevancy of your content to the search; the title tells readers they’ve come to the right place for the information they need. If you have a lengthy title, put your keyword near the beginning.

Meta description
On a Google page, for example, when you see an item, you’ll see the title in large blue/purple typeface (that’s the part you’d click on to be taken to the site), then under it the url address, and lastly a couple of brief lines explaining what you can expect to read in the post. It’s crucial, I explain to blog content writers, for you to use that meta description to “sell” readers on clicking there so they can read your content. Because the meta description has the power to satisfy certain readers’ intent, Kolowich emphasizes, the more engaging you can make it, the better.

Images’ alt text
Using images in your blog posts help explain your content and visually “perk it up”. But the images also offer an opportunity to incorporate those all-important keyword phrases as well.  Because search engines can’t “see” images the way humans can, Kolowich stresses, they use the alt text to tell them what the image is about.  It is worth the extra minute it takes, she says to change the name from “IMG23940” to “puppies-playing-in-basket”. It’s all the better, of course, if the description incorporates your keyword phrase.

Post content
Use keyword phrases multiple times in each post, first within the first 200 characters, several times throughout the post (depending on length of the post) and near the end, advises Susan Gunelius in abouttech.com.

The skill of choosing the right long-tail keywords to choose grows out of knowing your own business and knowing who your target customers are. What types of searchers is your business or your professional practice most likely to attract? How long is your blogging tail?

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A Tale of Two Ad Titles – Part One

wristwatchTwo advertisements, both appearing in Science News Magazine, illustrate two different approaches to blog titles and blog content writing in general, I realized, resolving to use the pair as examples in my next blog writing training session.

It’s Enough to Make You Blue in the Face
(advertisement for the Stauer Urban Blue® wristwatch)

This ad covers every base you can think of:

Features:

  • sturdy stainless steel caseback and crown
  • genuine leather
  • simple, clean lines
  • striking metallic blue face
  • cotswold™ mineral crystal
  • 60-day money back guarantee
  • water-resistant to 3ATM

Benefits:

  • high end performance
  • style
  • on-trend  (quote from WatchTime: “Blue watches are one of the growing style trends seen in the watch world in the past few years.”)

Testimonial:

“The quality of their watches is equal to any that can go for ten times the price or more.” Jeff from MicKinney, TX.

A giveaway:

“We’ll even throw in a pair of Flyboy Optics® sunglasses with purchase.”

 Takeaways for bloggers:

1.  The title? Cutesy use of the color blue and the expression “blue in the face”, but doesn’t have any keyword phrases in it that would work for SEO.

2.  An even more important blog writing takeaway from this ad is that it’s a little (no, a lot) too much! You don’t want your blog to be an all-in-one marketing tool that forces a visitor to spend a long time just figuring out the 87 wonderful services your company has to offer and the 92 benefits of your product.  No, your business blog should offer just a “peek”, enough to convey to the individual searcher that he/she’s come to the right place, and to invite him/her to move on to your website to learn further details.

3.  On the other hand, what you can do with the blog is offer different kinds of information in different blog posts.  In a way, each time you post (or have your ghost blogger post), you’re offering some valuable information or advice relating to just one aspect of your business. another day, your blog post can highlight a different benefit or feature.

Don’t overload your posts with content to the point of making your readers “blue in the face!”

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