When you think about keywords that describe your business, what do you visualize? Are those keywords short, like “bike” or “tour” for your adventure tour group? Or do you consider more complex alternatives such as “Salt Lake City bike rental” or “Salt Lake City hiking group”?
Each style of keyword has its place, which we’ll discuss here today. For now, know that keywords can just as easily be keyphrases in AdWords, and know that your effort to be specific with these phrases can better define your audience and drive more relevant traffic toward your online store.
What’s a Short-tail?
Short-tail keywords are the single words you use to define your business and your campaigns. When you use “bike” and “hiking” as part of your keyword list, this is the category you fall into.
The uniqueness of a short-tail correlates with its power as a keyword. The “Uinta” mountain range, for instance, will likely be a more powerful keyword than just a “mountain” range. “Uinta” will place your campaigns before relevant users in a way that its generalized counterpart cannot.
As an example, consider that your use of “mountain” as a keyword could apply to users’ searches for “Appalachian mountains” or “mountains in Grand Teton park.” If you only serve people in the Salt Lake area, which includes the Uinta mountain range, your ads displayed to those two Google searches won’t help the users at all.
The specificity of “Uinta” can at least guide users to your location. However, it does contain the same limitation discussed above – as revealed in searches such as “Uinta range history” or “Uinta rainfall.”
In any of those alternate searches, you will have spent money gaining a spot on Google’s front page, but the users probably won’t follow the link to your website. They may be interested in mountains, but not your mountains or the services you offer, so you won’t get a return on your investment.
Hone Your Sights With the Long-tail
If most short-tail keywords can crumble so easily under pressure, what do you do? You adopt specific and unique long-tail keywords.
Look back to the first paragraph of this article. The use of “Salt Lake City bike rental” uses many words to address users’ needs. In this case, our phrase defines your location, the product you offer, and the type of service you provide. That’s a lot more detail than you stated with just “mountain” or “Uinta.”
You can add many similar phrases to your keyword list to reach as many potential customers as possible.
Similar phrases: – Salt Lake City mountain bike rental – SLC mountain biking – Uinta biking trips – mountain bike group rentals
You can include those phrases into your overall list of keywords which, when you’re careful, can still contain short-tail elements. A similar business modeled after my own last name, Houser, could include the short-tail “Houser” because I think it works well for my needs.
You won’t escape the trap of short-tail keywords being used in searches that don’t apply to your business. Furthermore, you can’t predict all the long-tail phrases users will employ to find your services.
The best advice we can provide here is this: Refine your keyword list as much as possible. There’s no single best way to make a keyword list, but there are accessible methods of creating and refining them for your campaigns.
How Do I Find New Phrases?
The easiest way to find good keywords and phrases for your campaigns is to use the AdWords Keyword Planner. This tool can help you discover new phrases and track their usefulness over time.
In addition, make sure you check the quality score of your keywords, which takes into consideration their expected click-through rates and how well they relate to your campaigns.
Also, don’t hesitate to call Atria at any stage of the game. Whether you’re a budding small business or already have several established campaigns, Atria’s knowledgeable staff can provide an expert touch to keep your keyword lists strong.