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SEO Copywriting Services: How to Convert 30% or More of Your Website Traffic Using Long-Tail Keywords

Updated on April 12, 2010

Unless you’re an SEO writer or work in the field of search engine marketing in some capacity, you’ve probably never heard of the phrase long-tail keywords. But, if you want to build a high-traffic website – with traffic that converts into leads and sales – it’s exactly what you should be investing in. How/why?

B2B Search Engine Marketing: What You Don’t Know Can Cost You

As the owner of an SEO writing company, I was inspired to write this post because of an email I received from a prospective client. They email was as follows:

In the near future I'm going live with a new website for the US market handling relocation solutions. I need approximately 30 content articles with SEO for the following term [sic] -

[10 1-word keyword phrases related to the transportation industry were listed].

please send me your offer.

I responded to this prospect, in part:

Thank you for considering New Media Words for your SEO content needs.

Before I answer your question, one thing I want to point out is that your keyword phrases are very limiting. They should consist of at least two words -- and in some cases even three. Why? These are known as "long-tail" keywords and they convert better than one-word keyword phrases by a wide margin.

Now, in answer to your question, our rates are as follows . . .

SEO Writing: What are Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are phrases that web surfers use to search for information. For example, let's use the topic acne. If you type "acne" into Google, it returns 26,400,000 results (as of this writing).

As an adult, say I'm interested in information for me, so I type in the long-tail keyword term "adult onset acne." 85,200 results are returned. Not only are there less results you need to wade through, they are highly targeted, specific results that I would probably start clicking on.

2 Reasons Long-Tail Keywords Are More Profitable Than General Keywords

If I were selling a product targeting adults with with acne, I'd want to rank high for this long-tail keyword phrase "adult onset acne," rather than the very general keyword phrase like "acne," for the following two reasons:

Ready-to-Buy Customers:: Research has shown that when web surfers are looking to buy, the get very specific with their searches. Hence, they type in more words (ie, long-tail keyword phrases).

Oleg Ishenko puts it best in the article, Is Promotion with Long Tail Keywords More Effective Than Paid Search Marketing?, writing:

Generic keywords indicate that a person is probably doing a research without an intention to buy something immediately (so-called "early stage researcher"). . . People looking for 4 or 5 keyword phrases are more likely to become a buyer.

In this article, Mr. Ishenko goes on to illustrate this point, ie:

. . . you can be sure that if someone searches for a laptop, he is still researching. On the contrary if a person searches for a Sony Vaio laptop under $1000 he is a hot prospect.

See why the long-tail rules? They're specific; not general.

Easier to Rank For: It can be virtually impossible to rank well for some keywords in some niches. For example, take credit cards. Unless you have Bill Gates-like money, you ain’t gonna rank well for the keyword phrase “credit cards.” Why?

Because you’re competing with deep-pocketed credit card companies like Visa, Mastercard, Discover, etc.

In contrast, you can rank well for long-tail keywords in this niche, eg, “Credit Cards with Zero Percent Interest Rates.”

Note: While you will most likely generate less traffic with long-tail keyword phrases, they payoff is targeted, “ready to buy” traffic. Hence, while the amount of traffic your website receives may actually go down, your sales can actually increase.

Convert Up to 30% More of Your Site's Traffic into Paying Customers

So how do long-tail keywords convert up to 30% more of your site's visitors into buyers? In short, it’s organic search, as opposed to paid search.

In paid search, internet marketers usually bid on top-rated industry terms. These tend to be one or two-word keyword phrases. Nobody really pays attention to long-tail keyword phrases, so they tend to pop up more in organic searches.

Again, citing the article, Is Promotion with Long Tail Keywords More Effective Than Paid Search Marketing? ". . . according to the statistics supplied by . . . systems visitors . . . natural search results convert 30% more frequently than paid search visitors." [Emphasis added]

Learn How to Write SEO Content That Sells

Knowing SEO concepts like this is critical to increasing your website traffic – traffic that turns into leads and sales. Learn SEO writing techniques that do just that.

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