Understanding Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are simply combinations of words, usually about three or four but potentially longer, that are specific to your business and industry. For example, if you own a muffler shop, the short-form keywords found in your content would include “muffler,” “car muffler,” and “muffler repair.” Long-form keywords for this type of business might include “muffler repair shop,” “best muffler repair,” and “muffler repair for Chevy pickup.”
Long-form keywords are more specific, and they generally target potential customers who are further along in the buyer’s journey.
If someone is simply searching for “mufflers,” it’s hard to know what they want. Do they want to know how mufflers work, where the muffler is located, or do they need muffler services? But if someone is typing “Ford Explorer muffler repair,” you can be fairly certain that this person 1) has a Ford Explorer and 2) need muffler repair for their vehicle.
Understanding Local Keywords
In addition to long-form keywords, you should also focus on local keywords. This is simply adding the city, county, or neighborhood into your keywords. So if your muffler repair shop is located in Dayton, Ohio, you can use the keywords “muffler repair in Dayton” and “Dayton, OH muffler service.” This will help you target customers in your area that need your specific services.
Integrating Keywords into Page Content
Okay, so now how do you integrate these long-tail and local keywords into your content?
First, start with the pages of your content. Again, we’ll turn to our muffler-repair example. In this case, page titles should include words like “muffler” and “repair,” as well as your local keywords. You’ll also want to work the keywords into your meta descriptions and subheadings to form, essentially, an SEO foundation.
Working the keywords into the content itself can be a bit more challenging. In general, the best practice is to write naturally, casually working the keywords into your content while avoiding the practice of “keyword stuffing,” which is when keywords appear too often. Keyword stuffing makes the content clunky and hard to read while potentially harming your SEO results. In the content, the main keyword should appear in the first paragraph, preferably in the first or second sentence.
A good practice is to write first, then go back and work the specific keywords, including long-form and local wording, into your content. Remember that good writing will benefit the customer, while artificially cramming keywords will harm your overall results. With this strategy, you’ll have the best possible content for your website.