If you want your business to be noticed by search engines, you need to make good use of keywords.
By targeting the phrases that Internet users are searching for, you increase your website’s chance of being found among the billions of pages that make up the World Wide Web.
The tricky question to answer is this:
Which search terms are the most beneficial?
Is it better to use generic keywords that have enormous search volumes (often referred to as ‘fat head’ search terms) or more specific keywords and phrases that have lower search volumes (known as ‘long tail’ search terms)?
To answer that question, you need to consider several factors.
First, how much traffic can you expect a particular keyword to bring to your landing page?
Secondly – and perhaps more importantly – what kind of traffic will each type of keyword bring in?
You also need to consider the cost of buying advertising space alongside search results for your chosen keywords.
Consideration Number 1: Traffic
Fat head search terms have the potential to bring in a lot more traffic than long tail search terms, simply because there are more people searching for fat head terms. However, if you base your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy solely on targeting fat head searches, you run the risk of being lost in the crowd.
Fat head keywords are the obvious choice for website managers and content writers, so there will already be millions of web pages targeting your chosen fat head keywords.
Sure, you could bring in traffic by paying for your site to feature on pages of results for fat head searches, but why spend money if you can avoid it?
Long tail search terms are likely to have less competition from other sites, which means that you get a bigger share of a smaller amount of traffic when you target this type of search term.
Consideration Number 2: Conversions
Not only is your page more likely to rank highly for long tail search terms, but they are also likely to bring in more relevant traffic.
For example, targeting the phrase “budget laptops” might attract visitors who are starting to think about buying a new computer, whereas “Lenovo IdeaPad S205-1038” will bring in customers who have already done some research and who are considering purchasing a particular product.
This sort of visitor is much more likely to convert into a sale than someone who is just starting out on their search.
Consideration Number 3: Cost
The cost of displaying ads for your site alongside fat head search results is much greater than it is for long tail searches, simply because the former set of search terms is much more in demand among people wanting to publicize their sites.
Think about how you could most effectively spend your marketing budget: will you pay a lot to run a few ads on fat head searches, or will you use the same amount of money to target ads at long tail search terms?
For the reasons discussed above, long tail searchers who click on your ads are more likely to convert into sales than their fat head counterparts. Long tail search terms are therefore a much more cost-effective option when it comes to promoting your site.
In summary, you are more likely to have success with long tail search terms than with fat head search terms. Although fat head search terms have the potential to generate greater traffic, this potential can be difficult to realize.
Long tail search terms, on the other hand, are cheaper, convert better, and have less competition, which makes them a formidable weapon in your SEO strategy.