Long Terms Becoming More Important In SEO

Searchers find sites using multiple words

It’s a small business owner’s dream to be the first result in Google when someone types in a word like "shoes."  The resulting traffic stats and sales numbers would be incredible.  However, it seems that small businesses might do much better by optimizing for queries involving more than one word.

Cost and feasibility need to be considered, of course – it’s a rare small business that can pay for a site capable of competing with those owned by big corporations.  But there’s more to the situation than that.

As Matt McGee reports, Hitwise’s Bill Tancer revealed at a recent conference that the percentage of searches involving just one word has slipped from 24.5 to 21.1 to 20.4 percent between 2007, 2008, and 2009, respectively.  Approximately 23.6 percent of 2009 queries involved two words, but that number has also been shrinking.

It’s in the land of three-, four-, and five-word searches that more and more people are spending their time, and together, 45.4 percent of the searches Hitwise has tracked so far this year fall into these categories.

Focusing your search engine optimization efforts on longer queries is something to think about instead of straining to create interesting one-word product names, then.  Heck, attain a high ranking now, and maybe you’ll even have a hold on it when the Reeboks of the world branch out.

There are 15 Comments. Add Yours.
  1. In the business of fantasy baseball, it’s difficult to rank against the top sites when competing against the likes of ESPN and CBS.  Hence, we targeted fantasy baseball 2009 and are currently at the top of Google.  Just adding the year can help here in your SEO efforts.

  2. I agree that webmasters should look at longer keyword phrases, particularly if you consider that bounce rate may be related to google rank…  For my site, it I just use the term metal, I may get hits from audiophiles looking to download some hard rock music, if I use the words Toronto metal fabrication I will get a more highly targetted demographic that may be more interested in what my site has to offer, in turn stay on the site longer (therefore reducing bounce rate).

  3. GIL

    I have used key word phrases of 3-5 words for some time.   In addition to the main words that I want to get across, which are Cosmetic Dentist, I add either the city or a procedure with the main words.  For example: Cosmetic Dentist Seattle and Cosmetic Dentist Porcelain Veneers.  Also, I reverse the words and go with Seattle Cosmetic Dentist, ect.  This way you can optimize very specifically for your location, your services and your products as well as the main word(s) that you want to have optimized.

  4.  You need to be creative and stay upto date to  be ahead in the game. that is what is SEO is all about. With shorter keywords more expensive, it is a nice strategy to focus on longer terms.

  5. SEO shouldn’t be some scam or bull package.  build a great website with resourceful info and you will get traffic.

  6. Apart from proper SEO, it is a must to have a system in place that generates traffic from all areas of the net, video, SMM, Groups.

    This creates constant flow of traffic to your site

  7. I very much agree with you re: keyphrases vs. keywords for small business optimizations. In fact, that is where the majority of success lies …search engine referrals. Besides, it is cost effective and common sense to compete for free visitor traffic delivery on sites like Google. The fact that many overlook this option proves true the phrase, "Common sense is not all that common".

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