The Hummingbird update
Hummingbird heralded the age of conversational search, as Google began rewarding web pages that focused on ‘long-tail’ search queries. A shift away from the more transactional keywords meant that web pages dealt more directly with customer pain-points. Since Hummingbird, in-depth, informative content experiences far better results than pages that litter keywords hither and yon.
SEO for financial services however, is a different story. Many firms are yet to catch
It’s time for this to end. Our latest blog looks in-depth at just how many financial advisors are missing a trick with long-tail keyword research. It’s worth your time - here’s why!
What long-tail keywords do is clear away some of the smoke-and-mirrors of traditional keyword optimisation to bring to the fore actual, real-life search intent.
Chasing the long-tail has its merits: they’re far more
Gone are the days of blindly scattering keywords in a blog post. The advent of Hummingbird has given SEOs far more room to be sophisticated, and simple.
Let us give you an example. As a financial advisor specialising in retirement planning, you’ll have
These kinds of keywords will perform far better than the likes of ‘financial advice’ - this example is broad, vague and will produce results for a whole range of irrelevant services.
With a long-tail focus, you can strengthen the lines of communication between your organisation and your customers, by effectively speaking the same language. Clever, right?
There are plenty more reasons long-tail SEO is vital for your firm. Here are a few of them.
The logic behind this is clear. The longer the phrase, the fewer web pages are targeted for that phrase. That means it’s less competitive!
Understand that, in some
You can combat this with defining your products or
...which helps you beat the competition
As proven in a nine-month study (conducted by
The study found that on-page optimisation for long-tail terms produced higher rankings than a page optimised for ‘head terms’, and
Long-tail already includes your head terms
Ultimately, the root goal of SEO is to rank for those shorter keywords. Otherwise, why would the big players have such command over them?
So, the best way to rank for such terms is through long-tail keywords.
Google being the sophisticated machine that it is, it easily picks up head terms within long-tail searches.
Great for niche markets
Long-tail keyword optimisation works particularly well for specialised, ‘niche’ markets. For niche markets, your keywords will likely be less broad and much more specific.
Long-tail keywords are ideal for your needs, then! They won’t limit your reach and will allow you to hone in on your specific audience.
Long-tail reflects how people actually search
Perhaps better termed ‘conversational search’, long-tail keywords present users with semantic alternatives that better serve searcher intent.
Together with Hummingbird, long-tail optimisation focuses on the meaning and semantic relation between words; on the sentence as a whole, as opposed to any single keyword or isolated phrase. It - and quite cleverly, might we add - groups together connected terms, understanding their semantic links.
They help your blog strategy
Keyword research can be used to fuel your blog strategy! Again, you can’t disregard your shorter keywords altogether.
Instead, you can enter shorter keywords (otherwise known as ‘root’ keywords) into your chosen keyword tool and get results, pronto.
A tool that should help with this is Answer the Public. All you need for this is your root keyword, from which the site will then produce plenty of long-tail
Provide more value for the reader
As mentioned, the Hummingbird update prioritises length and depth of content, rather than the level to which it is optimised for keywords. For that reason, long-tail keywords naturally provide more value for the reader.
They’re more in-depth and just have a lot more to offer. Search engines will reward long-tail optimisation if done well - they have a sixth sense for helpful, informative content!
To summarise: long-tail is great.
However, one of the barriers you may come across is low search volume. In a way, long-tail keyword optimisation is a bit of an enigma. It’s a mystery, in all honesty. Why?
Because search engines don’t get that much volume from
Yes, they might not get searched that often, but when they are, who’s going to be there reaping the benefits. You: you and your long-tail SEO strategy.
We’re going to leave you with a few tips for proper long-tail implementation:
- Make sure your terms are likely to convert - do your homework, and ensure that your topic isn’t so niche as to garner zero results.
- Make sure they’re low competition - this is a little like a balancing act, we know. On the one
- Use long-tail sparingly - your campaigns shouldn’t consist solely of long-tail keywords.
Thanks for listening! Oh, and one more thing - our partners over at HubSpot have devised a clever system of pillar and cluster content, which allows you to create what are essentially long-tail terms around a root keyword. Check it out here.