When it comes to search engine optimization, everyone dreams of ranking for that one, big, fat, juicy keyword that gets millions of unique searches every month. The trouble with setting your reticule on this target, though, is a lot more complicated than you might expect.
Sure, if you could rank for a term like that you would be able to run a web business that pulled in millions of dollars a year. You wouldn’t have to worry about creating lots of content for smaller key words, and you could simply coast through the year as your site pulled in more traffic than your server could handle. But the truth is, ranking for those keywords just isn’t really possible these days.
The Trouble with Big, High Volume Keywords
There are three problems that anyone targeting these keywords is going to face:
- There are far too many competitors…
- Who have been targeting these keywords for far too long…
- And most of the people searching for these terms don’t even know what they’re looking for
When it comes to the competition you face, these keywords are just too saturated. It requires almost no effort to find these keywords, and if you’re note already convinced of that try a little experiment. Open up the Google keyword research tool and type in any phrase you can think of.
What pops up is the same thing that every other internet marketer saw, and those big fat juicy targets caused them to drool just as much as you. Anyone thinking about building a website that is optimized for specific keywords has already found these phrases and decided to give them a go.
In addition to the abundant and fierce competition you face for these phrases, you also need to realize that these terms were originally targeted a very long time ago. Is it possible for you to build a back link profile that pushes your ranking for these terms above whoever is lucky enough to currently be in the first position? Sure! But it’s incredibly difficult for two reasons.
First, you have to do it in a way that doesn’t leave an easily identifiable foot print. If you’re building links at a rapid pace enough pace to catch up, the Google algorithms are going to recognize this and your links will probably be devalued. The second problem is just how expensive it’s going to be – you will need a lot of links, and your competitors who are already profiting from that key phrase will find it easy to outspend you.
Finally, if you understand how generic and broad these phrases are, you can understand why they’re not really commercially viable. Is a customer who is searching for “lizards” going to buy anything? Probably not, and that’s not the kind of traffic you want.
Long Tail Keywords Will Provide ROI
A user searching for a phrase like “how to take care of a leopard gecko,” though, is in a state of mind to buy something. Those are the kinds of terms you want to target. The competition isn’t nearly as tough as it would be for a broader term (like “lizards”) and you actually have a searcher that knows exactly what they are looking for.
All you have to do is figure out how to provide them what they’re after, and you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank. So, just exactly what does it take to find and profit from these keywords? That’s exactly what you’ll learn in the next part of this series.
Part 2 and Part 3 of the series “Understating the Real value of Long Tail Keywords” are coming soon. Stay Tuned!
About the Author:
Kevin Gao is the founder and CEO of Comm100 Live Chat, a leading provider of live chat software for business. As a software developer as well as a small business expert, he’s always ambitious to revolutionize the way of online customer service and communication. Find Kevin on Google+ to find out more about him.