Use long tail keyword phrases
Long tail keyword phrases contain three or more words and are generally used by buyers with a specific idea of what they are looking for that are narrowing their search. Search volumes are lower for long tail phrases. As a result, they are less competitive and easier to rank for than short tail phrases, giving you a better chance of generating traffic from your content creation efforts. An added benefit is that because your buyer has narrowed their search from, for example “cameras” to “Cannon PowerShot SX40 HS,” they are further along in the decision making process and therefore more likely to actually buy something from you.
This is another form of long tail phrase that specifies location. If being near your customer is important for your product or service it can be very powerful. As with other long tail phases, geo-targeted searches are less competitive and better qualified. “Car repairs in Portland Maine” is a great example of such a search. Wouldn’t you agree that it is far more likely to match the right buyer and seller than the short tail phrase “car repairs” which might give you a dealership in Albuquerque?
It is much easier to move up in rank for a phrase than it is to rank for a new phrase. Start by seeing what phrases generate traffic today and your position in Google for them. If you are in the top 100, but not in the top 3 generate content to try and move up. Remember, the top 3 results in Google get 58% of clicks so moving up pays big dividends. You can find this information in Google Analytics by clicking Traffic Sources, then Search Engine Optimization, then Queries.
Scope out your competition
When you know what words you’re already getting traffic from, the next obvious question is “Where are my competitors getting traffic?” The great news is that there is a free tool out there that will tell you your competitor’s top paid and organic phrases called spyfu.com. Scope out the words they’re ranking for – there may be a few winners that you never thought of.
Google Insights for Search
This is a free tool from Google that shows you the fluctuations in search volumes for a keyword phrase over time. It’s an excellent tool for identifying the seasonal changes in search volumes as well as longer term trends.
Consider blended search
Logout of Google , clear your cookies, and do a few searches on your favorite keyword phrases. Look at the “Everything” option in the results. Are their videos displayed? How about photos? If not, these might be exceptional places for you to rank for a phrase that you could never capture with text based content.