Forget long-tail keywords. Focus on searcher intent.


djbaxter

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Stop thinking about long-tail keywords and start focusing on searcher intent
by Kevin Gamache, Search Engine Watch
February 24, 2016

[In the past,] Long-tail keywords ? those specific phrases of low-volume but perhaps higher-quality queries from searchers who are closer to taking action on procuring the product or service they seek ? have certainly received a heck of a lot of recognition for their value to marketers. However, I am here to declare the demise of these keywords that we held in such high regard only a few short years ago....

....the term ?long-tail?, to me, no longer exists. The once novel concept of paying attention to long-tail keyword queries is now so commonplace that it can go without being said. Long-tail keywords are now just the queries we all use to actually find what we need. Our ability to identify specific combinations of words that lead to our desired results will continue to evolve.

This is why the SEO community is moving away from the targeting of specific keywords or queries to instead thinking about themes and the searcher?s intent.
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Any time you do keyword research you should be thinking about user intent behind the keywords. What's the point of ranking #1 for a keyword that doesn't drive qualified traffic/contribute to revenue? At the end of the day no one actually cares about ranking; they really care about revenue being generated from search.

Bucket keyword lists based on position in the sales funnel, and make sure you're spending a majority of your time working on sections of your (or your client's) site targeting the ones with an intent to convert.
 

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