Posted on Thursday, October 30th, 2014 No Comments
I recently had success with optimizing a website for long tail keywords, and that project is a good illustration that I can use to explain this type of SEO.
I was hired by TRUE Telecom to update their website’s SEO, focusing on their local area of Redding, CA. The site was very thin on content, was using outdated SEO practices, and was missing many SEO elements. The result was that they were ranking way down on page 15 of Google for their most important keyword phrases.
The work I did was completely old-school-style SEO. I’ve written before about how keywords don’t work the same way they used to, in an attempt to bring clients up to speed with the current state of SEO. But this particular website is a great example of a case in which SEO can work the way it used to.
Specific cases like this work when:
Another interesting thing about this project is that the website was built with regular old static .html and .css files. It has no content management system. So I used Adobe Dreamweaver as an HTML editor and hand-coded everything I needed to do.
So what are long tail keywords, and why would you want to use them?
Long tail keywords are keyword phrases that are usually 4-5 words long. They’re useful for targeting very specific topics and customers.
Let’s consider TRUE Telecom as an example. This is a small business in Redding, CA, that provides equipment and installation of security/surveillance systems (security cameras, keypad entry, etc), audio/visual (video conferencing setups, home theaters), and structured cabling (such as the data cabling needed for large buildings or data centers.)
Now let’s imagine that TRUE Telecom wanted to target the keyword “security cameras.” This is not useful for their business because:
Instead, let’s consider a keyword phrase such as “security camera installation redding ca.” This is useful for their business because:
When I began working on the site, this is what I had to work with:
Keyword Rankings: One of the keywords that was bugging the owners of TRUE Telecom was “surveillance cameras redding ca” because their site was appearing on page 15 of Google for that phrase. Everything else was similar or worse — if they ranked for a keyword at all, it was way down in the depths of Google’s results.
Thin Content: The site consists of 7 pages: Home, About Us, Contact Us, and four pages that group their services into categories. Each of these four service pages only had a center-aligned list of words representing each of their offerings. Except for the photos in the header, there were no images, and there were no paragraphs of text or any other content whatsoever.
Very Basic Files: Like I mentioned above, the site is not on any content management system (like WordPress, Drupal, etc). It’s simply .html files, a .css file, and image files. There was no robots.txt file, and there was a very outdated sitemap.xml.
Outdated SEO: Someone had done some SEO in the past, but it was old and there were HTML errors throughout, such as duplicate </head> tags. There were unnecessary metas, odd link descriptions, no image alt tags, and duplicated page titles and descriptions.
We saw some results from this work within a couple days. These are a handful of keywords and their rankings at last check:
Google Page 2: security camera installation redding ca
Google Page 2: surveillance cameras redding ca
Google Page 5: home security systems redding ca
Google Page 1, #1 position!: structured cabling redding ca
Google Page 2: home theater installation redding ca
Google Page 1, #2 position!: teleconferencing system redding ca page
Google Page 2: video conferencing equipment redding ca
Google Page 1, #3 position!: access control installation redding
Google Page 1, #2 position!: key pad installation redding ca
Of course page 1 would be better for all keywords, but these rankings are a great improvement over page 15 and beyond.
Here’s a screenshot of the one that achieved the #1 rank:
Before you run out to get your site SEO’d with long-tail-local keywords, here are some thoughts:
Overall, this was a successful project, and I’ll be keeping an eye on it to see what happens.