Why you Should be Using Long Tail Keywords

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Nigel Rodgers
Nigel Rodgers
November 3, 2015
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For most hoteliers, increasing their search engine ranking is highly important. It is known that, the higher your site ranks, the higher the possibility that a traveler will book directly from your site. There are plenty of tools available to help boost your website’s rank in the search results. Some of the most used tools are keywords. Keywords are generic phrases that consumers enter into search engines when looking for specific products. As a hotelier, it is your job to get into the mind of the traveler and predict what they will search. Then you enter those predictions into your website, blogs, and content in hopes that your site will match a traveler’s search. For instance, if your hotel is located in Los Angeles, a keyword you can use could be “hotels in Los Angeles.” This kind of generic keyword phrase is referred to as a “head term.” The major problem of using head terms is that they come with a lot of competition. So, sure your page may pop up if someone is searching “hotels in Los Angeles,” but keep in mind that there are hundreds of hotels in Los Angeles and OTA’s with million dollar budgets, so your site can still get lost in the mix. It’s situations like these where the long tail keyword comes into play.

tablet and keyboard on google search

A long tail keyword serves the same purpose as a head term; but long tail keywords are more specific. The purpose of the long tail keyword is to narrow down the search results so the searcher can find exactly what they’re looking for. For example, say a traveler is planning to attend a concert at one of the venues in Los Angeles (we’ll use the Greek Theatre for this example). Simply searching for “hotels in Los Angeles” may not give them the results they want because Los Angeles is a huge city and they may not receive results close to the Greek Theatre. Instead, they may enter a more targeted, long tail search like “hotels in Los Angeles near the Greek Theatre.” This search will bring up more results that match that exact keyword phrase. Long tail keywords are all about getting specific results. Because of Google’s semantic search algorithm, the words in a long tail phrase can be put in any order and Google’s formula will decipher the context and still provide the searcher with the most relevant search results.

There are a few advantages of using long tail keywords. As mentioned above, because long tail keywords and phrases are so specific, there is less search competition for your hotel on the results page. There may be hundreds of results for  ‘hotels in San Francisco” but maybe not as many for “San Francisco hotels walking distance to the BART Station.” Long tail keywords can also improve the rankings of your head terms’ since most long tail keywords contain the same words as the head terms.

The internet provides hoteliers with some tools to help find strong long tail keywords. First, you must get in the mind of your target traveler. How would someone who would stay in your hotel search for it? What is your competitive advantage? Why do people stay at your hotel? Once you answer these questions you’re well on your way. After you have determined your keywords, enter them into the copy on your website, blogs, and videos. Google will analyze this content and make sense of all of it all. Then, whenever someone makes a targeted search that matches your keywords, these pages will appear in the search results.

Long tail keywords are becoming more popular among marketers and SEO professionals. Because searchers usually know exactly what they’re looking for, long tail keywords are more likely to receive higher conversion rates. As time progresses, search specificity will become the norm. People don’t want to browse through endless amounts of irrelevant search results; they want to find exactly what they requested. Once you learn how to utilize the long tail keyword, your website and hotel property may see a rise in traffic. Research relevant [phrases and put your long tail terms to the test.

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