What Is a Long Tail Keyword And Why You Should Care

long-tail-keywords-for-schoolsInbound marketing for your school is all about getting found by prospective families – parents and students now begin their school search at Google. The words that those families type in the search box are referred to as keywords and focusing upon those keywords will be a central focus of the inbound marketing strategy for your school. Rather than focusing on single keywords I’m going to explain what a long tail keyword is and why you should care.

Long Tail Keywords

As you strive to get found by prospective families you should start trying to optimize your school website, school blog, and social media channels for search engines. In order to optimize you should create content and emphasize words in your content based upon the words that you wish to be found for – those words are long tail keywords. So what is a long tail keyword? Quite simply, they are a string of more specific keywords. Let me illustrate using an example from my school:

  • If you search for the word “schools” Google will return 606,000,000 million results. The chances of my school turning up on the first search engine results page (SERP) for this search are very slim.
  • If you search for the words “day schools” Google will return 192,000,000 million results. While our chances are theoretically better my school would probably never be on the first SERP for Google.
  • If you search for the words “independent day schools” Google will return 17,300,000 million results. Again, while our chances of getting found are better I highly doubt my school will be on the first SERP for Google.
  • If you search for the words “sewickley independent day schools” Google will return 8,640. Bingo! Now there is a very good chance that my school will appear of the first SERP for Google and this will be a long tail keyword that we will target.
  • In summary, a long tail keyword would be “sewickley independent day schools.”

Why You Should Care

As you embark on inbound marketing for your school you’ll need to identify a number of long tail keywords which you’ll target as part of your search engine optimization efforts. The list of long tail keywords that you generate will be the basis of the:

I hope you now have a better understanding of long tail keywords and why you should care about them. If you have any questions please let me know by posting your questions in the comments section below.

 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • http://www.wra.net Tom

    So are we talking about including those keywords in every thing we write? For example, every article posted on our school website would include the phrase “school name is an independent boarding school” somewhere in the story (most likely in a nut graf) or is it enough if those words always appear but not necessarily together?

  • http://www.wra.net Tom

    So are we talking about including those keywords in every thing we write? For example, every article posted on our school website would include the phrase “school name is an independent boarding school” somewhere in the story (most likely in a nut graf) or is it enough if those words always appear but not necessarily together?

    • http://www.schneiderb.com Brendan Schneider

      Great question Tom! I’m sorry for not being more clear.

      As you begin identifying long tail keywords that are appropriate for your school you’ll want to select a good number of them – say 10-20. So for every article posted you’ll want to focus on one of those long tail keywords. Additionally, it is better to try and work in the exact phrase but the words can just appear.

      Always remember to make sure that your content is written for your readers first, and then the search engines, second.

      Hope that answers your question. Thanks for reading.
      -Brendan

    • http://www.schneiderb.com Brendan Schneider

      Great question Tom! I’m sorry for not being more clear.

      As you begin identifying long tail keywords that are appropriate for your school you’ll want to select a good number of them – say 10-20. So for every article posted you’ll want to focus on one of those long tail keywords. Additionally, it is better to try and work in the exact phrase but the words can just appear.

      Always remember to make sure that your content is written for your readers first, and then the search engines, second.

      Hope that answers your question. Thanks for reading.
      -Brendan

    • http://www.schneiderb.com Brendan Schneider

      Great question Tom! I’m sorry for not being more clear.

      As you begin identifying long tail keywords that are appropriate for your school you’ll want to select a good number of them – say 10-20. So for every article posted you’ll want to focus on one of those long tail keywords. Additionally, it is better to try and work in the exact phrase but the words can just appear.

      Always remember to make sure that your content is written for your readers first, and then the search engines, second.

      Hope that answers your question. Thanks for reading.
      -Brendan

  • http://twitter.com/cuevash Hiram Cuevas

    Brendan, great reminder that one’s keyword search results are only as good or specific to those listed as tags or metadata. I also forwarded your post to our Director of Communications and Marketing. ;)

    • http://www.schneiderb.com Brendan Schneider

      Thanks Hiram!

  • Matt Pulley

    Good stuff, Brendan!!!! We’re working on this right now!

    • http://www.schneiderb.com Brendan Schneider

      Great to hear that @dd3c2ad7fde1ce5a1ede400d8241139e:disqus – I would love to hear about your experiences.
      Thanks for reading,
      Brendan

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