A little over a decade ago, marketers could create irrelevant, poor quality content, litter it with buzzwords and construct a marketable masterpiece. But the days of search engine hijacking are now long gone. In order to witness any sort of impact on target audiences today, content needs to provide real value to engage readers.
In the past, low quality content was so highly ranked on Google because search engine optimization (SEO) focused on a single keyword search, highlighting how each page ranked based on the success of that keyword. But in 2003, Google grew wise to spammers and ended the heydays of keyword stuffing, backlinking and superfluous tagging by updating their search engine algorithms.
Thanks to these updates, powerful SEO now focuses on the motive behind each keyword, how a customer interacts with a brand, and the needs of the audience. According to the Wizard of Moz, long-tail keywords make up for 70% of all searches made online; establishing their integral role in any piece of content you want to be translated and ranked online.
- A long-tail keyword is defined as 3-4 words that are included within content that are very specific search terms. This is in comparison to head keywords, which are only one to two words, and very competitive in search engines.
- This handy infographic by HitTail helps outline the value of long-tail SEO.
According to the Lead Designer of Google Search, roughly 3.3 billion questions are googled every single day. Of those questions, nearly 15% have never been searched online before. The only way to have your message or product reach those searching for such specific answers is to target them with a long-tail keyword.
As Google continues to update their search algorithm sophistication, search engines will continue to grow harder to predict. It’s not enough to simply provide well-written and researched content for your website. Experts say the key is to continuously update your website with fresh and highly optimized content to continue to stay relevant and remain in Google’s ranks.
How can SEO be successful? Remember, every search is created with an intention – to discover, learn, create, solve, fix or understand something further. Google is popular because its customers have happily found solutions to their questions in the simplest possible way. So, if you aren’t creating content to satisfy a customer’s needs, curiosities or questions – why are you creating it?