Ranking on highly specific search phrases in the car dealer industry – What is a long tail keyphrase?

Having your car dealership’s website rank on the appropriate keyphrases is always a challenge in such a competitive industry. The automotive industry is one of the most competitive industries on the internet along with the travel industry. It would be nice to rank on the word “cars” right? Or maybe some other ideal keyphrases you may hope to rank on could include “used cars” or “car dealership”. These keyphrases are actually called short tail keyphrases. It seems great to deal with keywords that have 5,000 searches a day, but in reality, these “popular” search terms actually make up less than 30% of the searches performed on the web. Another example of short tail would be “cars”. Someone searching for “cars” may be researching cars, they may be looking for pictures of cars, they may be looking for the Disney movie Cars.. Who knows…..

Chasing the longtail in SEO

The remaining 70% of online searches lie in what’s called the “long tail” of search. The long tail contains hundreds of millions of unique searches that might be conducted a few times in any given day. Long tail usually converts better as they are more specific of a search term. An example of long tail would be “buy used grey Honda Civic in Edmonton”. As a dealer, you know this searcher practically has their wallet out.

When using long tail keyphrases on your website you are optimizing it for both the large search volumes of short tail & for the more specific search terms of long tail. Short tail keyphrases are often present within the long tail keyphrases. For example: Short Tail = Used Civic Long Tail = Buy used grey Honda Civic in Edmonton. “Used Civic” is still present within the long tail keyphhrase. This way, you get the best of both worlds.  

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