Last week I wrote a blog post titled “Discount Auto Glass, you are going to LOVE this.” My goal in writing that post was to help the leadership team of Discount Auto Glass see how I could help improve their bottom line by getting 5–10x the results from their website.
I think there is so much potential to increase the website traffic, the search engine rankings, and, most importantly, the CONVERSIONS (what percentage of people visiting their site actually take action) that I put together an entire list of what I am calling “GAME CHANGERS.” These are high-value items that I know, once implemented, will make a tremendous difference in the results Discount Auto Glass is seeing.
Last week’s post focused on how important it is to give each of the nine Discount Auto Glass locations their own page and, even more importantly, really build those pages out to make it obvious that they are independent locations with roots in their communities and real people working in them. The objective is to make it easy for Google to understand these locations belong in the local “3 pack” of results.
This week we are going to talk about the importance of KEYWORDS and something called the “LONG TAIL OF SEARCH.” This is called “fighting the smart fight when it comes to local SEO.”
A keyword is simply the word, or strings of words, people type into a search engine when they are searching for something.
The long tail of search looks like this (regardless of your industry).
For example, the word “dentist” is very general and gets a tremendous amount of search volume. But think about it—that search includes people looking for a dentist to work for, to sell something to, for market research purposes, and a dozen other reasons. Somebody who searches for “emergency dentist in east Wichita” is much more specific and has clear INTENT.
The person searching “dentist” could be searching with a long list of reasons in mind, but the person searching “emergency dentist in east Wichita” knows what they are looking for and is very likely going to do business if they find a relevant result.
Now let’s tie this together and reveal how this could be another GAME CHANGER for Discount Auto Glass.
To prove how powerful the “long tail of search” is, I want to demonstrate how I was able to help a spine surgeon here in Wichita. “Back surgery” and “spine surgery,” as you can imagine, are incredibly competitive keywords. When you search for these keywords you see a list of paid ads, reputable brand names, and competitors with thousands of pages.
This is not a fight we can win with local SEO (without spending a lot of time and money and maybe not even then).
- Back surgery gets 165k searches a month, but there are also 647 other websites with a combined 15,300,000 pages all competing for this keyword!
- Spine surgery gets 163k searches a month, yet it has 661 competitors with a combined 5 million pages all competing for that same keyword!
So, what is the smart fight for this doctor?
- Sciatic nerve exercises gets 22k searches a month and only has 330 pages competing for that search term, and most of those pages are weak.
- Scoliosis in adults gets 6,600 searches a month with only 355 competing website pages, and once again most of those pages are quite weak.
- Spinal stenosis exercises gets 4,400 searches a month with fewer than 300 competing pages.
These 3 keywords alone represent 27k searches a month and have very low competition!
Is it realistic that somebody who is searching for those specific keywords is a good candidate for back surgery?
One more point before I wrap this up:
As amazing as Google is at what it does, here are the very best results it could find when I searched for “sciatic nerve exercises:”
The top 4 results were these sites:
Get this: not ONE of those pages has a single sciatic nerve exercise on it! Not one. And, if you notice, there are no paid ads distracting visitors. That’s called fighting a smart fight!
This is the key to a SMART local SEO campaign. Fighting a fight that’s easy to win!
The same opportunity exists for every service business, in every market, across America! That’s why the pages of your website and the content on those pages should be geared toward helping your potential customers and offering them as much value as possible.
Content for content’s sake does NOT help your website, your online footprint, your reach, or your impact.
Here’s another example of the power of the “long tail of search.” I did some work for a client that specializes in dental implants here in Wichita. After doing some research, we discovered that “the pros and cons of dental implants” is a popular keyword (32,000 results for those keywords). My client is the #1 result with NO paid ads and not a single other local dentist in the top 7 results!
Before we put a bow on today’s game changer, to really see how powerful this could be for Discount Auto Glass, consider this: 20% of all searches on Google have never been searched for before. Think about that for a second. Never, out of all the searches in the history of Google, has anyone searched for those particular words.
Avoid creating content for content’s sake (like these pages, for example).
Instead, DAG needs content written about what their actual customers are searching for and would find valuable. (In a later post, I will show how this can be used to put DAG’s social media to work.)
To generate ideas for useful content, what better way to start than by looking at Google itself? Below, you can see that I typed in the word “windshield.” If you look at the drop down menu you will see keywords that are searched so often that Google can “guess” what I am looking for. This is an excellent place to start!
I was able to pull up different lists of suggestions by typing “windshield re,” “windshield cr,” etc.
These are all opportunities.
Some of these suggested searches could be opportunities to create content about why somebody SHOULDN’T replace (or patch) their own windshield. What can go wrong that they might not think of? If they are going to go it alone, what can you share that might help them (in hopes they will turn to you if things DO go wrong)?
A search for the “cheapest windshield wipers” could easily bring up a post about why the cheapest windshield wipers aren’t the best choice and cite reliable sources that show lower cost wipers wear out three times faster, etc.
It might seem crazy to not have being #1 on Google for “windshield repair” as your top priority, but when you think about it, that’s a “head” term that gets a lot of searches (and paid ads and competitors). Personally, I would rather be the ONLY result for 150 keywords that have INTENT! The great news is when you are strong in dozens of long tail keywords, that gives you the credibility, the proof, and the trust with Google so you ARE #1 for the heads terms. When you do it this way, the right way, it will be extremely difficult for your competition to ever take this lead from you!
It’s astounding the variety of keywords that people use when looking for something on Google. All of these keywords can be used to create content that will bring up your site in search results and increase your traffic.
Here are some more content ideas for Discount Auto Glass:
- Windshield chip repair
- Is this something DAG offers?
- What are the pros and cons of trying to do this yourself?
- When is a crack too big to be patched?
- What can you do when you first see a small chip or star on your windshield to keep it from spreading?
- I remember putting a small piece of duct tape on my wife’s windshield years ago (in the winter) to keep it from spreading. Is this recommended? Are there other tricks or techniques?
- Somebody told me that a “crack” in your windshield isn’t really a crack but just air trapped between the two layers of glass. Is that true? If so, that’s interesting!
- What can I expect when I bring my vehicle to get the windshield fixed? How long does it take? Do you have to order the glass or do you carry a lot in stock? How soon can I wash my car or use the washer fluid, etc. after I pick my car up?
- What is the repair process for fixing/replacing a windshield?
- What sets DAG apart from the other guys in town?
- Cover local laws and regulations related to windshield repair or replacement or disposal
- Profile a longtime employee
- Compare multiple products or services
- Showcase a job
- Describe an industry event
- Offer lessons from _____ in business
When you create content around what your actual customers are searching for, you put the power of the long tail of search to work for you! Over 70% of all searches come from the long tail.
Here are some ideas for additional pages that would help Discount Auto Glass rank better on Google (and the other search engines) and especially in their local area.
- More individual staff bios that make connections to the local community (where they volunteer, go to church, went to school, love eating at, etc.)
- Good FAQs
- Community involvement or giving back
- Company history
- Discounts for seniors or vets (can be very powerful when it comes to building links)
- Residential glass, fleet glass, and wholesale glass are entire areas of the website that have no “legs” under them. These are enormous opportunities that I could show you how to capitalize on when it comes to Google and your website.
I want to assure you in case anybody with some local SEO knowledge reads this article and responds with, “Keywords are dead!” They don’t know what they are talking about! ???? I have read the articles and yes, I agree—gone are the days of putting a keyword in the title tag and in the title of the page, bolding it here and there, stuffing it into the content so many times, building some links with good anchor text, and voila! You are ranking for that particular keyword. Those days ARE dead. Google is smarter than that now.
With that said, if you follow the plan above and create useful content around the actual long tail keywords your target audience is searching for and build links and citations as part of a smart local SEO campaign—that is a recipe for long-term success!
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Thanks so much!
Matthew Rupp Consulting
7200 W. 13th St. Suite 5 (13th & Ridge)
Wichita, KS. 67204
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