Keyword Searches Are Getting Longer and Longer

keywordsDigging through some of my clients google analytics, I noticed that many keyword searches are getting longer and longer. Historically speaking, 50% of all keyword searches are 3 words or more. That means when a person goes to Google or another search engine they have a specific idea in mind and type in phrases such as "Green Home Construction." To a certain extent that is old news. We have known for some time that searchers are getting more sophisticate. However, the big change now is that the number of people typing in 6, 7, and 8 word keyword phrases is increasing. Look at this keyword phrase: "active adult homes for sale in New Jersey" That's the search of someone who knows exactly what they want to find. And it's representative of the idea that more and more people are learning to use the search engines to create a direct pathway to satisfying their wants.

Why this customer keyword trend is important:

1) Intent. The more specific a phrase is, the more you can match your content to the intent of the user.

2) Ranking. The longer the phrase, the easier it is to get a high rank. It can take months to get a high rank for a short phrase. But fewer people are targeting the longer phrases. You can often get a top rank in days or weeks.

3) Higher Conversion. When people reach a page that gives them exactly what they want, they are more likely to take an action such as buying something or filling in a lead generation form.

Frequently, businesses get overwhelmed at the prospect of targeting these long search terms. Suddenly, they have gone from targeting a dozen or so keyword to hundreds or even thousands of keywords! How can anyone manage that?!


The key is to manage the process, not outcome. That is, you do not specifically try to rank for each and every keyword. Rather, you find the root keywords and incorporate them into your websites and blog posts as naturally as possible, adding modifiers when and where appropriate.

Using the "Green Homes" example from above, you could create multiple webpages or blog post targeting specific searches such as "Green Homes in New Jersey" or "Green Homes in New York." And within those pages target some of the loner phrases such as "affordable green homes for active adults" or "smart green home architects" or whatever else is important to your business growth. As you engage in the process, you will be able to find what is working and what is not. Some keyword phrases will pay off in terms of new leads and customers and others will not. You will be able to keep refining your targets based on the feedback you are getting.