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Old KeysWith the move towards contextual search, SEOs and businesses have to be much more concerned with the intent behind the query. When someone enters “Italian food,” for instance, do they want restaurants? Recipes? Diets? Targeting the intent with long-tail keywords can help websites improve their SEO strategies, increase relevancy, and pull in visitors.

Long-tail keywords are usually 3-4 words in length, as opposed to “head” keywords. In our example, “Italian food” is a head keyword, and completion is fierce. How can you ensure visitors find you because your site is relevant to their needs? By:

  • Using very specific search terms. Italian food restaurants in London, Italian recipes for family dinners, Italian and Mediterranean diets. Someone searching for a good eatery will find you using these targeted terms. Hit Google AdWords Keyword Planner to determine which terms your audience is searching for and plan a strategy.
  • Using keyword search tools, such as Ubersuggest and Google (just enter in your keyword and see what it suggests). Ditto that for Bing. Also try Bing’s Suggester.
  • Using Google to search potential keyword phrases. Ideally, you’ll see that there’s not a lot of competition and that the phrase appears in niche sites, Q&As, and forums. Don’t get too granular, though. You don’t want to narrow down so much that you rank first for your keyword – but no one is searching for it! Think like a searcher.
  • Including the keyword into your title tag. Make sure it is compelling and encourages readers to click through.
  • Using 3-4 long-tail keywords for each new post – and make sure posts are fresh. Publish content regularly. Google likes it; so do searchers. Remember, as with any keyword, never stuff. Place them organically into your content.
  • Optimising existing content with the targeted keywords. Again, natural is the key to keywords.

Search queries are increasingly specific, many times even in full question form. Capitalise on what people are actually searching for by including long-tail keywords. You’ll be able to show searchers that you’re relevant and can answer their questions.

Thumbs UpIt is estimated that there are over 2 billion pages of indexed web content in the world. And somewhere in that 2 billion is you. SEO can help guide searchers to your website, but what keeps them there? What encourages them to share your content or to recommend your site/products/services to friends, family, coworkers? A big piece of that puzzle is credibility and establishing your position as an expert in your niche. Reviews are an integral step towards this end. How does Google’s new Review Extensions work – and how can you make them work for you?

Review Extensions

Google allows Adwords account holders to submit third-party reviews for approval. Once approved, the review appears in the search results. Here is an example from Google:

You may use an exact quote, as this example does, or a paraphrase. To submit a review for approval, log into your Adwords account and, under the Ad extensions tab, you’ll find a space for “new reviews.” Simply choose your format (exact or paraphrased), the text you want to include, the source, and the source URL. You can also schedule start and end dates.

Keep in mind:

  • The review has to be attributed to the published source and accompanied by a link.
  • As mentioned, the reviews must be approved by Google. It can take a few days for them to appear in the SERPs.
  • You can move reviews that already appear within your ad text and add a Review Extension. This gives more power to the review and promotes your site and business. Do not duplicate the text, however. Make sure Review Extensions and ad text are different.
  • As of now, this feature is available globally – but only in English. Look for other languages to be added soon.
  • Google recommends you use one Review Extension at the campaign level, rather than at ad group levels. A campaign might include several ad groups: Google prioritises campaign level extensions and reviews them more quickly. Essentially, it gives you more bang for your CPC buck (though the reviews are free, you do, of course, pay your cost-per-click for the ads).
  • Familiarise yourself with Google’s Review Extension policies. If your submission doesn’t meet the guidelines, the search engine will not approve it.
  • Be aware that reviews do not show up in the SERPs all the time. If yours does not appear, take a look at the guidelines and make sure your Review Extension conforms. If it does, know that there are other factors at play, such as space on the page, your bid, and ad relevance.

Positive third-party reviews can boost your CTR and your credibility as an online resource and authority. If you’ve receive a glowing report, a rave review, or two thumbs up from a reputable source, leverage its power to help you reach and connect with your audience.