Search marketing has had to evolve because of the enormous amount of competition in every sales niche. It is no longer a matter of simply targeting a few relevant key phrases and obtaining links that attract attention from the search engines.
Marketing professionals like to think of search terms as being categorized according to their length, meaning, and descriptive impression. One can use the analogy of a whale or large fish to divide up these search phrases. There is the head where everything starts, the chunky middle, and the long-tail. Each of these points to a certain type of search phrase, and the search engines favor those advertisements and web content that contain a good mixture of them.
Separating the Chunky Middle
Head terms were once the prized key phrases used in Internet marketing. These are generally one-or two-word terms that contain primarily nouns. If a fishing supply store sells its items online, good head terms would include names like ‘spinning reels’, ‘hip waders’, and ‘tackle boxes’, all of which are commonly typed in as search terms by online shoppers.
As competition for these terms became fierce, marketing strategists began to develop tools for their clients that focused more and more on the long-tail search terms. These search phrases are lower in volume but still high in relevance. Demographically oriented terms such as ‘tackle boxes in Asheville NC’ would fit into the long-tail classification.
Websites were often constructed in such a way as to take advantage of consumer searches containing spelling errors and long-winded phrases. Google and other search engines have evolved in their relevance practices as to make this somewhat outdated. The space in between and head phrases is where the chunky middle of SEO comes into play.
Example Of Chunky Middle Strategy
Chunky middle search phrases are not too broad or too long. They are relevant enough to satisfy the search engines because they appear throughout the website content. There are also enough of them being utilized that the search engines can identify them with a particular page on the website, something that is critical when it comes to successful SEO practice.
Sometimes referred to as torso terms, chunky middle phrases can be more about decision making and purchasing than are the head terms. The idea is to avoid the competition by using medium-length terms that suggest why a particular product or service is worthwhile and desirable, with an emphasis on closing the deal.
In other words, the head terms get the most traffic, but what serious Internet marketers want is qualified traffic. Chunky middle advertising strategies are used to create a definite pathway to whatever the consumer is searching for. Using plenty of medium-length search phrases for every department in the aforementioned fishing supply outlet results in heavier traffic from fishing enthusiasts as a whole.
However, this is not the end of the strategy. The heavier traffic also allows the marketing professional to target the individual departments on his/her online store more effectively. The search engines will rank more favorably for all types of fishing tackle if there are relevant product pages on the website.
Professional Help Available
This can sound very confusing to the retailer or aspiring webmaster who may have little SEO knowledge or time to grasp the complexities of online marketing. The good news is that there are more tools and information available for those wanting to seize opportunities in search marketing.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Jason Nelson authored this article for Ascent Internet, a Utah online marketing company.