Keyword Strategy


Exhibit 18.10   Short tail keywords are better suited for targeting prospects at the start of the digital marketing funnel, whereas long tail keywords work for lead and customers who have progressed down the funnel.

Marketers, especially the bigger players in a category, should use short tail, category keywords to draw high traffic to their home page. Though conversion rates are likely to be low, these keywords are good for targeting prospects in the start of the digital marketing funnel (Exhibit 18.10).

They should use longer phrases that more specific in nature for targeting visitor and leads who have progressed further down the funnel. Examples of these long tail keywords include “anti-dandruff shampoo”, “marketing analytics for practitioners” and “front-loading low suds washing machines”. They generate lower, but better-targeted search volume that triggers relatively higher conversion rate. They also attract lesser competition.

For affordability reasons, smaller players may choose to target category keywords less frequently than their bigger rivals. Though these keywords are effective in drawing high traffic, the high level of competition makes them relatively expensive.

While fundamental to the success of any product, it is vital for the survival of smaller brands that they remain well-differentiated, that they craft an identity that distinguishes them from their big competitors.

Well-differentiated brands can target their brand specific keywords, i.e. USPs or points of difference. Not only would this incur lower bids, it would also yield better click-through and acquisition rates.

In addition to long tail, brand specific key words, these players may consider targeting competitor keywords especially those associated with market leaders. However, one needs to be mindful of legal implications especially when targeting trademarks such as brand names, as this is illegal in a number of countries.


Exhibit 18.11   SendGrid’s and GetResponse’s ads appears near the top for the search query “constant contact”, which shows that these companies are targeting their competitor’s keyword.

In Exhibit 18.11 SendGrid’s and GetResponse’s ads appears near the top for the search query “constant contact”, which shows that these companies are targeting their competitor’s keyword in their effort to cannibalize the traffic going to the Constant Contact site, and increase the awareness of their brands.

Targeting competitor’s keyword is expensive because quality scores tend to be low due to lack of relevance and weak landing page quality. Moreover if the competitor tries to pre-empt, as is the case for SendGrid and GetResponse (Exhibit 18.11), it would be difficult to secure the top slot.

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