What longer search terms mean for content marketing

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As the amount of information available on the web increases, search engines are getting smarter. Companies hoping to reach online audiences through content marketing will increasingly need to adopt smarter tactics to do so. And one particularly relevant trend is the growing length of the search terms people are using to find the most useful content online.

We recently found that the companies that find success online are likely to be those that create high quality and useful content. Now, a report from information services company Experian has highlighted another search trend: a shift to longer keyword searches.

In 2011, says the report, half of all online searches contained just one to two words. In 2012, however, this figure began to drop, with corresponding increases in the number of searches containing three to four words and five or more words.

Although the percentages involved are relatively small, the shift suggests users are becoming more sophisticated in the ways they search, says the report, in order to return more accurate results.

So what does this mean if your business is trying to attract people searching for your services online?

If you are publishing your own content, start by focusing on high-value and useful content that will help your audience. Whether people search using just a couple of words or a lengthier, more detailed search term, they are still looking for content that will answer their questions, solve their problems and provide them with products, services and ideas that can help them.

Also consider doing keyword research on your topic to find out the different phrases people are already searching for. By identifying the phrases of most interest, it will become easier to create content that addresses their most common questions and demonstrates how your company can meet their needs. That, after all, is one of the key reasons for spending time on content marketing in the first place.

Ultimately, whether your audience is using one word search terms or longer phrases, the more your content is geared towards their needs, the more likely you will be to show up in their search results. As the Experian report notes, ‘The success of search marketing has always been and will forever be ground in relevance.’

Have you noticed an increase in the length of search terms being used by visitors to your website? Do you use longer search terms to find the most relevant content online?

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