To get some customers, I wanted to get all the customers.

I needed to write web content to get customers. But what? And what should I do first? And forget about a sales strategy or a way to build relationships with potential customers. These weren’t on my radar. I knew that I could do these things for you, but I wasn’t thinking strategically for me. It was this task and then the next. Micro focused. 

Luckily, through optimizing my sales tools (i.e. website) I was able to articulate the path to leads, prospects, and even customers. Now, I get to share this discovery.

In this article, I’ll show small-to-medium sized businesses an easy way to build a sales strategy. I’ll show how the free digital marketing data that answers “what should I blog about?” also tells you how people search for information, tools related to your service, and even people who are ready to buy your service.

Infographic: SEO for small businesses MAKING A LONG TAIL PRO

One of the best SEO tips for small businesses is how to use Long Tail Keywords. Whether you own or manage a shop, have a law, chiropractic, or dental practice, these subsets can be the equalizer when competing with businesses that have budgets to get sponsored ranking or pay for SEO services to build their organic SEO rankings. 

BY THE NUMBERS: Over 70% of search queries are Long Tail terms.(*Source Protocol, Inc.)

The Long Tail Keyword definition is a phrase with more than three keywords. Protocol 80 published a great little blog last year to set the stage for how to use them. Here’s why they matter: while they are phrases with low competition and relatively low search volume, these phrases are SUPER RELEVANT to what you do. Therefore, Long-Tail Keywords do what you want them to do – increase rankings, unique content and high-quality traffic to your site. As one writer put it, if this were a boxing match, Long-Tail Keywords would be a technically superb boxer, rather than the big swinging, hard hitter (who misses big, too).

The challenge/opportunity for say, small businesses, is that they rarely think strategy first. They tend to want all the customers they can get, like me.

But Long Tail Keywords do you a big favor; they force you to be specific about the problems you solve for your customers, creating some focus for your business, while zeroing-in on how to become easier to find.


Backlinko.com published this helpful post on how to access Long Tail keywords relevant to your business. Some notes from the article:

– How to use Ubersuggest.org, which I use more than I drink water.
– A free alternative to Google Keyword Planner is simply the “searches related to…” box at the bottom of Google search results
– Tips for brainstorming keywords
– Soovle.com is another free tool to mine Long Tail Keywords from Amazon, Wikipedia, Ask.com, Google Suggest, and YouTube
– AnswerThePublic.com, a helpful keyword research tool for uncovering question-focused keywords

The tips go on and on. And they’re all free and save you a lot of time.

So we’ll use the tools above to fulfill the next step: mine keywords phrases that will be used to create the inbound marketing for a basic, three-stage sales funnel (AKA conversion funnel).

TOP OF FUNNEL shopper – awareness

MIDDLE to prospect – subscription

BOTTOM to customer – sales

Note: the goals of each stage, from top to bottom, being to convert awareness, subscription, and finally, sale


Let’s say you’re a restaurant manager and you wanted to learn SEO to get more restaurant customers. By thinking about the problem that we solve, which is better SEO ranking for better leads, I have two phrases I can use to find related long tail searches to use in digital marketing. These are the intent of the customer – learn SEO, and the context – get more customers.

We can go ahead and place the intent in the top of our funnel because learning SEO is a non-specific intent.  So you may not be looking to purchase if you to learn about it. This is an opportunity to raise awareness about my services by giving you valuable info. Using my Long Tail Keyword strategy, I can allow the keyword phrases that make the most sense for me to offer to the customer. So I decided to make a podcast (not really… yet) that is relevant, valuable, and has fresh content. Other asset options at this point in the funnel are blog posts, infographics, or a newsletter.

I name the podcast “Learn SEO from scratch” that organically includes phrases like “how to get more customers in a restaurant” in the content, or “SEO step by step.”

You get the picture.

BONUS TOOL: How to Create a Conversion Centered Keyword Strategyhttp://bit.ly/2B3paoq (comment below if you try any of these tips)

Referring again to our conversion funnel, in the middle of the pipe are people who have passed the getting to know you phase. They aren’t looking for a soup-to-nuts DIY solution. They need a tool they can use.

For example Intent/context: Find free SEO lesson/ to learn quickly
Keywords: free SEO courses online, free SEO training for beginners, free SEO lessons online, learn SEO quickly, how to learn SEO quickly, learn SEO quickly

Given the intent, we can use our Long Tail Keyword research to create an asset to satisfy this need, while acknowledging the prospect’s mid-funnel sales cycle entry point. Here we can request value for value, not like the free thought leadership we would give to someone who is generally interested. Not a big ask, just an email. So, in exchange for SEO Keyword Generator tool (a tool we could offer) or a download called Cheat Sheet: Learn SEO Quickly, we could ask for an email opt-in and ask if we could send more valuable content straight to them. Other asset ideas for the middle of the conversion cycle include events, webinars, coupons or discounts.

Finally, there is the bottom of the conversion funnel. These are the people who are ready to buy. Two examples:
Intent/context: Buy SEO services/in Cincinnati Ohio
Intent/context: Pricing for SEO/in Cincinnati
Keywords: Buy SEO near me, Reviews of SEO in Cincinnati

Once again, combining the prospect’s need with the keywords, we determine the placement on the cycle. On the bottom, we use assets like demos, free trials, reviews, or product details. Again, these prospects are ready to buy.

The key to all of this is you can create as many web pages/assets as you want to satisfy as many needs as are relevant to your customers.

This is the quick and dirty cheat sheet for small businesses out there who are looking for guidance on what assets to create to increase sales. I also use it to inform social media posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Note: I have to thank DigitalMarketer for teaching me SEO strategies.

If this is helpful, please comment and share, mainly if you use this to create a content strategy. I’m excited for you to see the clarity it brings.


INFOGRAPHIC courtesy of Hittail and Protocol 80