David Franco
David Franco

Director of Strategy


Understanding Long Tail Keywords and Enterprise SEO

If you—like most businesses out there—are seeking a substantial improvement in your search engine rankings, especially for specific, targeted products, you’re in the right place.

Ideally, you’d like your business to appear in search engine results as high as possible, right?

Whether you’re well-versed in SEO or not, it’s easy to see why—the closer to the top of the list you are, the more clicks you’re likely to get. More clicks, more opportunity for inquiries—that’s how business works (for most of us, anyway). But how can you begin ranking higher on search engines, and further, how can you ensure that buyers are finding your business when they search for the products you offer?

That’s not as complicated or loaded of a question as it sounds. While there are plenty of techniques and strategies out there that can help you improve your SEO ranking, one of the most valuable (and clever) tactics can be to include enterprise SEO as part of your SEO strategy.

But what exactly is enterprise SEO, why does it matter, and how does it differ from a more broad-spectrum SEO strategy? Even more important, how can you use the right keywords in your chemical marketing strategy to ensure that buyers are finding you?

That’s precisely what we’re here to dive into. Let's talk enterprise SEO:

Understanding Long Tail Keywords

Today, we’re introducing you to the magic of long tail keywords.

Long tail keywords are those three and four keyword phrases which are very specific to the product you are selling. Whenever a potential buyer uses a highly specific search phrase, they tend to be looking for exactly what they are actually going to buy. In almost every case, such very specific searches are far more likely to convert to an inquiry than broad, more generic searches that tend to be geared more toward the type of research that chemists, scientists and consumers typically do prior to making a buying decision.

Below are three groups of keywords - each showing significantly different monthly search volume, as well as buyer’s journeys. Group A keywords are broad. Groups B and C are long tail:

Group A: Broad, Generic Search Keywords
Keyword Volume (Monthly Searches Google, US only)
glycerin 201,000
glycerol 201,000
vegetable glycerin 40,500
glycerine 27,100
glycerol structure 6,600
Group B: Higher Volume with Buying Intent
Keyword Volume (Monthly Searches Google, US only)
glycerin where to buy 4,400
where can I buy glycerin 1,600
buy glycerin 590
glycerin for sale 390
where can I find glycerin 320
Group C: Lowest Volume but Most Likely to Purchase Larger Quantity
Keyword Volume (Monthly Searches Google, US only)
food grade glycerin 1,000
vegetable glycerin food grade 880
bulk glycerin 320
glycerin supplier 170
glycerol bulk 110

The number 1 mistake we see marketers make is building their SEO strategy around keywords that have the highest volume. This makes no sense if you are not thinking through the buyer’s journey first! Group C is without a doubt showing queries related to buyers who are much later in the buying cycle and more likely to purchase in large quantities. If you are a chemical distributor or manufacturer, this group will likely produce inquiries that convert into the most revenue for your business.

Group B however is not to be overlooked if you operate an ecommerce store selling chemicals in smaller quantities. Group B is perfect for lab/research/consumer focused chemical businesses.

You can see that the total volume of searches in both Group B and Group C put together (9,780 monthly searches) is much less than the volume in the Group A queries. Volume should not be your focus. If your website ranks high on page 1 for the 10 keywords in Group B and C, you will receive significantly more SALES QUALIFIED INQUIRIES than if you were to focus all of your efforts on the keywords in Group A.

How to Pick the Perfect Keywords for Your Chemical Business

Begin by Doing Your Research

There is no substitute for putting in the time and performing keyword research, determining which keywords with the proper buyer’s intent have enough traffic to make them worth going after.

Use a keyword tool to help you pin down these exact key phrases that buyers use when searching for your products. At HEXNET, we use Ahrefs Keyword Explorer and/or MOZ Keyword Explorer, but there are plenty of free alternatives out there that you can use!

Here are some free keyword tools to help get you started with your local SEO:

  1. Google Trends;
  2. Keyword Sheeter;
  3. Answer the Public;
  4. Keyword Surfer;
  5. Keyworddit;
  6. Google Search Console;
  7. Questiondb;
  8. Bulk Keyword Generator;
  9. Google (bottom of every page after you search will provide suggestions);
  10. Keyword Generator

Optimize for Business-Specific Keywords

This advice is short and sweet—never try to rank for keywords that don’t make sense for your business. As a chemical company looking to improve sales, you don’t need to try to reign in a crowd that’s looking for academic or research based information. It can be tempting to try to get more eyes on your page than ever, but if someone is ultimately looking for academic information and your website appears in the search results and they click onto your site, that click can be damaging. What happens is, the person clicks onto your site and when they see you are focused on selling chemicals rather than providing the academic info they were looking for, they will immediately click off of your site. This is called a bounce. Bounce rates like this example can be devastating for your SEO—plus, this type of strategy doesn’t set you up for sales qualified inquiries who are looking to purchase from you.

Don’t Forget Modifiers

Queries that modify keywords are exceptionally helpful when it comes to focusing on buyer’s intent. Try adding in keyword modifiers like “bulk” or “wholesale” to your keywords to help add in modifications that will help your strategy attract more sales qualified inquiries. Build your list of modifiers and then make sure that EVERY product your company sells is using these modifiers in your SEO strategy. Essentially, a modifier is just an organized way to build your long tail keyword strategy. It’s the first step in building your enterprise SEO strategy.

Building Your Enterprise SEO Strategy

Build a Web Application

Once you have performed your keyword research and you understand all the different ways buyers are searching for the products you offer, the next step is to build a web application. When we say web application, we are not referring to a Word Press website. Technically, a Word Press website IS a web application, Word Press uses a MySQL database and includes a very popular Content Management System (CMS). However, in the 17 years of performing SEO in the chemical industry, we have never seen a Word Press website using a Yoast or similar SEO plugin outrank a custom web application. They are NOT comparable.

So what is a custom web application? In the simplest terms, a database driven website that is built (programmed) to serve content according to a very specific set of rules. Database driven meaning there is a web based database server that stores all of your information. The website itself is built with dynamic page templates that serve content that is stored in a database. A custom CMS is required to update the data and control the way content is displayed on your website. The CMS is also used to maintain your enterprise SEO strategies.

Enterprise SEO is a term usually reserved for only the largest organizations running websites containing thousands, if not millions of pages. You don't have to be a giant to run an effective enterprise SEO strategy.  You only need a list of the products you sell and a long list of all the keywords buyer's use to search for your products.

Your product list is the key to your SEO scalability.

By building a web application with a well thought out set of rules, we can scale and automate SEO efforts. For example, remember those modifiers we spoke about above? We can have our web application create a list of 10-20 modifier keywords and apply this list to every product that is added to the website.  Assuming our modifier list is 10 variants and we add 500 products, we can now optimize our website for 5,000 keywords just by adding the products as you would normally do anyway. 

Taking this a step further, the reality is we typically use 30 to 40 modifiers per product in our web applications for chemical brands.  We then add AI (machine learning), and teach our client's website to self optimize, adjusting content or modifying the internal linking structure within the web application according to various events.  If you were wondering why all HEXNET client's website rank so well in search results, well, now you know :)

The Yoast SEO plugin or any plugin cannot complete with a web application that has been built for enterprise SEO. In fairness, most professional SEO agencies can’t compete with a properly built and self-optimizing web application.

So when the time comes to update your website, whether you build the website internally or hire a vendor, you should be looking to build a custom web application and not a Word Press website. That is, if you are serious about SEO.

Feeling a little overwhelmed? There is help if you need it.

ChemSource Technology

Targeting potential customers who are 'late' in the buyer’s journey with long tail keywords, is exactly what HEXNET has specialized in since 2004. We are so obsessed with SEO for the chemical industry that we built our own software, ChemSource. We continuously collect data from across the chemical industry and teach our technology how to improve our client's websites and search results.

In January 2021, HEXNET launched GJ Chemical’s new website built on our ChemSource technology. In just 4 short weeks, GJ’s key products were ranking very well and total inquiries are up.

ChemSource SEO for Chemical Companies

Work with a Qualified Partner

SEO should be a primary focus of your chemical business’ marketing strategy, which ultimately means it should play a key role in your company’s overall growth strategy. If you’re looking for assistance getting your SEO perfected, we can help.

As we mentioned, HEXNET has been working with chemical companies since 2005 and we’ve produced nearly 1 million sales qualified inquiries to date. There is not a more experienced SEO agency available in the chemical industry.

We have mindfully curated a professional team of SEO experts to help dramatically enhance your digital marketing strategies by deploying and optimizing our ChemSource technology for your business.

All of our client’s will receive a license to use ChemSource as your website’s backend indefinitely. YOU own and host your website, not HEXNET.

We’re here to help—we’d be proud to be the qualified partner you’ve been searching for.


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