What Netflix Can Teach Us About Long-Tail Keywords

A few lessons from our favourite streaming service, Netflix!

You can't help but notice some of the erm stranger categories that pop up on Netflix, my favourite so far has to be 'mysterious films with a strong female lead' very specific. But it tells me what I want to know, and whilst I usually head straight to the horror section I do occasionally stop to browse the rather strange collection of category titles. 

As highlighted by this great article from Search Engine Land, Netflix know what they're doing. They don't create these categories for fun, it's all within their search strategy. 

Netflix want to understand their customers, they want to understand them REALLY well so it's a clever move from them. As SEO moves towards a more personalised approach, longer-tail keywords and the strategies used by Netflix will become much more common across the web. 

But you might be thinking, sure this is great for Netflix but I'm unable to collate this level of information about my customers. How can this strategy work for me? 

Use your Google Analytics to drill into your customer base, how old are they? what gender are they? what do they search for the most? You get the gist. Use this data to create relevant longer tail keywords to make your SEO more personalised to the user. 

For example, perhaps you own an online homeware boutique. Your audience base is young and they want on trend accessories for their home. Rather than your standard 'home accessories' categories understand what your users are looking for. Is it 'contemporary home accessories' or 'Scandinavian style home accessories' - know what your average user wants and personalise your SEO to meet their needs. We can all take a leaf out of the Netflix book here! 

Anyone who has ever used Netflix knows about their very obscure categories. Categories like “Imaginative Time Travel Movies From The 1980s,” “Understated Detective TV Shows” and “Witty Dysfunctional Family TV Animated Comedies” may seem outrageous on the surface, but their purpose is actually right on. Netflix is obsessed with trying to learn exactly what their individual users want to see. They don’t just pull these categories out of nowhere. They are backed by data. As SEO gets more and more personalized, we can learn a lot from these obscure Netflix categories and drive more targeted traffic with hyper-focused long-tail keywords. Keyword research still matters. There are many in the field who seem to believe that keywords are no longer important and that focusing more on topical authority is the way to go.

Recent posts from Lilac James

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