What are Long Tail Keywords?
Long tail keywords are how the majority of the population searches the internet.
Keyword research remains one of the most effective strategies for driving business growth online. It should be a driving feature of your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy.
If you are unfamiliar with SEO, then take a look at this article on how it can make or break your business’s online presence. In essence, it is how you get your website to rank higher on a search engine results page (SERPs) which translates into more visibility for your business.
SEO will be your long term strategy to drive consistent organic growth. Not only will traffic be from targeted demographics, but the exposure will attract people that will convert into customers.
No longer is SEO considered some hidden trick. It is a large fraction of your digital marketing strategy and is a scalable method as you grow.
- Nearly 90% of web traffic is generated by search engines.
- Over 40% of all ecommerce traffic is from organic searches
Organic traffic may be the bulk of traffic your industry experiences. Don’t fall behind because SEO was ignored.
Now onto what are long tail keywords?
Keywords are the words and phrases people use to search online for products and information.
Long tail keywords are search phrases with typically over 4+ words. They are more specific search terms and usually represent a demographic more willing to convert.
There are lots of keyword opportunities out there. Although long tail keywords represent smaller volumes of searches, more than 70% of all Google searches are long tail searches.
You may find it intuitive to try to rank for the highest volume searches.
While you are partially correct, you will have your work cut out for you. It may be near impossible to rank for broad categories or even specific niches that have been filled out. You need to be mindful of your competition.
A long tail keyword is the difference between targeting ‘cars’ and ‘used cars in Atlanta.’ You can probably comprehend there is less competition when you take the long tail path.
Takeaway: Don’t linger in over-saturated markets.
How Long Tail Keywords Fit into Your Keyword Research Strategy
With nearly 75% of search engines users not making it past the first page of a SERP, you will have to do your due diligence with keyword research if you ever hope to get search traffic.
Ultimately, it depends on what your goals are. But visibility can define a company’s success.
- Are you trying to attract visitors to buy a product/service?
- Are you aiming simply for the most traffic possible?
- Are you trying to rank first for a keyword on Google?
- Is the majority of your business local or online?
That being said, long tail keywords should be part of any well rounded keyword research strategy.
More specific keywords have a higher probability of conversion. Namely because they are direct and almost telegraph what stage of the buying cycle your potential customers are in.
With nearly half of all ecommerce traffic being organic and a majority of search queries being long tail keywords, it’s up to you to identify the right ones. With 92% of searches getting 10 searches per month, if not fewer, the name of the game will be numbers.
They are much more realistic searches and are proven to be far easier to rank for than generic umbrella topics.
For example, if you own a fishing charter company, your intuition may tell you to rank for anything mentioning ‘Florida’ to get the most traffic. However, ‘fishing charter in Tampa’ might be a more reasonable long tail keyword to index in if you’re based in Tampa. Rather than try to take on the entire state at once.
Searches and long tail keywords like the one just mentioned aren’t terribly difficult to brainstorm because normal people search using long tail keywords.
Long tail keywords will help you rank for short tail keywords as well. Not everyone can rank high for short tail keywords.
But a collection of high ranking pages from a collection of long tail keywords will bolster your overall rank. For businesses such as news sites, it’s their bread and butter to have the best ranking for hundreds if not thousands of pages.
Long tail keywords will provide invaluable market insight to your customers. And they will lay the foundation for your digital marketing strategy.
Finding keywords to be an authority in will carve out buyer pathways that you can optimize, whether it be through:
- Creating Content
- Google Ads PPC
How to Find Long Tail Keywords
To begin with, you are going to need to brainstorm ‘seed keywords’ that will shed light on groups of potential keywords. These are any short tail keywords that can be converted into dozens of long tail keyword phrases.
Keep in mind though that you need to balance the number of searches with the specificity. Not too many, not too little, not too broad.
Furniture may become:
- Furniture reupholstery near me
- Mid-century sofa for sale
- Furniture consignment store Chicago
Google is smart about grouping keywords too. They use what is called latent semantic indexing (LSI) to group keywords similar to a broader parent word. It helps Google keep track of content that is more in depth.
They also provide you with a keyword planning tool. Google Keyword Planner analyzes keyword data like:
- Volume of searches
- Related keywords
- Bid estimates for Google Ads PPC
- Level of competition (more valuable than you think)
Finding keywords to rank for will take a bit of industry wisdom. But there are ways to get your brain jogging.
When you need new keyword ideas for content or want to target new demographics, you need to do some research.
- Look at Google’s autocomplete
- What are the suggested searches?
- How does Wikipedia divide up a topic into subheadings
- What are common customer questions?
- What does Google’s FAQ/People Also Ask section suggest?
Keeping in mind buyer personas, try to come up with reasonable keyword searches that would relate to your content. Knowing buyer personas and what stage people are in the sales funnel will shed light on what long tail keywords to vet.
When it comes to long tail keywords, buyers are usually in the purchasing stage and are more likely to convert to customers. A buyer may look up something like ‘used Toyota Rav4’ instead of ‘small SUV’ so it’s worthwhile to know how specific to be.
Someone in the awareness stage might search ‘what are reliable cars.’
An interested person might search ‘Toyota safety rating.’
A decisive person might search ‘used Toyota dealerships.’
Someone ready to take action ASAP searches ‘used Toyota Rav4 in Atlanta.’
Long tail keywords give you a lot more freedom to specify your target audience. They are high intention while being lower competition.
The name of the game is to quantify intent and translate these into long tail keywords. This will give insight into buyer pathways and give you a realistic idea of your audience.
Something like ‘scuba diving’ might have heavy competition. It is a worthwhile keyword to include alongside demographics and location targeting. It may also be worthwhile to target lower competition long tail keywords like:
- scuba diving certification near me
- scuba diving tours in Destin
- local scuba diving charter
- beginner scuba diving classes Destin
Look at your industry competition as well. You are doing yourself a disservice to not take a look at what websites are ranking high for your keywords.
Using a plethora of free software and keyword research tools, you can look at keyword analytics such as domain and page authorities of ranking websites. Some even compile keyword difficulty to let you know how competitive a market may be.
Take a look who has paid for ads on these searches as well.
Carving out your niche will be a lot less challenging than taking on high authority sites.
Keeping in mind what you know about your industry, competition, and from your keyword research, compile a list. Try to trim the fat and not be redundant as well, you want to be precise and effective.
Also, long tail keywords are not confined in typed queries. Now more than ever, voice search is paving its way in the digital marketing scene. In fact, several studies have shown that most users today prefer using voice assistants like Siri and Alexa compared to the traditional typed searches. So you need to make sure to optimize your content for voice search using long tail keywords in conversational, natural language.
You see, keywords are all about the right traffic.
Measure Your Results
What’s important with any great goal is that it is both well defined and measurable. Your goal may be to attract the most visitors, or it may be to sell the most of your product. Nonetheless, it is crucial to assign value to keywords so that you have some sort of metric to go by.
- If you are looking to generate pure traffic, assign a dollar value per impression.
- If you are seeking to rank high on a SERP, measure your page/domain authority.
- If you are looking for sales through PPC, assign a cost per impression, then a cost per visitor, and a cost per conversion.
There are also plenty of technical metrics to abide by as well. Google Analytics lets you track web page analytics such as visitor volume and page views.
You can also track keyword related metrics like bounce rate and duration. Tracking metrics that measure attention will let you know how relevant your page was to a search and how likely the visitor is to convert.
Google promotes this because bounce rate is an integral factor in their algorithm. They will knock pages that rank for irrelevant keywords. If people are frequently backing out after visiting your page, it will not promote it for the chosen keyword.
On the other hand, quality information will lose rank if indexed improperly.
Also, stay mindful of your authority because if you want to rank on the first page of the SERPs, you will most definitely have some competition. And you’ll need to have some established authority to convince Google to rank you above others.
You can remedy your rankings in a few ways:
- Improving content/SEO to increase authority
- Target keywords and markets with lower competition
Some other keyword planning tools can provide you with keyword difficulty. It’s important to stay aware of where your page stands and what steps you need to take to rank on the first page of a SERP. As an added bonus, these gem keywords with lower competition will cost less to target.
Consolidate Your Keywords
Google is pretty specific about what their algorithms are looking for. They want to promote authorities that can provide quality content to users.
You may want to make it a numbers game and target a ton of lower search volume long tail keywords. While this is technically a valid approach, Google doesn’t favor this kind of approach and would rather you rank against real competition.
Either way, you would have your work cut out for you trying to rank for many highly specific searches.
Long-tail keyword targeting will absolutely lead to high conversion rates. But it needs to be part of a larger strategy to gain online authority.
That being said, they also like sites that are very fleshed out. Using long tail keywords means you will be indexing for infinitely more searches, and you will need to create more pages. Google likes sites that can tie in lots of long tailed targeted pages to a central main offering.
Long tail keywords will be the secret behind your content creation strategy. Once you have established a pipeline and grasp how to find long tail keywords, it’s off to the races.
Creating consistent content will be how you build your online authority and draw in a lot of people. And long tail keywords are what will fill out your calendar. Like mentioned before, ranking for many related keywords will help boost your overall ranking.
Long tail keyword research is something that can be done at all times, and it targets one of the largest pain points of most companies, generating traffic and leads. You are effectively creating a pipeline of leads with a long term strategy that only strengthens with time.
Paid advertising is great but blogging and content creation has consistently remained more effective in customer-acquisition. Highly targeted content through long tail keywords provides more value to the reader.
Google’s PPC platform is great because it is not only free visibility, it is budget friendly by only charging per click. In essence they are delivering traffic with no guesswork. That is, beyond choosing successful keywords and converting once they land on your page.
Google Ads (formerly AdWords) offers a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) service that allows you to bid on keywords to deliver highly targeted ads. You can assign keywords and search criteria so that you are paying for the audience you want.
You’ve seen them every time you make a Google search.
This is what the Ads banners look like on a SERP. You may want to perform some searches to see if your competitors are making use of Google Ads.
Especially for long tail keywords, this can be a no-brainer way to attract visitors. High quality searches, alongside paying only for the click, make Google Ads an attractive option.
Take a look here how PPC can help grow small businesses, and why keyword research will be the lion’s share of a digital marketing plan.
They even help you tailor your ads to help you reach your specific goals. Much like SEO, PPC can be used to reach local searchers, the most customers, or the most sales. It all depends on your budget.
However, optimization can prove to be technically challenging. You might think about hiring professionals to help you implement PPC management services. Contact us to see how PPC could help expand your business. Our specialists are well versed with the advertising goals of a variety of industries and can help you reach them through PPC.
SEO is the process of optimizing your website so that it ranks higher on a search engine results page. Here, we’ve outlined some SEO best practices to help you improve your visibility online and prevent you from flying under the radar. However, keyword research makes SEO a guessing game for some.
For others, keyword research remains as the most effective way to help improve your SEO game and will ultimately translate into tomorrow’s revenue. It isn’t a pay to win system like Google PPC and relies on the value you can bring to consumers.
In essence, your job is to produce quality material that provides quality content that supports the user’s searches. This is measured through metrics assigned by Google’s algorithm.
Google is ultimately looking for credibility and user satisfaction when determining your rank. As well as a host of technical factors.
Some of these technical factors include:
- Mobile Accessibility
- Short Page Loading Times
- Clean link structure. No dead ends, no redundant links.
- Your site is optimized for popular keywords and related searches
A more comprehensive list can be found here.
If you’re familiar with SEO and want to know how to up your SEO game, take a look at these SEO hacks to outperform your competitors. SEO is a long term strategy, so keyword research will become routine maintenance for your digital marketing plan.
Keyword research and high value long tail keywords will help facilitate your SEO strategy. It will bring you targeted traffic through content, but it is up to you to close the sale. Your website needs to be navigable and accessible both to users and the search engines.
Elements such as those listed need to be optimized respective to your keywords:
- Meta Tags/Meta Description
- Image File Paths
- Anchor Text
Keyword relevance and appropriate use will benefit you in the long run over keyword density. Bounce rates and click through rates are also valuable metrics indirectly connected to good keyword research.
Because long tail keywords specify high intent, you can use the user pathways through your site to analyze what visitors were looking for and see where your relevancy strays.
Also, because long tail keywords are high intention searches, you can take advantage of Google SERP features such as structured data and local SEO.
Google prefers to display results for certain searches in structured ways such as those above. Optimizing content to fit these will help your content rank infinitely higher.
Location tends to be great keywords which will help your local SEO. To be displayed for a location you need to tie the location to your business through your website and social media.
If you think that your website’s SEO is a pain point and would like to discuss how you can reach your goals, contact us. We have helped businesses of all sizes rank higher on Google and garner more traffic through our SEO services.
If you’d like to read more about SEO take a look at this article where we discuss how much revenue SEO really produces.
Think About It
Hopefully this article will be a crash course on the importance of keyword research, and how long tail keywords can benefit you more than shorter keywords. SEO is fundamental to any industry’s digital marketing strategy. And Google’s PPC ads can be a very worthwhile investment for the right business targeting the right audience with the proper keywords.
The digital marketing landscape is always changing so regular SEO and keyword maintenance would put you ahead of the pack. Knowing the right long tail keywords can provide insight into your market by finding where the demand lies. Your business can better avoid keywords with low search volumes, and you’ll be seeing higher monthly searches in no time.
Having a digital marketing team focus on keyword research would definitely pay off in the long run. However, SEO is not a one-size fits all approach and can take some technical ability.
It’s worthwhile to hire professionals to implement digital marketing PPC campaigns. Or even scrub your website to boost your SEO. It’s important to constantly test your strategies and stay agile with best practices.
We here at LYFE Marketing, understand how important your time is. We want to be as transparent as possible with our services, so we’re happy to provide you with a free consultation today.
We strive to publish these articles so that you can invest the knowledge into your business. If you’d like to read more on keyword research, take a look at this further reading.