3 Clever Ways To Use Long-Tail Keywords To Boost Your Seo.

Long-Tail Keywords

3 Clever Ways To Use Long-Tail Keywords To Boost Your Seo.

Long tail keywords are search queries that contain three or more words and are more specific than short, general keywords. While short keywords consist of one or two words and attract a high volume of searches, long-tail keywords are more niche and targeted. 

For example, “gym shoes” is a long-tail variation of the short keyword “shoes.” Although “gym shoes” may not get searched as frequently as just “shoes,” searches for longer, more precise phrases indicate a searcher’s specific intent. The term “gym shoes” shows that someone is looking for footwear to use while exercising, versus simply browsing all shoes.

In summary, long tail keywords are longer, more specific phrases in a search query that demonstrate a user’s clear search intent. They provide businesses an opportunity to appear for narrower, targeted terms that closely align with their products or services.

Why Long Tail Keywords Matter

Long tail keywords tend to have significantly lower competition than short tail keywords, making them easier to rank for in search. Short tail keywords (such as “shoes”) often attract large amounts of competition from major brands and retailers. However, long tail variations of that keyword (“comfortable walking shoes for travel”) will have lower competition from fewer optimized pages.

This creates an opportunity to target hundreds or thousands of low-competition long-tail keywords related to a broader topic and accumulate traffic from multiple keyword phrases. While short-tail keywords may have high search volume, long tail can collectively drive significant traffic as part of a long-tail strategy. The lower barrier to gaining rankings can make growing organic search traffic more achievable for sites targeting long-tail keywords.

Characteristics of Long Tail Keywords

Typically 3-5 words long tail keywords often contain 3-5 words, which allows them to precisely describe the subject or topic they target. They tend to be more specific and convey the intent of the searcher. For example, “best running shoes for flat feet” contains 4 words.

Low search volume – Compared to more common short tail keywords, long tail keywords have low monthly search volumes, averaging in the tens or hundreds rather than thousands or more. They appeal to a niche audience interested in a specific subject.

Specific informational focus – Long tail keywords hone in on a very particular topic, question, or issue. This allows you to create highly relevant, targeted content. The searcher has a clear intent and need for information.

Less competition – The narrow focus and low volume of long tail keywords means there is less competition for them. It’s easier to rank for these terms than more common short tail variations.

Convert well – People searching for long tail keywords have high intent to complete an action or convert. The specificity shows they are further down the purchase funnel and ready to engage. This leads to higher conversion rates.

Drive targeted traffic – Although long tail keywords bring less traffic, it is highly targeted and relevant. These visitors have a strong interest in your subject matter. Targeted traffic has more value than generic traffic.

Finding Long-Tail Keyword Opportunities

Long-tail keywords represent significant opportunities, but how do you go about finding good long-tail keyword prospects for your site or content? Here are some tips:

Use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs to generate keyword ideas and see search volume data. Look for keywords with decent search volume but low competition. This points to opportunity.

Analyze keywords that are already driving traffic to your site. Look at your analytics for organic search terms bringing visitors. Find low-competition keywords to optimize and target.

Brainstorm specifics and long-form versions of topics relevant to your site. For a fitness site, general keywords would be “exercise” while long tail versions could be “at-home HIIT workout routines for beginners.” 

Research long-form variations of your existing pillar pages and topics. Turn general posts into in-depth guides optimized with long tail keywords.

Look at “Questions” that people ask on forums related to your site’s niche. These often make good long-tail targets.

Use keyword grouping/clustering tools to find additional keyword opportunities related to your core terms.

Analyze competitor sites and see what long tail terms are ranking for them. Target these yourself if low competition.

Thorough keyword research is key for long-tail success. Look beyond just volume and go after the right long-tail keywords aligned with your content and niche. This is where you’ll find golden opportunities.

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Optimizing for Long-Tail Keywords 

On-page optimization is crucial for ranking for long tail keywords. Here are some tips:

Use your target long tail keywords in your title tags and headings (H1, H2, H3 tags). These should appear naturally in your content.

Include your target keywords in the meta description. This helps search engines understand what the page is about.  

Use your target long tail keywords throughout the content, but don’t over-optimize. The keywords should appear naturally in the text. Aim for a keyword density of 1-3%.

Include related long-tail keywords and synonyms in your content. This helps expand the reach.

Optimize your images with descriptive alt text and filenames containing keywords. 

Structure your content with plenty of headings and subheadings related to your keywords. This improves on-page SEO.

Use outgoing links to authority sites to help establish page authority. Anchor text can include keywords.

Ensure a good user experience – easy to scan headings, useful multimedia, and compelling content. This helps with dwell time and bounce rate.

Follow on-page SEO best practices like meta tags, site architecture, page speed, etc. Proper technical SEO improves indexing.

The key is using long tail keywords naturally throughout on-page elements. Avoid over-optimization. Create useful, engaging content that targets long-tail searches.

Pros of Long Tail Keywords

Long tail keywords tend to be less competitive and have more conversion potential compared to short tail keywords. Here are some of the key pros:

Less competitive– Short tail keywords like “software” tend to have lots of competition from high authority sites. Long tail versions like “time tracking software for remote teams” are more specific so there is less competition. This makes it easier to rank long-tail keywords organically.

More conversion potential – People searching for long tail keywords have very specific intent. For example, someone searching for “vegan recipes using chickpeas” is much more likely to convert than someone just searching “vegan recipes”. The more specific the keyword, the more likely the searcher is ready to take action.

Lower cost per click – For paid search campaigns like Google Ads, long tail keywords can cost less per click since there is less competition bidding on them. Less competition leads to lower costs.

More targeted traffic – Long tail traffic converts better because it is so tailored to your content. Less irrelevant traffic comes to your site.

Increases topical authority – Targeting specific long tail keywords reinforces your site as an authority on those topics, helping earn trust and reputation with Google.

In summary, long tail keywords enable a site to tap into less competitive searches with more qualified and convertible traffic. This makes them a powerful tool for SEO and driving targeted visitors to your site.

Cons of Long-Tail Keywords

Although long-tail keywords offer many benefits, they also come with some potential drawbacks to consider:

Lower search volume – The main downside of long-tail keywords is that they have lower search volume compared to short tail, head terms. While you can rank well for lots of long-tail keywords, each one may only deliver a handful of visits per month. This can make it challenging to drive significant traffic with long tails alone. You generally need a healthy mix of short and long-tail keywords for the best results.

Difficult to target – With their inherent specificity, long tail keywords can be more difficult to identify and target in your content. It takes work to research relevant long-tail opportunities around a topic.

Less efficient use of resources – Creating content for long tail keywords requires you to produce a greater volume of pages. This can mean more time and effort spent creating and optimizing content. The ROI may be lower per piece of content.

Dilution of authority – As you target more niche long tails, it can spread your domain authority and rankings across many pages instead of consolidating it into one strong page. This can make it harder to rank for competitive short-tail terms.

So while long-tail keywords offer benefits like lower competition and higher conversion rates, they do come with tradeoffs to consider. The best keyword strategy utilizes both short and long-tail terms.

Long Tail vs Short Tail Keywords

Short tail keywords have high search volume but also high competition. While they attract high traffic, the conversion rate tends to be lower because search intent is broad and they attract everyone from casual research to commercial buyers. 

Long tail keywords have lower search volume but also much lower competition. They attract a more targeted, relevant audience with high purchase intent. Consequently, long-tail keywords tend to have a higher conversion rate despite driving less overall traffic.

For example, “pizza delivery” is a short-tail keyword with a huge monthly search volume. But competition is intense from national brands to small local pizzerias. Searchers could be students looking for late-night delivery or event planners arranging catering.  

Compare that to a long-tail version like “organic gluten-free pizza delivery San Francisco.” This long-tail keyword targets a niche audience of health-conscious buyers looking for specific options in their area. The traffic is a fraction of the short tail version, but the smaller audience converts at a much higher rate.

The long tail offers a tradeoff – lower volume but higher conversion against the short tail’s higher volume but lower conversion. Businesses should aim for a balanced mix of short and long-tail keywords to drive both traffic and revenue. Long tails bring targeted visitors who convert, while short tails attract a wider audience to build awareness and exposure.

Long Tail Keyword Examples

Long tail keywords are more specific, niche phrases that generally have lower search volume but higher conversion rates. Here are some examples of successful long tail keywords:

best hiking trails for families near me

gluten-free pumpkin cookie recipes 

2020 Honda Civic lx features

how to train a golden retriever puppy

beginner full body workout routine

best sunset photography locations in Arizona

benefits of daily meditation for anxiety

These long tail variations of broader topics allow you to target users further down the intent funnel. For instance, someone searching for “hiking trails near me” may still be in the research phase, while “best hiking trails for families near me” indicates they’re closer to taking action. 

Optimizing for long-tail keywords can help you capture that more focused audience and increase your chances of conversion. Keywords like “gluten-free cookie recipes” have lots of competition, but a more specific phrase like “gluten-free pumpkin cookie recipes” lets you rank for users who have particular needs and interests.

Long tail keywords with multiple modifiers tend to have very low competition but highly motivated searchers. Ranking for “how to train a golden retriever puppy” gives you access to an interested buyer persona looking for very tailored information.

Key Takeaways

Long tail keywords are more specific, low-competition search queries that bring in targeted traffic to your site.  

Targeting long-

 keywords can help you rank better and improve the quality of visitors to your site. 

Long tail keywords have low monthly search volume individually but high search volume collectively.

Finding and optimizing for long tail keywords takes research and effort, but can pay off with organic traffic.

Pros of long tail keywords are improved relevancy, better conversion rates, and easier ranking. Cons are low individual search volume.

Long tail and short tail keywords both have their place in an effective SEO strategy and one does not replace the other.

Examples of long tail keywords are multi-word niche phrases like “benefits of daily meditation for stress” or “DIY home improvement for beginners”.

The main points about long tail keywords are their specificity, easier SEO value, and collective volume adding up despite low individual searches. Using long tail keywords along with short tail is key.

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