When doing SEO for your website, it’s key not to overlook the power of long tail keywords. In this article I will explain what long tail keywords are and why they are important to your SEO strategy.
Long tail keywords are any phrases that consist of 3 or more words that user’s type into search engines.
Search engines get used in many ways. The most tech savvy internet users understand that search engines work on keywords and they limit their searches to as few words as needed. I like to refer to these as head terms or head keywords.
However, there are plenty of people out there who will type in full on questions worthy of short paragraphs. These users are just as likely to purchase or interact with your website, assuming they find what they’re searching for.
Most online businesses try to go after the highest traffic producing terms, these terms are generally 1 or 2 words (head terms). The problem with targeting these types of keywords is that they are very competitive.
The more traffic a keyword has, the more competitive it will be. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to rank for competitive keywords, but you need to understand that getting page 1 rankings for very competitive keywords can take years and maintaining those rankings is no easy task.
This is why long tail keywords are so important. Not one single long tail keyword will produce huge volumes of traffic, but it will be nowhere near as competitive and will be easier to rank for.
Groups of long tail keywords can often times match or exceed the volume of some of the more competitive head terms, as a result, the overall difficulty of getting the equivalent volume of traffic can be significantly lower.
But how do you identify long tail keywords?
One way to identify long tail keywords is in your initial keyword research stage. When doing keyword research with your preferred keyword research tool, look for any keywords that contain 3 or more words. The more words, the easier it tends to rank. Remember to create pages on your website that include these long tail keywords within the content.
Another way to find long tail keywords is to look in your analytics. You will identify plenty of long tail keywords, many of which will already be somewhere on the first page. The beauty of these is that they are relatively easy to further improve rankings on.
You can even discover long tails by looking through Googles own search suggestions. By typing head terms into Google you will find that Google will begin suggesting different types of long tails based on your initial input. These suggestions are there because people search for them, and the longer they are, the easier they are to rank.
Last but not least, you can use your own input. Think how you would phrase a question on the topic you’re covering and chances are someone out there will ask that same question.
Creating a long tail ranking strategy is vitally important to the growth of your online business. In the meantime, you can continue to strive for those competitive head terms while growing your overall traffic from all sorts of long tail keywords.