How To Identify Long-Tail Keywords And Use Them
Looking for an edge in the hypercompetitive world of enterprise SEO? If you want to rank for thousands of low-competition search terms that collectively drive massive traffic, then learn how to identify long-tail keywords. They aren’t the most glamorous, highly-coveted terms. But don’t underestimate their power to deliver results. Long-tail keywords are like the worker bees of search engine optimization (SEO). What’s more, if you combine them with your short-tail keywords, then you’ll dominate the purchase funnel with a powerful, sustainable organic search strategy.
What Are Long-Tail Keywords?
Google has indexed over 50 billion keywords. Of these, only approximately 10% show up in organic search results. The rest of the keywords can only be achieved via paid advertising. However, when properly implemented, these long-tail keywords can be quite powerful.
The Content Marketing Institute found that 70% of content marketers rely on long-tail keywords to drive traffic to their websites. As of 2015, 73% of marketers surveyed by Searchmetrics also say that long-tail keywords play a key role in their strategy. Here are some other facts about long-tail keywords. Low competition
People are more likely to look for information about these keywords rather than their competition. A long-tail keyword performs well on the first page of Google for a search query. There’s a lot of evidence showing that they’re the most lucrative and have the highest CTR. A long-tail keyword also takes longer to rank – which is a great thing if you’re more of a patient sort of person.
Think about it: the average marketer has 36 clickable terms on their page. But with a long-tail keyword, the odds are that the exact word or phrase you need will be on page 1 or 2 of Google for a query, with many more on page 3 or 4. Think of it as a signpost that users can recognize and remember. As a result, you’ll see greater organic traffic. In terms of how to identify long-tail keywords, all it takes is to put some research into the data.
Long-tail keywords are both long and short, so they qualify as two separate words (sometimes called a “double-exclamatory” keyword). A long-tail keyword has at least three or more words in the term. Here are two simple examples: He loves his daughter, and She is my daughter.
Though they both contain three words, these are not long-tail keywords. Each contains more than one word, so they aren’t long-tail keywords in the strictest sense. However, if you perform a search for “he loves his daughter” and a few other related terms (like “he loves my daughter” and “he loves me”), you’ll find that the phrase is used in other contexts. You can also shorten a longer keyword phrase using its associated short-tail keyword.
Benefits Of Using Long-Tail Keywords
If you look at the most-searched terms on Google, you’ll notice a long tail. According to search engine optimizer Ahrefs, “Many long-tail keywords appear relatively under-searched, and often, under-identified. These are the keywords that our data shows are most likely to make someone’s overall Google experience better.” You can use long-tail keywords to optimize your SEO tactics and your content strategy.
They give you a higher likelihood of ranking for searches, driving traffic, and even generating conversions. Additionally, if you optimize your content for long-tail keywords and include them in every article, video or social media post, then your audience will be exposed to them and begin to trust them. Long-tail keywords are hard-to-define. Better Accessibility – Although most of us are familiar with long-tail keywords and phrases, that’s not true for all.
While these keywords are accessible for readers, it’s the short-tail keywords that are harder to find. Every long-tail keyword you’ve used in your content is a long one. So when you’re promoting a product or service, getting people to click on the keywords you use can be a challenge. The problem is that short-tail keywords are found more often, and you don’t need to spend as much time and effort on them. But that’s not to say that every short-tail keyword is worthless. Because some are more highly targeted than others.
A good example is a local business that uses location-specific terms to drive its traffic. Long-tail keywords are massive organic search wins. Let’s break this down a bit. By adding millions of long-tail keywords to your content, you increase the number of possible search queries a searcher can come up with. Basically, long-tail keywords produce more queries than your competitors because they’re less commonly used.
In turn, you’ll rank for more than your competition and drive more conversions than them. Per a SearchMetrics study, the average conversion rate from a direct PPC ad was 4.4 percent. That’s a whole lot better than what your competitors are doing. In addition to traffic and conversions, Google gives a business extra context in their SERPs to support their marketing efforts.
Why Long-Tail Searches Are Valuable
Think about your target keywords. Which of them is being searched the most? Is it low-prestige terms such as Costco or Costco-like products, QuikTrip gas, gas stations, gas station location, etc.? If your answer is the latter, you have a massive opportunity to increase traffic. Let’s go over metrics that can help you identify long-tail keywords:
Traffic: A term’s search volume tells you how many people are searching for it. If a term has zero search volume, then it doesn’t matter how much traffic you drive to it. If a term has high traffic, it’s valuable. In fact, if you can drive more traffic to a long-tail term, then that term becomes more valuable.
Before we dive in, it’s worth noting that long-tail keywords are actually easier to rank for than short-tail ones. This is because they tend to be very similar to long-tail keywords from years before. That’s why it’s generally easier to rank for a long-tail keyword than a short-tail one.
After all, they are more likely to have already been processed millions of times before. That’s why you should focus on short-tail keywords as well. These can be relatively easy to rank for and generate lots of traffic to your website. But long-tail keywords can still be precious.
They don’t have to be used as anchors, although that’s where they often start. Instead, think of them as natural extensions of your content. You’ll want to watch your long-tail search terms for repetitive queries that contain the same search terms in the same order. Don’t be surprised if you find these patterns in your listings. It’s common. Repeat business is the rule, not the exception.
Scrape Them From Google
As a content marketing professional, you’re already involved in search engine optimization (SEO). It’s easy for you to find keywords that you can optimize for. Google keeps all of their search data in their search index. What you have to do is scrape this data to help you identify potential long-tail keywords. To perform this process, you’ll need to sign up for a Google Adwords account. If you already have a Google Analytics account, you can do this through the same method.
Once you’re logged in, go to the main AdWords tab on your account. Select “Your Analytics” from the drop-down menu. From there, click “Adwords Search” to reveal the data you’re looking for. First off, you’ll want to gather as much data as you can. It’s important to understand exactly what keywords your competitors are optimizing for to figure out how to best optimize for the long-tail keywords driving the traffic.
Get to know your competitors’ keywords by looking at the following suggested tools: All-in-one toolkit – Google Keyword Planner is one of the most popular tools in the industry. It’s a potent tool to help you identify relevant, low-competition keywords to rank for on Google. To save time, you can do some digging to analyze how a few of your competitors are optimizing for their keywords. If they’re optimizing for the longest and broadest terms, then that’s your short-tail keyword competition.
Tracking your own keywords can be intimidating. But there’s an easier way to access the long-tail content that powers your business: It’s easy with Google Keyword Planner. Let’s say you want to rank for the keyword “print design company”: It’s an easy-to-parse query and the first thing Google shows you. But take a closer look at that “local listing.”
The million-dollar keyword phrase “print design company” doesn’t appear until the seventh tab. That’s what’s called a long-tail keyword. And it’s an important term for this type of advertiser because it contains no competition (i.e., it doesn’t have to be ranked highly for traffic to appear). Long-tail keywords need to be recorded on an inbound marketing funnel, and that is where you can start.
Pull Topics From YouTube
As I’ve written about before, your website needs to start with a strong foundation of links. Then the focus should be placed on quality inbound links rather than quantity. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use YouTube in your SEO efforts. I watched a few hours of YouTube to learn about different channels on YouTube. Then I set up a Google Alert to track a long list of video channels.
What I found is that many channels have highly-trafficked pages on YouTube. This section, where many of their videos reside, is often referred to as a “sub-site.” Most of these videos have millions of views. So, it’s easy to see why these viewers would search for other similar videos on a short-tail keyword, then come to their YouTube page.
The video statistics are staggering. Sometimes, your specific niche is so vast that you can’t think of a single keyword to search for. Why? Maybe it’s because there aren’t any active industry discussions with meaningful activity on YouTube. But this isn’t an excuse to give up and drop your quest.
Think about the keywords that have the most amount of engagement in your niche, such as “blogging,” “web design,” “advertising,” etc. This information is a good starting point. With this information at hand, you can either create a sponsored YouTube channel to give your brand visibility, or you can search YouTube for these keywords.
Research shows that consumers watch on average 20 to 30 videos a day. That’s a lot of hours in front of their webcams. If you have a short-tail keyword for which you want to rank, you must know how to pull a topic from YouTube. Video marketing campaigns are often used for lead generation and customer acquisition. If you want to attract prospects and customers, you need to provide them with a solid opportunity for action.
Video is the perfect medium for these types of interactions. Watch the videos that people share around the web. From company talks to product demonstrations, you’ll find a list of engaging long-tail keywords that match your target persona.
Mine Your Analytics
At this point, you know how to find long-tail keywords. But how do you identify them? According to All SEO, you should first study your analytics. Analyze your keyword performance across all of your marketing channels to get a clear picture of your SERP. Then, you’ll find out how consumers use your marketing channels. For instance, if a product’s listing is not visible, you may have a long-tail keyword to target.
On the other hand, if a consumer searches for “Bob’s Air Freshener,” but you don’t have it listed, then you have a short-tail keyword that you could use to rank for. Finding good long-tail keywords is a challenge, but it is possible. To do so, you’ll need to view your analytics. You already have all the raw information you need to start generating a long-tail keyword list: PPC click volumes on paid keywords, Quality of traffic for purchased keywords,
Quality of inbound traffic to your site and Paid account costs. Long-tail keywords are something you can’t “search for,” but you can research with our handy keyword tool. Many business owners think that SEO is all about trading traffic for search engine rankings, but it’s more complicated than that. In fact, customers and prospects are using social media to engage with your brand every day.
This engagement is your brand’s own online buzz. To see how your brand is being talked about online, run an analytics report on your site. Unless you have an army of full-time SEOs to do your analysis for you, you’ll need a resourceful researcher to get you up to speed. In that regard, you’ll want to be looking at your analytics. If you are the SEO authority in your organization, then it’s not uncommon to find a sizable library of data on your website.
Even if you’re a one-person SEO shop, you’re likely to have a fairly robust, interactive website that has Google Analytics (GA) reporting capabilities and controls. Perusing through your analytics, you’ll be able to identify some of your most important performance metrics and data sources for things such as keyword research, product and pricing lists, call to action buttons, and lead conversion, among others.
Organize Your Long-Tail Keywords
When identifying long-tail keywords, you need to organize them by industry. For example, you’ll want to identify terms that pertain to industries that you manage or have an interest in. Consider your competitors and what they’re ranking for on their homepages.
You’ll also want to categorize your long-tail keywords based on specific uses and customer segmentation. Organize your long-tail keywords by industry. For example, if you work in manufacturing, you’ll want to place long-tail keywords in industries that cater to that type of work. Another example: if you work in retail, you’ll want to place long-tail keywords in industry terms that pertain to selling clothes and household items.
For our purposes, long-tail keywords are those with a high search volume yet that are niche-specific and obscure enough to help you rank for competitive and profitable search terms. While it’s true that you can occasionally boost your SEO ranking for a competitive keyword with a long-tail keyword, you’ll only stand a fighting chance if your long-tail keywords are indexed well enough for a wide variety of high-volume search queries.
By setting up the right keywords for the search engine, you’re guaranteeing a robust search engine presence for every query you decide to target. To maximize long-tail keyword traffic, set up a keyword index on Google AdWords. Also, you’ll need to use social media data to determine the term’s effectiveness with your target audience. It’s always smart to put your best keywords in the first slot of your landing page.
Remember, content is king, so make sure the keywords that are most effective at driving your conversions to your website are in the first two slots. The other three slots are for phrases and short phrases. If you find a short phrase that is highly relevant and well-targeted to a keyword, then put it there as a placeholder.
That way, you don’t run the risk of triggering a terrible user experience if the user clicks your paid ad instead. Create content that gets the user interested in your long-tail keywords. Once you’ve found your long-tail keywords, then it’s time to create content that supports them.
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Develop A Content Strategy
You can’t just come up with a plan and hope it works. It needs to be well-structured and well-formatted. Whether it’s a blog post, article or video you’re targeting, make sure your plan looks professional. This isn’t the time to cut corners with low-quality assets and jargon. Instead, put a premium on appealing content, and speak in plain English. Above all, it needs to engage your audience with a solid content piece.
This has to be more than a sales pitch or PR post. Fill the content gap – Maybe you know exactly what you need to create in the short term, but you’re not sure what you need in the long term. If so, it’s time to get creative. If you want to know how to build a solid SEO foundation for your business, then you should start by looking at the most important dimension of content: the topic.
Your website or blog should always include The latest information, news, and insights for your niche. Why your niche needs to be aware of this information. If you’re blogging about eCommerce or technical topics, you should also include a list of the top five best-selling products in your niche. Although you may have fewer competitors in the niche that you’re marketing to, make sure you’re getting as many views as possible. That’s the only way you’ll create traffic.
Engage with your audience – One thing that you’ll never succeed in achieving has a pristine, zero-waste blog. Your strategy must be excellent, especially if you want to rank for the most competitive terms. Remember, without an audience. You have nothing.
Start with crafting a content strategy. Take your brand vision, your market, your target audience, and choose which verticals you’re going to address. What types of content would your ideal customer respond to? Is your ideal audience the same as your brand’s target audience?
For instance, many companies produce content for their target audience but don’t offer the same type of content to their audience. You need to decide which kind of content your target audience wants to read and how much content you’ll create to meet their needs. Keep in mind that your audience may not always be the same size or demographic.
Operationalize Content Production
Spend some time now to set up your content pipeline. Think about each piece of content you intend to produce, and plan how you want it to be delivered across all channels. Review your content strategy. This is the next step. You can’t depend on a high-quality, third-party content provider to give you a solid SEO foundation. That’s why it’s important to build your own SEO stack. Write content and convert page views to a high ranking.
When you create engaging content that people will actually want to share, the search engines reward you with valuable traffic. In a study conducted by Content Marketing Institute, 89% of marketers reported that publishing quality content leads to higher conversion rates. Build an SEO foundation with content marketing. Categorize and optimize. How you organize your content is essential.
When targeting specific keywords, consider the links and social media accounts that link to them. This information can reveal the industry trends that align with your offering. Also, don’t be afraid to take risks with your keyword selection. Given the competition, you don’t have to target keywords and phrases known to drive the most traffic. As you build your long-tail SEO strategy, don’t forget that combining your keywords with short-tail terms helps rank for these terms on the same page. Hopefully, the information above will help you get to the top of your competitor’s ranking.
Let’s talk about a technical SEO topic, but one that can have a major impact on a company’s search visibility. It should be of major importance to every business, regardless of their budget or industry. The importance of keyword research and keyword selection is demonstrated by the results it produces.
Keyword research can help your website rank for thousands of competitive keywords, but it’s also a valuable component of a successful content marketing strategy. It provides you with an inventory of your competition and potentially informs content strategy to counter them. In this post, we’ve talked about the importance of keyword research. We’ve looked at the main types of keywords, and we’ve explored the steps you should take when creating a content strategy.
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