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Long Tail Keywords: What Are They and How to Use Them

Did you know that around 91% of online traffic is limited to the first page of Google? Because this is such a high percentage, it’s important that you rank highly in search engines. A good search engine optimization (SEO) campaign is essential for gaining visibility.

Top-notch SEO campaigns often incorporate long-tail keywords to generate traffic from longer search queries. Read on to learn what this means, why long-tail keywords are popular, and how you can find the right phrases to include in your SEO-rich blog posts.

The Basics of SEO and Keywords

If you’re a beginner when it comes to digital marketing, you may be wondering: what is SEO?

Search engine optimization is the process of manipulating your website to make it appear more appealing to search engines. The idea is to make Google crawlers catch wind of your website and decide that it’s reputable, reliable, and relevant to specific search queries. When this happens, these bots will place your website higher within Google’s rankings so that people click your page.

There are many parts of SEO. Some aspects happen off-page, like getting good reviews and being linked to from other areas of the web. These strategies, referred to as ‘off-page SEO,’ are meant to get you traffic and let Google know that people are interested in your page.

However, a lot of SEO strategies are also on-site manipulations that you perform within your website. ‘On-page SEO’ manipulations include internal linking, altering HTML, having high-quality content, and keyword incorporation.

Keywords are one of the most important aspects of SEO. You research phrases that have a high search volume and determine which are easiest to rank for among your target audience. Once that happens, you saturate your blog posts, meta descriptions, and general content with these keywords so that your page gets indexed for related queries.

What Are Long Tail Keywords?

Keywords generally stem from between 2-5 words. For example, if you’re running a clothing shop, you may like the keyword ‘fall jackets.’ This will help you to rank in search engines with all audiences that are searching for this attire.

However, it can be difficult to rank for a keyword this common. Even if you do, you’re going to be reaching audiences that can’t make purchases from your shop due to distance or income-related reasons. It’s best to find a keyword that’s easy to rank for even if your audience narrows.

That’s where long-tail keywords come in. They’re longer than regular keywords and can often be a complete sentence of 5-10 words. This may sound counterintuitive since people will need to have very specific queries in order to see your content, but that’s the point.

You’re not just making it much easier to rank, but you also are targeting a niche audience that you know will likely gravitate towards you. A query like ‘where to buy women’s fall jackets in the LA area’ is narrow and specific, but it’s a specific term that will showcase your site to people who are actually looking for your specific store.

This low search volume also doesn’t hurt your SEO rankings despite getting fewer overall clicks. You’re only competing within that long-tail keyword sub-niche, after all. Plus, since clicks are more likely to convert to action with your niche audience, you’re always going to look like a relevant authority.

Why Are These Keywords Popular?

There are a few reasons that long-tail keywords are popular. The first is that they’re capable of driving in a more niche audience. This allows businesses that use them to drive local traffic, which is especially important if clientele must go to a brick-and-mortar location.

Additionally, the ways that we use SEO keywords are changing as we adopt more mobile technologies. Over 71% of consumers prefer to use voice search when looking up services, which means that they’re more likely to speak in complete sentences (or at least use longer phrases). Long-tail keywords best match these voice queries.

Keyword Research 101: An SEO Must

Performing keyword research is the same for long-tail keywords as it is for those of a regular length. Consider what people might be looking up in relation to your goods and services and write down some ideas of what they may be looking into.

Use keyword search tools to type in the list of queries that you’ve come up with. These tools will show you whether or not your guesses were accurate. They’ll give you the search volume (SV) and a metric that determines how hard it will be to rank (keyword difficulty, or KD).

You always want an SV of 100 or higher. In most cases, higher is better, but in the case of long-tail keywords, you might want something closer to 100 if the KD is much lower for it.

A low KD is essential for long-tail keywords. Most keywords need to have a KD of 80 or lower, but you want to hit the lower end for long-tail queries. If you have one keyword with an SV of 102 and a KD of 10, this may be preferable to one with an SV of 1000 and a KD of 79.

Be vigilant about checking each keyword’s metrics. If you’re unsure of them, your SEO campaign is unlikely to succeed.

Upgrade Your SEO Campaign Today

While getting more traffic to your blog or website can be a challenge, keyword research ensures some visibility. Now that you know what long-tail keywords are and how to use them for your SEO campaign, it’s time to get started. 

We’re committed to providing you with the best content managing services on the market, so we look forward to hearing from you soon. Contact us with any remaining questions that you have about driving traffic to your blog, updating it for optimal use, and getting as many clicks and sales as possible.

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