Long Tail Keywords

Focusing on long-tail keywords is a brilliant SEO tactic. They are more specific and typically longer than more commonly searched keywords. Long-tail keywords get less search traffic, but typically have a higher conversion value since they are more specific. They allow you to gradually get more traffic and attract the likes of new and motivated audiences. In order to really benefit from a long-tail keyword strategy, you need to have a clear vision. This post will help you better understand what long-tail keywords are and how understanding your product helps you set up this strategy and why you should invest the time into them.

What are Long-Tail Keywords?

As previously mentioned, long-tail keywords are more specific and less common than other keywords. They typically focus more on a singular niche than the masses. The term long-tail keyword comes from the book The Long Tail by Chris Anderson. In his book, Anderson shows there is a market for just about every product. In some cases, however, this market is minuscule. The endless expanse of the internet, though, makes any niche product, or blog post valuable.

One Head Theme

Most blogs have one central topic – this is called the head term, or main keyword. Parenting blogs are about children and family life; foodie blogs are about eating, restaurants, and recipes. My blog is all about digital marketing. Heck, I even named it Digital Marketing Blog. All my posts are about digital marketing and digital marketing related topics. These “other” topics are where long-tail keywords come into play.

The primary topic or theme of your blog or site is the number one keyword (or phrase) you want people to use to find you. This primary keyword is the polar opposite of a long-tail keyword…you’ll see why in just a bit. Anyways, in my case, the primary topic I want people to find me under is digital marketing. Imagine yourself having an SEO blog all about on-page SEO. In an ideal world, you would want people to find you when searching “on-page SEO.” That would be the number one search term.

Long Tail Keywords

Lots of Tail Topics

However, you simply cannot optimize all of your blog posts for the same term – on-page SEO, even if all of your blog posts will be about on-page SEO. Instead, you should opt to write a whole series of blog posts about all kinds of long-tail variants of your top search term. In the example of a food blog, you could write about all sorts of delectable things: homemade pasta, salads, desserts, etc. These could function as your main categories.

Your blog posts could even be more long-tail keywords. You could write about homemade Italian spaghetti bolognese, homemade Italian lasagna, homemade Italian penne carbonara, etc. You will find all of these keywords if you have conducted ample keyword research.

Link from the Tail to the Head

If you optimize your blog posts for different long-tail variants, you should link from these blog posts to your more ‘head’ category pages and from these category pages to your most standout pages – your cornerstone content. Remember: always link from the tail to your head! This shows Google what your site structure looks like and which of your pages are most important. Make sure your most amazing pages rank high on Google.

Why Focus on Long-Tail Keywords

It is far easier to rank for long-tail keywords than for more common keywords since fewer websites compete for high rankings in the results pages of Google. The longer (and more specific) search terms are, the easier it is to rank for the term(s).  Due to the vastness of the internet, it is easier to find your audience for your particular niche. Focusing on a group of long-tail keywords will result in a great deal of traffic all around.

Another perk of honing in on long-tail keywords is that even though these keywords are less common in search, the visitors who find your website through them are more likely to buy your product or service.

I am currently looking for a place in Colorado to spend my next winter vacation. I started my search with the term ‘vacation Colorado’. After digging around some, I quickly realized that I wanted to go skiing in Vail, Colorado. My search still continues, but now I use terms like ‘vacation house Vail, Colorado’. This is a long-tail keyword. Using this keyword, I found new sites, which more closely resembled my ideal vacation locale. This increased my chances of finding a pleasant booking greatly.

Keyword Research

So, Why is Your Mission Important?

If your goal is to sell something, you simply need to have a darn good product, right? You should also be aware of what your product or website offers to your audience – what makes it special. If you understand and know this, it will be far easier to make your audience like and purchase your stuff.  With this in mind, you should take some time to consider the uniqueness of your product and write it down.

Let’s say you’re a travel consultant and you specialize in cruises to Hawaii. You offer great facilities for children, which makes your cruises rather suitable for young parents and single moms. Offering great cruises to Hawaii for single moms could be your unique selling point. This is your mission, your niche, this is what you have to offer to your audience! Make sure you write down your mission in words that are used and understood by your audience.

Competitiveness of the Market

It’s really hard to rank in some markets. Some markets are just more competitive than others with larger companies dominating the search results. These companies often have a large budget to spend on marketing in general and SEO specifically. Ranking in these markets is flat out hard. You will not be able to compete on a small budget in a market like the travel industry using search terms like ‘vacation in Hawaii’.

However, if you have a clear mission, you should be able to define what makes your product or website stand out from the rest of the market. You should be able to locate and own your niche. You should use your mission to start ranking. Taking the example of cruises for single moms to Hawaii would mean that you should focus on the lest competitive term (single mom cruises Hawaii). Again, use words that your target audience uses and avoid overly complex terms.

Use Your Mission to Define Long-Tail Keywords

The definition of your mission, in which you make crystal clear the awesomeness of your product/service, should be central in choosing the long-tail keywords for which you want to rank. Trying to make your website rank for a specific term can be quite profitable, as long as the specific term closely resembles the product you’re selling.

The terms you used to describe your mission can be used to focus on in your SEO strategy. These words should be central in all of the long-tail keywords for which you aim to rank. People using the terms of your mission and finding your website will be relatively small in volume, but these people have the highest chance to covert.

About Andrew Roche

Andrew Roche is an underwriter at United Wholesale Mortgage by day and a digital marketer by night. In addition to his role as an underwriter and his digital marketing hustles, he is also in the process of completing an MBA in Marketing & Finance through the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University.