When you started laying the foundation for your website, whether it was yesterday or five years ago, chances are the company you were working with asked you to provide them with a list of keywords applicable to your business. Then they asked you for a list of long-tail keywords. Was that the first time you ever heard the phrase and wondered “huh”? Long-tail keywords are something that most people are not aware of. But as a small business owner who is trying to rank in search results for your local area, long-tail keywords can be your best friend. Here’s why.
Long-tail keywords are more specific than keywords more commonly searched for. Long-tail keywords get less search traffic but have been proven to provide higher conversion rates. Long-tail keywords are specific to what you are selling. Whenever a customer uses such a specific search phrase, they tend to be looking for exactly what they are going to buy.
As a company that sells kitchen design, cabinetry and remodeling services, your pages aren’t going to appear near the top of an organic search for “cabinetry” or “kitchen” or “cabinets” because there’s simply too much competition for those words. This is especially true for a small company because the big guys will have bought up the common keywords.
Go ahead, try it: type “kitchens” or “cabinetry” into Google and see what names show up.
But by expanding your one-word keyword into a long-tail keyword, then something like “kitchen renovation ideas for your home” is going to get seen by consumers looking for exactly that.
Finding Qualified Searchers using Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are how people actually search the Internet because more people are using voice search. In fact, “There are over one billion voice searches per month. (January 2018)” estimates Alpine.AI. That's a lot of searching.
This has changed the the way we use keywords for SEO because people are searching using full sentences and asking questions, rather than just typing in short queries.
When you’re using only short keywords, competition for search rankings can be intense, and visitors who come to you from these broad searches are typically general-info-only seekers, i.e., “tire-kickers”, and not really in the market to buy anything.
You’re going to draw less traffic with a long-tail keyword than you would with a more common one, but the traffic you do get will be better: more focused, more committed, and in the market for your services. You’ll be attracting the audience you’re looking for, and that audience will be closer to point-of-purchase.
When you do the math, you'll see that the 100 buyers who found you via long-tail keyword search are much better than 500 site visitors who are only doing research. And there is no question that the use of long-tail keywords demonstrates a greater intent to buy by the customer. This simply leads to more sales which is, of course, what you are really after.
How to Use Long-Tail Keywords
So now that you know what long-tail keywords are and how they work, how do we get them working to attract visitors to your site?
For a long-tail keyword strategy to be effective, you create separate landing pages on your website with content that specifically addresses your long-tail keyword. And, since there are so many different long-tail combinations that searchers may use to find what you offer, that means you'll be creating more pages.
Google likes sites that have more pages. It makes the site look more substantial, more natural, and even more real in the “eyes” of the search engine. And don’t freak out at the thought of having to create so many new pages. The new pages need only be variations of your main pages, but they must be focused on a specific long-tail keyword.
In our earlier example, we said “kitchen renovation ideas for your home” is a likely long-tail keyword for a kitchen designer. Creating a 500 word blog post on this topic should not be difficult.
Each page on your website will have a unique title, description meta tag, header tag, and body content that emphasizes your products and services by using the long-tail keyword. Your long-tail keywords need to be used in the correct context within the URL, title tag, and body text. For even more visibility, use the keyword phrase in alt images to optimize your site for SEO.
Stuck for Ideas for Long-tail Keywords?
The free ones give you plenty of suggestions for keywords plus tons of other information as well, including the ability to download the results for future use.
Here’s a few to check out:
Using long-tail keywords as part of your SEO strategy puts your business in touch with the potential customers who are already actively shopping for your services. It’s a win-win for you and your business: better search rankings and more qualified search traffic.
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