One of the main tasks for marketers when working on their SEO strategy is to look for keywords that are perfectly suitable for their content. They help blog posts and web pages rank better in searches, making them visible to the right target market.
However, targeting the right keywords is not always a walk in the park. Choosing between short and long-tail keywords can be confusing, especially if you are not completely aware of the difference between the two.
Defining Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are defined as highly targeted search phrases that have low competition and low search volume. They contain three or more words, are a lot more specific than short-tail keywords, and tend to result in higher conversion rates. These keywords can be used if you are looking to target ad campaigns for a much lower cost.
Niche businesses or companies that offer niche products can use long-tail keywords to target a specific set of audiences. For example, if you search for “Shoes” on Ubersuggest, it will show that the search query has over 1,000,000 searches, which is considered high. It also has a $1.46 cost per click (CPC) and has a whopping 91% rating for SEO difficulty.
However, if you search for “Red running shoes for women”, it only gives you a search volume of 1,900. It also has a lower CPC, of $1.03, and a much lower SEO difficulty of 36%.
To sum it up, long-tail keywords are easier to rank compared to short-tail ones. Customers often use phrases when searching for a solution to their problems, and long-tail keywords can help you communicate a clear idea of how you can help them resolve their queries.
How Do I Find Long-Tail Keywords?
Now that we have discussed what long-tail keywords are, it’s time to move on to the next step: how to search for them.
Take advantage of Google’s Autocomplete and Related Search Features
You can simply go to Google’s search bar and type in your main keyword. The autocomplete feature will show you a list of related phrases that people usually use in their searches.
For example, if you type “workout for beginners”, it will show you related searches like the ones below:
Additionally, you can also find more related keywords on the “Related Searches Feature”, located at the bottom of the page:
Both are great ways to find long-tail keywords that you can inject into your content.
Keyword research tools such as Ubersuggest can help you find long-tail keywords in a matter of seconds. Aside from that, you can also get important details such as SEO difficulty, Paid difficulty, and Cost per Click.
Simply input your main keyword(s) and click on “Keyword Ideas” on the left side of the page. Ubersuggest will then give you a list of related keywords, including short-and long-tail ones.
Try the Ahrefs Site Explorer
Just like Ubersuggest, the Ahrefs Site Explorer can help you find long-tail keywords. To use this tool, just go to this page. Take the domain of one of your closest competitors and put it into the search bar. Click on the “Organic Keywords” tab on the left side of the page and apply your chosen filters to display long-tail keywords that have low search volumes.
Why Should I Use Long-Tail Keywords for SEO?
We’ve mentioned a few of the main benefits that long-tail keywords can provide, but here are other reasons why you should consider using them to boost your SEO:
- Long-tail keywords help your site rank better than short-tail keywords do. Everyone that’s in the same industry as you are trying to rank for related short-tail keywords. Since long-tail keywords have lower search volume, your content will show up on related niche searches. This will help people that are specifically looking for what you offer on your website.
- Your website will get featured in snippets. Featured snippets are short excerpts of text that can be found at the top of Google’s search results. They help users find what they are looking for without clicking on any article or link and as such, they are considered huge time-savers. Using long-tail keywords will improve your chances of getting featured in these snippets.
- It gives you a better chance of getting links. Long-tail keywords can increase your traffic volume, which means that you have a higher chance of acquiring links.
- Long-tail keywords help you outrank the competition. Not everyone in the same industry as you is aware of the fact that long-tail keywords can help websites obtain more traffic. The competition is high for short-tail keywords, and by using long-tail ones, you eliminate the chances of competing with thousands of other businesses.
- It gives context. Long-tail keywords can help give your customers insight as to who you are or what your products are all about.
- It helps your posts appear on voice searches. Voice search has grown massively over the years. People who use voice search usually do not use short-tail keywords when searching. Instead, they use long-tail ones, as they are usually looking for answers to specific questions. For example, users who are looking for solutions to inquiries such as “How to lose weight” will not say “Alexa, lose weight”. They will, instead, they will say “Alexa, how do I lose weight in two weeks?” Having these additional keywords in your content will increase your chances of ranking for these queries.
How to Use Long-Tail Keywords to Improve Your SEO Strategy
Getting organic traffic is one of the main benefits that long-tail keywords can offer. According to Moz, about 70% of search traffic comes from long-tail keywords. We’ve listed a couple of ways you can use long-tail keywords to improve your SEO strategy.
See Which Long-Tail Keywords Your Competitors are Ranking for
If you are confused about what long-tail keywords you should be looking for, then try visiting some of your competitors’ websites and look up their content. Choose a website that has similar content to yours and one that has keywords that are ranking higher than yours. Next, take the URL and place it into the Ahrefs site explorer. Doing so will help you find all of the long-tail keywords that they are ranking for, including impressions that they are getting from them.
Create Long-Form Content
Writing long-form content that’s around 2,000 words can help you rank better on search engines. Focus on using one to two long-tail keywords per long-form content to avoid getting penalties and low rankings on search engines.
Additionally, long-form content is known to be a lot more engaging and shareable compared to shorter ones. According to Hubspot, articles that have a word count of 2,250 to 2,500 earn the most organic traffic.
Include the Keywords in Your Headlines and Meta Description
Include the long-tail keyword/s in your headlines and meta description. It doesn’t matter whether you are using them for your social media posts, blogs, or forums. Doing so will help you rank higher, especially if your headline and meta description is interesting enough. Additionally, it can also help improve your website engagement, position, and traffic.
Use It in Your Subtitles
Aside from checking out the headline, people also tend to view your subtitles before actually clicking on the blog post. Using powerful headlines will make your readers remember your website, which can urge them to go back to it in the future.
Remember these rules when coming up with subtitles for your content:
- Make use of the <h2> and <h3> tags to enhance your SEO efforts.
- Prevent keyword stuffing by using synonyms for words that have the same meaning.
- Choose subtitles that are relevant to your headline, topic, and overall content.
Actively Track Your Long-Tail Keywords
Make it a point to track your keywords in terms of their profitability, ranking, lifetime value, and conversion. This will help you see which ones to optimize so you can help the website succeed.
One way to effectively track your rankings for certain long-tail keywords is by searching for them on Google. Open an incognito tab and scroll through the pages until you find your post. Additionally, you can also use tools such as the Google Search Console, Ahrefs, Semrush, Dyno Mapper, and SEO Profiler to track your keywords.
Make it Sound Natural
Most long-tail keywords might sound unnatural when used in blog posts and other types of content. Google can tell whether you are just slapping your keyword in, which can result in a penalty.
Again, try using synonyms for words with similar ideas. Think of it as how you would talk to another person – the sentences should flow nicely and not as if the keywords were just forced into it.
Create a Convincing Intro and Conclusion
Writing a convincing intro will help keep your readers engaged. Not only this, but your content will also rank a lot better if you seamlessly incorporate your long-tail keywords into it. An informative introduction will also help prepare the reader as to what they are delving into.
Moreover, search engine spiders love rewarding pages that have clear introductions and headlines.
The combination of keyword tool usage and effective strategies will help support your SEO efforts. Additionally, uncovering how your audience reacts to searches can help you gain precious organic traffic. Long-tail keywords give you the chance to connect with your customers on a deeper level while ranking better overall.