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What are Long Tail Keywords? + 4 Amazing Tips to Use them

What are Long Tail Keywords? + 4 Amazing Tips to Use them 1

Ranking on the first page of Google is challenging, especially when your company is in a highly competitive industry. Today we’ll look at how to achieve this using long tail keywords.

The truth is takes time, money, and hard work to make the top spot on Google. And that’s once you’ve found an SEO expert who can execute your strategy.

Just a few years ago you could spend a couple of thousand dollars on keyword stuffed content and backlinks in place on link farms and essentially “cheat” your way into the first page. 

While there is no magic formula to getting on the first page, marketers everywhere know that the most important thing Google values is customer experience and the quality of their results. Google wants to provide users with high quality content that is relevant to their needs.

There is one other way you can rank on the first page of Google that would be much easier and take a lot less time.

This is where long tails enter the picture

70% of all searches performed on Google are long tail keywords and you can utilise these long tail keywords to get these users on your website.

Graphic that shows the usage of longtail keywords in monthly searches
Long tail keywords make up the majority of searches. Credit: Hitwise

Let’s start with the basics.

What are Long Tail Keywords?

While most targeted keywords are made up of 1 to 3 words, long tail keywords are phrases made up of 4 words or more. Oftentimes these key “phrases” are questions or statements that individuals search for in order to find what they are looking for. 

Long tail keywords are much more specific than regular keywords. The benefit of using long tail keywords is the fact that there is a lot less competition using them to get on the first page of Google search results.

For instance a short keyword like coffee likely has a very high search volume. However, this makes it more competitive and harder to figure out what users actually want. By contrast, a long tail like what is the best espresso machine is less competitive and more specific.

How Do I Determine What Long Tail Keywords I Should Use?

Long tail keywords allow you to tap into specific searches made by Google users. Most companies focus on shorter keywords, which means there’s a lot of competition fighting for a rank on the first page. 

By focusing on the long tail keywords that most companies ignore, you’ll have a lot less competition on your way up the ranks.

In order to use long tail keywords, you’ll need to do your research and find the ones that are most relevant to you. You can use Google’s Keyword Planner or a free tool like Long Tail Generator to generate long tail keywords. 

These tools allow you to input relevant keywords and it will generate long tail keywords that you can use in your content strategy. One of the most important things to remember is that the long tail keywords you choose are relevant to your website. 

Also, your long tail keyword must always be a minimum of four words. 

How to Find Long Tail Keywords

Keep in mind that Google’s Keyword Planner provides an added bonus when it generates long tail keywords. It will also tell you how many people, both locally and globally, are searching for those long tail keywords and how much competition you’d have targeting them.

Since you are using phrases instead of just a few words, your long tail keywords can be very specific. This means you can better plan your content strategy focusing on those keywords. Here’s an example:

If your company sells cameras and you target cameras as your keyword, you’ll have a lot of competition to get on the first page of results.

On the other hand, if you use long tail keywords, such as, Buy Sony Rebel T5i 18 Megapixels or DSRL Canon EOS 6D 20.2 Megapixels for sale you’ll have minimum competition to get on the first page of results.

The benefit of these long tail keywords is that you’re also targeting specifically users that are looking for your particular services or products. If you’re marketing a local business, you can even include your city in your long tail keyword.

What Page of Google Am I On?

Before you can get your long tail keywords ranking on the first page of Google, you’ll need to know what their current search engine results position. In order to do this, you’ll need to utilise a SERP checker, which you can often find for free online

SERP checkers allow you to put in the keywords you’re targeting along with your website and find out how many people, both locally and globally, search for that particular keyword (or key phrase). 

The SERP checker will also tell you exactly what page on Google your website shows up on under that keyword.

4 Tips to Utilise Long Tail Keywords Effectively

In order to utilise your long tail keywords effectively, you’ll need to create high quality, relevant content and optimise it. 

Use Long Tail Keywords in your H2s and H3s

The first step to optimising your content is to write keyword rich headlines. This is important to search engine optimisation because most Google users will read the headline on their search results and decide whether or not it’s relevant to what they are searching for.

Understand Search Intent

Long tail keywords allow you to reach customers at every stage, from awareness stage to purchase stage. Your content should reflect what your target market is searching for. 

Are they trying to learn more about your product? 

Are they searching for your prices? Do they want to compare “Apples to Apples” and how can you facilitate that? Your content can provide the answers they are looking for and allow you the opportunity to persuade them to purchase from your company. 

If your company provides a service, you can use long tail keywords to target the users who are searching for those services. 

You can target the exact type of customer you want to service, such as those looking for “cheaper” options, “more secure” options, or perhaps those looking for a local option.

Use Long Tails as Content Marketing Inspiration

Creating a calendar for your content marketing is important. Google will always prefer newer, fresher content to older content, which is why you need to be consistent. 

Put together a plan that includes either blogs, articles, or landing pages that focus on the long tail keywords. You can outsource to a writer or even hire a marketing company to do the research, planning, and writing. 

The important thing is to consistently release new content focusing on long tail keywords you are targeting. 

You can release multiple pages of content targeting a single long tail keyword, or multiple pages targeting various long tail keywords. Find what works best for you and include it in your plan.

If you plan on blogging only once a month you can forget about moving up to the first page of Google anytime soon. By creating more and more high quality content you can work your website into the first page. 

High quality content should be 500 or more words, include pictures, internal links, or have embedded videos. 

Think quality over quantity and publish a few pieces of content per month that are focused on your target long tail keyword. Your content must always be original, never copy someone else’s content because Google will, in turn, punish you by removing you from its search results entirely.

Target Featured Snippets and Local Packs

Increasingly, SERPs show more than just search results. More and more results pages also contain rich text elements. Long tail keywords are the most likely to be affected by this change.

For example, long tail question keywords often feature a preview of the content which Google thinks provides the best answer. For instance:

an example of a long tail keyword question "What do ducks eat?" with a featured snippet.
Featured snippets are great for people that use search engines but some feel they stop people clicking onto their site. Credit PorfileTree.com

The people also ask feature, shown above, is a great way to identify common user questions you can target.

You can also use what are known as locally modified long tails to try and make it into the local pack. A keyword is locally modified when it contains a reference to a specific location. The local pack displays relevant businesses in this area.

For example, if you were researching parks in Belfast, you might see the following:

an example of a google local pack for "parks in Belfast"
Google Local Pack is a list of the top businesses that are related to the searched topic with information, links, photos and reviews. Credit: ProfileTree.com

Should I Market My Content?

Absolutely! Post on all of your social media channels, send it our through email newsletters, find influencers who would be willing to share it with a link back to your site, do everything you can to get prospects to view that content. 

You can also write articles and have them published on relevant websites and link back to your website. This allows you to reach an entirely new audience and as long as it is relevant to what your sell or what service you provide, you’ll find prospects. 

You may even want to consider paying to “boost” your Facebook posts or promote your LinkedIn posts to ensure that the right target market is exposed to it. 

Facebook and LinkedIn both provide very targeted advertising options for your posts and it will help you reach beyond those who are already following your page.

Conclusion: Make Your Long Tail Keyword Content Relevant

Long tail keywords are an excellent way to tap the 70% of Google users who are searching using specific phrases.  This makes them essential to your SEO strategy.

Your company can work on ranking on the first page of Google results without having to worry about competition because most companies spend most of their time, money, and effort dominating the more ambiguous keyword terms.

Do your research, create high quality content, and market that content so that you can make your way up to the first page. 

Content is indeed King and your company can benefit from that. By following the advice of this post you’ll be able to find long term keywords and use them to dominate your industry. To summarize, when creating long tail keyword content, always remember:

Make it Relevant

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