An important part of your website content strategy is conducting keyword research. As you begin your research, you may ask yourself: Which keywords should I use? Can SEO keywords be phrases? We recommend all our clients take advantage of a long-tail keyword strategy, especially if there’s a lot of competition in their market.
Long-tail keywords help you optimize your website content to draw in visitors with very specific search intent who are more likely to convert to customers.
What Are Long-Tail Keywords?
Long-tail keywords are search queries that are more specific and typically longer. Compared to popular keywords, they have a lower search volume. But, they usually have a higher conversion rate because they reflect not only a topic but also the searcher’s intent.
If you were to organize a month’s worth of Google search queries and order them by volume, they would appear as a curve. Long-tail keywords are named for their position on this “search demand curve.” At the head of the curve, there are few SEO keywords with very high search volume. The majority of keywords fall in the “chunky middle” or “long tail” of the curve.
Examples of Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are generally 4-5 words and are often related to a “head” keyword. They do not always have to include the head keyword, but they often do. Some examples include:
- chiropractor safe for pregnancy
- sports injury chiropractor
- treatment for whiplash
- homeowners insurance coverage amount
- personal liability insurance
- homeowners insurance discounts
How Do They Work
Many people incorrectly assume that a longer keyword phrase is automatically a long-tail keyword. But, there are many 4-5 word phrases (or longer) with high search volume. The more important factor in determining a long-tail keyword is its lower search volume in relationship to its head keyword.
Using long-tail keywords in your website content is effective because they clearly communicate your customers’ wants and needs. This is referred to as “search intent.”
The four types of search intent are:
- Informational: The searcher is looking for information like “what are long-tail keywords.”
- Navigational: The searcher wants to go to a specific place on the internet like “ESPN.”
- Transactional: The searcher wants to complete an action or do something like visit a “walk-in chiropractor near me.”
- Commercial: The searcher wants to compare products and find the best option for their needs. For example, “file taxes online.”
By using long-tail keywords to understand the intent of your customers, you can create content that specifically addresses their queries. You have the opportunity to provide exactly what content they are looking for and convert your website visitors into customers.
Why You Should Use Them
If you are new to search engine optimization (SEO), you may think your business can rank for a keyword that’s actually highly competitive. For example, the head keyword “carpet cleaner” averages more than 300,000 monthly searches. It’s unlikely for a new business or website with poor authority to rank on the first page of results for this keyword.
A cornerstone of our content strategy for Best Websites is to develop content based on long-tail keywords because of the following benefits:
1. Generally Less Competition
Long-tail keywords are specific to your product and your niche, so there is generally less competition. It’s easier to rank for specific keyword phrases than for a generic keyword. This is why we recommend building pages specific to the products you offer or the different customer types you serve. For example, the results for “tow truck for classic cars” would have fewer competitors than “call a tow truck.”
2. Generally Higher Conversions
High search volume generally equals ambiguous intent. For example, someone searching for a “dance studio” may be looking to start their own business, find a ballet class for children, rent a studio for personal use, or do something else.
A long-tail keyword has a more specific intent, so the searcher finds exactly what they are looking for and is more likely to convert. For example, someone searching “kids ballet class Chicago” is looking for a dance studio with children’s classes. They are more likely to sign up for classes or visit a studio they find.
3. Plenty of Choices
According to Google, 15% of searches are new and have never been seen by the search engine before. The bulk of searches are highly-specific and made up of long-tail keywords. For any single industry, there are thousands of long-tail keywords being used in search queries.
The high number of long-tail keywords available means you have many choices for specific pieces of content to include on your site. Google likes to see unique pages of content added to your website over time. Additionally, each specific page you add can link back to your main offering.
How to Find Long-Tail Keywords
There are a number of tools available to you for researching long-tail keywords. You can begin with ideas for general or head keywords, then explore related keywords, common questions, and similar topics to discover long-tail keywords for your website content.
A few tools we recommend for keyword research:
- Google Keyword Planner: This is one of the most common keyword tools for your website content or digital ads.
- Answer the Public: Discover commonly searched questions based on a specific keyword.
- Ubersugget: Audit a competitor’s website to get even more long-tail keyword ideas.
As you use these keyword tools, keep in mind your unique value proposition and your customers’ search intent. These things can help you narrow down ideas for which keywords make the most sense for you to use.
Use Long-Tail Keywords on Your Website
After the research, it’s time to use your keywords in your website content. You can build a page around a single long-tail keyword, or you can group together several keywords with the same intent on a page. You should remember to use these keywords naturally without sacrificing readability. We also recommend you use them strategically on the page, like in the title or meta tags.
Strategically building out content for your website can be a lengthy process. If you don’t have the time to do the research and writing yourself, we’ll do it for you. Each of our Best Websites includes dozens of pages optimized for long-tailed keywords that your potential customers are using in search. Schedule a call with our team to learn more!