Long Tail Keywords Overview
People simply don’t enter keywords into Google anymore – they’re far more likely to phrase their query as a question. Believe it or not, this can actually work to your advantage, once you master long tail keywords. This is because they offer a far more targeted approach.
What is a Long Tail Keyword?
A long tail keyword contains at least three words. Usually, one or two of the words would be generic, or what is known as a “head term,” while the others are more specific. Let’s pretend, for example, that a pet owner is looking for a veterinarian in Boston. If you are a veterinarian in Boston, then obviously you want “veterinarian” and Boston” in your head term, because customers searching just for “veterinarian” are never going to find you. But if they search “Veterinarian in Boston,” they will. Now, let’s take it a step further and pretend that you specialize in pet birds. A good long tail keyword is “Bird veterinarian in Boston.”
See what you’re doing here? By adding to your keywords, you’re actually narrowing down the search criteria that will help your potential customers to find you. This means you get better, more qualified traffic, and higher conversion. Long tail keywords, because they are more specific, make your website more relevant to a person searching for your product or service.
Now, because you are targeting your potential customers more specifically, the people that find you are the ones who genuinely need your specific product or service. Your page is more relevant to them, and they are more likely to get in touch with you than they are to continue looking through other, less relevant websites. So, you get more qualified traffic, and a higher conversion rate, because you have weeded out the competition by using long tail keywords.
Now, there is a downside to long tail keywords. If you use them, you may be one of a very few who actually rank in your category. If you slip in the rankings, you could have a hard time getting back to where you were. So, make sure that your long tail key words are diverse – “Bird veterinarian in Boston,” “Boston avian vet,” “Veterinarian for your parrot in Boston,” and so on – if you slip with one long tail keyword, you will probably be okay with others, and will likely get your lost position back in little time. Make sure, though, to always include your head terms in your long tail keywords while adding more complex, competitive terms.
There are tools available that you can use to analyze the effectiveness of your long tail keywords. You may know, from reading past posts, that I am not just an unashamed HubSpot evangelist. In the spirit of full disclosure, I am also partnered with HubSpot.
I can say in total honestly, though, that I think you will find no better tool than HubSpot’s Keyword Tool, which will help you to identify the long tail keywords that will drive more traffic to your website.
Google Analytics is also very useful. The point here is that if you know which keywords, both individually and long tail, bring you traffic, you can focus on the customers who are using those search terms first.
If you find it difficult identifying long tail keywords that will work for you, one very easy method is simply going to Google.com and entering your head terms in the search box. Google Suggest will recommend variations of long tail keywords for you. Once you have identified low-competition phrases, include them in your URL, page title, page description, H1 tags, and also throughout your content. This will really help you SEO your blog posts.
Now, once you’re getting traffic, provide more content, videos or offers to move visitors to your site through the sales funnel. They are on your site, they are very qualified, and ready to buy your product or service.
Long tail keywords can be your best friend. They make it easy for people to find your product or service simply by entering a question into Google instead of muddling about with individual keywords. Still wondering “how to use long tail keywords”? Just copy and paste that phrase into Google. You just used long tail keywords to find out more information about long tail keywords! Now, apply that concept to your own product or service with the right ones.