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Understanding Long Tail Keywords and How To Use Them

To put it simply, long-tail keywords are longer and more specific keyword phrases. These types of keywords are often used by searchers who are further along in the buying or research phase. These keywords often show more user intent and specificity than searches coming from a user who is very early on in the research process. Additionally, as voice search has become more popular via technology such as Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, and Apple’s Siri, the use of more conversational keyword phrases has also steadily increased.

What Are Long Tail Keywords?

When marketers and SEO professionals say “long-tail keywords”, try to imagine a snake. At the head of the snake you have the main idea, these are the more broad terms that show less intent such as McDonald’s, Twitter, Oil, News, etc. All these broad keywords return a significant amount of results, and ranking on page one for them is going to be tough.

It’s because those head keywords are so broad that we can leverage longer keyword phrases (our tail) to appear in the results for a more specific search. For example, let’s say you’re searching for “shoes”, you’re going to get back every result where “shoes” are mentioned. On the other hand, if you make that search longer and more specific such as “Shoes with high ankle support”, you’re going to get back results that are more tailored to what you searched for.

Long-Tail Keywords and Search Intent?

By incorporating long-tail keywords into your content, you’ll be able to get better visibility from the users that matter. When utilizing long-tail keywords, the overall volume to your site is likely going to be a bit lower than if you were to use shorter and more broad terms. Although your overall traffic is going to be lower, the users who enter your site from these long-tail keywords are going to be considerably more qualified, and all the more likely to purchase your product or service. 

By targeting the words and phrases that show the highest user intent, you’ll be able to appear in more competitive search results and drive the searchers who are ready to take action to your website. 

How To Use Long Tail Keywords For Content Marketing?

The first place to start is with keyword research. Find the keywords and phrases that relate to what your business offers and shows the highest intent of a user to take action. One of the best places to find long-tail keywords is with Ahrefs’ keyword explorer tool. You can find general keywords, keyword phrases, and some great long-tail keywords that you may not have thought of. Another great place is the Google search bar. In the search bar, Google typically provides autofill options that add on to what you’ve already typed in the search bar. These are all long-tail keywords that people have previously searched for and have returned successful results.

The next step to integrating these long-tail keywords is to craft keyword-rich headlines with them. The headline is the first thing searchers see and the first thing Google reads. Having a strong headline that tells the searcher exactly what’s on the page and is usually the deciding factor in whether they click that result or scroll past it to the next. 

Lastly, be sure your content is on-topic and accurate. You can get people to your site with a keyword-rich headline, but if the content under that headline is inaccurate or untrustworthy then people will bounce from your site. If the users that go to your site bounce quickly, that tells Google that your content isn’t accurate and can’t be trusted. 

The Takeaway

Almost anyone can use long-tail keywords to spruce up their content and make it easier for qualified users to act on their site. If you take the time to do in-depth keyword research, write strong headlines, and write accurate supporting copy, you will begin to see an overall increase in the number of qualified users who interact with your site. Good luck, and happy optimizing!

 

-written by Jonah Ericksen

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