Search engine optimisation has long been the backbone of online visibility. At its heart lies a simple yet crucial component: keywords.
Keywords act as the bridge between what people are searching for online and the content you are offering on your website.
Keywords help search engines, like Google, determine the relevancy of a webpage to a particular search term.
Long-tail keywords are more specific and longer keyword phrases that visitors are more likely to use when they’re closer to a point of purchase or when they’re using voice search.
Their name comes from the “long tail” of the search demand curve, representing a larger number of less frequent search terms.
Short-Tail vs Long-Tail Keywords
The main difference here is specificity. While “running shoes” is quite broad and attracts 25x more searches each month, it’s also far more competitive.
On the other hand, “womens trail running shoes” targets a specific audience looking for a particular type of product.
Even though it attracts fewer searches each month, the traffic it does receive is highly targeted.
This is why it is cruicial to understand the distinction between short-tail and long-tail keywords:
- Short-tail keywords are broad search terms with high competition that are challenging to rank for, especially for smaller websites. They may bring significant traffic but don’t always lead to high conversions.
- Long-tail keywords are specific search terms with lower search volumes but typically higher conversion rates. They attract users with precise needs, making them more likely to engage or buy upon finding relevant results.
5 Key Benefits of Long-Tail Keywords
When discussing SEO strategies, the value of long-tail keywords can’t be overstated.
These specific search terms might not capture large volumes of search traffic, but they offer distinct advantages that can significantly impact a website’s performance.
1. Targeted Traffic with Higher Conversion Rates
Users who search using long-tail keywords often have a clear idea of what they want.
By matching their specific search intent, websites can ensure higher engagement and conversion rates.
It means visitors who find your site through these terms are more likely to take desired actions, be it making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.
2. Less Competition in Search Results
Generic search terms come with vast competition, making it tough to rank high in search engine results pages (SERPs).
In contrast, long-tail keywords face fewer competitors, offering an opportunity for better search rankings, especially beneficial for newer sites or those in competitive sectors.
3. Cost-Effective for Paid Search Campaigns
For those using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, long-tail keywords can be a budget-friendly choice.
Their specificity often means lower bidding costs, and given their targeted nature, they frequently deliver a commendable return on investment.
4. Suits Voice Search and Conversational Queries
With the growing use of voice searches through digital assistants and smart devices, users are posing more conversational queries.
These spoken searches tend to mirror long-tail keywords in their specificity, making it vital to consider them in SEO strategies.
5. Facilitates Content Creation
Focusing on long-tail keywords provides insights into users’ specific needs and queries.
This knowledge proves beneficial for content creation, as you can tailor articles, videos, or other materials to directly address and answer those queries.
User Intent Behind Long-Tail Keywords
Grasping the user intent, or the reason someone conducts a specific search, is crucial in modern SEO.
Long-tail keywords often serve as a window into this intent, revealing more about a user’s goals and the stage they’re at in their decision-making process.
Often, users begin their online journey looking for answers or to learn about a topic.
Long-tail keywords with informational intent might include terms such as “how to care for indoor plants” or “what are the health benefits of green tea”.
These searches indicate a user’s desire for knowledge rather than an immediate intention to purchase.
Users with navigational intent are generally looking for a specific website or page.
Examples of long-tail keywords in this category might be “White Peak Digital contact page” or “best summer recipes on Taste”.
These users already have a clear destination in mind; they’re using search engines as a shortcut to get there.
When users are ready to make a purchase, sign up, or engage in a transaction, they might use long-tail keywords that reflect this readiness.
Examples could include “buy leather work boots size 10” or “best deals on DSLR cameras Brisbane”.
These keywords suggest a high likelihood of conversion, as the user has moved from general browsing to a specific intention to act.
Sometimes users are in a decision-making phase, intending to buy soon but still weighing their options.
Long-tail keywords like “best smartphones under $800 Australia 2023” or “top-rated eco-friendly yoga mats” indicate a user seeking comparisons or reviews, bridging the gap between information gathering and transactional intent.
How to Find Long-Tail Keywords
Finding the right long-tail keywords for your content isn’t just about extending your primary keyword with additional words.
It’s about understanding your audience, their queries, and the specific details they’re searching for. Let’s explore some effective strategies to find long-tail keywords.
Keyword Research Tools
Popular tools like Ahrefs & Semrush can provide an enormous amount of long-tail keyword suggestions.
By entering a primary keyword, these tools can generate a list of longer, related search terms that users are typing into search engines.
Google’s “Related Searches”
At the bottom of Google’s search results page, you’ll often see a related searches section.
This area can be a goldmine for long-tail keyword ideas, as it showcases queries that users are also searching for in relation to your main keyword.
Answer the Public
Answer The Public is a brilliant free tool for uncovering questions people ask around a specific topic.
By entering a primary keyword, you’ll receive a visual map of questions, prepositions, and comparisons, all of which can guide your long-tail keyword strategy.
Social Media & Forums
By observing the questions and topics people discuss, you can identify long-tail keywords that might not appear in traditional keyword tools but are still relevant to your audience.
These social platforms can also help you identify a new and trending topic before it appears elsewhere, giving you a head start over your competition.
Review the content on competitor websites who rank well in your industry.
While you shouldn’t copy their content, you can gain insights into the long-tail phrases they’re targeting, which can inspire your own research and SEO strategy.
Not sure where to start? Get in touch with our Brisbane SEO experts who do this every day for some of the biggest brands in Australia!
How to Implement Long-Tail Keywords
Once you’ve identified the long-tail keywords relevant to your website and audience, the next crucial step is their proper implementation.
Utilising these keywords correctly will enhance your content’s visibility and potential to be found online organically.
Avoid Keyword Stuffing
The key is to ensure that long-tail keywords flow naturally within your content. Whether it’s in blog posts, product descriptions, or landing pages, you need to avoid keyword stuffing.
Instead, incorporate them into sentences where they make sense and add value.
Optimise Meta Descriptions & Titles
Your webpage’s title and meta description are prime spots for long-tail keywords.
They not only inform search engines about your page’s content but also entice users when your page appears in search results.
Subheadings break up your content, making it more readable.
Incorporating long-tail keywords in H2 or H3 tags can emphasise their importance both for readers and search engine crawlers.
Use Image Alt Text
If your content contains images, ensure you use relevant long-tail keywords in the image alt text.
It not only helps on-page SEO but also improves accessibility for users relying on screen readers.
Update Existing Content
Revisit older content and find opportunities to incorporate new long-tail keywords.
This strategy can give your existing articles or pages a fresh SEO boost without the need to create brand-new content.
Write High-Quality Content
Always remember, while keywords are vital, the quality of your content is paramount.
Aim to provide valuable and informative content where long-tail keywords naturally fit and serve the reader’s intent.
Monitor & Adjust
SEO isn’t a set-and-forget game. Regularly monitor the performance of your rankings and keywords using tools like Google Analytics & Google Search Console.
If certain long-tail keywords aren’t performing as expected, reassess and tweak your content strategy accordingly.
Future Trends in Keyword Research
To ensure your content remains visible and relevant, it’s vital to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in keyword research.
Rise of Voice Search
With the popularity of smart speakers and voice-activated assistants like Siri and Alexa, more users are conducting voice searches then ever before.
These searches tend to be conversational and longer in nature. Adapting to this change means optimising for natural, voice-friendly long-tail keywords.
Semantic Search & Intent
Google and other search engines are increasingly focusing on understanding the intent behind a search query rather than just the specific words used.
This means a shift from exact-match keywords to context and topic-based content.
Enhanced Local SEO
As mobile searches grow, so does the importance of local SEO. People often search for businesses “near me” or with a specific location.
Optimising for local long-tail keywords can increase visibility for businesses targeting a regional audience.
User Experience & SERP Behaviour
As search engine algorithms become more sophisticated, factors like bounce rate, time spent on page, and user engagement will play a more significant role.
This means not just getting users to your site, but ensuring the website design and content is engaging enough for them to stay and interact.
Instead of isolated posts or pages around specific keywords, the future will see a rise in ‘content clusters’.
This approach involves creating a pillar content piece and related subtopics, all interlinked, providing comprehensive coverage of a subject.
Long-tail keywords play a pivotal role in connecting websites with their target audience.
Embracing these specific search terms can not only increase organic traffic but can also lead to higher conversion rates.
For businesses aiming to achieve meaningful online engagement and better visibility, prioritising long-tail keywords is a key strategy.
To your success,