How to Effectively Target Long-tail Keywords and Boost Your SEO

How robust is your keyword strategy?

We, the SEO people, live in an industry that has plenty of uncertainties and surprises. We have been facing them every single moment and are learning to cope with the situation.

“What” was being done 8 or 10 years back has remained fundamentally the same, but “How” things were being executed has changed drastically, and it will keep changing for sure.

Optimized on-page update, quality content creation, authoritative link building – they all are very important factors responsible for search engine ranking. But, ‘keyword research’ is always the stepping stone, and without a proper keyword research your entire search engine ranking model fails.

How the keyword research was getting done has changed and today the focus is not only on the keywords searched, but also the real intent behind the search queries.

Keywords with higher search volume and competition level (typically short-tail keywords with 1 or 2 words in the entire search query) are believed to be more productive because more searchers are looking for products or services related to those search terms, and more advertisers and web masters aim to rank for those keywords.

But the scene has changed quite a bit.

Although short-tail keywords (aka seed keywords) are popular worldwide and they always have a high level of global competition, those are not necessarily the best SEO keywords for all businesses.

Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, have less competition, but if they are thoughtfully targeted to serve the real intent of the searchers, they can actually be way more productive than the seed keywords.

So, let’s learn about certain important points about an effective long-tail keyword strategy and how you can use it to your advantage.

A few points first…

Long-tail keywords, in general, are search queries that contain 3 or 4 (or more) words to match the exact search terms typed by the searchers. Example: “How to reduce body fat”. This search query contains 5 words, and it resonates with the specific intent of the searcher.

Long-tail keywords have low search volume and low competition level.

Almost 70% of all search traffic comes from long-tail search terms.

Rate of Conversion associated with long-tail SEO keywords is high because they serve the exact intent of the searchers.

It’s easier to rank for the long-tail keywords and achieve a good amount of conversion.

In certain cases, brand names comprising 1 or 2 words with highly specific low search volume can also be treated as long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords help optimize for Semantic Search. Semantic search is a data searching technique in which the search engine shows search results based on the intent and contextual meaning of each word searched by the searcher.

Long-tail Keyword Strategy

Now that you know the advantages and efficiency of targeting high-converting long-tail keywords for your business, it’s important to learn how to find those long-tail keywords that can be highly productive from the business point of view.

Here are the steps:

1. Open your Google Search Console and click Search Traffic

2. Search Analytics and select Clicks, Impressions and Position

3. Scroll down and click on the Download button on the bottom to get the whole list of keywords.

Next, you would need to download the same for your other campaigns such as PPC, YouTube Videos, Facebook Page, Twitter Account, Instagram etc. that you think can provide you with a good list of long-tail keyword choices.

Save all the entries in a single document to make sure you have them all in one place for reference.

Extend this process further to find some more potential long-tail keyword choices within your niche that you could rank for.

Here are the steps to collect the potential long-tail keywords manually:

1. Gather a list of seed or short-tail keywords. You may use a keyword planning tool to prepare this list, but don’t use Google Adwords program because it would likely try to prohibit you from getting to your real target keywords that are long-tail with low search volume and can be highly profitable for your business.

2. Use Google’s auto-complete suggestions to prepare your list of potential long-tail keywords. Type any short-tail or seed keywords into Google search and note down the auto-complete suggestions provided by Google. Those terms are what searchers are looking for with high intent.

3. Use Google’s related search suggestions to a good effect. You can find the related search suggestions section at the bottom of every search engine results page (SERP). Since most searchers are searching for those long-tail keywords, you can easily target those complete phrases to drive more potential sales.

4. There’s no reason you can ignore other search engines and their search suggestions, so yes, you can try the above steps on Bing and Yahoo to broaden your list of potential long-tail keywords. If you think this method of manual long-tail keywords searching can be a pain and a time-consuming task, there are numerous software programs like this one available online to help you out. You may try a few different long-tail keyword finding tools and choose the best.

So, your list of long-tail keywords is ready. Now you can go for adding them to your page content meaningfully.

Creating Quality Content Using Your Target Long-tail Keywords

After a long and painful research you’ve come up with a huge list long-tail keywords. But, you cannot create dedicated landing pages for each one of those. You can group them to shorten the list.

Multiple keywords will fall under one group based on their common search intent. This way you’re going to deal with a smaller list of keywords. If possible now, add the keywords to your existing page content, or else, create new content around your long-tail keywords where those keywords will live naturally.

Remember to create internal links inside your new content, so you can easily accommodate your long-tails. That’s a good SEO practice anyway.

This holistic long-tail keyword strategy will give you an SEO boost that adds value to your business.

Long-tail target keywords and your content strategy work in tandem. You should keep creating high-value assets and blog posts about your niche. Create powerful content and post them all over the places (as much as you could) to build up your online reputation. Optimize your pages for search engine ranking under those high-converting, long-tail keywords, and keep track of your traffic growth on a regular basis. Communicate and engage with your visitors, and keep improving your own knowledge from time to time.

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