In 2021, search engine optimization remains as important as ever for businesses that want to grow. Keywords have always been a fundamental element of successful SEO strategies, but long-tail keywords are often avoided, ignored, or overlooked.
The reason long-tail keywords are so valuable is that although they reflect fewer search queries, they can boost conversion rates. Their specificity means that when someone uses a long-tail keyword in a search, that person is already further along the buyer journey.
Whether you want to be found by new audiences, boost your CTRs, or grow your sales figures, long-tail keywords can help.
What Is a Long-Tail Keyword?
Where a keyword is a single word or combination of two that’s related to your industry, business, or niche, long-tail keywords are – well – longer. Here are a few examples:
- Buy black socks size 11 for men
- How to replace windscreen wipers on a Mustang
- Best workouts for lazy people
- Best luxury watches US
Long-tail keywords make it easier to rank highly on SERPs and are one of the fastest and most straightforward ways to level up your business.
Businesses that rank in the first two or three spots on a search engine results page are more easily found when customers want what they sell. Long-tail keywords make it simpler to get to the top of the pages that come up when consumers are specifically looking for what you sell or provide.
If you run a business that has high levels of competition, long-tail keywords can help you stand out from the crowd.
When Is It Best to Use Long-Tail Keywords?
Standard keywords on your homepage and product pages are, of course, vital, but when exactly should you be targeting long-tails? There are two times when their use can be fully weaponized.
On a new website
If you’re a new business with a shiny new website or an established firm going through a rebrand, this is the ideal time to implement a long-tail keyword strategy. Make sure you understand the business process definition so you have a clear growth plan and start researching long-tail keywords.
New websites tend to have more competition as they’re breaking virgin ground and starting from scratch. Other brands in the same sector will already have established themselves, meaning they’re way beyond you.
Utilizing long-tail keywords is a fantastically simple way to earn some SERP traction, so if you're changing up your enterprise pricing models to earn new clients, long-tail keywords are one of your best assets.
In your content marketing strategy
Content drives the internet, and it’s never been more important. If part of your marketing plan includes blog posts and other on-site and link-building content, then long-tail keywords are a resource you don’t want to be without.
Once you’ve identified the long-tail keywords you need to use, these should guide the content on your website and blog. Look at the best personalization websites so you can tailor your site to your visitors and then fill it with top-quality content to keep your bounce and exit rates down.
Long-tail keywords are powerful tools, but if your content doesn’t provide value, it won’t help your business. Strike the right balance and make sure you learn as many tips for creating great blog posts as possible.
How to Find Long-Tail Keywords
So, you know long-tail keywords are traffic-generating, conversion-boosting assets, but how do you work out which ones you should be using? Here’s everything you need to know.
Start your long-tail keyword research by heading to Google. Type your main individual keywords into the search bar one at a time. Google Suggest will then start offering suggestions about where that word might go next.
This is a fantastic, free, and easy way to start building your list of long-tail keywords. Of course, not every auto-suggested phrase will have value (and some may even be incredibly dumb). However, using Google Suggest is nonetheless the best starting point in your long-tail keyword research.
Google Related Searches and People Also Ask
If you do a Google search for some of your keywords, Google also offers two additional resources.
The first is People Also Ask (PAA). These are questions search engine users have put into Google that are in some way relevant to your keywords. They tend to be questions, which means they’re fantastic for guiding your content, especially if you’re looking for inspiration when getting to grips with how to guest post.
At the bottom of the SERP for your keyword, you’ll also find the ‘Related Searches’ section. This too is a goldmine of long-tail keywords and content inspiration. Like Google Suggest, these are free resources that are easy to use and take very little time.
Keyword research tools
In 2021, there are also more keyword research tools available than ever. The most well-known, like SEMrush and Ahrefs, certainly have their value. What a lot of professional marketers and business owners overlook is that using more than one research tool can earn you massive gains.
The more platforms and resources you take advantage of, the longer your list of long-tail keywords will be, so read through the top lists of tools and platforms, looking for the features and pricing that match where you are right now.
With just a little manual work to start with, automating the search for long-tail keywords becomes much easier. That’s good news for your future content plans and conversion rates.
Use your analytics
Your website analytics are a well of information that you ignore at your peril. You want to know as much as possible about your web pages and how well they’re working. You might have optimized your WordPress site’s robots txt, but without understanding the link between analytics and long-tail keywords, your online presence will be much harder to establish.
Diving deep into your analytics can reveal which pages are converting, which are causing potential customers to bounce, and (in the context of long-tail keywords) what kinds of search engine queries are bringing these potential customers to your website.
These are known as keyword referrers, and if you take the time to look through them, you’ll gain an immediate idea of how people are finding you and the search engine queries they’re using that lead to you being clicked on.
You’ll have a higher bounce rate if you’re ranking for a search query that doesn’t match your landing page. This will lead to Google ranking you lower on their SERPs, so look at those keyword referrers, and if your content and landing pages aren’t matching up, be quick to resolve this.
For example, while many SaaS brands will have reviews of previous conferences, they might find customers are landing on their pages looking for information about the best SaaS conferences that haven’t happened yet. Once they’ve identified this issue, they can create suitable content and start using long-tail keywords such as ‘SaaS conferences 2022’ to rank more highly on SERPs.
Check the competition
Your competitors may be a much more useful resource than you've realized. While learning how to do competitive benchmarking has always been a valuable business strategy, those same competitors are also great for your SEO research. Once again, Google can help you here.
Open the Google homepage and type in your primary keyword term. Look at the top results. Go through those pages and check how often they use that primary keyword and what other kinds of keywords they’re using. Keep an eye out for their long-tail keywords and keep a running list.
Most of the main keyword research tools will do this for you, but it’s not exactly challenging to spend 30-minutes a day doing your own research. The more time you spend on competitor keyword research, the more insights and inspiration you'll gain.
Using Long-Tail Keywords: More than Just Text
Don’t just fill your written blog posts with long-tail keywords – everything from infographics to page titles to videos can be more fully optimized by using these. With videos, in particular, the use of keywords in your description or transcription is one of the best ways to boost engagement.
Of course, it’s your written content where your long-tail keywords will most often be utilized. Once you’ve identified and compiled a list of these, you should have plenty of content ideas that can be used as a primary traffic driver.
An SEO strategy should be fine-tuned to your business model, sector, niche, and goals. That’s why no two are the same. However, every successful strategy requires certain essential ingredients, and long-tail keywords are one of them. Get them right, and they can be the key to unlocking your business potential.
Koa Frederick – accelerate agency
Koa Frederick is the Senior Vice President of SaaS strategy at accelerate agency, a SaaS digital marketing agency that exclusively partners with enterprise tech companies to scale their Saas retargeting strategies, SEO, and content marketing. Koa has extensive experience in growing SaaS brands via organic leads and loves to write in her spare time. Here is her LinkedIn.