The use of keywords has always been essential in search engine optimization strategies. However, with the increasing use of voice search, more conversational long-tail keywords are now given more weight by digital marketers.
What Are Long-Tail Keywords?
Long-tail keywords consist of three or more words that make a web search more specific. These are longer key phrases that consumers are likely to use when they are about to purchase a product or avail of a service.
For instance, someone who needs a new pair of running shoes will search for “buy breathable running shoes” instead of simply “buy shoes.” With the latter, the search results are too vast and will include all types of shoes. On the other hand, the longer and more specific phrase will yield the results that are most relevant to the user. As such, consumers who are closer to a point-of-purchase use long-tail keywords.
These keywords are also used by digital marketers and branding agencies in their content strategies, particularly for voice search. Long-tail keywords are able to target specific audience sets due to their conversational nature and ability to deliver accurate search results.
Why Use Long-tail Keywords
Focusing on the use of long-tail keywords is an effective SEO tactic. It usually draws less traffic than shorter keywords, but the traffic is often more focused and committed to completing a purchase. Here are a few of the benefits of using long-tail keywords:
- Easier to rank in searches
Common keywords compete heavily for high rankings on search engines. In contrast, there’s less competition for long-tail keywords, so it’s easier to rank for them. Often, the more specific your search terms, the higher their possibility of ranking well. You can further improve your rank and generate more traffic by focusing on a group of related long-tail keywords.
- Lower costs per click
Since fewer websites are competing for long-tail keywords, the cost per click is consequently much lower. This means you do not have to pay a premium for every click made from your campaigns.
- Higher conversion rates
Long-tail keywords may get less traffic, but they bring higher conversions. These keywords attract users who are specific about their search intent and who are more eager to view your products and services. Quite often, visitors who reach your site through long-tail keywords will avail of your products and services.
How to Optimize Your Site for Long-tail Keywords
Businesses who want their content to rank in search engines must optimize their websites for long-tail keywords. To start off the optimization process, here are some steps you should take:
- Find long-tail keywords
Find long-tail keywords that will drive targeted traffic to your website. You can use Google autofill and related searches to find variations of a common keyword. You can do this by entering a search term and going through the suggested phrases that appear as you type your query. Then, you can check the bottom of the page for other suggested key phrases.
You can also use Alexa’s keyword difficulty tool or its competitor keyword matrix to find long-tail keywords that are popular in your niche. Online forums and community boards are also good places to discover popular topics that can be used as key phrases.
- Qualify the keywords
Once you have a list of keywords, determine which ones will add value to your SEO strategy. Identify those with a good amount of interest but with low competition. Good search interest will ensure that there would be enough queries that lead users to your website.
- Optimize the use of keywords
Identifying the right long-tail keywords to use is just the first part of optimization. You must also know how to use them throughout your content. The proper placement of these keywords will increase the chances of your site ranking for a specific phrase.
Always include the keyword in the post title and in at least one subheading. Make sure to also place it in the meta title and meta description. Then, use the keyword naturally throughout the content while keeping the keyword density to around 2%. Use it in both the first and last paragraphs and as an image alt tag. Lastly, add internal links to complete the optimization process.