Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has always benefitted businesses, but now that normal keyword phrases are overcrowded, we must take a different approach to our content marketing efforts by using long-tail keywords.
Long-tail keywords make up for 70% of total searches across the web, have a higher click-through-rate, and a higher conversion rate. Furthermore, they are less competitive and have a higher chance of ranking on Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERPs).
As well, Google algorithm updates like Hummingbird have made longer search queries a better option.
As search engine algorithms evolve, content marketing is increasingly becoming essential to SEO efforts –Content Marketing Institute
The diagram below demonstrates how long-tail keywords makeup for the majority of search queries:
In the last blog, I demonstrated how to generate niches before doing keyword research. Make sure to check it out before continuing!
With the several niches that you have generated, it’s time to find long-tail keywords using Google search.
For the example below, we will use the “diet” niche. Now let’s assume we have an idea for an article like “diet recipes” or “diet and weight-loss”.
Enter “diet recipes” into Google’s search bar:
Then scroll down to the bottom of the page, and you will find two long-tail keyword phrases. We even find the term “weight watcher” as a new keyword phrase to experiment with:
Below is a list of long-tail keywords I found using Google Search that took less than 5 minutes to make:
• Healthy recipes for dinner
• Diet recipes lose weight
• Diet recipes for dinner
• Weight watcher for men
• How does weight watchers online work
• Lose 10 pounds fast
Now that we have some keyword phrases, we will use Google Keyword Planner (GKP) to measure their competition levels.
Open GKP and click the “Get search volume data and trends” option:
Enter in your long-tails:
Afterwards, click “get search volume” at the bottom of this option, these results appear:
If you don’t understand how to read the results from GKP, please refer to Google’s support article.
The results above loosely give us an idea of how challenging each long-tail phrase is. Although “competition” doesn’t directly measure how hard it is to rank organically, it’s a great indicator at this stage of the research process to understand if a keyword is worth using or not.
Again, please refer to our last article for a more precise method to measure keyword competition levels using MozBar.
Now go back to the first page of GKP and choose the option, “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website, or category”:
We will be given three options for input:
• Your product or service
• Your landing page
• Your product or category
Feel free to experiment with different combinations of words, websites, categories, etc. For now, we will enter in the information below:
After entering the variables into GKP, we get over 800 results. Not all of them are long-tails, but by scrolling a bit we can find a few:
These are some great long-tail keywords, but first, let me explain what we are doing. Keyword research is a process of refining your keyword combinations until you find the perfect phrases for your content. It is up to you how precise you want to be, but by constantly running your keywords through different tools like GKP, Google search, and other tools (that I will link to in just a second) — we give ourselves the best chance for finding that “perfect keyword phrase” to target.
For now, jot down every long-tail you can find related to your business.
To summarize what we just did:
1. We loosely measured the competition levels of our long-tails.
2. Found new keywords using GKP.
If you are interested in testing out some other tools, refer to Search Engine Land’s article on keyword research tools.
Wikipedia can be a treasure trove of long-tails. Below, I looked up “weight loss” on wikipedia, scrolled down, and found these long-tails in less than a minute:
Like the process above, we can run these keywords through GKP to generate more phrases. Now that we have an idea of how to generate long tails, how do we incorporate them into our SEO and content marketing strategy?
Here are two general methods for using long-tail keywords to improve search engine rankings:
1. Base your article off your keyword phrase.
With this method, we include the phrase into the title of the article and write about that subject specifically.
2. Include them in your subtitles.
This is a great way to give weight to your long-tail keywords so that your articles appear on search engines for them. As well, you can target more keyword phrases.
There is a third option, which isn’t a specific strategy, but more like a guideline you should follow. Create longer, high-quality articles about very specific subjects. Articles like this organically harbor long-tail keywords within the content that help with search rankings.
In this article, we learned how to find keywords, measure their competition levels, and use them in our content. Long-tail keyword strategies may not seem like viable option when we consider that their search volumes are much lower, but because long-tails have higher click-through rates, conversion rates, and lower competition levels — they are great for websites to target specific audiences or generate steady streams of traffic over time.
The major takeaway is this: keyword research is an ongoing and inexact process. For the most part, there is no step by step method to finding great keywords, you must be a little creative and very determined to find great long tails for your content.
As well, you must create great content for all this extra effort to even matter.
If you are wondering how you can include content in your company’s marketing strategy, how to rank highly on search engines, or need help understanding the importance of keywords in your search engine plan, give us a call and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have!
Our number: 727-237-2035