Long-Tail Keywords: Why and How
THE EASY GUIDE
Improve the Search Ranking for Your Small Business
The use of keywords is an essential part of your Search Engine Optimization [SEO] strategy.
But have you heard about Long-Tail Keywords?
And do you know why you should start using them?
The following post will shed some light on it in a quick and easy way.
The reason why I chose this topic for a blog post is the following:
As a Small Business Owner or Entrepreneur, you often struggle achieving a high search engine ranking, because of the competition with larger brands in your industry. Using Long-Tail Keywords can help you with this.
But, SEO is a complex topic. I know from own experience that articles on this subject can be confusing when SEO is not your core business. As a Small Business Owner, you have to be knowledgeable about it but you are not an expert, and you most likely do not have the budget to hire a professional.
The following easy to digest guide can help you saving resources.
Why and how to use Long-Tail Keywords
So let’s start with the obvious question
WHAT is a Long-Tail Keyword?
Keywords, in general, are the words that you type into search engines.
But where does the term ‘long-tail’ come into play?
Well, a Long-Tail Keyword is a very targeted search phrase that contains 3 or more words. It often contains a head term, which is a more generic search term 1 or 2 words in length. [Source: Hubspot]
Why do Long-Tail Keywords impact my SEO?
Your goal is to rank your website, products, services, articles, etc. as high as possible in the search engine lists, right? The vast majority of people only click on links that appear on the first page of their search results. Thus, you need to be listed there!
If you try to rank for a short keyword, the chances are high that others try to do the same. With other words, the competition around this keyword is high.
Imagine you try to rank for ‘Social Media‘. What do you think the result will be?
Yes, more than 1.290.000.000 search results that show up in Google Search.
But the more you specify, the lower the number of search results are:
– Social Media Consultant 55.900.000 search results
– Social Media Consultant for hair stylists in Rotterdam 54.900 search results
The above is an example of a Long-Term Keyword for a business page.
As for a blog post, let’s take another example from the Social Media World.
– Social Media Marketing 387.000.000 search results
– Social Media Marketing best practices B2B 2.240.000 search results
Bear in mind, that Social Media itself is a highly competitive field and the search results are higher than for other industries/services.
In general, Long-Tail Keywords allow you to target a specific audience which is more likely to be interested in your products or services.
Keep in mind, that you need to have a clear picture of your audience, their problems and goals.
Put yourself into your potential customers/clients shoes. What do they search for? Which language do they use?
The more specific your Long-Tail Keyword is,
– the better your chances to rank high &
– the more targeted will be the audience you address.
Long-Tail Keywords are very targeted search phrases, which can lead to a high probability of conversion combined with a low SEO competition. [image courtesy: NeilPatel.com]
But how to find my Long-Tail Keywords?
There are various keyword search tools available on the market. The best-known tool is the ‘Google Keyword Planner’. It is a great tool for Long-Tail Keyword search.
To get a first grip on your potential keywords, just use ‘Google Suggestions’. The image below shows an example of suggestions for ‘Social Media Marketing B2B’.
Other good tools, which expand the Google suggestion lists, are ‘keywordtool.io’ [limited set of free features] and ‘ubersuggest.io’.
The keyword search tool ‘kwfinder.com’ provides interesting additional features. It shows you, for example, how hard the keyword is regarding SEO competition. Although the free version only allows for a limited number of searches each day, you can gain quite some information from it.
The image shows an example of the online tool kwfinder.com for the search term ‘Social Media Marketing B2B’. The SEO competition is ranked as possible.
Is my Long-Tail Keyword a good choice?
The Keyword Efficiency Index [KEI] gives you a good indication whether your keyword is a good choice from the SEO standpoint.
It can be calculated as following: KEI=(AxA)/E
with A=search volume within a specific timeframe [=your Keyphrase appeared in A searches in the past XX days (you can find it in the Google Keyword Planner)]
and E=search results [this is the number you see at the top of a Google search page]
The higher the KEI number, the better (>100 is considered as excellent).
Got it – what’s the next step?
How to implement my Long-Tail Keyword?
Once you decided on a Long-Term Keyword, you need to incorporate it into your blog post [or website].
Search engines do not read your complete post. Thus, for ranking, the search engine needs to understand the purpose of your post by just scanning it. Because of this, your keywords need to appear in various places throughout the post – the URL, the page title, the headline, the Alt-image description, and the bulk text.
While in the earlier years of Search Engine Optimization you needed to use the exact term, search engines are smarter these days. You can also use variations of the structure as well as synonyms.
Some Final Words
With this, you have a starting guide at hand. But don’t worry if you do not succeed for your first blog post, keyword research is a learning process which includes some iterations to really find out what your audience is searching for.
Long-term keywords are not the sole recipe to SEO success, but if you start using them, you put yourself into a leading position above competitors who have not yet discovered this powerful feature.
Keep in mind, SEO success also does not come over night. You need to put in place your strategy and be consistent.
Over to you