If you’ve been blogging for a while or you’re a copywriter, you know that keywords help Google and other search engines drive the right traffic to your website.
But what the heck is a long-tail keyword and why should you care?
If you’re truly serious about implementing SEO for yourself or your client, then using long-tail keywords is a MUST.
Long tail keywords can drive more traffic to your blog.
But before we look at how they can drive more traffic to your blog, let’s learn what a long tail keyword is.
What is a long tail keyword?
A long tail keyword is a search phrase that contains at least 3 words and can sometimes be as long as 8 or 9 words.
Long tail keywords are generally less competitive and have a smaller search volume than short keywords.
This is because long-tail keywords target a more niche demographic. They answer a more specific question that a user has.
Examples of long tail keywords
‘Essential oils to stop snoring’ (instead of ‘essential oil’)
‘Best organic matcha tea brand’ (instead of ‘matcha tea’)
‘Business coach for women in business in Melbourne’ (instead of ‘business coach’)
‘Copywriter for health care businesses’ (instead of ‘copywriter’)
These examples target a specific audience. They are a keyword phrase rather than one or two keywords.
Why should you target long tail keywords?
We work hard to write great content that helps our readers, but if they can’t find us, then our content is useless.
Writing SEO-friendly copy is important, but it doesn’t guarantee we’ll get traffic, especially if we’re in a competitive market.
This is where long tail keywords come in handy. They can help drive more traffic to our website.
If you or your client is in a very competitive market, targeting short words and queries could be a waste of time.
Let’s look at “water filters” as an example:
While the search volumes might be high, there is a lot of competition.
The chances of your website ranking on page 1 of Google are slim.
If I wanted to target the keyword “water filters”, I’d be competing against 640,000,000 other websites!
(Good luck with that one.)
Running Google ads for these competitive keywords is very expensive and let’s face it: not a smart way to use your marketing budget.
You’d probably have better luck buying a Powerball ticket.
Savvy writers and bloggers target long tail keywords because the competition can be smaller.
You can find long tail keywords that are easier to rank on page 1.
Higher conversion rate (a.k.a. show me the money!)
Since long tail keywords are very specific, you’re targeting a very niche audience.
This can be a good thing- if you’re targeting a niche audience that knows what it wants, and it’s what you can offer, there’s a higher chance of converting the user into a paying client or customer.
An audience is more specific about a product or service when they know what they want, which happens after they’ve already done most of the initial research.
They have a higher buying intent.
Simply put, they are more ready to buy than someone searching using shorter keywords.
If you target the keyword “water filter”, not only is this a very competitive keyword but you could be attracting the wrong types of buyers who are in the market for water filters.
What types of water filters are you selling? Water filters for your shower? Water filters for jugs?
Examples of long tail keywords relating to water filters could be:
While fewer people are looking for “water filters that remove fluoride and chlorine” than simply “water filters”, you’ll have less competition and your user is more likely to buy from you because they know what they need and you have it!
How long tail keywords improve your content
Long tail keywords sound conversational
People prefer reading conversational content over anything formal.
Since long tail keywords are longer phrases, they sound more natural and conversational. It’s easy to weave them in your content. However, since they are longer phrases, it’s more noticeable if you use the same long tail keyword too many times throughout your content.
Rank for other related queries
The beauty of using long tail keywords is that you may end up ranking for many similar-sounding keyword phrases without needing to include each one in your content.
Give you a clearer avatar
Long tail keywords help you form a clearer avatar. You know exactly who you are writing for and who you’re not writing for, than if you were using a general keyword.
Help you focus on tighter copy
When you know exactly who your audience is and what they’re specifically searching for, you can focus on tighter copy. No waffling, no general, boring rubbish!
In our water filter example, rather than writing a general blog about water filters, we can write about how water filters can remove chlorine and make our water healthier and tastier. We’re targeting people who care about their health. We’re targeting people who live in cities with water that contains a high level of chlorine.
Isn’t it easier to write for a specific audience?
How to use long tail keywords in your content
As a copywriter or blogger, how can you incorporate long tail keywords into content?
Here are some ways to use long tail keywords in your content:
-In your content’s headline
-As an alt-tag for an image
-As a H1 or H2 heading within the content
-In the first paragraph of your content
-Use secondary long tail keywords throughout your content
-As part of your meta description
-As part of a product description (for e-commerce)
Have I got you excited about improving your writing?
Let’s summarise what we’ve learnt about long tail keywords:
A long-tail keyword:
Contains at least 3 words and is more a key phrase than a keyword
Is less competitive
Has a smaller search volume
Targets a specific audience
Targets users with a higher buying intent
Next time you’re doing keyword research, look out for those juicy long tail keywords and use them into your content!