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An Effective Long Tail Keyword Strategy

By February 4, 2013 May 13th, 2019 No Comments

effective-long-tail-keyword-strategyCreating an effective long tail keyword strategy is easy — you just need to find the words that people are actually typing into the search engines to find websites like yours.

What are Long Tail Keywords?

A long tail keyword is a very targeted keyword phrase that contains 3 or more words. These keywords are highly specific, and draw less traffic for the website, but tend to draw more quality traffic, which leads to more conversions than normal keywords.

In fact, that latest research by SearchEngineWatch.com shows that longer keyword phrases pay off in higher click-throughs and higher conversion rates as well.

Long tail keywords lead to long-term success

As content marketers, we’re always looking for the quick score, the boost in conversions, the A/B test that show we can increase clicks by changing a title. But behind this rush to results is an understanding that we are also building corporate assets (our web content) that will continue to produce results over time, and actually compounds our results over time.

Here are 5 key points from the SearchEngineWatch.com research:

  • 0-5 character keywords are, more often than not, too short for advertisers to derive any meaningful intent. As such, they don’t create meaningful impressions, clicks, or conversions for most advertisers.
  • 6-10 character keywords generate a high number of impressions. They don’t, however, generate a proportional number of clicks and conversions. Consumers are entering queries of this length; however, they still aren’t far enough along in the purchase consideration funnel to actually click and convert on paid search ads.
  • Nearly 60 percent of all impressions, clicks, and impressions occur with 11-20 character keywords. Including 21-25 character keywords brings us to 80 percent of call conversions. As such, 11-25 character keywords definitely comprise the “head.”
  • While 26-40 character keywords generate significantly fewer impressions, they are much more efficient than head keywords. Specifically, 11-20 character keywords represented 62 percent of clicks and 62 percent of conversions (a 1-to-1 relationship); whereas, 26-35 character keywords represented 6 percent of clicks and 10 percent of conversions – a 3-to-5 relationship. In other words, the long tail keywords were – ballpark – about 66 percent more profitable than the head keywords (ignoring bids), supporting the notion that long tail keywords are more profitable than head keywords.
  • The impression, click and conversion volume with +40 character keywords is minimal. Efficiency on these keywords is very low as well. As such, SEMs should probably not spend time generating/managing keywords with greater than 40 characters.

Remember that these results are based on “character count”, not word count. And character count includes spaces.

How to find the words people use when they search

Finding the words or phrases people actually use when they search the internet is simple. Google provides two free tools for this: Google Keyword Tool and Google Trends.

Google Keyword Tool
In Google Keyword Tool (part of Google Adwords), use the “phrase match” tab on the left to get the phrases most often used for a particular set of keywords. Keep in mind that actual search volume should be viewed as a relative number, not a “hard” number. Pick keyword phrases with “Low” competition for best results.

Google Trends
Google Trends can help you surface some good keyword phrases that you may not have thought about. Search the phrase you are interested in, the look for “Related terms” in the lower right corner. Click on the “Rising” tab. This will give you some related phrases that are trending now. These may be excellent keyword phrases to add to your keyword list.

A simple strategy for using your long tail keywords

Now that you have your long tail keywords, you can use them in your blog posts to enhance the ranking of each post in the search engine results. We have a simple formula for this: use your primary long tail keyword in the title of the post, and again in the first paragraph. Be sure to set this phrase on your meta keywords for your post. That’s it!

It’s OK to use your keyword phrase, or a secondary phrase, at various points in your article if it reads naturally to your web visitors. But please, no keyword stuffing! Write for your readers, not the search engines!

Photo credit: Flickr

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Larry Levenson

Larry Levenson

Larry is passionate about inbound marketing and is a HubSpot Certified Trainer. He's learned the "secrets" of leveraging HubSpot to make marketing hyper-effective and customizes that information to help our clients meet their goals. Larry lives in Prescott, AZ, and when not at work, he is hiking or hanging out with teenagers as a volunteer with Boys to Men USA.

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