What Are Long-Tailed Keywords and How Do You Optimize for Them?

by Apr 21, 2022Learning Center, SEO

Think about someone searching with the keyword “ice cream” and someone searching for “organic ice cream from family farms Montana.” The first one is using a short general keyword while the second prefers a longer, more detailed keyphrase. This keyphrase is an example of a so-called long-tailed keyword.

Short-tailed keywords usually consist of just a couple of words. There is intense competition on Google and other search engines for such short keywords. Long-tailed keywords, however, face less competition and can deliver more focused results, thus proving highly valuable when you are looking for customers.

Your content should contain long-tailed keywords. Include them in your blog posts, texts, headlines, and taglines. Because of the fierce competition facing short keywords, smart businesses are focusing on developing content that highlights such long-tailed keywords instead.

Your media agency can deliver a plan that determines which long-tailed keywords match your brand and how these keywords can bring committed traffic to your website and help your business get extra conversions and sales.

Long-Tailed Keywords

Long-tailed keywords contain more than two words. They can be descriptive, informative, and define the geographic location of a business.

For example, consider the following two searches: “single-family real estate Montrose Colorado” and “real estate Colorado.” In the first case, the customer knows what they want and where they want it. The second search is more generic and is probably from someone who is still considering their options.

If you are a real estate agent, you want to develop long-tailed keywords that lead to specific landing pages. In the above example, you will want a specific page that lists single-family real estate opportunities in Montrose, Colorado. When your prospective customer enters the long-tailed keyword, they will be directed toward a tailor-made webpage that contains all your properties that satisfy these criteria. In this way, you will be bringing your prospective customers one step closer to buying from you.

Why Do Long-Tailed Keywords Matter?

There are billions of websites on Google and other search engines. You are competing with businesses that spend thousands, if not millions, of dollars on SEO, marketing, and advertising.

Short-tailed keywords are highly competitive. If you sell ice cream, the generic search for “ice cream” yields a staggering 2 billion results! On the other hand, searching for “organic ice cream family farm Montana” only delivers 5 million results.

Obviously, while the competition for short-tailed keywords is fierce, long-tailed keywords help you narrow down your product or services and reach people who are actively searching for what you have to offer. In our first example, the “ice cream” search is too generic: it contains people looking for ice cream recipes, ice cream trucks, ice cream shops, ice cream ingredients, and anything else regarding ice cream.

On the other hand, the more focused, long-tailed search is highly targeted: this person already knows they want organic ice cream, made in Montana from a family farm. This narrows down the search significantly and offers leads that are more focused and committed. This customer is well on her way to conversion and you are a step closer to making a sale.

From a marketing point of view, long-tailed keywords face less competition and could help you advance your business with more budget-friendly ads. The cost-per-click (CPC) is lower because fewer people are competing for the same words. As a bonus, the traffic you are getting is more dedicated and determined to make a purchase than for a generic keyword search.

How Do I Find Long-Tailed Keywords?

The easiest way to find long-tailed keywords is to hire a media agency. They have the expert SEO tools and know-how necessary to uncover the long-tailed keywords that best represent your business and are used by customers to find similar products and services.

If you prefer to perform the preliminary research yourself, you can determine some long-tailed keywords for your business by following the steps below.

What Do You Sell?

The very first thing to do is to think about your business. What is your mission and what are your niche markets? Find your unique selling point: how does your business differ from others and what makes it stand apart from the competition? There are hundreds of factors you can consider here: locality, neighborhood business, audience, materials used, environmental impact, etc.

Write Down How You Would Find Your Products and Services

Walk in the shoes of a customer and consider how they might search for your products. Remember that businesses rarely have a single audience, so think about how various different audiences might approach such a search. Consider age, occupation, location, and other criteria that differentiate your audiences. Write down all long-tailed keywords that pop up in your head.

Check Unlikely Sources

How many times have you been asked to think outside the box? Now is the time to do it! Check Reddit or Quora with keywords that represent your business. Scroll down to see what other people are looking for and how they are searching for it. That is how you want to communicate your long-tailed keywords. You want keyphrases that people actually use, otherwise you won’t be targeting your audience. Such websites offer valuable insight into what interests people and how they go about expressing this.

The Helping Hand of Google

Google wants people to find exactly what they are looking for, or they will leave for another search engine. That is why the company is actively interested in delivering the most accurate results to its clients—and why it has developed some pretty helpful tools.

Go to Google and put some generic keywords about your business. Scroll down on the results page and check the sections “People also ask” and “Related searches.” These will provide you with additional ideas on what people want and how they go about looking for it.

Google has also developed specialized tools like Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends to help you design your long-tailed keywords according to your audience and its expectations.

The next step is to use as keywords whatever words people actually use to search for your products. If you sell sports shoes, your audience might be looking for “sneakers,” “running shoes,” “lifestyle sports shoes,” etc. You must optimize both your content and ads for those words.

How Many Times Should I Use Long-Tailed Keywords in My Text?

There is a sweet spot where Google notices your long-tailed keywords but doesn’t consider you a spammer. You don’t want to overuse your keywords but also don’t want to use them too sparingly. It is usually good to have your long-tailed keywords repeated every 200-300 words.

Write blog posts that act as landing pages for specific long-tailed keywords and link them to anchor posts that are more generic. Google is smart enough to understand these internal links and will notice the quality of the content and how cornerstone articles are connected to long-tailed articles.

What If All This Is Too Complicated?

SEO marketing requires finesse and expertise. If you feel that finding these all-important long-tailed keywords and incorporating them in your ads and copy is too time-consuming, let a media agency like InSync do the hard work for you. We are experts at SEO, digital marketing, and content writing and will deliver organic and paid traffic to your website in a targeted and focused way. By hiring the best, you can focus on what you do best: run your business.

Call now 970-901-5216 or contact InSync Media online to arrange your free exploratory meeting. We have many creative ideas on how to start optimizing your website and increasing your revenue!

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