Long tail keywords are the solution to the biggest problem when starting online: Getting noticed.
Big sites have gobbled up the markets because they have the financial backing and workforce to churn out tons of content.
Plus, their budget allows for big social and search advertising.
Sites with age (perhaps yours) will see ups and downs as new competitors and existing giants clamor for the hot keywords.
Getting high rankings, for major keywords, can have a profound impact on online earnings.
But, since the competition is ever-growing you will need to shift mindset from the “main” keywords to those that would come under the label of the “long-tail”.
What are Long Tail Keywords?
The long-tail is really just about finding the real keywords people use to find information.
You and I may start with a broad keyword.
Then, make our way to the specific (long-tail) because it will (hopefully) deliver better information.
- Short: Bicycles
- Medium: Mountain Bikes
- Long: Best Mountain Bikes for the Northeast United States
In essence, think as a person on the other end of the screen doing online research.
Ask “are they typing in keywords or asking queries?”
No matter how great your site, if you don’t select the right keywords, you won’t get the level of traffic you need to succeed.
So, let’s identify those long tail keywords that will get you traffic.
Step 1: Getting started
Once you decide on the core keywords you’ll focus on (this will be the root keywords that describe your niche), you can expand your list by using SEO tools (we typically use SEMRush).
In addition to using a tool, you’ll want to brainstorm ideas, because as powerful as Google results are, there is no substitute for knowing how users search for information in your niche.
Always be on the lookout for new, even offbeat keywords you can test out on your site.
Many site owners make the mistake of always looking for synonyms of their keywords instead of thinking the way people think.
Actual buyers of your product may search in all kinds of ways: from very specific keywords (Apple iPad) to long, rambling phrases (where to buy cheap Apple iPads in Missouri).
Keep focused on thinking like a buyer, researching competitors, and optimizing for new keywords.
Step 2: Step into their shoes
Put yourself in your prospects’ shoes, using these steps to expand your list:
- Take general terms related to your product and add details. Once you’ve come up with the basic ideas, expand.
- What words are associated with your affiliate product?
- What industry terms, slang, jargon, abbreviations, etc., if any, are associated with your product?
- Do related products or potential upsells suggest new phrases?
- Which phrases correspond with your most expensive product?
- What keywords are your competitors targeting?
Seeing an abundance of PPC advertising for a term suggests that there’s traffic to be gained by using it as part of your keyword list.
Step 3: Study the PPC ads in your niche
- The presence of at least two pages of ads means those keywords are profitable. That’s a good sign!
- Search on each of your keywords, then check out the Google ads on the right-hand side.
- The keywords targeted by those ads will appear in boldface. Then try searching for variations of those keywords, and see how many ads appear.
Step 4: Focus on the first page of results
- Conduct searches on your keyword, then investigate the sites that appear on the first two pages of results.
- When you go to a popular website, select the “View Source” command. This will reveal the site’s source HTML code. In the first few lines of HTML code, you’ll be able to see the title, description, and keyword meta tags. Look at them closely and determine if some of the keywords are helpful for your website.
- When you’re done viewing the source code, go back to the site and read some of the content, looking for applicable words and phrases that you can add to your list. These would be good keywords to use to develop separately optimized subpages for your website.
Step 5: Use a long-tail keyword generator
- Check out the Wordtracker keyword generator.
- If you’re trying to attract better, more qualified traffic to your site, it can help you build a great keyword list.
- While the free version doesn’t provide the numbers behind search volume and competition, it can provide you with great ideas.
- You can use it as an idea starter and use the Google Keyword Tool for detailed analysis.
Step 6: Be organized and creative
- Build a list of the keywords you’re contemplating using on your site.
- Keep a running list of all the potential keywords you could use.
- Look for them when you’re online and offline.
- What keywords are missing from your list?
- What keywords should you add to your list?
Put Long Tail Keywords in Action
Your long tail keywords have many uses:
- Create informative blog posts or FAQ’s addressing these items
- Add them as sub-sections of blog posts to fill-out content
- Use them as internal links or part of a link building campaign
- Consider them as blog post tags or some form of usability navigation
Understanding long tail keywords are quite easy considering we use them as part of our everyday speech.
Google has already made the shift to AI/machine learning — meaning those phrases are now the main way we’re delivered information.
This lets you create content and campaigns without being incredibly structured and rigid.
You can create content how you speak and still benefit from keyword usage.
Improving Traffic with Long Tail Keywords and Phrases
After reading our guide and gaining an understanding of the process of finding long tail keywords it’s time to put them into (profitable) action.
There are dozens of ways to utilize the long-tail but here are five that we’d recommend getting started:
Highly Specific Reviews
Consider going after each and every product within your niche and giving them a review.
Go on to Amazon.com and search for the top qualifiers.
Then, apply the specific brand, category, and name to your reviews to ensure you cover every element of your keyword usage.
Likewise, use industry terms to describe the various elements rather than using generic, conversational words that don’t apply to the product.
As per example, consider doing ‘regional’ style roundups and lists. You could create these lists based on the weather, terrain, local events, lifestyle, and more.
Soon enough you will have dozens of posts that apply to all areas of the world while working the long-tail angle of keywords.
Operating a local website will give you the benefit of doing coverage of local events and news.
Leverage the little coverage in larger publications by becoming the source of local information.
You’ve followed many conferences through live blogging – go the extra mile.
Make pieces of content related to the attendees, products, services, and resources you hear and see mentioned at the events.
These small blurbs probably won’t make a huge impact on search as they go out.
But, they give you a reason for frequent social updates and it’ll create a constant flow of long tail keyword traffic.
Imagine your site having new stats from an industry influencer — it’ll be one of the earliest sources which encourage others to link back.
The media is very obsessed with celebrities but what if you turned the tables and highlighted the little guy?
You’d be amazed at how grateful someone will be if you talk about them. They likely don’t get a lot of coverage.
You could use this to:
- Highlight individuals in your market
- Get a boost to your traffic
- Play nice with competitors
…and ultimately create a resource for consumers to find the good people behind their products (which you share through an affiliate link).
The Long Effect of Long-Tail
Obviously, you can take any content ideas and pair them with long tail keywords.
Doing so will help you rank for terms all across the board.
The point: Using long tail keyword traffic strategies creates long-term search growth.
Will you capture the long-tail market for your niche?