A long tail keyword is basically a keyword phrase (or a keyword with many words to put it more simply) made up of words that more specifically relate to a product, website, blog, or page being promoted. With three or more words, they are used to target potential customers who are looking for something specific since they are the keywords certain customers use to find something in particular. In other words, if you are to do search engine optimization (SEO), it makes sense using long tail keywords. It also doesn’t hurt that optimizing for these keywords is easier as compared to making sites or pages rank for search results with broader keywords. Additionally, those who use long tail keywords for their searches tend to be likely buyers, not just someone who hops from one online store to another to browse.
Now the question is how to find the most profitable long tail keywords? Which keywords can be the most profitable? Which can lead to the best conversion rates? The following pointers should help:
1. Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience or customers
Search engine optimization is not some strict science with fixed rules and precise methods and outcomes. Your own insights and instincts as an Internet user can be useful in doing it. To find the best long tail keywords to use, try taking the perspective of the audience you are targeting – if you were the one looking for the product you are selling or the site/page you are promoting. For example, if you are offering packed meals for delivery, instead of optimizing only for generic keywords like “food for delivery,” specify what particular food you are offering and also include the location you are serving.
If you are not sure if what you are thinking is also the same as what your target audience or customers are thinking, find somebody else who could embody the typical Internet user or online buyer. Ask them for their ideas on the keywords they will likely use. This does not have to be a formal or truly scientific survey. Often, what a few Internet users think tend to be the same to what most others have in mind. You can just do further research to confirm if the long tail keywords you come up with their ideas are worth doing SEO for.
Usually, to make a keyword more specific, you just have to add or replace words to make the keyword refer to a specific product or topic and add the location (for commercial items) where something is available. Adjectives, color, size, and even price may also be added. You just need to make sure that the keyword is something that will possibly be used by the Internet users you are targeting. Try doing a search with the long tail keyword you have come up with. If no or very few results are returned, obviously the keyword is not worth pursuing.
2. Use local language, terms, expressions, and idioms
It helps if you use the local language or local expressions, equivalent terms/names, and idioms, when applicable. If you are targeting local customers who tend to be searching for your product using their local language, your website should also be localized. It is advisable to go for website localization. Of course, if you localize your site, you also have to optimize using localized keywords. You should also consider using terms, phrases, and expressions that are more relatable to and are more widely used by your target local audience or potential customers. What better way to relate to customers or target audience than using the language they use. The lingual familiarity appeals and is a good step in establishing trust and credibility.
3. Refer to Google’s Autocomplete suggestions and related searches
Google is itself a good resource for finding profitable long tail keywords. Google’s Autocomplete and Related Search features, in particular, are good references in finding the most profitable long tail keywords. The goal here is not to copy Google’s autocomplete suggestions and related searches. You will just be using them to come up with the more specific keywords. For example, if you type in “buy solar panels” on Google, you will get the following suggestions: “buy solar panels for home” and “buy solar panels kit.” These keywords have several words in them but are still too broad. You then have to add more words to make them more specific. For example, you can use “buy cheap 200-watt solar panels in XXX City” or “buy quality cheap 200-watt solar panel in XXX city for home use.”
4. Use analytics
You also need to examine how your site attracts visitors. This means you should be using Google Analytics or some other analytics tools to examine your site’s traffic. You need to know what keywords have been bringing visitors to your site. You then have to work on these keywords, not to change them but to create more pages or content that optimize on more long tail keywords derived from the keywords that have been bringing traffic to your site. It would also be advisable to study the traffic of your competitors. Find out how they attract traffic and look at opportunities you can explore.
5. Visit forums, message boards, or social media discussions
Another important thing you need to do to get profitable long tail keywords is to know what and how people talk about the product you are offering or the site you are marketing. To do this, you can go over message boards, forums, or discussions on social media. It’s going to be a slightly tedious task but it’s something you need to do to know what people think. You can also go to questions and answers sites like Yahoo! Answers and Quora.
6. Use keyword search tools
If you don’t want to manually go over the keywords people use on search engines, you can use keyword tools. These tools can help you find the keywords and combinations that are actually being used by people who search the web. They can also help you identify the right words to use to make your keyword more specific. Some of the tools worth trying are the Google Adwords Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest.io, Answerthepublic.com, Keywordtool.io, and Soovle.com.
7. Know the things that don’t matter
It’s important to know and do the things that matter but it’s equally important to be aware of the things that don’t matter. There are no exact guidelines in the use of long tail keywords. Nobody can be exactly sure of what works and what does not. As you do research on long tail keywords on the web, you are bound to find a plethora of tips, guides, tutorials, and whatnots. You need to be able to identify and distinguish the things that don’t matter so you can avoid doing them.
For one, the number of words in a long tail keyword does not matter. There are many definitions online that it should have 3 to 4 or more words. There are those that say that there’s an optimum number of words you should use. Don’t be misled. Being a long tail keyword is not about the number of words. It’s about the specificity of the keyword and the low search volume for it. You are targeting long tail keywords because you want to attract potential buyers out of the approximately 40% of searches online. Your focus should be on what people actually use, regardless of the number of words.
Another important thing to remember is the density of these keywords in your content. Don’t be fixated on keyword densities and other technicalities. You only need to remember one important guideline: use the keywords naturally. Make sure that the keywords can be used naturally in your content and ditch the idea of forcing a long tail keyword in a sentence (in the same exact order) even if it does not sound grammatically, sensibly, and logically correct. Google and other search engines nowadays are smarter and they give preference to pages that offer content that are not forcibly optimized for certain keywords.
Long tail keywords generally register a low search volume. That’s why not many would bother doing SEO for them. However, there is a great search volume for them when viewed as a group. In fact, more than 40% of the searches online make use of long tail keywords. That’s why it only makes sense paying attention to them. You don’t just use them for the sake of using them, though. You need to find the long tail keyword that yields the most conversions – in other words, the most profitable. These are the specific keywords that you can find by studying your market, doing a keyword search, and taking your target readers’ or customers’ perspective.
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