Keywords are a very important part of both search engine optimisation (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM). A keyword is generally a word or phrase that has a particular significance to your business and website content. These keywords are used by website users on search engine results pages (SERPs) in order to find the information that they require.
However, in recent years the nature of keywords has changed. It has evolved from being heavily focused on targeting a single ‘head’ keyword to becoming a keyword phrase including up to five words. This keyword phrase is called a long tail keyword. This can be attributed to the nature in which people now use search engines such as Google. Users tend to use more natural, conversational language while searching, such as asking a question. Due to the proliferation of mobile devices, it is also very common for users to search by voicing their queries on Google instead of typing it. Therefore, it is important to be targeting longer keyword phrases to accommodate for this change.
Why is it important to use them?
There are many benefits associated with targeting long tail keywords. One of these is due to the fact that they don’t attract large amounts of traffic. This may seem counter-intuitive but in fact it can help your business attract a higher return on investment (ROI). This is due to the targeted nature of long tail keywords. These keyword phrases tend to be far more specific, therefore, you will attract the exact audience that you are looking for. This audience is more likely to be further along the customer journey path and closer to a point of purchase. For example, if you target a general keyword such as ‘car insurance’, your ROI may be quite low as this is a highly competitive keyword. However, if you target the phrase ‘car insurance for young female drivers in Ireland’, you are attracting a very specific audience that knows exactly what product/service they are looking for.
They can also prove to be very beneficial for those companies who wish to rank higher in organic Google searches for their content. Blogs are a great place for incorporating long tail keywords into your content especially the title of your blog, for example. Though, it is also important to remember not to fall guilty of keyword stuffing. It is not enough to just fill your content with keywords in order to rank high in SERPs. If you are looking to become a thought leader, your content needs to be relevant and fresh.
Long tail keywords can prove to be most valuable to paid search marketing strategies. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can be a cost-effective way of generating new leads for a business. By targeting more specific long tail keywords in your Adwords campaigns, it is possible to get higher ad rankings for relevant searches. Therefore, increasing the probability of higher click-through rates (CTRs) and conversion rates. This gives the opportunity for tailoring ads to your users’ search intent.
How to find long tail keywords
There are many free tools that you can use to find relevant long tail keywords for your business. Google’s own tools such as Google Keyword Planner and the Google Search Suggest feature are great for seeing which phrases are being used to search for different services and products. Wordtracker and Ubersuggest are also very useful tools. Wordtracker not only suggests long tail keyword phrases but also tells you important details such as traffic searches, competition, and keyword in anchor and text (IAAT) and keyword effectiveness index (KEI).
Of course, there also many paid tools that will provide your business with advanced features to help you find the keyword phrases that are right for your website, content and business.
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