The Importance of Long Tail Keywords in an SEO Strategy

Category: SEO/SEM Strategies & Tips

“What is a long tail keyword?”

Long tail keywords are generally defined as ‘descriptive terms which are more than 2-3 words’ – but I would define them in low search volume terms. Based on my experience, long tail keywords account for 70 – 90% of all organic traffic, and the more traffic you get from long tail keywords the more stable your organic traffic will be.

If you get most of your traffic from just a couple of terms (search terms) these days, the traffic of your website would be unstable because traffic depends on the ranking of those keywords. The difference between 1st, 2nd and 3rd place can make a huge difference to click through rates (Just check out the difference of Google Organic CTR here).

Keywords are getting more and more diversified

It’s been said countless times before, but the importance of long tail keywords is higher than ever. According to research, 500 million new search terms per day are being looked up that the search engine, our pal Google, has never seen before. This means that search terms are getting more diversified and they’re increasing.

We need to focus more on strategies aimed at ranking well using long tail keywords. The reason why is because the amount of online content is increasing more than ever before. I believe that the more content a user can reach, the more diversified the search terms are.

Here’s how it works:

When people get too many choices in their search results – they may not pick any of them, since they don’t have the time to sift through to find the right one. They’ll use more specific terms to reduce their choices or refine their results.

2 reasons why a longtail keywords strategy is important

We should focus on long tail keywords rather than broad (big) keywords when we execute an SEO campaign. “Why?!” You ask? For the following reasons:

  • They have more potential to grab users who are ready to buy
  • Better website ranking using your main target keywords

Grab users who are ready to buy

Long tail keywords are more likely to obtain qualified traffic than broad keywords.

Here is an example:

1. A company may search Google for ”marketing agencies vancouver” when they need help with marketing

2. They may discover that there are too many marketing companies online, even in just Vancouver alone.

3. They may think they can’t choose because there are way too many choices.
After that, they may:

a. Add “for educational institute” to the search term, if they happen to be an educational institute

b. Maybe they’ll add “social media marketing” to the search term if they need social media marketing

c. They might search for “How to choose marketing company”

d. Or they’ll search for what strategy they need to improve their marketing presence

As you can see, users at #3 solidify what they want more than users at #1, because they may not be ready to choose a marketing agency. For that reason, we should focus on long tail keywords first to acquire visitors who are likely to convert by creating content, which must provide enough value to get the user to click the right link. In the case of A and B, service pages would help to reach them. In the case of C and D, blog content would help reach them. The number of long tail keywords are increasing on a daily basis. There is no reason that we shouldn’t do it!

How your website ranks using your main target keywords

As long as you keep creating valuable content for long tail keywords, the evaluation of your whole website through Google will rank higher. “Why?!” You ask?

1. It helps your website gain backlinks
2. It helps your website become an informational website to people who are related to your industry

So, the credit of your whole website will begin to gain momentum, and your website will more likely rank in the top search results using your main target keywords! Praise be!

Tips to for long tail keywords strategies

You need to create and improve content on your home page, services page, case study page and blog. Here is the two quick tips about long tail keywords and content.

  • Break down your target keywords as much as possible
  • Aim for ranking in top 3, not the top 10

Break down the target keywords in your content as much as possible

If you’re looking for keywords for a blog post or an internal page, make sure that the keywords are not too high in terms of search volumes because that means your selected keywords will be too vague. In the same breath, don’t use keywords with no search volume.

If you want to rank well using big keywords in a blog post or an internal page, you have to back it up with comprehensive and deep information. SEO for example, if you’re looking to rank in the top search results using “SEO“ as your keyword – you’d have to make content like moz.com (which ranks 2nd place on Google). The reason why Google picks Moz’s page as 2nd place (Mar 18, 2016) is because the search engine praises their content, which includes internal pages where the page ranks at 2nd place links to.

Google also praises:

Do you think you can put together all this content on one page? I don’t think you can. Even if it were possible, you should divide them into several pages for the usability. Content is far more digestible when you can divvy it up between pages. All on one might be a bit overwhelming for the user.

Try to rank in the top 3, not the top 10

We know longtail keywords have lower search volumes. This means you have to rank higher than top 10 to gain traction.

Average Click through rates (CTR) of 10th place sites in the search results are approximately 1 – 2%. If you’re aiming for the keyword with monthly 30 search volume, and your website ranks 10th place using that keyword – it would take you roughly 2 – 3 months to get 1 visitor. However, if your website ranks 3rd place, whose average CTR is approximately 10%, you would get 3 visits monthly. Remember, those visits are not just random traffic, they are qualified visits. This means more likelihood of some hot action!

Besides, if you rank well using those keywords, you’d also get traffic from similar keywords. So, you’d get more traffic than what was mentioned above for sure. You need to keep putting a concerted effort until your website ranks in the top 3.

Wrap it up

The key to success of long tail keywords strategies is piling up the number of keywords which rank in the top 3. Even though it takes a long time, it’s worth it.

Want to learn more?

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SEO Strategist
Akihiro Nomura

Akihiro Nomura is the SEM/Digital Marketing Specialist at My Loud Speaker Marketing who enjoys Excel formulas just as much as he loves beer. Akihiro has been thoroughly planning, researching, executing, and analyzing SEM strategies for businesses for the past 6 years, and believes in the importance of educating his clients to create strong and effective partnerships.

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