In this article, I will dive into long-tail keywords and how you can use them to increase motivated consumer traffic to your site organically. Unlike other SEO tactics that can take several months to materialize results, with a good strategy for using long-tail keywords you can see results in a much shorter amount of time.
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Defining Long-Tail Keywords
What separates long-tail keywords from their counterpart short-tail keywords starts with length. Short-tail keywords are 1-2 words long, while long-tail keywords are 3 or more words in length. You might be asking yourself, “How can that difference be a benefit?”. The simple answer is… competition for keywords in search engine rankings.
Generally, when you use short-tail keywords you are going up against larger companies who are using the same keywords. These larger companies have deeper pockets and are able to outspend you in every respect as it pertains to SEO investments and marketing strategies geared towards driving organic traffic to their sites. This doesn’t even take into account the potential thousands upon thousands of small to medium-sized companies also competing for those keywords. The popularity of these keywords is why Google puts such a premium on “pay per click” advertising when using these keywords.
Luckily, there is another way. Because long-tail keywords are longer they tend to be more conversational and most closely resembles how we query search engines so that the search engine can produce results that meet more exacting criteria. This also means that searches are more focused. In practice, this more focused oriented search is more likely to be utilized by users who have an exact idea for what they are shopping for, or that want a solution to a specific issue that they might be having that your company can solve. Long-tail keywords are also less competitive than short-tail keywords due to the specific and focused nature of the search. This means that they are also a more cost-effective approach in “pay per click” campaigns than short-tail keywords.
The Difference Between Informational and Commercial Keyword Searches
This leads us to another important thing to consider in regards to keywords. User intent can help you determine which keywords will be most effective in driving the right kind of traffic to your site via organic searches.
For example, if a user is searching for tips on how to repair an issue they are having with their personal vehicle, the user intent is informational. A Long-tail version of this search can come in the following form…”How to replace the starter in my vehicle?”. This type of search is utilized by companies that cater to customers looking to make repairs themselves such as Autozone.
On the other hand, if the user intent is more commercially based, the query might look like this…” highest rated repair shops near me”. In this example, the user is exhibiting a high-intent to purchase. They are finalizing their research in order to move to a more transactional intent. In this case, the user intends to have their vehicle repaired by a professional mechanic and are looking for the best shop to take their business to.
When determining the long-tail keywords you intend to focus on you must consider whether or not those keywords lend themselves more often to an informational intent or a commercial intent. In context, informational intent tends to be performed by users that are not as close to making a purchasing decision as those with commercial or transactional intent.
When determining the long-tail keywords you intend to focus on you must consider whether or not those keywords lend themselves more often to an informational intent or a commercial intent.
Due to the fact that users are generally further along in their purchasing decision when searching using a long-tail format, the conversion rate tends to be higher with these keywords. The broad reach of short-tail keywords means a less targeted end user arriving at your site.
Generally, the goal of any business is to convert visitors to their site into customers. In this way, long-tail keywords have the advantage of driving motivated customers to your site that are more likely to make a purchase, subscribe to an email campaign, or fill out a contact form so that they can use a service that you offer. This really doubles-down on the effectiveness of long-tail keywords in your campaign. It’s like paying less for already qualified leads. Even if they don’t generate a high number of visitors to your site, the ones they do generate, more often than not, turn into a customer.
In conclusion, long-tail keywords are an effective way to generate motivated traffic to your site as their searches are more focused. While it is not an all-encompassing replacement for short-tail keywords, having a healthy mix of both in your online marketing strategy can help the overall effectiveness of helping potential customers find your site and for you to ultimately achieve your goal of growing your business.
Stay tuned for my next article that will cover user intent in more detail.
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