Long-tail keywords are changing the way we search online, and how companies attempt to attract us to their sites. Here are six top tips to help you understand what they are and how to make the most of them.
Long-tail keywords are the future of online traffic, so it’s critical that you use them effectively on your website and within its content. Long-tail keywords are simply searches that include specific terms as well as the main keyword. So, instead of just writing ‘flight’, you type in ‘where to find cheap last-minute flights from Paris to Madrid’ in the search engine.
A few years back you might have sniggered at your grandma struggling away to Ask Jeeves ‘how much does it cost to travel on the number 32 bus’ or ‘where can I buy tickets to watch Barry Manilow’. Thanks to Google and other engines actually learning the meaning of words and sentences and the rise of voice-based long-tail searches – which are pretty much what grandma has been valiantly typing for years – you should laugh no more.
Here are six top tips for using long-tail keywords:
1. Think about the cost
While the big boys might monopolise keywords, such as ‘flights’, the effective use of long-tail searches allows companies with more modest financial resources to improve their rankings. Using the ‘Paris to Madrid’ example above, even a smaller travel agency can be found, when I want to make it from France to Spain.
2. Using long-tail in your tales
It’s good to use your main keyword – such as ‘flights’ – in the meta description, URL and headlines, but long phrases need more space… so it’s content, content, content! Some sites can include long- tail keywords within product descriptions, such as ‘low calorie snack for packed lunches’. If your site doesn’t offer that option, starting a blog is a great way to use words and rich content to entice traffic.
3. Google predictions can help
You know when you start typing a celebrity’s name, and they appear with the name followed by ‘gay’ or ‘girlfriend’ or ‘dead’ – well those odd Google predictions can be your long-tail search friend. Check out the phrases that are generated by your keyword, and incorporate the suggestions into your content. You can also search your keyword and note the Google-related searches that are generated. For more options, Keyword.io will give you a long list of different search combinations based on a phrase or keyword.
4. Make the most of AdWords
It’s important to analyse your AdWords campaign and pay particular notice of the keywords used, rather than chosen. Go to your campaign and click Keywords & Search terms. You might then consider whether long tails that convert well should receive their own landing page, or could an existing page cover that search effectively?
5. ‘Borrow’ ideas
Check out the competition by performing a search with one of your main keywords and see which long tails are found in your competitors’ titles, headings, ALT texts and textual content. You can also take a look at Wikipedia, which might offer clues to functional long tail keywords. For example, on the main page for ‘The Beatles’ you could consider the contents of ‘history’, ‘discography’, ‘musical style’ and ‘legacy’ as terms that could be the core of blog pieces.
6. The customer is always right
Customers will ask questions via your website, email or face-to- face, and these conversations will deliver phrases that could prove to be fantastic long-tail keywords, such as ‘can I cash in my pension’. Answer these questions on your website, perhaps on a product page or in a blog, so that they can work for you.
Would you like to drive traffic to your site from long tail keywords? Get in touch with us and we’ll let you know how!