Long-tail keywords feature phrases that are longer and more specific than commonly searched terms. While their search volume is lower, long-tail keywords often result in more targeted traffic and are less competitive. By focusing on longer search strings when doing keyword research, you can climb the search engine rankings for phrases searched by highly motivated buyers, and increase your website traffic and conversion rates.
What Are Long-Tail Keywords?
Long-tail keywords are search terms that are lengthier and more specific than the most commonly searched terms on Google and other search engines. As a general rule, long-tail keywords are four words or longer, while the most popular search terms tend to be one to three words.
For example, “Toronto used cars” is a short, broad, highly searched term. By contrast, the phrase “used Chevrolet Malibus in Harborfront” receives less search traffic but is more targeted and specific.
Every business wants to rank at the top for the most popular terms because of the sheer traffic volume they bring. Targeting long-tail keywords, however, offers its own benefits, and while it may not result in the same traffic numbers, the visitors you receive are often hungry buyers.
Why Target Long-Tail Keywords?
Targeting long-tail keywords offers two main benefits: less competition and more targeted traffic.
By using the Google keyword tool when conducting keyword research, you can learn how much competition you face for various keywords. What you’ll quickly find is that stiff competition exists for broad, highly searched terms. Many of the websites competing for these terms have millions of dollars to spend on SEO and keyword marketing. Long-tail keywords feature less competition, making it easier to rank your website at the top of the search results.
The traffic from long-tail keywords may be lower, but it tends to be more targeted and can result in higher conversion rates. Consider the used car example from above. “Toronto used cars” brings a lot of traffic, but what if your dealership doesn’t sell the type of car the searcher wants? What if you’re located in a different part of Toronto that is inconvenient?
Targeting a specific type of car and Toronto neighborhood using a long-tail keyword such as “used Chevrolet Malibus in Harborfront” attracts local visitors searching for exactly what you have to offer.
How to Identify Good Long-Tail Keywords
An abundant cache of online resources makes it easy to brainstorm long-term keywords and determine which ones offer the best combination of high search volume and low competition. A good keyword generator can help you identify potential keywords, both short and long, that buyers use when searching for your products and services.
Next, take the long-tail keywords from this list and run them through the Google keyword tool. You can determine the search volume and level of competition for each term. Using this information, you can arrive at a nice list of long-tail keywords to target for the best conversion rates.