Half of all search queries are long-tail keywords. That means if your keyword/user intent strategy isn’t targeting these terms, you’re missing about half of your audience and half of your potential leads.
Long-tail keywords represent a strategic segment of your audience, potentially the more qualified 50%. They may also represent, depending on your industry, a huge SEO opportunity in the form of easier rankings. If your SEO keyword strategy doesn’t already include long-tail keywords, it’s time to get started.
When you’re ready to get more strategic about your keywords and drive better leads through organic traffic, scroll to the bottom of this post and get access to our exclusive long-tail keyword worksheet template.
Long-tail keywords are search queries composed of four or more words.
Often, long-tail keywords are used by searchers who know exactly what they’re looking for: they’re either ready to make a purchase or seeking very specific information. Instead of searching for, “cloud hosting,” they’re searching, “cloud hosting price comparisons” or, “pros and cons cloud hosting.” Those are very different questions, but both are looking for very specific answers.
Long-tail keywords can also be easier to rank for. Because they are so specific, they get fewer searches. Low search volume, to the untrained or lazy SEO marketer, looks like a keyword that isn’t pursuing, and that means there’s generally less competition for organic search rankings.
Long-tail keywords, then, represent opportunities to more easily rank well in organic search, for a small but more qualified audience. That is exactly where you want your brand to be.
The first step in incorporating long-tail keywords into your content strategy is compiling a list of prospective keywords to target. There are several sources that can be used to compile a list of relevant long-tail keywords:
For most businesses, this exercise will result in hundreds of potentially relevant long-tail keywords. But not all keywords will be worth targeting, and not all will need individual pieces of content.
To integrate long-tail keywords into your overall content strategy, you’ll need to first prioritize your list. To prioritize, look at relevancy, usage, and existing coverage:
Once all the long-tail keywords are prioritized, you can begin incorporating content that’s optimized for those keywords into your overall content strategy.
While it may be tempting to simply write one piece of content for each long-tail keyword, doing so is unnecessary, creates a poor user experience, and is unlikely yield any results. Long-tail keywords are about creating thorough, topically authoritative content.
It starts with organizing your new list, and grouping long-tail keywords that are related:
Additionally, look for long-tail keywords that are asking questions that only require short, simple answers. These may be good candidates for an FAQ or glossary page.
Download our long-tail keyword worksheet template below!
Each keyword family, then, becomes one piece of comprehensive content based on the main theme or the broad keyword that inspired the list. Individual long-tail keywords can help structure the content and define it for search engines. If you already have content targeting a broad keyword, improve it. If not, build something new.
Other important fields and locations include the top of the content or the keyword’s specific subsection, image titles and alt text, and anchor text.
When you’re done, you will have a comprehensive piece of content that is well on it’s way to ranking well for several long-tail keywords.
There are a number of benefits to including long-tail keyword research into an overall content strategy. Long-tail keywords can be targeted to increase organic traffic—which is good for business—and to answer specific questions that real users are asking—which is good for customers.
As a bonus, long-tail keyword research can help content marketers brainstorm new ideas. That means it’s great for overcoming writer’s block, and finding ways to make a content strategy more comprehensive.
Get started by researching long-tail keywords and compiling a list. Fill out the form below to get access to our custom long-tail keyword worksheet template to help keep track of everything. Once that’s complete, review the list to see if your research highlights any major gaps in existing coverage.
Download the Worksheet: