Search engine optimization (SEO) is all about getting your website to rank higher in search engines like Google. Most people focus their efforts on optimizing for short, high-traffic keywords. But did you know that long-tail keywords can also be incredibly valuable for SEO?
What Are Long-Tail Keywords?
Long-tail keywords are more specific, longer phrases that people may use when searching on Google. For example, "SEO tips" would be a short, high-traffic keyword. A long-tail variation might be something like "SEO tips for law firms."
While long-tail keywords get less search volume individually, they add up to account for the majority of overall searches. And they tend to have higher conversion rates, since people using long-tail phrases are closer to the end of their buyer's journey and ready to take action.
So in many cases, long-tail keywords are actually better for SEO than short, competitive keywords. Let's look at why they work so well and how to use them on your site.
Benefits of Optimizing for Long-Tail Keywords
There are a few key advantages that make long-tail keywords worth targeting:
Short, high-traffic keywords are very competitive. Major brands fight over rankings for these terms. Long-tail variations are less contested, so it's easier to rank well for them.
For example, it will be incredibly hard to rank for "law firm." But "personal injury law firm Tucson" is much more within reach.
More Specific Audience
Short keywords cast a wide net and attract people at different stages of the buyer's journey. With long-tail keywords, you know you're reaching people who are closer to converting.
If someone searches "divorce attorneys," they may just be exploring options. But "divorce attorneys Tampa reviews" indicates they're ready to hire.
Higher Conversion Rates
Since long-tail searchers are closer to converting, these keywords tend to have higher conversion rates. Your ads, content, and calls-to-action resonate better with people in the later stages of their journey.
Casting a wider net with long-tail keywords helps you get discovered in more scenarios. Instead of putting all your eggs in one basket targeting a single high-traffic keyword, long-tail SEO improves your visibility across multiple related search queries.
How to Optimize for Long-Tail Keywords
Now let's get into some tips and strategies for optimizing your site for long-tail opportunities:
Research Relevant Long-Tail Keywords
Use Google's Keyword Planner or a tool like SEMrush to find long-tail keyword variations related to your business. Look for ones with decent search volume and low difficulty scores.
Create Dedicated Content
Write blog posts, guides, and local pages that focus on specific long-tail topics. Make sure to include your target keywords in headings, content, URLs, alt text, etc.
For example, a law firm could have a post like "How to Find the Best Divorce Lawyers in Tampa."
Improve Site Architecture
Structure your site to have specific long-tail landing pages, not just broad high-level categories. This improves relevance for searchers.
Localize Your Site
For local businesses especially, focus on long-tail keywords incorporating your city, county, or neighborhood. This helps you rank for searches by people in your area.
Produce Assets That Rank
Videos, infographics, and other assets that rank on SERPs are another way to get visibility for long-tail keywords. Identify topics where you can create ranking assets.
Don't Forget Voice Search
Voice search queries are almost always long-tail. Optimize content for voice search phrases people might use.
Measuring the Impact of Long-Tail SEO
To know if your long-tail SEO efforts are paying off, here are a few things to track:
Rankings for target long-tail keywords over time
Organic traffic from long-tail keywords vs short keywords
Conversions from long-tail keywords vs short keywords
% of site traffic driven by long-tail keywords
Consistently monitoring these metrics will give you visibility into the impact long-tail SEO is having on your search visibility and conversion rates.
Long-Tail Keywords Are Worth the Effort
Targeting long-tail keywords may require extra effort upfront in terms of content creation and site optimization. But the benefits are well worth it in the long run.
Higher conversion rates and increased visibility across multiple search queries make long-tail SEO a smart strategy. Focus on researching and targeting long-tail variations of your core keywords to take your SEO results to the next level.
For best results, consider partnering with professional SEO services that understand how to strategically research and utilize long-tail keywords on your site. Their expertise can help maximize the impact of your long-tail SEO efforts.