Keywords have long been an important element of SEO strategy and a way to drive traffic to your website. But as search engines – and consumers – have become more sophisticated, marketers have had to fine tune their keyword strategies.
An important element of this is the long-tail keyword. These are longer keyword phrases, so they tend to be more specific and can help you generate more qualified leads. It may take a little more effort to identify the best keyword phrases, but working long-tail keywords into your website and blog content can boost SEO traffic.
Here are three reasons to use long-tail keywords:
1. Less competition for keywords. Depending on your market, the competition for commonly searched, popular keywords can be stiff. For example, many businesses may try to rank for “Charleston real estate” or for “places to eat in Charleston.” With so many businesses using these keywords, it can be tough to get on the first page or two of a Google search. Also, if you’re a small business, you likely don’t have the big advertising budget to pay for these common keywords.
Instead, hone in on your niche. Instead of the general “places to eat in Charleston,” use something more specific like “best burgers in Charleston,” “where to eat brunch in Charleston” or “best bloody Marys in Charleston.” This will help narrow the focus as not all restaurants offers burgers, brunch or bloody Marys.
2. Higher conversion rates. One of the benefits of using long-tail keywords is they tend to bring you highly qualified leads. Because the keywords are very specific it means only people seriously interested in that topic are searching for it. So when someone lands on your website as a result of their long-tail keyword search, you can feel confident they are motivated to get in touch or make a purchase.
And isn’t that the very best customer of all? So instead of focusing on the same generic keywords your competitors are using, take the time to think about your specific offering and how people might search for it online.
3. Improved search rankings. The good news is that Google is smart and understands natural search terms. You no longer have to use every variation, spelling, and synonym for Google to get the picture. So, select one or two high-quality long-tail keywords – remember to be specific in your niche – and you’ll still show up in search results for similar keywords searches. And the better your search rankings, the more traffic coming to your website.
At the end of the day, all your work figuring out the very best long-tail keywords will be wasted if you haven’t created quality content. People who are searching for what you have to offer will come to your website looking for help. They need your services, your product or your expertise. If they arrive at your site and find little of value, they’ll quickly be off to the next website.
As you develop your keyword strategy, make sure it fits within your overall content marketing strategy. Are you creating blog posts that address the very reason someone searched “best bloody Marys in Charleston,” for example?
Take advantage of more specific keywords as a way to limit keyword competition, drive website traffic and generate qualified customers motivated to do business with you.