Keywords are not necessarily words; they are phrases that online visitors use to search for certain information, products or services. Long-tail keywords are phrases made up of four words and above. Long-tail keywords are becoming a more popular SEO strategy, especially for smaller and newer businesses in a market where competition is high for the targeted short-tail keywords.
However, going after a long-tail keyword means that you are further narrowing your target market. Is this worth it in the grand scheme?
The answer is yes. With most long-tail keywords, you’re more likely to attract the attention of your target audience since there is lesser competition for them. Competitors are probably focusing on the main keywords and pay little attention to these, meaning it takes less effort for you to get ranked highly for these keywords. This makes them invaluable to your SEO strategy.
This is easily demonstrated: choose a short-tail keyword within your industry and you’ll see hundreds of thousands of sites ranked in the results. However, with a long-tail keyword, you will only have a few thousand results, with the number declining as the keywords get more specific.
Another reason that makes long-tail keywords ideal for SEO marketing is that people will search using long-tail keywords when they are at an advanced stage of the buying cycle. When a person is sure about what they want, they’ll search for it exactly and will be more likely to make a purchase once they find it.
There are three stages in the buying cycle: Interest, which leads to Research and finally Purchase. As people move further into the cycle, their searches are more specific. This means that you will not only attract more traffic, but also the traffic attracted will be more likely to close a purchase. At the end of the day, that’s what you want as an entrepreneur, isn’t it?
Use long-tail keywords in pay-per-click advertising, as anchor texts to external links to your site as well as within your posts on social media and when you guest post in other related sites. However, it doesn’t end there. People looking for long-tail keywords want very specific information therefore ensure that your site fulfills this need for them or else they will leave to find another that will.