The lesser spotted long-tail keywords can be difficult to track down in the wild. They are a relatively new breed, an evolution of the common short-tail keywords (or just, you know…keywords) that you see everywhere. The digital landscape is changing every year; a strategy that might’ve worked as recently as 2015 could get zero traction when implemented now. If you’re going to succeed with your SEO aspirations, you need to bag yourself a few long-tail keywords. They might seem intimidating at first, but once you get to know them, they’re a friendly species, and pretty useful to boot. But what are long-tail keywords…and more importantly, how the hell do you get them in your crosshairs?
Essentially, long-tail keywords are longer (get out of town!) and more specific keyword phrases than the traditional single-word keyword. Although it can seem counter-intuitive at first, they can really push your SEO to new heights once you get to know how to use them. First of all, you’ve got to put a leash on them. They can get a little unruly, so until they’re comfortable with you, chain ’em up.
Only joking, of course. The long-tail part is just a metaphor! It refers to the search terms people use when looking stuff up on the internet. A few choice single-word terms, e.g. ‘Trump’, ‘Brexit’, ‘sex’, will have bucketloads of results but account for a surprisingly small amount of searches (we seriously advise not creating your own long-tail keyword out of those three words. Seriously.). The majority of search terms are more specific, e.g. ‘why shouldn’t I search for Trump and Brexit and sex’? but return fewer results, creating a ‘long-tail’ effect if you were to imagine the whole thing as a graph. Yes, we’ve totally moved on from the animal metaphor. It’s a graph now. Stay with us.
Long-tail keywords are far more valuable to you than regular ol’ keywords. The facts don’t lie – long-tail keywords are how people actually use the internet in 2020. People don’t just surf the internet to pass the time, like they did when it was shiny and new. They’re either looking for specific information, they want to go somewhere or they want to buy something. They’ll generally utilise phrases, not words, to maximise their results. Google also likes to deal in long-tail keywords, as the search engine behemoth can offer optimised results to their audience. They like context in their list of results, which is perfect if you’re offering up niche content. Use long-tail keywords as the medium for a happy relationship between your site and the search engines.
But the good news doesn’t stop there. Long-tail keywords offer a higher conversion rate than shorter ones, and they help strengthen your regular keywords by acting as a robust foundation. And if that wasn’t enough, they’re perfect for bloggers. It’s worth remembering at all times that blogs are the single best tool to rank in search engines. But to be effective, long-tail keywords need to be used in the correct context. All your ducks have to be in a row, including URL, title tag and body text. But once you get the hang of it, a single long-tail keyword can provide you with weeks of streamlined content.
It might seem a little difficult to get your head around long-tail keywords at first. But once you’ve mastered them, you can use them to great effect in your SEO campaigns. So take a walk on the wild side (yes, we’re back to the animal metaphor, keep up please) and follow the tracks of the lesser-spotted long-tail keyword. They’re a search engine’s BFF and give you the best chance of – mmm hmm, gonna switch to a last-minute sporting analogy because we bloody well can – winning your particular industry’s SEO league.