4 Steps to Boosting SEO with Long-Tail Keywords

If you dont know the user intent behind the keywords youre optimizing for then youre doing it wrong. Also, if you are optimizing for keywords versus the needs of the user then youre doing it wrong.  Jordan Kasteler, SEO director at HENNESSEY CONSULTING

Ranking for common or broad keywords is a particularly challenging task for most small businesses. These words and phrases are often highly competitive and require significant resources to rank for.

A better option for most entrepreneurial endeavors to increase online traffic and rank well in the SERPs is to leverage long-tail keywords. While it does require a fair bit of effort to select the most prosperous and relevant phrases, these keywords are becoming an increasing necessity in the world of SEO because they are often more closely aligned with user intent; something that Googles Hummingbird algorithm is largely focused on.

Not only are long-tail keywords more effective at targeting intent, they are also much more cost-effective and better at generating results for SMBs. Business owners could spend years trying to rank for T-shirts. Alternatively, those same business could potentially rank for soft red cotton T-shirts for men in mere weeks.

Long-tail keywords are often less popular than broader terms and tend to drive less traffic volume. Since these phrases are more specific, however, they are more likely to convert and prove to be highly beneficial for SEO strategies.

To learn to effectively leverage long-tail keywords, here is a four-step process for uncovering phrases that will help to drive traffic and conversions, thereby boosting your rankings.

1. Research the Competition

To leverage the most beneficial long-tail keywords, you must first establish who your competitors are, what keywords they are targeting and how much traffic they are driving using those phrases.

Figuring out who your competitors are shouldnt prove too challenging. Additionally, uncovering the keywords they are optimizing for can be easily determined with the use of paid SEO tools such as SEMRushBuzzsumo, or Ahrefs.

Through these kinds of services, you should be able to easily uncover a treasure trove of keywords that your competitors are using to drive traffic.

With this information in hand, you can begin the next step in the process.

2. Establish Your Prime Keywords

Prior to beginning your long-tail research, you should have a firm understanding of what your top 10 most important keywords are. This knowledge is necessary because your long-tail keywords will essentially be more illustrative versions of these terms. Before you can generate any long-tail phrases, you need to know their roots.

The main keywords your business targets should be of medium to high competition, obtain upward of 200 monthly searches (according to the Google Keyword Planner), include three or fewer words, and be targeted by at least one of your competitors.

There are a variety of tools you can utilize to help establish your companys main keywords. These engines include the Google Keyword Planner, Keyword Tool, Google Trends and Accuranker.

Keep in mind that you should be constantly monitoring the rankings fluctuations of your main keywords. This will serve as a measuring stick to determine if your long-tail efforts will be fruitful.

Once you have established your brands prime keywords, you can move on to determining the long-tail terms you should be targeting.

3. Choose Your Long-Tail Keywords

Now that you know your prime keywords and have conducted your competitive research, the data you have compiled should prove useful in determining the most relevant long-tail phrases for your business.

Using the red T-shirt example again, if this is your business main keyword, you should be using it to establish the type of long-tail words to select. Any phrases that are immediately or obliquely relevant to this term should be added to your list.

You can use the same tools you leveraged for competitive research to complete this task.

Your objective is to determine as many long-tail keywords as you can that possess a low to medium search volume and are relevant to what you are targeting. These will be the phrases that will easily bolster your traffic and rankings.

Your long-tail keywords should contain three or more words, generate less than 100 monthly searches (according to the Google Keyword Planner), and be targeted by at least one competitor.

Once you have compiled a list of suitable terms, begin to integrate these phrases into your websites content and landing pages. Additionally, ensure your site is user-friendly as it relates to design, navigation layout, and load times  these can all have a detrimental impact on your rankings and traffic.

4. Monitor Your Keyword Activity

If you have been involved in SEO for even a small amount of time, you already know that not all the keywords you aim to rank for will produce the results you had hoped for; this is just how it goes.

But this is also why it is critical to constantly monitor the changes and fluctuations that take place for your long-tail keywords.

It is vital to supervise each keywords ranking, profitability, conversion rate, and lifetime value to establish which keywords should be optimized and which should be abandoned; this is partially how you continually refine your sites SEO strategy and reach the top of the SERPs.

You can use SEMRushs Position Tracking tool to determine search engine positions for any of your keywords. You can also use this tool to verify competitor rankings in relation to your own, as well.

I would recommend checking this weekly, at the bare minimum, to obtain the most useful data possible.

Long-tail keywords are a necessity for ranking well in todays SERPs. These phrases are more likely to address user intent and drive searchers to find the solution they are out to obtain; something that Google places a high priority on.

Utilize this methodology to uncover your sites most relevant and prosperous long-tail phrases and maximize your SEO efforts.

What other tactics are there to maximize an SEO strategy? What have you found to be the ideal long-tail keyword length for your business?


avatar

Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Webs foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. Shes produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach.  Learn more on LinkedInFacebook and Google+.




MORE NEWS

SNC-Lavalin signs exclusive agreement with Florexx International Investments LLC to deliver Advanced Topping Refinery in the UAE
Get recognised for your achievements at ADIPEC Awards 2018, submit an entry today
East Africa Oil & Gas Summit Opening Next Week
You are invited to MENAs largest stone trade fair (Sep 4-6, 2018) in Dubai
South African Minister of Energy backs Future Energy Africa 2018
SNC-Lavalin signs exclusive agreement to deliver a major project in Oman
Have you secured your exhibition stand at Gas Indonesia Summit and Exhibition yet
SNC-Lavalin awarded district cooling scheme contract in Makkah, Saudi Arabia
Exhibit at ADIPEC 2018, the driving force behind tomorrows oil and gas partnerships
Global industry gathers at the 5th Anniversary East Africa Oil and Gas Summit and Exhibition
Future Energy Asia - Asias Integrated Oil, Gas and Energy Event of 2018
Summer Camp at Al Habtoor City Tennis Academy
10 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid at all Costs
SNC-Lavalin awarded Wasit Gas Plant installation contract by Saudi Aramco
E-Showroom from SIO365
How Businesses Are Saving Big With Publish-Ready Content
The essential March highlights of Gastech Insights
The Arab Women in Leadership and Business Summit 2018, April 25-26, 2018
Look the other way: Is ignoring the competition really the key to success
Get your exclusive pre-sale tickets to see Ghost The Musical at Dubai Opera
SpiceJet: Adding more delight to your flight. Hurry, Book Now
Africa Islamic Finance Forum Opens Next Week - Last Chance to Book Your Place
Home Awnings and Commercial Awnings Suppliers
Handyman Dubai Services
Emerging as a Leading Digital Marketing Agency for the UAE
Its time to be inspired at ATM 2018
Invitation: Morning Briefing with Miral, February 28, 2018
Announcing the GCC WaterTech Summit Dubai
Invest in Latin America and Caribbean in AIM 2018
Upcoming AmCham Abu Dhabi Events, February - March 2018
Ghana President guest of honour at WAMPEX and WAMPOC 2018
The essential January highlights of Gastech Insights
The leading Oil & Gas Publication in the Middle East since 1996
Supported Event: Break The Ceiling Touch The Sky The Success and Leadership Summit for Women, April 11, 2018
Why BIM is important for project managers in the construction industry