Keywords are absolutely vital in the quest to rank high up on Google SERPs. But with short, generic keywords being fought over and subject to bidding wars, you should look at shifting your focus toward the more specific long-tail keywords.
What are long-tail keywords?
Keywords aren’t always just a single word. The term “keyword” can also refer to longer, more specific phrases that consumers are more likely to use when they’re searching or when they’re close to a point of purchase.
A small, generalized keyword is commonly known as a “head keyword.” While they can be used to effectively drive traffic, the competition will be fierce – and the price per click will be high.
For example, if you searched “bitcoin”, that would come up with millions of results. But if you narrow your search down to a long-tail keyword such as “pay your bills with bitcoin”, the volume of searches will typically be lower. However, the user qualification and nuance can often lead to better engagement or even conversions.
Long-tail keyword research and optimization allows brands to target untapped space opportunity areas and find new content areas where there may be little to no competition.
Why are long-tail keywords useful?
Long-tail keywords can be used to narrow down search results and help your business be found.
So for example, if you were marketing your accounting software business and using a head keyword such as “accounting”, then you’ll be competing with a huge number of searches.
However, if your business specialized in large, multi-company accounting software, then you could instead optimize your content to appear if someone searched “accounting software for multiple businesses.”
You will obviously draw less traffic with this long-tail keyword than you would with a shorter, more common one, but the quality of the traffic will be much higher – as the people who search it will be further along the buyer's journey and know exactly what they’re looking for. Hence, long-tail traffic often converts into sales or transactions at a far higher rate than its head-term counterparts.
When using long-tail keywords, you should use your businesses analytics data to guide you. If you see that your content is being found organically through certain phrases, you can use that information to sculpt intelligent, fully optimized long-tail keyword phrases to use in your content.
With long-tail keywords, you can focus your keyword budget on obtaining higher-quality leads and more specific traffic that is more likely to convert.