Long-Tail Keywords: What They Are and How They Can Help Your Business Get Tons of Traffic
Usually, when SEOs think of success they picture their pages ranking high on a short-tail keyword query. However, although beating millions of other pages to the top of a Search Engine Result Query (SERP) is an incredible (and let’s face it: unlikely) accomplishment indeed, it’s often not as valuable at it seems.
Short-tail keywords aren’t just competition-ridden but also hold little value since most of the people using them are looking for information and aren’t ready to buy yet. Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, have a much narrower scope, which makes them the key to attracting highly-qualified leads to your website.
What are long-tail keywords?
Contrary to what their name suggests, the length of a long-tail keyword doesn’t necessarily refer to the number of words in a string, although they tend to be 3+ words in length, but to their low search volume.
Despite being less searched than short-tail keywords, when you add them up, long-tail keywords make an impressive 70 percent of all Google searches. Although, this number may be even higher because 92 percent of all keywords are long tails which get 10 or fewer searches per month, according to Ahrefs.
But long-tails aren’t just ubiquitous, in fact, they’re also highly useful. Long-tail keywords’ smaller search volume, when compared to short-tails, and high purchase intent makes them fertile ground for small businesses, which can thrive in their niche without feeling the overwhelming competition from big companies.
Why do long-tail keywords matter?
Despite being “unpopular,” using long-term keywords has many advantages over its short-tail cousins, such as being easier to rank highly and being more likely to generate conversions. There are many benefits of using long tails, but the best ones can be summed up in five factors.
1. Long-tail keywords come with significantly less competition
Sure, every SEOs’ dream is to beat millions of competing pages to the top SERP but, the truth is, targeting low-volume keywords gives better results for a fraction of what it costs to rank a short-tail query. Local businesses that struggle to gain visibility with broad searches will find the low competition for long-tail keywords particularly beneficial, especially because they can use it to attract organic traffic, which has a high purchase intent.
2. Long-tail keywords have better conversion rates
Unlike head keywords, long tails’ are more specific by nature, which makes them more likely to attract visitors who are on the brink of making a purchase. By optimizing their content for long-tail keywords, local businesses can target the people in the area who are more likely to buy their
products. In this way, small business can get higher conversions for only a fraction of what it costs to rank in a short-tail query.
3. Long-tail keywords are optimized for voice search
According to Google, more than 20 percent of searches are done using voice search. However, that number is expected to double by 2020 when 50 percent of searches will be done using voice tech. If these projections hold, it is crucial that businesses optimize their keyword strategy around long-tail keywords, as these are written in the natural language people use to speak to their mobile assistants.
4. Long-tail keywords help you optimize for semantic search
As Google moves towards user experience and intent-based searches, head keywords are losing their relevance to natural language. Most queries done these days are written using a conversational way that long-tail keywords are perfect at mimicking. Nowadays, Millenials are less likely to write something like, “New York pizza.” Instead, they are more likely to write something like, “What are the best pizza places nearby?” Integrating long-tail keywords into your SEO strategy will help your website’s visibility in the coming years.
5. Long-tail keywords rank your short-tail keywords as well
Since any long-tail keywords are composed of a short-tail keyword plus any additional adjectives or articles that are necessary, using them allows you to kill two birds with one stone as anytime you use long tails you’re also using short-tail keywords as well. Don’t believe it? Imagine trying
to rank “dog food” and then “dog food for sale near me.” As you can see, optimizing for long-tail keywords can also help you push your higher search volume keywords up the ranking. Keywords are essential for the success of your website. However, while short-tail keywords are
easy to build it’s the ones with the long tails that are the big moneymakers. Ultimately, though, your website’s ranking will depend on how much time and work you invest in creating a solid SEO strategy — particularly if your strategy makes the most out of long-tail keywords!