Why long-tail keywords?
The term “long-tail keywords” may conjure up images of lizard-like creatures scuttling around your computer, but in truth they’re incredibly effective for your SEO campaign. These are the specific phrases–three, maybe four words–that are used in searches. Think “make own pizza crust” versus just “pizza crust”. Or even “make gluten-free pizza crust” versus just “make pizza crust”.
You’ll see how the specificity will lead you immediately to pages that would have normally been buried under the Goliath companies who claim monopoly on search results. (Often CNN or Yahoo or in this case, The Food Network and MarthaStewart.com.) So you can see right away how this benefits you and your website: the people you want to visit and purchase your product or service have a more direct and immediate path to you.
There are those who skip this step simply because they are focused on the now. They want more traffic, now. This will hurt them in the long run, because long-tail keywords plant seeds, offer a slow burn, have legs…all the idioms that point to lending longevity to your campaign. Keep in mind there is never a quick fix, insta-audience button. It requires planning and consistent effort.
Look to your keyword competition
Here’s the other thing that’s happening–Google having all the answers. Out of the Goliath companies, Google is the head honcho, and has already become the destination rather than the vehicle to get you there. Ask about the weather and Google gives it to you. Ask “What are long-tail keywords?” And Google gives it to you. Google is your main competitor. If that doesn’t light the fire under you to implement this immediately, maybe you should re-evaluate.
Another increasingly popular trend is voice searching. One in five mobile users utilize the voice search feature, and since we commonly use more words while speaking than typing, long-tail keywords come into play once again. If the people you want to visit your site are using this, why aren’t you?
There are people who, even after learning about the above, continue to decline implementing these key phrases because it can mean that there is less traffic–but they are forgetting that it also means less competition. And less traffic is always temporary. What you’re really doing is increasing your target audience–the ones who will come to your site again and again, stay there, and make their purchase. And, making your website rank for a specific term can be quite profitable!
So. What to do?
Creating long-tail keywords
Creating the key phrases is quite simple. For starters, you can simply pretend as though you are searching for your own product/service, and type in the very phrase you would use to get there. Then, look to keyword variations to cover all your bases.
If coming up with them on your own seems daunting, a rich resource that you should utilize regardless of whether or not you invent your own phrase is stopping by a message board or community forum. In addition, poll your coworkers, friends, and neighbors for fresh ideas.
By eavesdropping on the conversation surrounding your topic, you can easily pick up the exact phrasing that potential clients or consumers use. The work is done for you.