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Without traffic sales will be practically nonexistent.

There are numerous marketing channels to drive traffic to a website which include:

  • Pay per click advertising
  • Banner advertisements
  • Email marketing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • AdWords retargeting
  • Social media

These channels are all highly effective to drive targeted traffic. But one that often gets overlooked is the long tail keyword. Here we look at why pursuing long tail keywords can actually be a better SEO strategy for your business and the best sources to find them.

What Are Long Tail Keywords?

Long tail keywords account for approximately 70% of all search traffic:

Search Demand Curve

This is a staggering figure and only points to their hidden potential.

Here are some examples:

Head Keywords

Mid Tail Keywords
Nike running shoes
Digital cameras
Patio furniture

Long Tail Keywords
Nike running shoes for men
Nikon D3300 digital SLR camera
Outdoor wicker patio furniture

What is immediately evident about long tail keywords is how targeted they are.

A keyword such as “cameras” is simply too broad. You do not know the intention behind that search and the searcher is likely still in the early phases of the buying cycle. But a keyword such as “Nikon D3300 digital SLR camera” is much more targeted. The fact that it is so specific means that the searcher knows exactly what model camera they want and is likely ready to buy.

These are exactly the type of the keywords to focus your efforts on for the following reasons:

  • Easier to rank: You cannot possibly hope to rank for shorter keywords such as “furniture” or “cameras”. Long tail keywords tend to have less competition so they are easier to rank for.
  • Convert better: Because of how specific long tail keywords are, they also convert much better. Ranking for these types of keywords can help drive more sales to your pages.
  • Relevance: Relevance is a key factor to ranking well in the search engines. Providing highly targeted content that focuses on long tail keywords can greatly increase the relevance of your site and improve rankings.

The Two Types of Long Tail Keywords

Search terms can typically be broken into two types: informational and commercial.

Informational Keywords
How to take professional pictures
SEO tips for small businesses
Which laptop is right for me?
How to make cold brew coffee

Commercial Keywords
Best digital cameras under $300
Local SEO marketing services
Apple Macbook Pro reviews
Cold brew coffee maker reviews

In the first list are examples of informational keywords. The searcher is looking for something specific and is likely not yet ready to make a purchase (although they very well could be). The second list shows examples of commercial keywords which is where the money is as the searcher is in the later phases of the buying cycle.

Both will be essential to establishing your business as a subject-matter authority and increasing sales. Whether you sell services to a local market or products worldwide, your business can greatly benefit by targeting long tail keywords.

Here we look at some of the best sources to finding these types of keywords.

1. Keyword Planner
Use Google’s Keyword Planner tool within its AdWords platform to identify long tail keywords.

A search for “CRM software” displays the following keywords:

Google Keyword Planner

Scrolling further down the page are phrases such as:

  • CRM software small business
  • Web based CRM software
  • Contact management software reviews

Another way to uncover additional keywords is to enter in the landing page of a competing site:

Google Keyword Planner Landing Page

Then browse through the results and type those into the keyword tool to get even more ideas. Jot down any phrases that are relevant to the products or services you offer.

2. Related Searches and Auto Suggest
Google displays related searches for each query at the bottom of the page listings:

Google Suggested Search Terms

You can search each of those phrases again to see even more related keywords.

Google’s auto-suggest feature is another excellent resource. The search bar automatically populates as you start typing:

Google Auto Suggest

These are all actual keywords that have others have searched for so they are absolutely worth adding to your campaigns.

3. Question and Answer Sites
Quora and Yahoo Answers are two of the more popular question and answer sites. Search for relevant keywords or click through to the appropriate category to browse through questions that your target market is asking.

Here is a search for “digital cameras” on Quora:

Quora Search

With Yahoo Answers you can either select an appropriate category or type in your keywords in the search field:

Yahoo Answers

There are plenty of other sources to find long tail keywords including social media and forums but these offer a great starting point.

So what should you do now?

Providing content in the form of blog posts or ebooks on your site is one of the best ways to establish your business as a subject-matter authority. Implementing long tail keywords is also a viable local SEO strategy as well. Create blog posts that cover a long tail keyword in depth and share across your social media profiles to increase their visibility. You can also include the commercial keywords you find in your AdWords campaigns.

Use these strategies as described above to uncover hidden gems that your competitors are likely overlooking.

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