Why Should you Use Long-tail Keywords for SEO?

by Amy Bridgewater

Long-tail keywords are keywords or keyphrases that are more specific – and usually longer than the most commonly used keywords (consisting of more than 2 words). In other words, long-tail keywords have a higher information density. They get less search traffic, but will usually have a higher conversion value because they’re more specific.

Long-tail keywords allow you to gradually get more traffic to your site and be found by new and motivated audiences at the same time as you increase your visibility on Google. It would be great if we could all rank highly for competitive “catchall” or head terms such as social media, but due to the competition, it’s not possible (the first page is dominated by industry leaders). By targeting specific long-tail keywords, you can rank high on search engines for your target demographic.


How SERPs Resonate Long-tail Keywords for SEO?

SERPs for short-tail keywords on a word-per-day basis tend to be super competitive. It is very hard to rank using only short-tail keywords. SERPs for long-tail keywords on a word per month basis tend to be less competitive. 

But this would require a lot of mentions over time of specific longtail phrases or at least some frequent variations of them within the content. By telling the user what to put in first (the name of our topic), we are giving them a starting point to go forward with their SEO research. With long-tail keywords, we tell the reader that there is more information further down if they are interested, but this isn’t necessary to understand what SEO is about.


Long-tail keywords outshine your Competitors

If you are competing against someone with lots of money and time, it might not matter if your rankings are lower as they can out-advertise you pretty easily anyway, but if you’re up against smaller competitors who might not have that capability then you need to get ahead of them. 

Sometimes you can out-rank your competition with a little more effort- which comes in the form of time and maybe even money depending on how good it is, but there’s always an opportunity cost when you’re not trying to rank for something else that might have been profitable instead. So if you could have gotten 1000 visits from one keyword that converts at 5%, then spending that time/money to get onto page 1 for a higher paying long-tail keyword would be a better investment.

How are Long-tail keywords more important for SEO?

Long-tail keywords are more important for SEO than short-head terms, so it made sense to include pertinent information on why they’re used and how they function. By telling the user that these two elements will be included later in my article, I am providing them with knowledge upfront and establishing the point of interest for the rest of the page.

The most common head terms like ‘SEO’ or ‘social media marketing’ receive thousands upon thousands of searches every single month (according to Google’s Keyword Planner), while the most searched for long-tail keyword gets just under 100 monthly searches on average. This means less competition when you target long-tail keywords, but it also means they are less well known by the public.

Why should you use long-term keywords?

Long-tail keywords are suited to new websites or those with a smaller budget because of their lower competition level. They’re more likely to be ranked high on Google, which is why this may be the best SEO tactic for your website. It’s not about being able to rank highly for one keyword or key term that searches thousands of times per month – it’s about gradually increasing your rankings across the whole site over time until your site gains authority and credibility in its market.


The Bottomline

Long-tail keywords are hard for people to type in – which means lower traffic – but they help ensure user intent because all those extra words mean so much more information given. Long-tail keywords are phrases that are usually four words or more. If someone enters a longer phrase in Google, it means they will be looking for something specific. Therefore, you can get a lot of search traffic from these kinds of searches. And the great thing about these keywords is they usually have a higher conversion value! 


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Amy Bridgewater is a renowned Marketing Consultant, working with businesses to increase their online visibility and expand their customer base. Join Amy’s community to grow as an entrepreneur.

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