Long-tails are a mysterious concept in the SEO space. We assume they are just long phrases with hardly any search volume – and yet, somehow, they make up 70% of all search queries.
In today’s post on long-tail keywords, we’ll look at what long-tails really are, how you can easily spot them, and what makes them the single most beneficial keyword type for your SEO campaign.
Get Targeted Traffic From Long Tail Keywords
In the guide, I’ll also share 4 steps to find and target long-tails – the simple framework that our SEO team used to double our own organic traffic.
1. Utilize the long-tails you already rank for
Sign in to your Google Search Console account. Go to Search Traffic > Search Analytics, and select Clicks, Impressions, and Position to be displayed. This will show you the list of terms you rank for, with the number of site visits, search volume for each, and your ranking for each. By default, the data is displayed for the last 28 days, but you can tweak this if you need to.
At the bottom of the list, you’ll see a Download button. Click it to download the entire list of terms you rank for in Google.
Next, open the spreadsheet you just downloaded, and review the list, making sure to only leave the long-tail keywords. Finally, eliminate the long-tails that you already rank #1 for. You’ll end up with the list of terms that you can improve your ranking for (with a little effort). Save the spreadsheet and move on to the next step.
2. Brainstorm for New Keyword Ideas
First and foremost, we’re going to need to get some ideas. Let’s head over to Google Search.
If you are developing a local SEO strategy, then you’ll want to make sure you conduct your research on the appropriate regional Google variant. For businesses targeting a more global audience, http://google.com/ is a better place to look.
Once you’re there, type your niche or topic into the search bar, but don’t press enter yet. Unless you have the autocomplete function turned off (if you do, turn it on for the purposes of this exercise), Google will predict a number of common keyword phrases that it believes you might be interested in searching for. Doing this will give you an immediate idea of what people are actually searching for in your niche.
If you’re not happy with the suggestions, or if you want to extrapolate more opportunities from the ones you liked, I’d recommend going to Ubersuggest to get even more long tail keyword ideas that you might want to optimize for. It’s a great way to get a handful of relevant keywords that you might not have thought of otherwise.
Get as many keywords from Google Search and Ubersuggest that you’re comfortable working with, and organize them all in a spreadsheet or text file. Ubersuggest makes this particularly easy since you can download a copy of your keyword results to either text or .csv.
3. Check for Keyword Search Volume
More likely than not, you already have a seed keyword list — the more generic terms that you are targeting with your site. It’s a good idea to look for some new long-tails based on your seed list. For the task, I would not recommend using Google AdWords — their Keyword Planner tool is geared to show the more commercial terms. The keywords that advertisers don’t target (the long-tails with lower search volume) will likely not be there at all.
Repeat this process for other research methods, such as Google Autocomplete, Bing Search Suggestions, and so on. When you’re done, still in the Keyword Research module, select Added Today in the drop-down next to Keyword Groups to see all the terms you’ve just researched (by default, you’ll only see the results from the last search you made).
Now, look through the terms you found to spot long-tails that are a good fit for your content. Think of the keywords you could use on some of your existing pages, and the ones that you can create new pages for. You can either browse through all the terms that have been found by clicking on All keywords on the left, or look through the semantic groups Rank Tracker has automatically created for your keywords.
4. Gauge Your Competition
Hopefully at this point, you have a pretty strong list of keywords to target. Let’s dive in and figure out just how competitive these keywords are and thus how difficult it will be to rank for them. Fair warning though, this process will be time-consuming and requires the use of multiple tools.
The true purpose of this step of the SEO analysis is to gauge the level of competition and to ascertain if the top pages have any strengths and weaknesses that you can replicate and exploit respectively.
Some SEOs claim that there are under-the-radar secrets for improving your search rankings and traffic. But, We’ve been targeting long-tail keywords in Our blog posts, and guides. This search phrase strategy works.
Always remember that the main reason to conduct keyword research isn’t to manipulate search engines into ranking your website. Instead, you want to understand what your target audience is looking for, what questions keep them up at night and what they’re thinking when they use Google search.
Need helps driving search traffic through long-tail keywords? Contact Us!