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Search engine optimization (SEO) plays a critical role in the success or failure of your company. Great SEO can help your site rank higher on search engines, which means more eyes and more customers. There are many different techniques you can use to boost your SEO strategy. These can range from improving user experience on your site to optimizing for voice search.

While all of these methods and strategies can work, one that certainly deserves your attention is long-tail SEO. But what exactly is long-tail SEO and why is it so important? In an effort to help, this article is going to look at why long-tail SEO is an important strategy, and how you can go about using it.

What is Long-Tail SEO?

Long-tail SEO is when you will use keywords or phrases longer than 3 words in your SEO efforts. This can include a variety of things from “real estate marketing tips” to “best construction company in Dallas”. These are more specific than short-tail (or head) keywords than “real estate” or “construction company”. There is more clear intent in these longer searches, which means people are more specific when it comes to what they are looking for.

An example of long tail SEO keyword research on Google

While these long-tail keywords get less traffic than their shorter counterparts, this isn’t a bad thing. Less traffic means there is a far lower competition rate for these keywords, which can often make them easier to rank for. Their cost-per-click is generally lower as well, so they can be cost-effective, too.

Also, long-tail keywords often have a higher conversion rate as well. This long-tail SEO strategy is all about identifying the most valuable long-tail keywords and phrases and utilizing them in your content.

Why is it Important?

So why is this an important strategy to consider? Well, there are a variety of reasons why a strategy focused on long-tail keywords can be fruitful and worth your while. This section is going to go over a few of them.

A Lot of Internet Traffic Comes From Long-Tail Searches

First of all, a lot of traffic on the internet comes from long-tail keywords. When people are searching for something on the internet, they are normally quite specific and know what they are looking for.

If you aren’t using long-tail keywords, you are missing out on a lot of this traffic who aren’t looking for general content. Because of this, long-tail SEO can provide much better targeting than simply using short keywords. For example, let’s say you have a blog post talking about the various types of kitchen cabinet options out there.

Kitchen cabinets for a long tail SEO search for kitchen cabinets

If you rank for “types of kitchen cabinets”, you will directly reach those searching for information about the types of kitchen cabinets. If you simply rank for a short-tail option like “kitchen cabinets”, people searching for that phrase could be looking for pricing, color options or even who sells them. When you use long-tail SEO, you are answering specific queries, as opposed to general ones that might not yield great results. This can ensure you reach your target audience easier and much more quickly.

Less Competition and Investment

Another reason why a long-tail strategy is important is because of the low competition. The competition can be fierce for short-tail keywords but is generally a little more relaxed as you get more specific long-tail options. Some marketers are afraid of the lower search volumes, but many others who are savvy see these as an opportunity.

Competition is another reason that long-tail keywords are useful for small business success

The much lower investment, when compared to short-tail SEO, is another reason why a long-tail strategy is so important. With short-tail SEO, there are a ton of other companies and individuals looking to rank highly. This means you need to invest a lot of time, money and work in order to beat out the competition. While there is still work involved in order to rank highly in regards to long-tail keywords, there is much less competition and thus, ranking highly and keeping your rank won’t be quite as tedious.

Read more: It’s Not SEO Magic: 3 Ways to Improve Your Site for Search

They Are Great for Voice Search, Which is Growing

Long-tail keywords are also great for the future of search. It is becoming more and more popular for people to use their voice to search. Whether using Siri on their phone or the Amazon Alexa in their kitchen, people are increasingly asking their devices questions, as opposed to typing.

Two people wearing rain jackets shows the different ways someone might search online for an item and why long-tail SEO keywords are important

When people search using their voice, they almost always will do so using long-tail keywords. If someone is searching for a new rain jacket, they aren’t going to say “jacket”, they are most likely going to say something like “what is the best jacket for the rain”? So if you don’t even attempt to rank for those longer keywords, you could be missing out on a ton of traffic.

Better ROI

Also, as we briefly touched on earlier, long-tail SEO can often result in better conversion rates, as well. This has the potential to save you a lot of money, and increase your ROI drastically. In general, the more relevant your content is to the search term, the more likely people are going to click on it. All in all, a long-tail strategy can help you generate organic traffic that is of very high value, and offer incredible targeting, with less competition to worry about.

How to Use a Long-Tail SEO Strategy?

Now that you know what long-tail SEO is and why it is important and valuable, how do you take advantage of it and use it? The first step is to perform a bit of keyword research. There are several different tools and platforms that can help you with this. This step is all about discovering which keywords would be most beneficial to rank for.

In addition to these tools, be sure to observe your target audience on social media or in the comments of blog posts. Learn what they want to know, the problems they have and the ways you can enrich their lives with value. You could even speak directly with customers or readers about any questions, concerns, or ideas they might have.

Be sure to keep a fairly organized list of your keywords, as well. A lot of work could go down the drain if you forget or lose the list, so be careful.

Next, you need to do your part to fit these terms into valuable content that your readers and users want to read. While some companies may simply add the newly researched keywords and phrases into existing content, it is much better to create new content.

A well organized list of keywords helps you make the most of long-tail SEO strategy with Selz SEO expert services

While you want to rank highly and include all the necessary keywords, it is important not to forget that content quality should always come first. Search engines use complex algorithms when ranking content, and they look at much more than just the keywords used. They will also consider things like the relevance and value of the content, as well as the user experience of your site.

Once your content (with the keywords included) is published, your work is not done. You will need to evaluate how successful your efforts were, and where there is room for improvement. Be sure to consult things like your rankings, how many conversions you are getting and also your revenue. Be sure to dig deep into the analytics to really get a sense of what worked well, and what you could improve.

If you want the best results from your long-tail SEO strategy, there are also some mistakes and potential problems to keep an eye out for. For example, you want to ensure that the keywords you attempt to rank for are correct and have at least a little search volume.

A women doing keyword research on her phone

Ideally, you’ll address this in the keyword research phase, but there are certainly companies who have accidentally targeted the wrong keywords or focused too much on keywords with little to no traffic. It’s normal for long-tail keywords to have less traffic than short-tail, but they still need to have at least a bit of interest and volume to make them worthy.

Of course, avoid simply putting in the keywords at will. You need to ensure they fit and flow naturally with the rest of the text. If you simply stuff keywords into a post without trying to fit them in naturally and have them make sense, it can stick out like a sore thumb.

Also, don’t rush the process and simply pick the first few keywords you can think of. The research phase is very important to the overall success of the campaign or strategy. Sure, it can take a bit of time, but it is time well spent in most cases.

Selz ecommerce SEO is a great way to build awareness and publicity for your small business

As you can see, long-tail SEO is an incredibly important strategy for pushing your SEO efforts to the next level. We hope that this blog post has been able to show you just how important it can be, and how to implement the strategy correctly.

About the author

Ashley Lipman

Ashley Lipman is an award-winning writer who discovered her passion for providing knowledge to readers worldwide on topics closest to her heart - all things digital. Since her first high school award in Creative Writing, she continues to deliver awesome content through various niches touching the digital sphere.