Why You Need to Focus on Long-Tail Keywords

Every business is looking for customer growth. Finding the right customers at the right time can be difficult. Long-tail keywords are a great place to focus your online marketing strategy.  You can find customers ready to buy, outpace the competition, and develop a commonsense strategy for your content.

Getting a higher return on your investment means finding opportunities to spend less and make more. When it comes to your digital marketing strategy this means focusing on keywords that have less demand but will lead to more customers.

Let’s explore three reasons you need to focus your strategy on long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords vs. short tail keywords

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First, let’s talk about what a long-tail keyword is. Let’s say you sell car speakers in California. Think about a search term like ‘speaker’. Over half a million people on average may search for this word every month. That’s a lot of volume, but how do you know the people who make that search are looking for car speakers in California? Maybe they want home speakers. Maybe they’re from New York. This is an example of a short tail keyword.

Long-tail, on the other hand, would be a term like ‘car speaker system in California’. This search may have much less search volume, but it’s much closer to the product you sell and therefore is more valuable to your business.

In short, long-tail keywords are more specific keyword searches that get you users closer to the point-of-purchase.

Outrank the competition

Overtaking the competition for a place on the ever-changing first page of Google can be difficult. Don’t make it more difficult for your business by competing for keywords with multi-billion-dollar companies. Shifting your focus to a long-tail keyword strategy makes sense when you start to think about the competition.

  • Less Competition for the Keywords —The lower search traffic for more specific long-tail keywords means that you’re in a less crowded market. More specific keywords have less demand in the marketplace, meaning they’re less expensive and easier to rank for than high volume keywords.
  • Most of Your Traffic Already— The truth is that most people search for long-tail keywords when they’re looking to buy. When you’re shopping for a product online (especially when you’re thinking about buying), your search terms drift to long-tail. Why run uphill, when your traffic is downhill?

Let’s go back to our speaker example. If you’re putting your marketing budget into ranking for the term ‘speaker’, how much of your resources and money will go to beating Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart? Why not move that budget to long-tail keywords that have less demand, thus less competition? Just as with other parts of your business, you should focus on the markets where you can have the highest return on investment.

Users search with context

The times are changing. Searchers are getting more sophisticated in how they search, and search engines are getting more sophisticated in understanding what searchers want. Google reports that 15% of searches have never been searched before. Context is becoming more and more critical every day. This is especially true for users closer to the point of purchase. A searcher is more likely to search for a specific type of speaker, or a location to purchase a speaker, towards the end of the buying funnel.

Let’s dig deeper. When a searcher is getting closer to purchasing speakers, they’re more likely to search —

  • car speaker systems in California
  • where to buy jpl speakers near me
  • buy jpl car audio
  • auto speaker buy and install California
  • car audio system packages near me

Looking at the searches above, you can see how they add more context to what the user wants. They’re not looking for ‘speakers’, they’re looking for ‘JPL’ speakers and a shop that will install them as well. Why not put your search budget where your searchers are when they’re looking to buy?

Search engines are getting better at adding context as well. The goal of Google, or any search engine, is to understand the user’s intent and to deliver the relevant results. They’ll consider context like—

  • Where is the user searching from?
  • What has the user searched for in the past?
  • Which site is answering this user’s question?

Long-tail keywords add context for both the searcher and the search engine. When you focus on short-tail keywords you can often miss this context. Why not go to where users are? This will only become more important as voice search becomes more prevalent.

Content creation

Long-tail keywords will help guide your content strategy as well. When a user clicks on your search and lands on your page, you need to provide them with the information they want. If they search for ‘buy jpl car audio’ you should direct them to a product page with jpl car audio, not to your homepage where they see general information about your business.

Understanding the long-tail search terms that your potential customers are using will help you create content that draws customers in.

  • Blogs posts targeting long-tail search terms.
  • Long-form authoritative pieces, such as guides, to show you’re the authority.
  • On-page sales copy which answers the intention of the search.

Creating content specific to these long-tail keywords will help focus your strategy on areas where you can compete. You can become authoritative on keywords with less demand but higher conversion rates. This means that not only are you finding searchers looking for your services, but you’re showing them you’re the authority in this area, creating more conversion opportunities.

Not only do customers like specific content that answers the intent of long-tail keywords, but search engines do as well. Because there is less competition for these keywords, if you’re answering the question implied in the user search Google is more likely to recommend you through the search results. This means more qualified traffic coming your way.

Higher conversion rates

The most essential part of all of this is what it means to your business. Are you getting more qualified leads? Are you converting customers? Are you making money? The goal is to spend the least to make the most. Long-tail keywords are simply a better return on investment than targeting their short tail sibling.

To increase conversions, you want to target people further down the sales funnel. Long-tail keywords can help because—

  • Engagement with customers in the middle of the sales funnel results in more conversion.
  • Most customers are moving through the sales funnel before they’re ready to talk to somebody.

Would you prefer to rank on the second page of a search for a high-volume search term of 1000 searches a month, or number 1 for 10 keywords with a volume of 10 searches a month. You will have more success with the latter strategy. When was the last time you went to the second page of Google?

Let’s consider our potential speaker customer. By the time they are ready to purchase their car speakers, they may have already read reviews and compared different brands. They have narrowed the intent of their search. Are they more likely to now search ‘speakers’ or ‘where to buy jpl speakers in California’? By finding these searchers, you’re finding customers ready to purchase.

Implement your long-tail strategy

You know how successful a long-tail strategy can be and want this to be the focus of your business. It’s now time to do keyword research. Finding the right keywords can be difficult. There are tools online, but it can be difficult to navigate them.

If you think your business should focus on long-tail keywords and don’t know where to start, contact WebFX for more information and a free quote!

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