In the online business world, making sure that your business gets the right type of exposure is crucial for success. With so many similar businesses competing for the same audience’s attention, making sure that yours is the one they end up choosing in the end requires a well-thought-out strategy.
Luckily, there are various tools, methods and strategies that can help you reach greater exposure. Search engine optimization (SEO) is currently one of the top practices that can help you gain greater exposure for your business and also increase both the quantity and the quality of your website traffic through organic search engine results.
In SEO, keywords play a major role. By choosing the right keywords for your business, you’ll ensure that your audience can find you quickly and easily with a simple online search.
But how do you decide which keywords to rank for?
Before we dive any deeper into exploring all the ways you can make long-tail keywords work for you, we’ll first define what keywords are, explain the different types of keywords and finally share how to choose the keywords that will benefit your business most.
What Are Keywords?
Keywords are words and phrases people use to find information when performing an online search.
Now, while it’s impossible to predict what every single person will type into the search bar, there are still some general rules that apply. For instance, if people are looking for a specific type of business, they’ll most likely include their location in the search as well. That’s why a person from Miami looking for a company dealing with web design will most likely look for “Miami web design company” when searching the internet.
In the example above, both the searcher and the company gain a lot from a well-chosen keyword. The searcher is able to quickly and easily find exactly what they were looking for, while the business can ensure that potential customers will come across them specifically, simply by ranking for the right type of keyword.
That being said, let’s now look at the main difference between short-tail and long-tail keywords.
Short vs. Long-Tail Keywords
Short-tail keywords are keywords that usually consist of no more than three words. They usually refer to broad topics, so ranking only for short term keywords usually won’t be enough to significantly boost your visibility.
Some of the examples of short-tail keywords include “cat food,” “real estate” and “running shoes.” By observing these examples, it becomes obvious that searchers won’t necessarily come across your business specifically – if you’ve ranked for any of these keywords – as there will be a myriad of other similar businesses that have ranked for the same keyword.
Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, are more specific in nature than short-tail keywords. They commonly contain various additional modifiers – such as location, brand name or a specific piece of information – that further narrows the scope of the search.
To use the same examples again, the long-tail keyword versions would be “homemade cat food,” “real estate agencies in NYC” or “best Nike running shoes for children.” These examples show us how you can take a short-tail keyword, narrow it down by adding various modifiers and turn it into a long-tail keyword that will be more specific for your business.
Since long-tail keywords are far more specific, ranking for them is significantly easier than trying to rank for a short-tail keyword.
3 Key Reasons Why Long-Tail Keywords Matter
Now that we’ve explained what long-tail keywords are, it’s time to look at the top three reasons every business should try to rank for them.
#1. Ranking for long-tail keywords is easier
As mentioned previously, ranking for long-tail keywords is significantly easier than ranking for short-tail keywords, simply due to the fact that long-tail keywords are far more specific, ranking for them will significantly lower your competition. What this means is that it will be far easier to rank for “best homemade chocolate chip cookies in LA” than it would be for just “chocolate chip cookies.”
#2. They allow you to target specific audience
The more specific your keywords are, the more targeted the audience will be. When people are looking for specific things online, there are high chances that they’re already looking to make a purchase. On the other hand, people looking for more general terms (short-tail keywords) may still be in the research phase. Out of the two, you will benefit far more from the first group of searchers.
#3. Advertising is less expensive
Ranking for competitive keywords usually costs way higher than ranking for more specific keywords with less search volume and competition. So, if you choose Google Ads, for instance, and rank for long-tail keywords, your cost per click will be much lower than it would be with short-tail keywords. Needless to say, it’s always best to choose cheaper advertising options that will still bring plenty of benefits to your business.
How To Find The Best Long-Tail Keywords For Your Business
Now that you know the importance of finding the right keywords for your business, it’s time to get to work. Sadly, there’s no universal formula you can rely on when looking for keywords for your business, but there are some things that will help you make the best choice.
Determine your unique selling proposition (USP)
Your unique selling proposition is what sets you apart from the rest of your competition. To determine your USP, you can ask yourself:
Why should people choose you over your competitors?
Who will benefit from what you have to offer?
Your USP can be of great help when choosing the right keywords. By highlighting what you do best and why people should choose you over your competition in your keywords, it will help you reach the right type of audience. And while it is true that the more unique your keywords are, the less views you’ll stand to gain, the majority of those views are far likelier to result in conversions, which is the ultimate goal.
Focus on the needs and wants of your target audience
Determining your audience’s needs and wants can also be of huge help when looking for the right keywords. By focusing on:
What your audience is looking for
How they benefit from what you’re offering
What they consider before making a purchase
You can easily use the answers when making your long-tail keywords. As mentioned earlier, when looking for a specific product or service, people will often include the location is the search as well. This is due to the fact that someone living in Chicago and looking for web design services won’t benefit a lot from a great web design company in Dubai, for instance. Instead, they will far more likely look for Chicago web design companies that they can easily check out and interact with – even in person, if necessary.
Conduct thorough research
Next, whenever you’re making any decisions for your business, it’s always wise that you arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible. That’s why you need to conduct thorough keyword research. This way, you’ll be able to gauge if the long-tail keywords you intended to use actually match what your audience is looking for when searching the web. Aside from this, thorough keyword research will also let you in on other words and phrases you can use when creating long-tail keywords you may not even considered previously.
Don’t forget about user intent
After you create a list of your long-tail keywords, go over them once more. Make sure that your keywords are the right fit. What this means is that you need to make sure that your keywords provide the necessary information your audience is looking for. The goal is to answer the searcher’s intent with your keywords. Additionally, make sure you keep in mind where your audience is on their buyer’s journey when they look up your business. All of these will help you determine whether or not you’ve managed to choose the right keywords.
Constantly re-evaluate your keywords
Check your long-tail keywords in Google and see what other results the search engine will offer you. Google predictions can be quite helpful when trying to determine your long-tail keywords. Check out the “people also look for” section to gain even more inspiration. Re-evaluate your keywords every so often to make sure you stay up-to-date on trends and add to your keyword list whenever possible.
Wrapping Up On Long-Tail Keywords
When running any type of online business, being able to secure greater exposure and bring more traffic to your website is the ultimate goal, because it will help your conversion rate. Ranking for the right keywords will prove to be very useful, as they will easily help you to achieve this goal. However, you will need to consider which keywords are the right fit for your business and rank for them properly, so that you can have them work in your favor and bring customers your way.