Why Long-Tail Keywords in SEO Are Important


For the last six years or so, long-tail keywords have been used by SEOs as a popular way to gain search traffic.  According to a recent infographic created by HitTail, 70% of all search queries are for long-tail terms.  With this said, targeting long-tail keyword phrases in your SEO strategy can be an incredibly powerful technique for building up your organic search engine traffic. Research suggests that long-tail keywords are easier to rank for, the competition is lower, and using them may result in more conversions than the more popular core, or head keywords.


Google can answer questions

Google is essentially becoming more and more like a person.  Just like you’d ask a friend “Will it rain today?” or “Where is Bloomingdales?” Google can provide answers as results.

For mobile users, there’s Google Now, a system that provides answers through voice commands in natural language.  This means that more and more web users will be typing in, or speaking their queries on Google.  While some users might just type or say “Bloomingdales,” many will likely type or ask “Where is Bloomingdales?”

Google Now

Familiarize yourself with Google Now, as this is the future of search.  If you are one of the many iPhone or Android users, you’re likely already used it.  I can’t even count how many times I’ve “talked” to Siri, asking “her” long-tail questions.  I’ve asked Siri about everything from sports scores to the weather to how old Lebron James is.  What I’m doing is having conversations with a search engine, and I’m not the only one out there doing so.

Better conversions

While some long-tail keywords may not drive as much traffic to your site, they are more likely to bring much more qualified visitors.  And while many SEO professionals are focused on ranking at the top of the first page, isn’t the overall goal in most cases to increase conversions?  Whether it’s to make people click, buy, or sign up, making people commit to an action that ultimately converts to revenue is the goal.

When a user searches for just “Bloomingdales,” you’re not as sure what he or she wants to do. Maybe it’s a student who is writing a paper about the history of the store, or a person just trying to get general information about what the store sells.  However, when the user searches “where is Bloomingdales?” it’s a safer bet that he or she wants to go to the store in the near future.  The user intent is much clearer: he or she wants to know where the nearest Bloomingdales is in order to go buy something there.

If you had to guess, which search query is more likely to result in a conversion?

Highly relevant results

Core keyword searches with high levels of competition and search volume rarely yield highly relevant results.  Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, provide results that are highly relevant, which can translate to a higher conversion rate for sites ranking at the top for long-tail searches (these also have less competition).

Less competition

Ranking high for competitive core keywords can be incredibly tough, which is why long-tail keywords can make a huge difference. Sometimes, instead of fighting for a single #1 spot for a difficult keyword, it may be wiser to rank #1 for 100 long-tail keywords.  In most cases you’ll have more users who are actually looking for your product or service, higher converting traffic, a lower bounce rate and better time-on-page metrics.


Why Long-Tail Keywords in SEO Are Important by


  1. says

    Great site you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any
    forums that cover the same topics talked about in this article?
    I’d really love to be a part of group where I can get responses from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thank you!

  2. says

    I first met Brent at last year’s Harvest Festival. I’d just finished wiahctng the entire first season of your show after being introduced to it less than 24 hours earlier by a friend who owns her own small farm in Jackson, NY. I was driving from her place to Cooperstown to finally visit the Baseball Hall of Fame and drink some good Ommegang beer when I realized how close to Sharon Springs I was. I was only in town for about 15 minutes, but they were some of my favorite 15 minutes from last year. I loved how the community came together, the homey small-town feel of that main street and most of all, the pride in hard work and sound, ethical products. And I LOVED meeting Brent because he was so genuine and just plain NICE.I got to meet him again (and you, Josh!) a couple weekend ago at Terrain down here in Pennsylvania (much closer to my home!) and introduced the two of you to my mother and sister, both of whom I’ve gotten hooked on your show and products. Someone took a photo of the three of us with the two of you and it just makes me so happy because I love what the two of you have done with Beekman and everything it represents.So thank you, Brent for all the inspiration and laughter and for the amazingly delicious jar of cajeta sitting in my fridge. (It’s soooo good on fresh strawberries!)-Sara

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