How To Identify Long-Tail Keywords or SEO

Let?s face it?as marketers sometimes we get caught up in the numbers. We want to reach the largest audience and get the most clicks from organic and paid search as possible. While high traffic numbers are great, what we should be looking at is the effectiveness of those clicks, and whether those who click are able to find what they are looking for on our website and converting.

Long-tail keywords are not a new idea for PPC campaigns and SEO strategy, but many companies overlook their significance. Small or local businesses can utilize long-tail keywords to reach their targeted audience, without wasting money on PPC campaigns targeting a broader audience.

What are Long-Tail Keywords?

Long-tail keywords are defined as search queries that contain three or more words. A common usage of long-tail keywords is associating a topic with a place?for example restaurants in Chicago. You can whittle down even further by searching for vegan restaurants in Chicago. You can also use descriptors to help identify your products or services.

The benefit of using long-tail keywords in these types of situations is that the more specific the search terms, the more likely the person searching will be to visit your website because there is a higher probability that they will find what they are looking for. And because they are more likely to find what they are looking for, the more likely they will engage or convert as a customer.

How Do I Know Which Long-Tail Keywords to Use?

Determining which long-tail keywords will drive the most traffic to your website can be tricky, but there are numerous tools and strategies available to get you off to a good start. First, you can look at what search terms are currently being used by people who visit your site, and use that as a starting point.

You should also be looking at competitor?s websites and take a peek at what keywords they are using and how they are using them. Type one of your long-tail keywords into Google to identify sites that are performing well with that keyword, and go from there.

There are numerous keyword generator tools available as well, including Google?s own Keyword Planner in AdWords. Google?s predictive search is also a great place to start?type in one or two keywords and see what suggestions Google provides.

Remember than long-tail keywords help generate quality leads, not quantity, and your goal should be to increase conversions of those who use long-tail keywords to find your website. While more generic search terms can generate more traffic, it may not always be the traffic that results in new business.

Identifying Good Long-Tail Keywords

Not all long-tail keywords will be useful for your company, and determining which keywords to use can be tricky, especially when dealing with low search volume terms according to Google?s standards. Start with Google?s Keyword Tool to identify the search volume for your long-tail keyword, and it can also provide related keywords and the data for those. Consider the search volume, as well as the average cost-per-click before settling on a few long-tail keywords to use.

Many times, however, you may find that Google identifies the long-tail keywords as having too little search volume, and will not provide the search volume data. In these instances it is best to go with what you know?develop content that will appeal to your target audience. Use a little trial and error to determine what type of content and keywords deliver the most traffic.

Remember that SEO is an ongoing project that you need to nurture and develop over time. Feel free to experiment with both short and long-tail keywords, and identify those that deliver the highest rate of conversion. No single strategy applies to all businesses, so identify what works best for you and your company.