We’ve been hearing the term for quite some time: long tail keywords. On the surface, we easily realize what the difference is. These are longer phrases than the usual keywords that we’re used to. They are harder to fit in a phrase, since they are a phrase on their own.
But when you know how to use them in your content, you can improve the search engine ranking of your pages.
Ahrefs came out with important insights regarding focus keyword phrases: 92.42% of all keywords get a maximum of ten searches per month. Some get less. These are the less popular, long tail keywords that no one really targets. But here’s another interesting fact: phrases of four or five words got much better search volume when compared to short keywords.
So what are long tail keywords that drive results? Our focus should be on phrases of four or five words, which are highly relevant to our SEO campaign.
5 Reasons to Focus on Long Tail SEO
- Better Conversion Rates
We can’t have clear statistics about all the keywords and all conversion rates across all websites. That’s impossible. But we can rely on studies that target a large number of keywords and give us hints about their performance.
One such study shows that long tail keywords lead to 2.5 times higher conversions than head keywords. That’s a lot. If your average landing pages convert at 11%, it means that you can get up to a conversion rate of 27% if you introduce long tail keywords in your content.
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It’s a bold statement; that’s for sure. There’s no magic that could increase those rates overnight. But what we do know is that long tail keywords infuse real search phrases in your content. They add more relevance to it, so they bring people with real interest your way.
- Better Rank for Head Term Keywords
Head term keywords are those industry-specific short phrases that we all want to rank for. When you target long-tail phrases, it doesn’t mean you’re abandoning single keywords. On the contrary: you’re using the longer phrases to rank for single keywords as well.
For example, let’s say that you’re running a beauty blog. You do want your posts to rank for popular keywords, such as wedding makeup, beauty routine, or skincare. But keep this to mind: every competitor is targeting those keyword examples, too.
You may spend your entire days writing blog posts and going through daily rank tracking. The huge competition won’t let you rank for the most popular keywords. If you extend your strategy to longer phrases, you’ll rank well for phrases like best wedding makeup for someone who never wears makeup. That automatically puts you in competition for the “wedding makeup” head term keyword.
- Better Integration of Structured Data
Schema.org remains a challenge in SEO processes. It’s a markup of structured data, which you can use for your search engine optimization strategy. With that, you provide more detail for the content of your page, so the search engines will understand the signals.
Google webmasters rely on structured data, since it helps them deliver rich search results. This is not a ranking factor, but it helps the bots understand the elements of your page better. If they get a good hint, they will feature your page in a snippet.
Martha Stewart’s site relies on structured data, so it can appear in rich snippets when people search for relevant recipes. This is the case with other recipe sites as well.
What do long tail keywords have to do with this? When you add structured data to them, you’ll provide more details for Google’s bots to understand your page. But everything has to be in context… that brings us to the next point.
- Long Tail Keywords Give You More Context
Search engines update their algorithms all the time. That’s why stuffing content with short keywords doesn’t work. It used to work, but not anymore.
With each advancement of its algorithm, Google is trying to deliver more value for its audience. It removes weak results from its list, and it focuses on contextual search.
With long tail keywords, you will target that strive for context. You’ll include grammatically correct phrases, which people usually use with voice search. If it’s hard to put them in a sentence, you can use them as headings, which will put the rest of the content in context.
- Long Keywords Are Less Competitive
We already said it, but we’ll say it again: the competition for short keywords is extreme. It’s almost impossible for you to rank well for the “wedding makeup” keyword if you just started a beauty blog. The high positions on such keywords are already taken by high-authority websites.
This is why you should focus on long-tail keywords. They don’t have as much competition, so it will be easier for you to rank well.
Do you know what lower competition means? Lower costs! When you start bidding on keywords, you’ll notice that long-tail phrases are less popular, That’s why they aren’t as expensive.
Not everyone wants to invest in paid advertising, so maybe you won’t make these bids. But if you do want to appear in Google’s ads, long-tail phrases should definitely become your focus. This is how the cost per click is calculated:
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You’ll notice that competition is the main factor in this equation. When it’s lower, the final cost per click is lower, too.
It’s a No-Brainer!
When used in context, long-tail keywords are very powerful. They will bring you visitors who use voice search. They will give hints for context to the search engine. They give you an opportunity to benefit from a PPC campaign for a very low price. They help you infuse structured data in your SEO practices.
There are plenty of reasons to start relying on longer search phrases.
You know what? All other marketers have already started doing that, so there’s no point in lagging behind.