This is a guest post by Lisa Shoreland.
By now you know that using keywords in your blog is a cornerstone of search-engine optimization (SEO) and propelling your blog to the top of search results for your target audience. However, not all keywords are created equal.
There are primary, broad keywords that use one or two words in your niche. For example, this could be “blogging” or “freelance writing.” Then there are long-tail keywords, which use multiple words or phrases to make your search more targeted. For example, this could be “how to make money blogging” or “freelance writing jobs for moms.”
Typically, broad keywords are much harder to rank for as there is high search traffic and intense competition for them. While there may be lower search traffic for long-tail keywords, there is typically less competition for them, making it easier for you to rank for them.
Why You Need Long-Tail Keywords
Targeting long-tail keywords has a number of benefits for your business:
- They are less competitive.
- They allow you to narrow your focus.
- They result in higher conversions.
Let’s say your blog is about how to burn fat fast. If you target keywords like “diet” or “burn fat,” your site is going to get lost in millions of results about that same topic.
People who search for these terms are going to have a variety of interests, from learning how to lose weight fast for an event, or wanting to know how to burn fat to reduce health risks, to being interested in a particular diet. If your site is about eating a raw foods diet to make lifestyle changes, you aren’t going to appeal to everyone who searches for these terms.
Using long-tail keywords allows you to narrow your focus and increase conversions by ranking with people who are actually interested in your product. So instead of “diet,” you could rank for “raw foods diet” or “how to lose weight with raw food.”
How to Find Long-Tail Keywords
There are a number of free and paid tools that can help you find profitable keywords in your niche. You can start with the basic Google keyword tool, which can show you data on the number of searches performed for your keywords both locally and globally, as well as the competition for those keywords.
Start with broad keywords and then browse the list of recommendations based on those keywords. You can add progressively longer keyword segments into your search to get more narrowed recommendations.
Of course, there are a number of paid tools available, as well, with many designed specifically for finding long-tail keywords. Whether you choose a free or a paid tool depends on your level of comfort with the research and on your budget.
Finding long-tail keywords and incorporating them into your SEO strategy is a great way to help your blog rank more quickly and to connect more easily with your target audience. By getting more traffic from your desired customers, you’ll also quickly increase conversions.
Do you use long-tail keywords on your blog? Share your tips for finding and using successful long-tail keywords in the comments!
About the Author
Lisa Shoreland is currently a resident blogger at Go college, where recently she’s been researching minority grants and native american grants. In her spare time, she enjoys creative writing and hogging her boyfriend’s PlayStation 3. To keep her sanity she enjoys practicing martial arts and bringing home abandoned animals.