You’ve finally found it! The simple guide for improving your search traffic with long-tail keywords. Trust me, it’s not that hard – not when you know what to do.
These types of keywords are less competitive and convert at a higher rate.
Why target 2 – 3 keywords (e.g. weight loss tips) when you can target the longer variations with 4, 5 or more words in a single search term. For example, best fat burning exercises at home. Driving search traffic is all about leverage – and thinking outside-the-box.
Search engines may not be the only source of qualified traffic, but it can be sustainable if you master the art.
Jamie from Brand New Copy had 1005% increase in traffic implementing similar approach.
Because that’s where the real engagement is born. It doesn’t matter what is your niche, you can always get more organic traffic, and improve your search rankings.
Getting started with organic traffic
Ranking your web pages in Google top 10 is what every site owner strives to achieve.
It’s no longer about copying experts, to see whether their strategies would work for you. No, you have to learn the process behind it – and it begins with a rock-solid foundation.
These statistics from CWS showed that optimizing for long-tail keywords will move your web page up 11 times.
But, if you target head/seed keywords (e.g. lose weight), your web page will only climb 5 positions. Furthermore, you’ll increase your click-through rates as your keywords become more specific.
Do you know why your competitors aren’t targeting the right keywords? You’re right, they don’t know how to find them.
You have to understand the people that you’re studying. Are you aware that each keyword phrase that’s typed into the search engine is a reflection of the user’s deepest desire?
This mindset is what you should use when digging your keywords. Nothing else, nothing more!
Getting insights from your audience is an on-going process. Because the way information gets shared in today’s world is changing. And your audience aren’t standing akimbo – they’re moving, too.
Identify the customer’s journey: You have to understand that your target audience are on a journey.
Most marketers refer to this as the Customer buying cycle. Of course, the customers know where they’re going. They can tell the moment they find answers to their questions or solutions to their problems. But you have to help them in each phase of the cycle.
You have to create targeted content to appeal to customers for each stage. Understand and focus on these 3 stages that a potential customer goes through as they make buying decisions. Let’s explore each of them:
Awareness: At the stage, the user (or a customer) is not interested in buying any product yet. They want to know about the possible products or solutions that could meet their need. Let’s find some keywords that shows the intent of ‘awareness.’
The keyword phrases usually start with “what, how, when, who, and more.” Here’s an example:
Consideration: All keywords are definitely not created equal. Don’t ask your users to buy anything at this stage, because they’re not ready yet. If you do, your conversion rate will be low.
Yet, before you ask someone to buy a product, you have to give them a good reason.
You have to create avenues that will help them make the best buying decisions. Because at this stage, your users are still considering what to buy.
Also, users who will come to your web page aren’t beginners or stranger to what your content is about. But they still need a nudge or inspiration to move forward. It’s your responsibility to make it happen.
These keywords have common modifiers such as reviews, comparison, best, top, this vs. that, cost and so on. Let’s see some of the keywords in this phase:
The screenshot above tells you the current state of the searcher. You’ll notice that the searchers (or customers) are already familiar with Nike running shoes.
They’re still considering because they want to know the “Best” before spending their hard earned cash.
Purchase: This is simply the action step taken by your site users to buy your product.
The truth is this: when search users are ready to buy a product, there are certain keywords they’ll always use. Because at this phase, they’re no longer considering buying. These keyword phrases have modifiers such as:
- best price
- where to buy
- where to purchase
- how to order
- free shipping
- discount code
- free trial
- quickly, and more.
Let’s find some some random keywords that shows a “buying” intent. Just log in to Google Keywords Planner > type “where to buy” into the search box. Then click “Get ideas” button:
It’s important for you to grasp the idea behind the 3 stages of the buying cycle. It would guide you in researching the right long-tail keywords and aligning your content. After all, you want to convert your search traffic into paying customers. Isn’t it?
Strategic long-tail keywords research
Now that you know the breakdown, it’s time to tailor your research to a specific niche. In this section, I want to show you how to find long-tail keywords that will drive thousands of free organic leads to your business.
Note that when you’re researching your long-tail keywords, you have to be strategic about it. Your goal is to choose keywords that can easily rank in the top 3 results.
According to B2C, “60% of all organic clicks go to the top search results.”
How how do you find these easy-to-rank keyword phrases?
Follow these simple steps:
Step #1: Visit Google keywords Planner. Type in your main keyword (e.g. crm software). Click the “Get ideas” button:
From the screenshot above, you’ll notice that the keywords are not long-tail. This means that if you target any of them, you’ll face a hard time with your competitors.
You may even give up when you don’t see significant organic search rankings and traffic.
But all hope is not lost yet. You have to dig one of the keywords to find its longer variations.
Step #2: Dig the head keywords. Copy one of the keywords highlighted in red (above) and plug into the research box. Click “Get ideas.” Here’s the result screenshot:
There you go. We now have a handful of long-tail keyword variations of the head keyword (best crm software) that we first saw. You can find more long-tail search terms by clicking the [>] button right under the search result so you can go to the next page:
Understand the purpose of a given keyword: Why do we research keywords? The reason is simple: to help the user. Whether head or long-tail, we want to appeal to the user and solve their problem.
This might sound like a cliche, but I have to state it again and again. You need to optimize for the user first, before the spiders. Because “the search engine spider follows people,” says Brian Clark, founder of Copyblogger Media.
You have to understand the keyword stuffing, keyword padding or using any form of manipulative SEO will do you no good.
Finding the right keyword is a lot easier, but using it in your web page is a different ball game. I’ll do my best to guide you in the right path.
Craft compelling headlines
Up until this time, you have been researching your market as well as the people in it. Now it’s time to get creative – especially with your headlines.
No doubt. The headline is the most important element in your copy, and blog posts.
According to Ted Nicholas, “73% of the buying decisions that customers will ever make will be at the point of the headline.” More so, 8 out of 10 people will read your headline if it grabs their attention.
Are you ready to craft compelling and keyword-rich headlines that will get you the right visitors? Here are the steps that work:
Integrate the keyword naturally: The first method that has been working for several years now is ‘natural keyword integration.’
You just take a valuable keyword, position is in your headline and use other qualifiers or generic words to make it natural.
Let’s see an example from some of the shared content on the web, in the past 6 months. You can use Buzzsumo.com to do this. Type your main keyword (e.g. start a blog) into the search box. Click the “Go” button:
Next, you’ll see the content that generated the most shares in the past 1 year:
There it is, the keyword (start a blog) appears within the headline. You’ll notice the Generic words in the headline, too. Let’s model this viral headline to create ours:
How to Start A Blog In 10 Minutes
Here are fresh headlines, courtesy of the viral one above:
Top 10 Best CRM Software Solutions For Small Business You Should Know
How To Find The Best CRM Software For Small Business Online
If your main keyword is social media expert, you can integrate that naturally into your headline. Here are examples:
- 7 Habits of A Results-Driven Social Media Expert You Didn’t Know
- What Makes a Social Media Expert Different From A Social Media Marketer
Got my approach?
As much as you can, you should use numbers (especially odd numbers) in your headline.
According to Content Marketing Institute, you can improve your headline click rate by 20% when you add an odd number to it.
More so, a research study by Moz revealed that, 36% of people prefer headlines that contains numbers – hence, the major reason why ‘list type’ posts gets the most social shares.
After the Hummingbird algorithm change, the search results improved to a large extent. There was a shift from search optimization to user optimization.
It’s easier to appeal and persuade more people, when your headlines are well-structured. Having a number on the headline means that users can visualize the goal, or how long they’d spend reading your content.
Buzzfeed knows how to use numbers in their headlines – see how many of their recent posts have numbers:
Let’s see some of the search results pages. Can you spot the difference between headlines with numbers and those without? Here’s the proof:
But that’s not all. Look at the first and second listings below for the long-tail keyword (list building tips for beginners):
Surprisingly, on-page optimization begins with the user, and ends with them. Without the user, your site will fail. Are you delivering the best experience for your site visitors and customers? This is the new SEO.
User optimization is all about putting the user first. I know you’re tired of the common advice (write quality content). I am too. But you see, creating content for users is simple if you get to understand what “quality” truly represents.
According to Econsultancy, “78% of client-side respondents stated that their business is quite committed to delivering the best experience for their users.”
Your site users are human beings, with blood flowing through their veins. They want answers to their questions, not just another blog post that rehashed the same old idea.
So, quality content encompasses all of these elements:
- Practical: Readers should be able to apply your tips or advice and get results easily. The results may not be overnight, but nonetheless, they need to enjoy it.
- Useful: Your content should serve a purpose. Are you teaching people how to install a particular software, or setup a Google AdWords campaign? Give it a definite purpose and your customers will rate it highly.
- Interesting: Whether your niche is boring or not, you should understand that nobody wants to read a boring content. The reason why you’re an entrepreneur or blogger is to make complicated issues simple.
- Relevant: The last metric for measuring a quality content is “relevance.” Is the headline relevant to the keyword that users are using?
Optimizing your content for the user doesn’t exclude keyword research or integration in your post. As you can see, I mentioned ‘keywords’ as the last metric for measuring content quality.
Here’s the sequence again:
Practical > Useful > Interesting > Relevant (keyword).
Note: User experience optimization goes beyond the content of your blog. You need to bring the same mindset that puts the user first when building links. I’m sure you know that the best approach to link building is true friendship.
Remember that your anchor texts are also important. Use natural anchor texts that doesn’t target your main keywords.
For example, instead of using ‘social media tool’ as your anchor text, replace with your brand + keyword + generic word like this:
softnet social media tools online
social media tools by softnet
social market tools developed by softnet
There you have it. There are so many tools that promises to make SEO a lot easier for you. You should use the right one, but stay focused.
When using any of them, don’t forget that the foundation of a winning organic search campaign lies in the keywords.
Cut through the noise. Drive targeted organic traffic with long-tail keywords. Let your competitors struggle with head keywords. It’s not your fault!
What can you say about long-tail keywords? Have you found success with them?
If you are interested in the process of ranking on top of search engines and want to learn more about SEO & content marketing read our Ultimate Guide to SEO for SaaS.