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SEO Best Practices: A Guide to Long-Tail Keywords

Category: RECENT
June 9th 2021
6:28:32 pm

There really is no debate that using long-tail keywords for SEO is an effective tactic for boosting rankings. Part of the reason for this is that long-tail keywords, while they receive less traffic than their short-head counterparts, tend to have higher conversion rates due to their specificity.

As a result, they enable retail sites to gradually build their traffic and get found by highly relevant consumers.

Truth be told, using long-tail keywords for SEO is a great way to optimize pages for those in highly competitive niches.

Given the potency and importance of these types of, today, we will explore what precisely long-tail keywords are, their benefits, how to find them and how to use long-tail keywords to.

Let’s get started.

Long-Tail Keywords Explained

For those who are not in the know, long-tail keywords are phrases that don’t get searched as frequently as more general keywords (sometimes called short-head keywords) because they are much more specific in nature.

Most long-tail keywords for SEO are, at a minimum, three words long. However, it is not the length of the keyword that designates it as long-tail. Instead, it is the specificity of the keyword that categorizes it as long-tail.

For instance, if a new marketing agency attempts to rank for a general term like “marketing,” they are targeting a short-head term and are likely not to gain much traction with that strategy.

However, if that same business attempts to rank for “eCommerce marketing agency in South Carolina,” they are now targeting a long-tail keyword that is much more specific and being employed by someone who is more likely to convert.

Additionally, retailers can deploy long-tail gains as Google has become quite adept at understanding related keywords and variations.

Benefits of Long-Tail Keywords for SEO

When it comes to keyword strategies, targeting long-tail keywords instead of short-head terms is beneficial in a myriad of ways. For instance, some of the main benefits to using long-tail keywords include:

Greater SERP Visibility

Firstly, one of the most significant benefits of using long-tail keywords for SEO optimization is that these phrases are far easier to rank for than general keywords.

The fact is that there is a ton of competition for common short-head keywords. However, long-tail keywords have significantly less competition, which means that retailers are going to have an easier time for these phrases.

More Targeted Traffic

Since long-tail keywords are so much more specific than short-head terms, retailers who utilize these phrases are likely to draw in more relevant, qualified consumers than those targeting more general terms.

For instance, when a consumer conducts a search and is driven to a site by a general keyword, they could only be looking for information. If they land on a transactional page, they are likely to bounce, thereby negatively impacting the site’s SEO performance.

However, if a searcher lands on a site after searching a specific, long-tail keyword, the page is more likely to align with their intent. If that intent is to make a purchase, they are likely to buy.

More Conversions

The reality of the situation is that long-tail keywords are more likely to successfully drive conversions than less specific keywords. In fact, as when discussing the importance of long-tail keywords for SEO:

“According to recent research by WordStream, the top 10% of landing pages convert at 11.45 percent. The average conversion rate for long-tail keywords is 36 percent!”

The reason for this is that long-tail keywords tend to be lower in the sales funnel. When a consumer begins their journey, it starts with general information, getting more specific as they learn more about what they want or need.

By the time consumers are searching long-tail keywords, they likely have a good idea of what they want and are just seeking to find it online.

Therefore, retailers who use long-tail keywords for SEO optimization can draw in qualified consumers who are ready to buy, thus.

Lower CPC Costs

For merchants who utilize Google Ads, long-tail keywords can be a fantastic means of getting the most bang for a seller’s advertising buck. Much like with ranking in the SERPs, general keywords are more competitive, meaning they have a higher cost-per-click.

However, since long-tail keywords generally have less traffic, they are more affordable for advertisers to integrate into their campaigns.

While this may not seem SEO-related, consider how often produces better results for each individual methodology.

How to Find Long-Tail Keywords for SEO

Before getting into how to use long-tail keywords, it is crucial first to discuss how to find them.

Fortunately, there are a multitude of ways for sellers to uncover favorable long-tail keywords for SEO optimization purposes. Some of those tactics include:

Understand the Needs of the Target Audience

When to identify fruitful long-tail keywords to utilize, it is necessary to do so through the lens of the audience’s needs.

The customers whom retailers are trying to reach have wants and needs that must be addressed by the pages the seller delivers to them in the SERPs via keyword optimization.

Therefore, sellers should first figure out:

  • What questions consumers need to be answered
  • What pain points potential buyers are facing
  • The solutions that the brand can provide
  • Consumer considerations prior to purchase

Much of this information can be provided by customer service and sales teams. Therefore, sellers should create a list of answers before diving into their keyword research efforts.

Use Search Engines

Search engines like Amazon and Google can provide a wealth of information when looking for long-tail keywords for SEO. Given that each of these platforms has autocomplete features, retailers can enter a short-head keyword to see actual long-tail searches that consumers are conducting.

Similarly, both Amazon and Google provide related search suggestions at the bottom of their respective SERPs, thereby giving sellers even more potential long-tail keywords to include in their list.

Moreover, for retailers who sell products on Amazon, it is possible to review the search terms report to see which phrases consumers searched to get to a seller’s product page(s).

Simply by utilizing these two engines, retailers can uncover a wealth of long-tail keywords for SEO optimization.

Employ Long-Tail Keyword Research Tools

While there are tons of traditional keyword research tools, there are also a handful that are dedicated to uncovering long-tail keywords for SEO. While tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, Moz and similar tools are not committed to long-tail keywords, they can be a great source of such information.

That said, some fantastic long-tail keyword research tools sellers can use include:

All of these tools can help retailers successfully find long-tail keywords that their audience is searching.

Focus on User Intent

When conducting long-tail keyword research (or general keyword research, for that matter), it is critical to focus on user intent. The fact is that these terms will be mapped onto various web pages in a bid to optimize them for greater visibility. All of those web pages have a purpose. When consumers land on them, they have a specific goal in mind.

Therefore, when looking for long-tail keywords for SEO, it is essential to consider the page on which the keyword(s) will be used and the searcher’s end goal.

By allowing user intent to guide the keyword research process, merchants are much more likely to employ long-tail phrases in a way that increases their rankings.

On that note, let’s go ahead and take a look at how to use long-tail keywords for SEO success.

How to Use Long-Tail Keywords

Now that sellers are aware of how to find long-tail keywords, let’s explore how to put them to use for SEO gains.

Given that will be a major focus of how to use long-tail keywords, let’s start there:

Utilize Content as a Vehicle for Long-Tail Keywords

Before effectively utilizing long-tail keywords in various blog posts, it is first necessary to define the purpose of the content. After all, if the purpose of the blog does not align with the intent of the user, results are likely to be nil.

Therefore, merchants should take time to consider why a user would come to a blog in the first place. As far as this aim is concerned, there are:

  • Navigational: These searches are conducted by people looking to visit a specific website but who utilize a search engine instead of directly entering the URL.
  • Informational: These folks are looking for an answer to a question or are seeking to deepen their knowledge on a specific topic.
  • Commercial: This is for people who are looking to make a purchase soon but are still wanting to gather a bit more info.
  • Transactional: This type of search intent is for those who are looking to act on their commercial research and complete a purchase.

Given this information, blog content will almost exclusively revolve around informational search intent. Retailers can identify these as they are typically questioning phrases. For instance, a consumer might search “Which headphones are the best?”

This is a simple way for sellers to pinpoint informational keywords to integrate into their content.

While crafting amazing content that ranks well,, and engages readers can be challenging, that is outside the scope of this discussion.

Suffice to say, if sellers want to write content that achieves these goals, it is wise to look into.

As far as how to use long-tail keywords for SEO gains is concerned, the name of the game is placement.

The fact is that while Google is getting increasingly better at understanding natural language patterns, search engines still rely on keywords to help form their understanding of content.

When analyzing a piece of content, search engines will look in a variety of places to understand the core of the topic. While naturally integrating keywords throughout the body content is essential, there are other equally (if not more) crucial destinations for sellers to use long-tail keywords.

For instance, the title of the piece is incredibly important. Naturally, merchants will want to use their primary keyword in this place.

Moreover, the introduction of an article is an essential component. That said, using the target keyword in the first 50 or so words is advisable.

Additionally, headers tell search engines what a section is about and what it contains. Therefore, employing long-tail keywords in H1 tags is a wise decision. Similarly, H2, H3, and other tags are also important for informing search engines about a piece of content. However, since these are less important than H1 tags, these are prime real estate for keyword variants or.

Some other places that retailers will want to include long-tail keywords in the content are:

  • URLs
  • Title tags
  • Meta descriptions
  • Image alt text

Also, it is essential to note that retailers will want to use long-tail keywords as close to the beginning of tags, URLs, and the like as possible. The reason for this is that Google and other search engines weigh the terms at the beginning more heavily than those at the end.

That said, blog content is not the only type of page where merchants will want to use long-tail keywords for SEO.

Optimize Landing, Product, and Other Important Pages

As far as, product pages, landing pages, and the like is concerned, there is a series of steps that sellers can go through to optimize these destinations.

Those steps are:

  • Evaluate the page and its optimization opportunities: Depending on the page that sellers are optimizing, take a close look to see what terms it is ranked for and where it could possibly gain ground in regards to keywords.
  • Optimize the page: Much like with content, retailers will want to strategically integrate long-tail keywords into key areas of the page, such as its URL, title, headers and subheaders, body copy, alt text and similar destinations. Again, it is also advisable to utilize LSI keywords as well.
  • Add more content: This step may not be necessary (depending on the type of page and its current content), but there is a chance that sellers will want to add more content that includes the use of long-tail keywords for SEO optimization.
  • Integrate internal links: Another way to use long-tail keywords on a variety of different types of pages is to use pages to link to other blogs, products, category pages and the like, using the long-tail keyword as the anchor text.

By employing this framework for optimizing various pages for long-tail keywords, merchants can successfully increase their SERP visibility over time, ultimately drawing in more qualified traffic and earning more conversions.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to optimizing pages, learning how to use long-tail keywords for SEO is the best approach.

While it is undoubtedly true that long-tail keywords don’t generate as much traffic as head terms, the quality and relevance of the clicks they do drive are much higher.

Moreover, it is essential to remember that a seller’s entire keyword portfolio is not made up exclusively of long-tail terms. Instead, these phrases help to fill in the gaps and supplement a retailer’s optimization efforts for head terms, branded terms and the like.

However, while figuring out how to use long-tail keywords for SEO may not be extremely complicated, it is a time-consuming process to conduct the necessary research and implement the right strategies.

That said, if your brand would rather focus its time on selling products than optimizing pages for long-tail keywords, then reach out to.

Our team of professional SEO specialists can help your company hunt down and implement the most profitable long-tail keywords for all of its most important pages.